Happy Holidays from Focus Lab

To say this year was great would be a big understatement. We’ve accomplished a mountain of work, but what’s most important are the people… the people we interact with daily on the client side and our amazing team.

The 5 Essential People Skills

Communication is key in all aspects of our lives. We must be assertive, clear, and intentional in our communication. One may think of interpersonal communication in only the verbal sense, but most of what you communicate to another individual, whether you know it or not, is communicated nonverbally… think: body language.

Best of 2015

What were your favorites of 2015? Here’s a list of (most of) our team’s top picks from this year. We are going with top movie or television series, album or song, book or podcast… or any other awesome thing we enjoyed in 2015. And maybe one thing we did not enjoy. Here we go!

Focus on Fantasy

As the summer comes to an end and the fall is ushered in, it becomes one of my favorite times of year: Fantasy Football season. After much lobbying I convinced the fine folks at Focus to join the first-annual “Focus on Fantasy” Fantasy Football league. Bonus: we had a few clients join in on the fun too.

  • Will Straughn
  • Nov 24, 2015

How Focus Lab Do

As we feel Christmas around the corner and the impending turn of the New Year, we pause to share some behind-the-scenes of the daily grind at Focus Lab.

Spotlight: Lauren Davis

Can I make a confession?

When I was little I wanted to be an actress, have my own HGTV show, or be a mermaid.

  • Lauren Davis
  • Nov 11, 2015

Influences Come in Many Different Forms

Influences come in many different forms, from various experiences one has with a certain object, to a specific interaction with another person. These influences have sculpted us. Yet people tend to overlook the resources and information that surround us on a daily basis. Imagine if you truly absorbed knowledge from the people around you. No greater is the opportunity for that than embracing and becoming one with a team, whether that’s with social friends, sports, or co-workers.

Spotlight: Steven Scarborough

Hello. My name is Steven Scarborough and I’m the latest addition to the talented design team here at Focus Lab. I’m beyond stoked to be working with such a dedicated group of individuals and I’d like to share a bit on how I came to join the team.

  • Steven Scarborough
  • Oct 30, 2015

Table of Contents


Brand Strategy: A Bird’s Eye View

I joined Focus Lab more than two years ago. My role was different then; I was a part-time copywriter with a keen interest in the greater creative process.

1 week ago - by Summer Teal Simpson

Spotlight: Aaron Lax

Hi, I’m Aaron. Growing up in the sleepy hamlet of San Francisco, California, I was happily introduced at a very young age to the advancing technologies of the day. Rotary-style telephones would be giving way to push button interfaces, the etch-a-sketch was quickly replaced with the speak-n-spell, and the need to get up and walk across the room to change the TV channel was about to be a thing of the past. After logging eight years of experience as a small boy, I packed up my ColecoVision, some Fig Newtons, and $7 dollars in change into my Jansport and left home, excited for what the future had in store.

2 weeks ago - by Aaron Lax

Spotlight: Oatemeal

Hello There! So a little about me - my parents named me John Oates, but as you may have realized I am not the mustache rockin’ 80’s singer, but rather an excited addition to the amazing Focus Lab team!

3 weeks ago - by John Oates

Q1: Rendezvous Recap

Every quarter we all get together to catch up, have fun, and work (a little bit). As a remote team member, I live for these weeks. This is the first year where we started the year off with everyone in the office together. We see each other daily via the internet but there is nothing like some quality time with the Focus Lab fam. We laughed, we cried, we ate too much (Will S), and we hugged each other… a lot.

on January 14, 2016 - by Alex Sailer

Kickstarting 2016

Ah, ‘tis the season for resolution setting and new energy. I’m not personally one for “resolutions” in the traditional sense, but boy do I enjoy setting and aiming for goals. Focus Lab as a company is no exception. This year we decided to change things up just a little. (We actually made this decision in April of 2015, but had to wait for January to get here!) This is the first year where our full team is in our Savannah office to kickstart things in one place. We already bring everyone together multiple times a year. So why not actually spend our first full week of each calendar year together? I’ve been looking forward to this for a while!

