Armadillo Studios Inc.

The Lazy H Ranch Project

The second of our big releases this month is a property site for “The Lazy H Ranch”:http://www.ranchforsalevail.com.

Earlier this month we were approached by Howlyn Properties to help them create a new site to showcase a “vacation ranch property for sale near beautiful Vail, Colorado”:http://www.ranchforsalevail.com. They wanted to keep with the structure of a previous property site, but build upon the structure to make it more appealing to their selling demographic and to provide key information to potential investors.

We set out to create a rustic western colour palette with dark browns and tarnished yellows for the new site. Then we imposed some _lumography photoshop elements_ on selected photos to give them a vibrant nostalgic feel – with a goal of showcasing the down-home western comfort and livability which exudes out of The Lazy H Ranch property.

The next step was to build upon the chosen site structure, by incorporating a simple jquery image slider and a fancybox gallery for the photos of the property. Each of these enhancements was developed to showcasing the lush qualities of this stunning property.

The final major enhancement to the site was to build customized Google maps which would give users a true understanding of the location of the property in relationship to amazing wealth of winter and summer activities in the Vail Valley. We built custom maps to showcase “the world class ski hills”:http://www.ranchforsalevail.com/enjoy-vails-world-class-ski-hills/ and “top notch golf courses”:http://www.ranchforsalevail.com/vail-valley-golfing/ in the area.

Over the next few weeks we will be working with Howlyn Properties and their Realtor “Team Black Bear”:http://www.teamblackbear.com, to tailor the SEO components of the new site and to help promote the property to potential investors.

It was a pleasure to work with both companies and we wish them all the best with the project.

Taylor Made Events Catering Launches For The 2010 Stampede

A few days before the 2010 Calgary Exhibition and Stampede, Karjsa Taylor of “Taylor Made Events Catering”:http://www.taylormade-events.com came to Armadillo Studios with a small conundrum. She was showcasing her new catering talents at “The ATCO Kitchen Theatre”:http://cs.calgarystampede.com/planner/event/149-taylor-made-events-catering-ftkajsa-taylor.html and needed a quick online presence to connect with potential online customers.

So cue Team Armadillo to help a new friend in need.

Within such a quick turn around time, Armadillo Studios went about creating a unique and professional branding concept for Karjsa, while developing a simple and informational splash page to promote her unique catering services. Using a soft red, rosa and brown colour palette we developed a branding for TMEC which would appeal directly to her target market. We also leveraged a couple of interesting photos of her exquisite Lamb Burgers and Karjsa herself, to connect potential customers to the catering services.

After a successful Stampede Showcase, we wish Karjsa and Taylor Made Events Catering all the best during the busy summer BBQ season.

The Redesign of Mike’s Bloggity Blog

It’s with great pleasure that we get to announce our latest project, the redesign of “Mike’s Bloggity Blog”:http://www.mikesbloggityblog.com.

For those unfamiliar with this popular site, Mike’s Bloggity Blog is one of Canada’s most visited entertainment blogs. Consecutively rated as the best entertainment blog in Canada for the past three years, Mike is a witty and persistent blogger with over two and half thousands post of valuable entertainment goodness.

He covers all aspects of the Canadian Entertainment realm, from the latest news on CBC’s smash hit _Being Erica_ to the latest in Canadian Films to the Junos. Mike’s Bloggity Blog is slowly becoming the go to place for everything related to the Canadian Entertainment industry.

Mike approached us earlier this year with a goal to take his *Blogger* hosted site to the next level. He wanted to roll out a unique and professional design, but to also keep the lighthearted aesthetic of the original site.

So, we set about designing a new layout which would push Mike’s Bloggity Blog to the next step. We created a new colour scheme which also leveraged a bright new header, but also incorporated Mike’s trademark Wordle logo. We upgraded the sidebar to make it easier for users to connect with Mike’s Bloggity Blog through other social media networks like _Twitter_, _Google Friends_, _TweetMeme_ and his own _YouTube Channel_.

We also equipped Mike’s Bloggity Blog with a fabulous new fat footer, which enhances the user experience by allowing for easier navigation and allowing users to discover some of Mike’s other writing gigs.

The biggest challenge for this project was the transition from Blogger to a self-hosted WordPress web site. But after some data wrangling, an unexpected downtime with a web hosting provider and some very useful WordPress plug-ins; we were able to transition all 2,500 posts from the original Mike’s Bloggity Blog to the new site, without any damage to the existing Search Engine results.

So with that we are happy to announce the new redesign for Mike and wish him all the best in his quest to conquer the _Canadian Entertainment Industry_!

