casual design – design is casual

interactive design for web, video games, and apps.

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New Mexico for Year Two

After the first year of operation in Bozeman, MT, design is casual has made a big move to Albuquerque, NM. Although super attached to Bozeman and the friends I have there, I have always wanted to expand into bigger markets and believe I have found one that I like. Close to downtown, between New Mexico State University and Nob Hill is where I will be based, working on projects with my existing clientele and also trying to pick up new clients that support creative methods that are good for business these days.


New Mexico is going to be a great city for my wife and I, we can already tell. There’s lots to do outside, Santa Fe and Taos are within a couple hours, there are many cool coffee shops, green chiles, the COOP, a lot like Bozeman’s COOP, film studios are here, plenty of art, there is at least one rooftop pizzeria, there are some cool lofts… the list goes on.


Looking back after the first year, there were many new experiences that I will remember with my clients that were mostly started in the pursuit towards innovating on the web. Here are some notable updates:

UVI ended up with a pretty cool minisite for n:fil, the architectural component of UVI. They completed a project in Douglas, WY, called Spine House. This house has more cool features and materials than anything I have seen.

There were some maintenance level and finishing projects with 45 Degrees North, the design/advertising agency that I worked for the previous two years. Some of these won advertising awards.

With RSPCT (then anonymousUNITED) we were able to get a decent not-as-temp portfolio site going, now Ron just needs to keep it updated!

I picked up a pretty cool contract with LiveJournal, working on some of their house branding. Toward the end of the project the design team was laid off, which sucked for me because I was transferred to the financial department to finish out the design.

With another fairly large community site, 4 Color Rebellion, I am awaiting the relaunch of their fourth version, which includes my work on the markup and styles.

We are in the process of updating the Cucoloris website, a talented filming group. I am always interested to hear about their latest projects, for example, documenting the Telluride protest to break a 50 year contract with their energy company, allowing alternative energy to become more prevalent there.

I started up a website for my mom, who owns a unique furniture store, Bella Patina, in Rapid City, SD. For this website I experimented a little with the flickr API to allow the store to manage their photos and descriptions through flickr.
p ix e l a t e d light staged and shot the featured season photos and most of the items in the store, and it was great to work together on the website. I am trying to find out if connecting the website to flickr creates some social interaction between local customers and the flickr community.

With Classic Ink, I have been working with the designers to get more of their web work out and have been experimenting a little with customizing WordPress and javascript image galleries that are used a lot by their clients.

Another aspect I have been getting more involved in is consulting. There are a few universities that I am being contracted by, for my web expertise and acting as a liaison between departments in assessing future needs, improving communication, and reducing the complexity of websites within websites.

In amongst these projects, I have continued helping family and friends get started in customizing their blogs or apps or services to use for a particular purpose, or just talking about facebook and how the world is changing. I have been learning more actionscript 3 and mxml, experimenting with Papervision, Union, and in Apple world a little Cocoa Touch. I really want to make fun games for iPhone with my friends eventually, by that time it will be called iPhone LS.

Every project I finish, I feel like I am getting a little bit closer to my dream of one day making my own project that will be the awesomest game/app/social-experience-to-remember-ever-beyond-history. To keep it casual, I would just really like to create something that is fun for me and then others might think it is fun too.

In my second year, I am on the path to that dream. Thank you to all of my clients, and here is to year two!