on January 7, 2016 - by Erik Reagan

2015 Recap

I experience the same feeling each year as we approach New Year’s Eve. Where did the time go?! It’s a seemingly inevitable feeling, yet it’s always accompanied by a hint of surprise. This year was no exception. Frankly, by early November I was personally already living in 2016: planning, strategizing, scheduling, etc. But I won’t get ahead of myself. Today is about reflecting on 2015.

on December 30, 2015 - by Erik Reagan

Happy Holidays from Focus Lab

To say this year was great would be a big understatement. We’ve accomplished a mountain of work, but what’s most important are the people… the people we interact with daily on the client side and our amazing team.

on December 17, 2015 - by Bill Kenney

The 5 Essential People Skills

Communication is key in all aspects of our lives. We must be assertive, clear, and intentional in our communication. One may think of interpersonal communication in only the verbal sense, but most of what you communicate to another individual, whether you know it or not, is communicated nonverbally… think: body language.

on December 10, 2015 - by Kellie Groover

Best of 2015

What were your favorites of 2015? Here’s a list of (most of) our team’s top picks from this year. We are going with top movie or television series, album or song, book or podcast… or any other awesome thing we enjoyed in 2015. And maybe one thing we did not enjoy. Here we go!

on December 3, 2015 - by Kellie Groover

Focus on Fantasy

As the summer comes to an end and the fall is ushered in, it becomes one of my favorite times of year: Fantasy Football season. After much lobbying I convinced the fine folks at Focus to join the first-annual “Focus on Fantasy” Fantasy Football league. Bonus: we had a few clients join in on the fun too.

on November 24, 2015 - by Will Straughn

How Focus Lab Do

As we feel Christmas around the corner and the impending turn of the New Year, we pause to share some behind-the-scenes of the daily grind at Focus Lab.

on November 19, 2015 - by Alicja Colon

Spotlight: Lauren Davis

Can I make a confession? When I was little I wanted to be an actress, have my own HGTV show, or be a mermaid.

on November 11, 2015 - by Lauren Davis

Influences Come in Many Different Forms

Influences come in many different forms, from various experiences one has with a certain object, to a specific interaction with another person. These influences have sculpted us. Yet people tend to overlook the resources and information that surround us on a daily basis. Imagine if you truly absorbed knowledge from the people around you. No greater is the opportunity for that than embracing and becoming one with a team, whether that’s with social friends, sports, or co-workers.

on November 5, 2015 - by William Kesling

Spotlight: Steven Scarborough

Hello. My name is Steven Scarborough and I’m the latest addition to the talented design team here at Focus Lab. I’m beyond stoked to be working with such a dedicated group of individuals and I’d like to share a bit on how I came to join the team.

on October 30, 2015 - by Steven Scarborough

When Should You Use a CMS?

There are a ton of CMS options from free to enterprise-level to totally custom and they each have their own uses. Choosing a CMS is not unlike buying a car; it’s a huge investment. You’re going to do a lot of research, look under the hood, and even test drive a few. But before choosing what CMS to use, you first need to know if you need a CMS.

on October 22, 2015 - by Joshua Krohn

Picking a Color For Your Brand

At Focus Lab we tackle a variety of branding projects each year and during those projects we constantly arrive at the question “so what color(s) are right for this brand?” There is no perfect answer but I am going to do my best to give you my thoughts on this and hopefully help you draw your own conclusions.

on October 15, 2015 - by Bill Kenney

A Glimpse into Our Partnership with 500px

Today we celebrate with 500px the launch of their new brand. 500px partnered with us a few months ago to create a new logo/logotype around a larger brand experience that better communicates to a broader target audience and conveys the values behind the company. We thought it would be fun to show a few quick details before we get the full case study on the website.

