Category Archives: Web design

The goal: a site as colorful and contemporary as our client.

Every Picture Tells a Story

Bobbie, the owner of BDunn Interiors, came to us with a plea: “There are too many words! In my head and on my site. When I’m drowning in words, I can’t create. Feed my right brain with images, flow, color.”

We love it when our goal for a website is that clear from Day One. Our writer took on the challenge of making every word count—and eliminating the rest. And our designer set about creating a site where pictures told the story.

The Setting

The photographs are the stars on BDunn Interiors' new site.

The photographs are the stars on BDunn Interiors’ new site.

We wanted to display Bobbie’s work like we’d display fine art in a gallery. So out went the busy backgrounds and embellishments. A subtle linear background serves the same purpose as bare walls in a museum, letting the transformed rooms be the stars. Typography and color guide navigation without the clutter of too many small icons.

The Main Characters

With a single click you can explore the design details of this bathroom.

With a single click you can explore the design details of this bathroom.

Against that clean background, the interactive photos become the main characters. The visitor enters the story of each room, drilling deeper and deeper into the details of the redesign: the tile backsplash, the patio fire pit, the window treatments, and so on. “Before” photographs show where the story began. “After” photographs show how the story ended…happily. And in between, the site visitor gets a good sense of our client’s artistic vision and range of skills.

The Deeper Message

The goal: a site as colorful and contemporary as our client.

The goal: a site as colorful and contemporary as our client.

Our client requested a website that felt content rich without using lots of words. We ran with that goal but added to it. We wanted visitors to this site to get a feel for what Bobbie is good at, what she’s passionate about, what they will get if they hire her, and what it’s like to work with her. What do you think? Did we tell her story well?

Making Sense of Seafood

The old Sea King site

The old Sea King site

Sea King—a seafood market, carry-out, and caterer—is one of our long-time clients. They came to us recently to upgrade their website’s content management system. As we added CMS features for them, they realized their site’s visual design could use a fresh look. Their business was growing and invigorated, and we wanted to help capture that energy online.

Rocking the Boat

Sea King’s original home page featured a photo of a fishing boat on the bay, a classic Maryland scene. Yet the page fell short of capturing what Sea King was about.

Sketch for the underwater theme

Sketch for the underwater theme

Under the Sea

On our first pass at a redesign, we were still stuck in our nautical rut. We went deep into an underwater world. But scenes of fish in the sea only took us farther from defining Sea King. The result was certainly more artistic than the old version, but it wasn’t grabbing us.

What were we missing? What made people flock to Sea King?

Now That Makes Sense

Food! When you enter Sea King’s market, you smell the sweet brinyness of the oysters, you see and feel the texture of the crab spices, you hear shrimp sizzling in the fryers. How could we capture that sensual extravaganza on their website?

Sea King's new website

Sea King’s new website

From the rough wood siding in the background to the vivid photographs of food, Sea King’s new site looks more like an authentic seafood shanty. Casual. Inviting. If you’re a seafood lover—and you probably are if you’re visiting Sea King’s site—then your imagination automatically kicks in with the sound, texture, taste, and aroma of that shanty. It’s as if you are there, holding one of their party platters in your hand.

And what do you do next? You buy. And you eat. That’s how a creative appeal to all the senses can drive business!

Teachable Moment

How many of the five senses does your website appeal to? How can you access each sense to evoke a response from your customers?

Maryland Center on Problem Gambling

As You Wish

Once upon a time, websites came one-size-fits-all, retaining the same appearance on all devices. But back then we could only view websites on a desktop or laptop. Now we switch comfortably all day long between tablets, smart phones, laptops, and more. Who can imagine what additional inventions will soon enter into our everyday use?

A good website will fluidly adapt to any device. It’s called responsive web design because the layout responds to whatever screen resolution the user has at the time. The result is a customized experience for each device category. A responsive website greets you with those famous words from The Princess Bride: “As you wish.”

Making a responsive website was one of our challenges when working with the University of Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling (The Center). Given the diversity of their audience, The Center needed a website that could adapt to any user’s device.

Shape Shifting

When viewed on a typical laptop, the  website is oriented horizontally, with long navigation bars and side-by-side “buckets” of information.

Switch to a narrower screen, however, and the layout shifts shape. Horizontal navigation bars become a vertical drop-down menu. The side-by-side text blocks become stacked. The result: optimal readability and usability no matter what device is employed.

MD Center on Problem Gambling website desktopMD Center on Problem Gambling website mobile

At Your Fingertips

Mobile users also appreciate certain conveniences. For example, a help-line phone number viewed on a laptop is just that—a phone number. But touch the same number on a smart phone and it will dial for you. Nice.

Beyond Surface Beauty

A well designed website is a thing of beauty. But today’s challenge is to build websites that look beautiful on a wide variety of devices and platforms. Check out and tell us what you think.

Let Go My Logo

When Thompson Suburban Dental Laboratory came to us for a web redesign, they were not the local small business they had once been. Their responsiveness to new products and breakthroughs in technology had made them a mature regional lab able to surpass their chief competitor—China—in quality, personal service, and speed of delivery to busy dentists.

