Armadillo Studios Inc.

Louie Van Amstel’s Ballroom With A Twist Launches

Armadillo Studios is incredibly excited to announce the launch of our latest project – The Canadian tour site for “Dancing with the Stars’ Louie Van Amstel’s production of Ballroom with a Twist”:http://www.ballroomwithatwist.com.

In conjunction with Calgary’s “Event Group”:http://www.eventgroup.ca and “Innovative Events”:http://www.innovativeevents.ca/, we set out to create a unique and exciting one-stop informational site for the upcoming 2010 Canadian tour. Building off the current excitement surrounding ballroom and professional dancing, we wanted to create a design aesthetic which encompasses the passion that Louie Van Amstel brings to all of his projects. Using a combination of bold pastel colors and a variant of glowing light streams, we created a vibrant mosaic to create a sense of excitement.

As a single page site, our next goal was to utilize as much of the screen real-estate as possible to provide users with the maximum amount of information. A dual column layout provides potential concert goers with a simple introduction to Louis Van Amstel’s production with an accompanying list of the 10 Canadian dates.

Then we created three secondary sections to promote the show’s star performers – Evan Lysacek and David Hernandez – while also allowing users to sign-up for email notifications on advanced ticket sales or to share the tour with their facebook friends.

Louise Van Amstel’s Ballroom with a Twist Canadian tour is set to launch this October and we are more than excited to be a part of this unique experience.

So, if you’re a fan of Dancing with the Stars or Louise Van Amstel, now’s your chance “to see both in a city near you”:http://www.ballroomwithatwist.com.

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.