on October 14, 2015 - by Chase Turberville

Q4: Just Bounce With It

As I write this, it’s the Monday after our last and most recent Quarterly of the year and the office feels soooo quiet and empty. We had a full house all last week with every desk filled (we actually had to move extra tables and chairs into Lab 2 to accommodate everyone). It was fantastic and all we wanted to do was chit-chat and catch up. It’s not like we don’t “see” everyone every day online and in video calls, but it’s not the same. Sometimes we local folks take for granted how nice it is to just share a laugh out loud from seeing the same funny gif pop up in HipChat. It was great to have the whole gang here, and in between the chitchatting we actually got some real work done (go team!).

on October 8, 2015 - by Charisse Bennett

The Many Fur Faces of Focus Lab

Here at Focus Lab, we heart our fur babies. We thought we’d take a little time out and introduce you to the fur-side of Focus Lab. Enjoy!

on September 30, 2015 - by Kellie Groover

Be Nice… The Key to Mastering Customer Service

“Be Nice,” and you might just master customer service. Of course it goes much deeper than that. Yes, you have to treat your customers nicely, but above all you must BE that.

on September 22, 2015 - by Kellie Groover

Brands, Bigger than a Logo

The word “brand” derives from the burning of livestock (or criminals and slaves, to be historically accurate) with a branding iron. This was a way to show ownership of animals (or people). A branding iron is a tool that helps identify a given producer or owner by way of their mark, or visual identifier. Those early symbols are the foundation of the modern-day logo.

on September 16, 2015 - by Sam Stratton

Diving Deeper: How Long Does Branding Take?

The process of creating something as important as a brand is nothing to be rushed. Branding is a creative, collaborative process, and brand experiences are carefully and intelligently birthed and grown. Every designer or agency has a process that is unique. At Focus Lab, we adhere to the following project life cycle.

on September 10, 2015 - by Summer Teal Simpson

Nupoor Drops the Mic

The summer is up! I met a friend on the bus today who asked me if I’d taken any classes. No, I said, and told him that I’d interned at a branding and UX/UI company near Ellis Square. Many of my peers took summer classes or returned home for the break. I don’t regret the decision to work instead. I’ve had such an amazingly productive three months. Focus Lab has been a fabulous learning experience.

on September 3, 2015 - by Nupoor Rajkumar

The Client Perspective: James Laws WP Ninjas

We’re excited to present to you the third in our series of guest blog posts. The idea? To let our clients tell you about their experiences working with Focus Lab. This time around, we hear from James Laws of WP Ninjas. Working with them for branding was SO RAD. When they came back for UI work? We wept tears of joy. Hear the story from their side.

on August 24, 2015 - by Summer Teal Simpson

Spotlight: Chase Turberville

Hey, y’all. My name is Chase and I’m the new brand designer here at Focus Lab. I grew up in good ol’ Alabama, where my early life consisted of emo music, surfing, and ice hockey. Just typical ‘Bama hobbies. I went to an art-focused high school and became obsessed with any art class I could take. Eventually I started spending more time building light Flash and HTML websites. (Anyone remembering using the editor HotDog? Anyone? No? OK.) Anyway, my buddy and I took some of those websites we built to local competitions and surprisingly started taking home some hardware.

on August 20, 2015 - by Chase Turberville

Wilyo’s Week in Review: Annual Team Retreat

A few weeks ago we had the annual Focus Lab Summer Retreat (#focuslabretreat2015) and, let me just say, this thing was eventful. During the retreat I somehow managed to get murdered in a 20s speakeasy, go toe-to-toe with the world’s largest spider while trapped in a canoe, experience paranormal activity, and repeatedly fall victim to the meat sweats. (Meat Sweats: profuse sweating caused by consuming an obscene amount of meat.)

