Alternate Title: I don’t just draw stuff
Because it’s raining, and my wrist is all messed up, I figured I might as well use this blog. Here’s the first of a few case studies on projects I’ve done recently that I found to be really enjoyable.
Nate Carey of Teton Wrench is a great friend and riding buddy, and when he mentioned at the end of the ride that he needed some work done on his website, I was stoked to help. It turned out that he didn’t actually have a website visible online, he had some of a cobbled together site stuck in the back end of Squarespace. He already had an awesome logo, but he didn’t have the original files for it, and he needed some visual work done to make the website pop. So I was excited to jump in.
I started by making a short, ordered list of what his website needed to do. Not what it could do, but what it actually needed. Especially with a business like this I feel like it’s really valuable to start with the barest minimum and then fight the urge to add useless pages.
Teton Wrench specializes in bike repair and maintenance, without the hassle. Nate’s wrenched at the World Cup and EWS level, as well as working at bike shops, and the real magic of his business is that he comes to you. Give him a call, he’ll come pick up your bike, and drop it back off when it’s fixed. He removed the hassle and frustration from getting your bike worked on.
Nate doesn’t sell bikes or accessories, but he can get you any parts you need.
So his website needs to be really simple. Here’s the list of functions I came up with:
Explain what Teton Wrench is
Make it easy to get in touch with Teton Wrench
Give an idea of what kind of services and price points Teton Wrench offers.
Look good and perform well on mobile devices
Offer some visuals that help cement who and what Teton Wrench is.
To do that I decided I only needed two pages on the website: A home landing page, and “Schedule Service” page with more specific information.
First though, I had to solve “The Case of the Lost Logo.” Nate had his logo on some business cards, but couldn’t dig up the original file. That’s ok though, I was able to take his business card and with some digital monkey business I reconstructed his original logo and got him files to keep for his records. That’s about as close to “drawing stuff” as I got on this project.
With the logo in hand, I jumped into the back end of his website and started doing Tony Stark stuff.
From there, everything was pretty simple. I cranked out the website with some placeholder mountain biking images I’d shot in the past, and then scheduled a time to go over and shoot him at work.
Before I was an illustrator, I was on the photography track for 5 years. So, while my camera is not as big as it used to be, I’m pretty comfortable making cool photos to help tell stories. And Nate was easy to shoot. We only ended up using one of the shots from our session on the site, this one:
But now Teton Wrench has a whole wad of good photos to use for any social media or other promotion they need. You can see the final site here: www.tetonwrench.com
With the website and logo done I dove into physical merch for Teton Wrench. Nate wanted to have shirts available to give and sell to friends and customers, so I set him up with my shirt supplier, and built a back-end store where he can order whatever merch he needs with no minimums or hassle.
Finally, I like stickers, and Nate needed a new frame sticker for bikes he’d worked on. Frame stickers are a nice subtle piece of branding that remind customers where their bike came from, and who they should call to take care of it. Nate had some old ones, but they were busy, and big. Not the kind of thing I’d want on my bike. I came up with some constraints to help guide the frame sticker process:
They need to look good on any bike (and any color bike)
They need to be small and discreet
They need to push people to call Teton Wrench when their bike breaks.
Here’s what I came up with (Reeses for scale):
In person, they really pop. The brushed aluminum backing is durable, and catches the light. It also goes really well with just about any paint job, and is unobtrusive. Nate can stick these on the seat tube of any bike he works on, or hand them out, to help drive folks to Teton Wrench.
So there you have it! I love illustration work, but projects like this, where I get to do a little bit of everything are really fulfilling. I love getting to massage every side of project, do some creative problem solving, and even bust out the camera. If any of that sounds like stuff you need done, shoot me a note. I’d love to make something happen for you!
Finally, here’s Teton Wrench’s official shop dog. Cute dogs help drive productivity.