casual design – design is casual

interactive design for web, video games, and apps.

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Year Three

Albuquerque this past year has been pretty eventful. I will say, it is an enjoyable place to live and work. Here are some highlights from last year.

Leveraging more of what I have to offer –
Balancing digital concepts and studio arts in my work. This has helped me to become more critical about the work I take on, and giving the pieces personal care. I realize this is something I need to keep intact, and comes through in the work. I said that I would start using twitter to log my progress. I have decided against multiple cryptic tweets a day about progress, in favor or continuing on my drawings, paintings, and work using the tablet, only updating via twitter when significant progress is made, with links to photos and videos of completed or near completed works.

Portfolio –
The biggest addition to my portfolio was the 4 color rebellion website, which demonstrates my abilities in quite a large capacity. Starting with the markup and css, and then moving into some performance techniques, seo, and even helped cover e3 2010 with the staff, and loved it. This year I will be optimizing and adding more ajax, for a more exciting presentation and elegant ways of working with the data on 4cr to enhance the experience.

I also worked quite a bit to help my friends and family tidy up some websites, identities, that sort of thing. One of my friends started working on an eco friendly line of soaps. We created an identity and some packaging ideas for him. Another friend started a kite company in Livingston, MT, which is a cool concept, and I helped him set up a small website. I worked with RSPCT to outfit our favorite coffee shop with a new website. Then we teamed up and created a child theme for GVSA, and helped with a fundraiser auction that goes toward the development of what will be the largest skatepark in Montana.

I also teamed up with faculty and staff at the University of Wyoming and Montana State University to guide and consult on projects. For MSU, working with the Extensions Office, I helped update some content, reworked some admin functionality, and am in the process of updating some forms to be more user friendly. For UW, I worked with their marketing and PR to help them with various aspects in updating a very large website, and worked to communicate University-wide strategy, and how the website would best play a part in that strategy.

In the Studio –
Although my main work machine is a decked out macbook pro running snow leopard, I upgraded my “pc” to be able to test all the way up to 64bit browsers on windows 7 pro 64bit.

I’ve started making my own theme for wordpress 3, so I will update about that from time to time. Naturally, the theme is called casual.

ios dev/experiments are coming along still, and I just downloaded the new sdk.

android dev, I still have not started, but will hopefully get involved with that down the road, now that android 2.2 is out and new phones are hitting the market, I feel like I am getting more excited about android, but am still focused learning how to make stuff on ios.

I have been fortunate to meet some great people in Albuquerque so far in the worlds of web, film, and art.
thanks again, all my clients!

design is casual is where it’s at when digital creative strategies are heating up!

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!