on August 11, 2015 - by Will Straughn

Busyness and Flow

You know when you’re tackling five jobs at once? That crazy, exhilarating feeling of being SO busy that you barely have the time for socializing? That’s what I’m going through. With a part time summer job at Focus Lab, another with Creatom Builder, fundraiser support for the East Community Church’s senior citizens’ program, graduate review work, portfolio work, branding myself, and the occasional freelance job from India (you know, help a friend, make some pocket money), life is crazy. Crazy good.

on August 6, 2015 - by Nupoor Rajkumar

Spotlight: Meet Andy Cabistan

When I look at my life, I see myself as the young version of “The Most Interesting Man in The World,” a.k.a the Dos Equis Dude. Why? Well…first of all, I have a particularly strong Spanish accent. Second of all, I indeed have an interesting background.

on July 30, 2015 - by Andy Cabistan

Behind the Scenes: A Little Party Never Killed Nobody

First, a little Focus Lab history for you. For three years, resident photographer Alicja Colon has requested that our next Focus Lab team activity be a murder mystery dinner show. 2015 was her year. We finally conceded, but with a twist: we’d buy the game and put it on ourselves, with the team as the “actors” and the killer gasp among us.

on July 28, 2015 - by Kellie Groover

Why We Do: Discovery

When I joined Focus Lab, potential projects were subjected to a fairly standard scoping process before being priced and proposed. There was a formula to the scoping of brand, interactive, and/or dev work, and, with few exceptions, it had served us well for years.

on July 22, 2015 - by Shabnam Gideon

Spotlight: Nupoor. Or, What’s in a job title?

When I walked into the Focus Lab office, I immediately knew I wanted to work here. The space is modern and sleek, yet friendly. And sooo welcoming (the bean bags and stocked refrigerator are quite honestly enough to make me happy, just saying).

on July 8, 2015 - by Nupoor Rajkumar

The Client Perspective: Josh Delofsky of uRoto Fantasy Sports

We’re excited to present to you the second in our series of guest blog posts. The idea? To let our clients tell you about their experiences working with Focus Lab. Here we hear from Josh Delofsky of uRoto, the fantasy sports app to end all fantasy sports apps. We loved working with him and hearing about his experience with us.

on July 1, 2015 - by Summer Teal Simpson

Walking the Walk: The Significance of Brand Behavior

The branding game has changed in the last 25 years. One contributing factor is the post-2008 consumer shift in purchasing raison d’être, or motivations. And, with that, a heightened collective discernment to false advertising or identity.

on June 15, 2015 - by Summer Teal Simpson

Portfolio: Heap Analytics

Data is everywhere around us. For those who run websites or mobile apps, making sense of all this data requires a ton of work: writing tracking code, building a data pipeline, writing SQL queries, designing the reports, and a bunch of other stuff that takes business owners away from their real work.

on June 10, 2015 - by Joshua Krohn

In the Studio: Find Your Calling

We recently concluded branding for Find Your Calling (FYC), an initiative of CareerBuilder child company EMSI, that offers free, user-friendly access to a tremendous database of labor market, job posting, and education data to help students and their parents make data-informed (economic) decisions about their future career paths.

on June 4, 2015 - by Alicja Colon

FL: Portfolio: Showcasing our UI Work (Finally)

You’ve probably browsed our portfolio, and you’ve almost certainly seen our Dribbbling. But have you noticed what we’re NOT showing? What’s the saying about how the cobbler’s children have no shoes?

on May 28, 2015 - by Shabnam Gideon

The Client Perspective: Charley Todd of Ted Todd Insurance

We’re excited to publish the first of many guest blog posts. The idea? To let our clients tell you about their experiences working with Focus Lab. Kicking us off is Charley Todd, CIO of Ted Todd Insurance, an awesome, energetic, and longstanding client of ours.

on May 22, 2015 - by Summer Teal Simpson

Video: Sneak Peek at Sidecar

We are super excited to finally open the doors on Sidecar. If you haven’t heard of Sidecar yet, our mission is simple: Sidecar is about leveraging community insights, experience, wisdom, and talent to achieve greater things through design. It is a learning resource and marketplace for design tools built for designers by designers.