Identity Crisis

We wanted our client’s website to look as current and professional as they are. Then came the rub. TSDL was reluctant to redesign their logo. Their existing logo had been with them from the beginning and was immediately recognized by their customers. Dropping it felt like dropping their identity, and that carries an emotional toll. But their identity had changed. Their logo needed to change to keep up.

Money Matters

Then there was the financial cost. TSDL’s logo was everywhere: in their office space, on their supplies and uniforms, on their marketing materials. Everywhere. Were they willing to bear the dollar cost of dropping an old, reliable logo for a new, untested one?

Smiles All Around

Once they took the leap of faith and embraced the logo redesign, they never looked back. The result is a clean and appropriate look for a business that uses technology to restore natural beauty to smiles. We are all smiling now.

Thompson Suburban Logo DesignThompson Suburban Web DesignThompson Suburban Web Design

Chaos Contained: Hallaton Web Design

For our client Hallaton—a company that installs containment lining for landfills, excavations, and similar purposes—we wanted to contain the chaos of diverse elements into a web design that integrated their very identity.

The H Word

It began with a sketch. Strong vertical layers of soil framed “containers” of text to depict both literally and figuratively what Hallaton does. But the integration of containment and creativity had its finest moment when a horizontal bar connected the verticals into an H. The design of the home page now echoed the identity of the client. The logo became the design.

Earth Colors

Now that we had our structure, the next challenge was to choose identity-rich colors. The greens and blues of nature represent Hallaton’s commitment to protect the earth. The black design elements communicate power and strength.

Talking through Type

Fonts, too, have the power to reinforce a company’s identity and tell its story. These fonts possess strength and balance in their block-like structure, yet they are sleek and modern in their aesthetic. We used uppercase type to draw the eye to headers, menus, and page titles for user-friendly navigation.

Out of the Container

Good web design is a balance of creating containers and breaking boundaries. The site went live today. Let us know what you think.

BEFORE: Hallaton websiteSKETCH: Hallaton web designAFTER: Hallaton web design

Salon Make-over

Colours Salon and Day Spa is not simply giving make-overs—they’re receiving one. We transformed the old site from flat color to bold and beautiful, giving the site the same confidence customers have after visiting the salon.

Black is Back, Gold is Bold

The black background provides a solid foundation for the second color, gold. But why gold? “I wanted a color associated with wealth and power,” said Meghan. “This needed power and confidence. Power is bold.” A touch of swirls gave a feminine touch to match their primary customers. The boldness of gold and the elegance of swirls combined to provide confidence and beauty.

Type to the Rescue

Typography was next on the list, and the old website needed help. Cursive type can be hard to read, but we found a textured cursive font that was bold and still legible. Also, we complimented the flat black color with a combination of black and gold (brown) as the header color. And the second header is a deeper gold, which accented the black and brown really well.


It is now time to shine. The site went live today. Let us know what you think.

Colours Salon and Day Spa website Colours Salon and Day Spa website
Feild Family Dentistry

Family Dentistry Web Design

Feild Family Dentistry in Maryland

Feild Family Dentistry

Announcing a new website for Feild Family Dentistry in Maryland. The site features:

  • Custom photography of team, patients, and office
  • Educational videos to inform patients about various dental topics
  • Online forms that save staff time and expedite the enrollment process
  • Professional graphics (e.g., dental implants) to illustrate the features and benefits of various dental options

If you know anyone whose website needs a facelift, contact us.

Custom Photography

Feild Family Dentistry Exterior

Feild Family Dentistry Staff

Feild Family Dentistry Child

B Dunn Interiors Website

Design for Designer’s Sake

Interior Designer Website

B Dunn Interiors Website

Bobbie Dunn of B. Dunn Interiors has made a career of designing relaxing spaces for home and work. She needed a website that felt as professional and creative as her business.

  • Deep, rich colors make a strong impression
  • Stylish typography gives a distinctive look
  • Photos demonstrate the quality of her work

We also created the logo.
B Dunn Interiors Logo

Hitting the Jackpot

We completed a new website for The Maryland Center for Problem Gambling, a new partnership between the University of Maryland Medical School and the Maryland Council on Problem Gambling. They offer gambling prevention education, treatment, training, and evaluation.

The website features the latest research on gambling prevention, news on what’s happening in the area, and details on getting help with gambling problems.

If you know someone who struggles with gambling addiction, contact the Center for Problem Gambling. If you need someone to help market your business so it can make money the old fashioned way, contact us.

Sail Away With Me

Watermark Journey Website

A major acquisition and re-branding effort included a new website for this Annapolis touring company. The challenge here was to bring together a diverse group of services into one coherent site. Designed in collaboration with Mind Over Machines, this new website is the key component of the marketing effort. Users can get a good sense for the services and even book a cruise, while not getting confused about where to click next.

  • Video creates a nice introduction to the services
  • Montage of photos illustrates the fun people have enjoying the sites around Annapolis
  • Vibrant color scheme sets the tone for a good time