We have just finished a great new website. Who is “we,” you might ask? We are STYLE Advertising. I might not have mentioned it yet, but I was hired by STYLE at the beginning of 2011 to do print and web media – and, isn’t it sweet! For the past 8 months I have been working on a number of websites for lawyers, entertainers, health professionals and the newest restaurant to hit downtown Birmingham – Sweet Tea.

Sweet Tea Restaurant

Sweet Tea Website

The Sweet Tea project included developing the brand: down home southern cooking, Greek flair, and an expansive 200 item menu in a restaurant suited for downtown professionals, college kids and Sunday school gatherings. The restaurant is actually a cafeteria, serving some 50 items each day. Monday you can have lasagna, Tuesday pastichio. This did present an interesting challenge when building the website, especially the not yet unveiled online order placement.We also developed 9 menus: one for breakfast, one for dinner, and seven weekday lunch menus. The online component was built so that Sweet Tea could add their own items at will, set date ranges to display seasonal items, or schedule a month’s worth of cobblers, pies and puddings.

I must say that it has been a huge success. The restaurant is getting a lunch crowd in multiple hundreds, thanks to the great PR at STYLE.

08-23-2011 | Graphic Design, Web Design

As the real estate industry has continued to dwindle I’ve found it necessary to take matters into my own hands. In this down market I have a few options until the economy perks up: pursuing more freelance work, bagging groceries, or going back to school. I’ve already put in my mandatory retail time with Wal-Mart and food service time at a local sub shop, so I’ll put bagging groceries on the back burner. With my darling already in Medical School, I don’t think my bookshelf could handle any more books which leaves the freelance option.

Where does one find freelance work? So far word of mouth is working for me. Marketing research always points to a reputation being key, and I’ve spent the past 5 years building up my reputation as a graphic designer, web developer and general computer guru. Some even say I’m magical. Really they do, the agents at LAH Real Estate have renamed the Photoshop Clone Stamp Tool “Emily’s magical turn on lights, fix blemishes, restore shingles, mow the grass, trim the hedges Tool.” The liquify Tool is free Botox AND Lipo in one!

Product Card

Info card for Trade Show

What kind of magic do I make these days? Technical Illustrations for patents, postcards, HTML for emails, websites both big and small.

In the final stages of development I have a website for a home builder in North Central Alabama and I just finished m work with the  “Podna” project.

If you need a freelance designer, send me an email, or give me I call – I’d love to help!

12-01-2010 | Graphic Design

Earlier this month I was asked to convert lagniappe-designs.com to an easy to use CMS.  The site was subtle, had almost no text on it, and just a few pictures. It had been built by a friend of a friend, and hadn’t been updated in years.

Lagniappe Designs

The old Lagniappe Designs

I really wanted to bring it up a notch. Introduce vibrant colors, zoom in on the flowers, and add more content to the site. Lagniappe Designs is not a large scale florist operation. They are small, witty, and unique. They needed a site that represented them and would make them stand apart from all of the chain florists in town.

Being a small shop and “do it yourself” types, Lagniappe really wanted to manage their own site, so I chose WordPress as the CMS. We chose a theme and I went to work, adding color and content to their site.

The site isn’t quite done yet, and knowing the tinkering nature of this awesome florist, it might never be – but now Lagniappe Designs has the tools to control their own internet destiny.


10-19-2010 | Graphic Design

Recently I was contracted to do the back-end coding on an e-commerce site – www.yellowhammerltd.com. This would mark my first real collaborative web project. I was only to write  code – I was now part of a team. I was given a Photoshop document with 6 or so layers, literally hundreds of masks, filters and textures. At first glance I was overwhelmed – this was not the way I built websites. There was no web ready structure. There were curves, and shadows – this was created with only the visual in mind – with no inhibitions about limitations in CSS – this was a Challenge.

Yellow Hammer Ltd.

Yellow Hammer Ltd.

My first thought was that this design was never going to translate into HTML/CSS. My second thought was that I could translate it, just not easily. This challenge was what I needed. I had to think outside of my comfort zone, using divs and floats to their max.

Besides dealing with the original Yahoo! shopping cart system, the most challenging aspect of this design was the bottom menu section.  Button’s that had to line up against a curved image. My solution: Saving the images as PNG’s for transparency – up and over state in the same image. Using a floating div, placing the images on the page, and fine tuning the background-image position pixel by pixel until the image lined up. Then using the pixie method the a:hover background-image position reveals the hover state.

