(Whooh! That's a long-winded title!)
I've become a big fan of Railo as an alternative to Adobe Coldfusion Server, particularly because of its ability to easily connect to Amazon S3. I love what Amazon S3 offers in terms of inexpensive file storage, and our latest project, TheClientSpace.com, takes full advantage of the Railo/S3 feature.
It's been quite a learning experience, however, in getting the right setup together for deployment of Railo on Amazon EC2, mainly because a) I'm still pretty new to understanding Linux as a whole, and b) I really want my files to be easily backed up - which can be time consuming if storing your Web site files on the main EC2 drives.
I've written up this simple guide to explain how I have currently set up Railo on Ubuntu using Tomcat, on Amazon EC2 with EBS volumes to simplify the backup of your website's files and database by using the EBS snapshot feature.
If you're new to EC2 and are having trouble understanding some of the steps I've written here, please contact me and I can help you out.
Filed under Web Design
This week, Concepcion Design launches a new service called The Client Space. It's an interface ideal for small businesses that need to share media with clients on a regular basis.
By signing up, you get your very own client access portal, which you can customize to fit the look of your business. Create individual logins for your clients, upload media and let them know when there's material up for review. The Client Space takes the hassle out of sharing media with your clients. Forget about emailing huge files, or putting everything on an FTP. Upload your media, let your client know, and your project will move much faster.
Upload rough-cuts for your client to review: they can comment on the work right on the page! Post the latest version of your newest song, share a photography set or simply have a posting ground for Word docs, PDFs, research materials and more.
The Client Space offers quite a bit of control over the look and feel of the portal. You can easily add your logo, your website background, and customize the colors to match the aesthetic of your existing website.
If you're curious and just want to poke around, you can try it out for 30 days, absolutely free! Just use the promo code CDESIGN on the sign-up page.
We've been working on it quite a bit and would love to get any feedback we can so that we can make this good product even better. Tell us what you think or just drop in a comment below.
Filed under Site Launches, Web Design
Many of our clients are involved in television production, or in the case of PlaySportsTV, are a complete online video network. When it comes to putting video on the web, you've got a ton of options to choose from: YouTube, Vimeo, premium video services, and then locally on your site.
Sometimes, however, the thumbnail created by most video services may sometimes not always be the one you want - or in the case of the "local" solution, you need to generate a thumbnail yourself anyway.
So you need to make your own screenshot. In most cases your video will be a Quicktime movie, or mp4 (as this has become very popular - particularly since many mp4 files can be played on the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad).
Here are some simple instructions on how to grab the right screenshot from your Quicktime movie in three easy steps:
Filed under Video Production
Young classical guitarist Max Zuckerman, performing through the Baltimore Classical Guitar Society was featured today in the Baltimore Sun. Zuckerman is performing this Sunday, March 29, at An Die Musik LIVE in Baltimore.
You can purchase tickets and learn more about the event here: Max Zuckerman - Young Talent Concert.
Filed under Client News
Drew Dellinger's Web site was recently mentioned on this post on SmashingMagazine.com about the use of textures in modern Web design.
It's pretty far down, so it might be hard to find!
From the post:
Rather than just having a solid black background, Drew Dellinger adds a slight texture to his website's background. As with the other examples in this section, no one dramatic design element is present that grabs the attention of visitors, but the website is an excellent example of how texture can be used to subtly enhance a design.
Thanks to Greg Dingle the lead!
Filed under Recognition and Awards
What's in a logo? Why is it important? And why has Concepcion Design gone through all these logo variations in such a short period of time?
First off, your logo goes on everything - business cards, invoices, and your Web site. It helps define your company and the work you do. Now, I'm not saying I don't like the older ones - I do, but as the business changed, so did the company's image.
I always liked the original CDesign logo that I created back in 2003. It's simple, clean and elegant. It worked well for quite some time, but that was when I was doing much more video production and editing, and far less Web.
As time went by, the company became much more focused on Web site design and development, and the part of the company I needed to promote most was design. It needed something edgier, a little fresher, newer, and something that had a youthful style. So in 2007, I replaced the original logo with the 2007 version.
I'm a big fan of the 2007 font, but to be honest, it needed some work. First of all the spacing was all wrong - the letters are too far apart. I felt very limited to the colors I had chosen. It also proved to be more difficult to work into Web sites, e-mail signatures, invoices, and proposals. In those cases, it felt very amateur. The Concepcion Design Web site too, had its limitations. I needed to fix it, especially the Web site, as I found myself not wanting to direct potential clients to the site.
Over the past few years, I tried a few other logos. Some were pretty close to becoming the real thing, but I just couldn't walk away completely from the look and feel I had created back in 2007. There was something nice about it. So rather than to abandon it completely, I decided to "grow it up" a little.
So here in 2009, I kept what was working and threw out what wasn't. The cd part of is a little tighter, with the same font, but this time whited out on a rectangular background that is intended to be color-agnostic (though teal will always be the primary color). The words concepcion design remain lowercase, but the font has been changed to something cleaner and more versatile.
These are just my thoughts. Let me know what you're thinking.
Filed under Branding, Site Launches
The Cooperative Playschool, based in State College, PA, was in need of a branding update as well as a new Web site. This involved a logo change (the drawing is part of the original logo) for Web and print materials and a new design. We launched the new Cooperative Playschool Web site today. Take a look!
Filed under Web Design