We’re coming to the end of the SG3xpress roadshow, and today I’m interviewing Bryan Hardbarger of blueboxdesgin.com. Yes, you read that right. It’s blue box, as in Tardis. (If you don’t know what a Tardis is, I shed a tear for you.) But we’re not here to talk about the magic of time travel today. Instead we’re going to talk about the magic of SG3xpress for WordPress, and get a behind the scenes look into the work of an accomplished designer who is just getting into website design.
ML: Bryan, welcome to the Media Lab blog. Before we get started with the interview, please give us an overview of who you are and what business you’re in.
Thank you. I was drawing since I could hold a pencil, then moved on to pen & ink. I had a natural talent handed down by my Father who was my soul inspiration for many years. It was my Father who put the tools in my hands to hone my skills and progress into an accomplished artist. I owe him a great deal.
Over the years, I’ve studied many forms of art and design, but it was my Father’s Sign business that put me on my true path. Advertising was a field we knew naturally, what was obvious to us, was unknown by others.
In other words, making our clients look good is one thing, but creating an effective branding campaign is a talent we are blessed with. We strove to provide a personal customer service, our clients are our friends. We decided early on to “work with any budget”. After all, if we help a “Mom & Pop” business get started, they will remember who helped them succeed. We have even gone as far as using the time honored barter system to provide our clients with them proper advertising package. As a result, we have a loyal client base dating back 27 years.
After many appearances in a multitude of international trade magazines, the latest being a full article in Signcraft Magazine, I have focused my efforts on web design, logo design & branding, advertising, copywriting and much more. My web site will be an ongoing and ever changing entity focusing on informing my potential clients what it is I can provide them. I am a firm believer in adding social media to your advertising campaign to help build a strong brand. My facebook page and my Twitter account both help to drive traffic to my site. I am always looking for more ways to connect to the world and reveal an alternative to expensive ad agencies and design firms.
Thanks Bryan. Now let’s get on to the interview…
ML: Is your background in graphic design, web development, or somewhere else?
BH: My background is actually based in commercial design and advertising. I began working with my Father in his sign company back in the early 80′s, I began my love of typography by hand lettering fonts with a quill!
We discovered that we had a natural understanding & talent for advertising and promoting a business or product, and used that to build the business into the premiere sign and advertising company in the Mid Ohio Valley.
We have been featured in over 7 different sign trade magazines over the years, the latest of which was a full feature article in Signcraft Magazine, the bible of the sign business.
I take great pride in my design, and the abilities God has given me to provide them. I know that if create an amazing logo design or branding package that WORKS, that is EFFECTIVE, my clients success will become my own as well.
ML: How long have you been using Photoshop? What kinds of projects do you do in Photoshop?
BH: I’ve been using Photoshop for about 12 years now, in some capacity. I worked with a publisher in Miami for several years color correcting, image editing, and special effects. I was sent to Canada for in depth training in those skills and became very adept at making a photo look very non conspicuous. Meaning, you could look at the photo for several minutes, and not realize the background was cropped in, the models head was from another shot, and she weighed 15 LBS more before I was finished!
ML: How did you hear about SG3express?
BH: I believe it was (Name drop time) Photoshop User Magazine, I saw an ad, and thought… hey, their talking about ME! THIS web design program has MY name written ALL over it.
I’ve tried Dreamweaver and a couple others, but THIS… SiteGrinder is the web design program for seasoned graphic designers who wish to get a piece of the web design pie, so to speak. Use your hard earned skills that you already have, and with endless online help from Medialabs, the Photoshop expert can now “play with the big dogs”.
ML: Why are you going with WordPress? Did you consider any other blogging solutions?
BH: It actually started out as an outlet for my Sci-Fi based writing, I had read so many articles about my favorite shows and movies and was constantly miffed about the the excessive misspellings and poor grammar.
I wanted to provide a casual alternative for my readers that read well, was informative, and challenged them to interact.
WordPress seemed to be a good program with loads of options for customization. All the “bells and whistles” were there already, rather than plugging in code from countless third party plug-ins like twitter.
ML: What are you planning to do with SiteGrinder and your blog?
BH: As a creative designer, I want more freedom with my layout and design. More control. SiteGrinder has provided that for my web design business, why not utilize it to run my blog as well? It is very difficult to find a product or service these days that you can trust, has great customer service at a fair price. Happily, I’ve found that in Media Lab!
ML: Star Trek or Star Wars?
BH: HA HA HA! You’ve been following my @Nyrhalahotep Twitter feed too long!
I must say, as a true Sci-Fi fanatic, that I have NO personal favorite between the two. Now don’t get me wrong, I love both. But if I HAD to choose, I believe Gene Roddenberry’s idea of the future is ideal.
No need for money, just the betterment of the human race to learn, discover and explore. I would totally join Starfleet.