Website: Confidential Acquisition Corporation

Sometimes I get the opportunity to work on a project that remains confidential for various reasons. Maybe the client is desiring a private label product or some other special business situation. I was recently approached by a company to help them with the design of a Microsoft PowerPoint “pitch deck” that could be used to secure financing. They described it as a printable presentation deck that could be handed out during pitch meetings with potential investors. They also needed a logo and some other corporate identity bits and pieces that I designed in Adobe Illustrator. In the following screenshots, I’ve removed the real content and replaced the logo with a generic one since the project will remain confidential.

Website Home Page Design
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WordPress Plugin: MPG Author Bio

If you have multiple authors on one WordPress blog, you can create accounts for each of those authors and add some biographical information in their user settings. However, not all authors prefer to provide personal info to the public. This plugin creates a simple shortcode that you can manually include on individual blog posts that includes the author’s bio and photo, as well as icon links to their social media accounts.

WordPress Plugin: MPG Welcome Panel

After installing a fresh copy of WordPress, you’re presented with a default WordPress-branded welcome panel at the top of the admin dashboard. I’ve recently learned that you can replace that panel with a version of your own. In my case, I’ve always wanted to give my clients a more useful panel that will encourage them to reach out to me if they run into problems while maintaining their site’s content.

This plugin is very easy to configure. Update the plugin’s HTML and CSS to match your brand’s logo, colors, and messaging. Upload your logo image to the WordPress Media Library and include the URL in the plugin’s anchor link. When I’m doing freelance work for other agencies, I can customize the welcome panel to match their branding and colors.

Happy 50th Birthday to Mark!

I was recently asked by the wife of my good friend and business partner, Mark Reeves, to put together a short video to surprise him for his 50th birthday. I knew immediately that I was going to do something fun since his birthday was in the middle of the pandemic, and we could all use a good laugh about now. I also knew that I wanted to stretch my wings a bit with my recent Adobe After Effects training. I found a tutorial on YouTube explaining how to create those silly Monty Python animations where the mouth moves up and down timed to someone talking. This is the result. Happy 50th birthday to Mark!

Mandalas in Adobe Illustrator

I’m finally getting serious about learning how to use Adobe Illustrator properly. I’ve been using it off and on for years, but never really spent the time to get good at it since it’s so vast. I’ve been watching some videos on drawing mandalas, so I decided to see if I could create one with vector shapes. It was a fun and relaxing way to spend a couple hours. Also, I feel a lot more comfortable in Illustrator now. I added some color gradients with Photoshop.

Fun with Geometry

I’ve been having fun with geometry tonight. I’ve learned how to draw five different “platonic solids” from the Flower of Life (the circle pattern in the background). I made this set in Photoshop, but the originals were done by hand using a compass and ruler. If I had to do it over again, I’d opt for Adobe Illustrator.

Five Platonic solids: hexahedron, tetrahedron, octahedron, icosahedron, and dodecahedron

Social Share Images for Websites

I’ve been having fun designing some “social share” images for websites that I’ve recently worked on. You don’t normally see these images until someone shares a link to the website in one of their posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. It’s always a nice surprise when they pop up on my Facebook timeline.

Abstract Twirl Photos

I’ve been seeing various abstract distorted photos on social media lately. I decided to give it a try. They start out as regular photographs. Then several Photoshop filters are applied and they end up looking like colorful, abstract paintings.

I Aspire to Be a Web Craftsman

The other day I saw some front-end code that just plain angered me. I wasn’t upset that the website looked bad in the browser or that it wasn’t faithful to the original visual design. It was just poorly executed. It lacked semantics, clarity, and direction. It seemed obvious that the developer simply mailed it in. That experience compelled me to write a few words about craftsmanship and good old fashioned pride in one’s work.

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