The Music-Critic Podcast

If you’re a lover of new music, one of our long-standing clients “Music-critic.ca”:http://www.music-critic.ca/wp/, is probably one of the best places to find out the latest bands. Over the past five years, Armadillo Studios has been constantly working with Nathan Atnikov (the owner and editor) to improve the web site and help spread the word about their fantastic reviews.

This week, Music-critic took another giant leap into the digital realm with the launch of it’s own weekly Podcast.

Hosted by Nathan, this new weekly podcast will highlight some of the best new tracks being released from well known and undiscovered artists. So if you’re looking for some new music to fill your iPods and iPhones, make sure you go to “iTunes and subscribe to the new and a 100% fresh Music-critic.ca podcast”:http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/music-critic-ca-podcast/id370841312.

Welcoming RNBC To The Armadillo Family

2010 is gearing up to be an exciting year for Armadillo Studios.

We are already into the second month of twenty-ten and we’ve launched three new web sites, with even more projects on the docket. The second of these new web sites is the new home of the “The Resource Network Breakfast Club of Calgary”:http://www.rnbccalgary.com.

Dating back to 1989, the Resource Network Breakfast Club has been formally meeting every Friday morning as a vehicle for local businesses to share connections and potential clients. This is the group’s first major foray into the web and into the realm of social media and we were more than happy to lend a hand. With that in mind, we set about building an online identity that reflected the club’s main goal of building connections.

We built a simple and easy to navigate web site, with a design that leverages soft colours and the iconic image of the blank business card; a design concept that represents the potential connections available for businesses joining the group’s illustrious roster.

By utilizing the WordPRess CMS we were able to incorporate a new posting system for the group. RNBC can now update potential members on the club’s latest events or the new category of businesses they are looking to add to their roster. We also incorporated an easy to navigate business directory, which showcases the diverse group of companies associated with the group. We also leveraged our experience with integrating Social Media networks directly into our sites, by “incorporating their new Twitter account”:http://www.twitter.com/rnbcbreakfast into the body of the web site.

We are very pleased to have worked with RNBC over the past little while to help them promote their breakfast club. And we welcome them to the family of Armadillo web sites.

The Revamped U of A Ski Club

_Ah! University. Sweet, sweet memories of University_.

The Armadillo Team have some fine memories of our days in University and our time with the University of Calgary’s Ski Club. Many of these memories are fairly blurry, but they are rather fond one.

So when the U of Calgary’s sister club, The “University of Alberta’s Ski Club”:http://www.uofaskiclub.ca, came to Armadillo Studios with a predicament we were more than happy to help. (Plus, “we’d already gave their southern cousins a little bit of a makeover earlier this year”:http://www.uofcskiclub.com/)

First and foremost, the new “U of A Ski Club Web Site”:http://www.uofaskiclub.ca is not an original Armadillo design; rather we’ve dramatically upgraded the structure and the skeleton of what they were left with.

The U of A Ski Club had a web site built by a third party, but was never given the information on how to update it or maintain it. Instead they were left with a static web site with no real CMS and no way of communicating with their beloved membership. This is unfortunately a common predicament in our industry and many clients in this situation approach us. So in came Armadillo to save the day.

Using the key elements of the original design to the site’s keep continuity, we rebuilt the web site using the WordPress Management system and even incorporated a few key design elements that were missing from the original site. Including links to Social Media elements, ShareThis Functionality, a Contact Us form and even a large beefy footer for simple navigation.

Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be working with the U of A to further improve their web site and improve their web site’s usability. But more importantly, we hope the new site will help them get more involved with the student body and creating more fond memories for others.

Eco Living Inc. Launches

Armadillo Studios and Eco Living Inc are proud to launch “www.ecolivinginc.ca”:http://www.ecolivinginc.ca – the online home of Calgary’s newest Developer of Multi-Family homes.

Earliet this year the owners of Eco Living contacted Armadillo to help develop a brand new web site site, one which would be easy to update, accessible on mobile apps and would allow them to showcase the different elements of their business model. The main goal of the new Eco Living Inc site was to develop a contemporary HTML/CSS based web site that stood out against the local competition, through simplicity and ease of us.

Leveraging Eco Living’s existing branding development, Armadillo constructed a WordPress powered site built on a simple and intuitive layout design. The color scheme reflects the earth-tone nature of the company’s logo and their commitment to _Eco Logic_ developments. In addition, we also incorporated a simple photo sideshow in the sidebar, which will allow the Eco Living team to update their web site with photos of their latest products once they become available.

We are proud to launch this new site and look forward to seeing Eco Living’s business grow.