Rammer-Jammer, Yellowhammer!

04-08-2010 | Web Design

It’s Christmas time – well, almost.

There isn’t any snow, and you don’t quite need a coat outside, but it is time to send out cards. I usually don’t send out many cards but I know alot of people who do. It seems that photo cards are all the rave, and to have a photo card, you need a photographer.

Christmas Photoshoot

Enter Emily and her trusty Rebel.

This was my first child/baby shoot  and I should have brought a fuzzy stuffed animal with a bell on it.

I did learn a few things. Toddlers tire quicker than babies. Children will look towards their parents more often than the camera, so have the parent stand behind you and the camera.

Next Christmas, I’ll bring a toy.

12-08-2009 | Photography

I truly think that all aspects of life should have a manual. Cars have manuals, even my blender has a manual – but the web does not. By it’s very nature the world wide web is a mass of information. Sometimes this information is perfect, sometimes it is misleading, and other times you know it is out there but you just can’t find the right keywords to use to find it.

The Missing Manuel

Books are also full of information, but they are solid physical objects. You can find them easily by title and browse through to find your information.

Recently I started working on a new website – something far grander than my little “about me” websites. This website needed a front for clients, a back for managers, a database to hold the information and in general more coding than I was used to.

Always up to the challenge I found the Adobe Dreamweaver’s Developer’s Toolbox (ADDT) and figured hey – how hard could PHP be? It was different from HTML & CSS and I didn’t even know where to start.  I went out to the store and got a the Dreamweaver Missing Manual. After a few days with that I did end up supplementing with Google’s results for my queries and a Training from the Source book.

Now, lets all echo(Where are the rest of the manuals?);

04-20-2009 | Graphic Design, Web Design
Tim Stooksberry

Tim Stooksberry

For my birthday I decided to do something special for myself. I went online, found my favorite shopping site – ebay – bid, and won a Canon Digital Rebel. It has megapixels, memory cards and a manual focus. Most importantly, it’s a camera that I can play with. Take outside to shoot with.

Here is my first shot.

Location: Southside, Birmingham, AL. AKA Home

Subject: Tim Stooksberry.

Purpose: Headshot for Medical School Application.

Now that I have successfully taken a picture of someone – it’s time to read the manual.

01-09-2009 | Photography

It is that time of year again. Time for presents, time for family, and time for the Marketing Department’s grand Photoshop feat.

Last year I made light of our small department with this image:

2007 LAH Marketing Services Department

2007 LAH Marketing Services Department

You might notice that the department is really just the three of us in front of a massive tree.

Photography by our trusty IT guy. Photoshopping by yours truly. Outfits picked out by those you see here.

There are in fact 9 Emily’s in this picture. You see, our marketing department consisted of one Linea and two Emily’s. Another reason I wanted to go with the doppelganger Christmas picture.

Onto 2008:

As last year’s photoshoped image had a great “wait, I get it now” appeal, this year I had to do something even better.

2008 LAH Marketing Services

2008 LAH Marketing Services Department

This Christmas, the Marketing Department was down one gal, so we added our friend, the Frosty Kid to our annual Christmas card picture. The Frosty Kid, as I affectionatly call him, is a great stock photo of a hand made snowman. Besides the Marketing Director, and myself and the Frosty Kid, the rest is all photoshop. Photos were taken inside the office using silver and gold lame fabric as reflective surfaces to mimic snow lighting. Outfits were in our closets. The snow, bubbles, snowglobe, etc…was all photoshopped by yours truly.

Dreaming of a white Christmas in a typical Alabama winter heat wave.

12-27-2008 | Graphic Design

I decided it was time to freshen up the face of el-le. Update the underlying HTML and try out my new skills with WordPress. I’ve come to appreciate the ease of a good clean user friendly CMS. The automation; the not having to get my hands dirty every time I want to make an update can be a big draw. On the other hand, it’s like pulling teeth to mold a predetermined form into something outside of the WordPress box.

I chose the blog format because an online portfolio should be a design diary, not just a static resume.

My goal: to update these pages with my findings as a graphic designer.

09-22-2008 | Web Design

Welcome to el-le.com. Please pardon my progress.

It’s 2008 and I have been working as a graphic designer for almost 4 years. As an employee of Birmingham’s largest local real estate company I work all day developing real estate marketing pieces. At 5pm though, I am ready to design something fresh. If you have a website that needs a once over, or a new brochure call, email or text me.

09-18-2008 | Web Design
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