on May 19, 2015 - by Bill Kenney

Focus Field Day

I dined with friends the other night. Between sips and chewing with our mouths open, we chatted about work, the staple “adult” dinner conversation. I started soapboxing about all the amazing aspects of working at Focus Lab. I reminisced our recent team rendezvous in Savannah: we went bowling, played darts, threw frisbee in the park, played games in the office, and it felt like I had known these people my whole life. As I finished my spiel, my friends downed their drinks and looked away… I changed the subject.

on May 13, 2015 - by Alex Sailer

Five Years Old

Time flies. The most obvious indicator of that in my life is my children, now 19 months and 6½ years old. It’s hard to believe how quickly they’re growing and how quickly time slips by.

on May 8, 2015 - by Erik Reagan

How We Do: Team Building

We could have done trust falls. But swinging 10lb balls around while slightly inebriated sounded more fun. And it was. It was.

on May 5, 2015 - by Alicja Colon

Our Social Media “Game”

Running social media for Focus Lab is interesting to say the least. It’s a chance to see what people say about the company, good and bad. We receive praise from our peers and disdain from others. Some days we share a joke overheard in the office, other days we speak about the latest in our work. Our social media strategy is simple: add value, be personable, and never stop learning.

on April 29, 2015 - by Juwan Platt

Your Partnership with Us: Designing Communication

Many new clients express frustration with poor communication from experiences with former consulting partners. Some tell us about the positive impact of cooperative communication on interpersonal and business outcomes. Worst case scenario, some clients are altogether apprehensive of the whole “external firm dynamic.”

on April 22, 2015 - by Shabnam Gideon

The Role of Business Strategy in Design

“Hey Anne, I found you through a Google search recently and I’d like to talk about hiring your firm. My company needs someone to help us cross the waters in the next few months and it looks like you can help. Can we talk? Thanks, Stephen”

on April 7, 2015 - by Erik Reagan

Diving Deeper: Why We Chose Asana

When I joined Focus Lab, we were managing all client and internal projects in Trello. It’s a great application and methodology, and I recommend it. When it came to our highly varied client projects, however, I found we needed more depth in a few key areas.

on April 6, 2015 - by Shabnam Gideon

How We Do: Talking the Talk, aka Brand Voice

A visual brand experience (logo, type, color, illustrations) can take you only so far. A fully expressed, cohesive brand weights the verbal brand experience as significantly as the visual. Think about your own appearance. You put as much consideration into how you look as you do into how you sound, right?

on April 3, 2015 - by Summer Teal Simpson

Spotlight: Joshua

Hey everyone, I’m Joshua, one of the brand and UI designers here at Focus Lab. I work remotely for Focus Lab from my modest basement office in southeast Wisconsin. And yes, I go by Joshua :)

on March 31, 2015 - by Joshua Krohn

Spotlight: Will Straughn

Now, this is the story all about how My life got flipped-turned upside down And I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there I’ll tell you how I became the new business dude at a chill place: Focus Lab (Sorry, Focus Lab is insanely hard to rhyme.)

on March 24, 2015 - by Will Straughn

How We Do: Defining Photography Style

If it wasn’t the buildings, it was the signs. Everywhere. Non stop. Glaring. We traveled to The Big Apple to meet with beloved client Ted Todd. We spent a day taking in the sights and sounds of New York City. This country girl was exhausted from the energy of The City That Never Sleeps. But our schedule wouldn’t allow for rest, despite the protest of my screaming feet. I was already falling behind the crew, and that’s when I saw it. I stopped and let myself absorb the scene.

on March 12, 2015 - by Alicja Colon

Spotlight: Alex

I’m wrapping up my second month at Focus Lab and it’s about time I properly introduce myself. As you may have guessed, my name is Alex. I’m a Virginia resident who originally hails from Georgia. I’m the newest addition to the UI team at Focus Lab and I couldn’t be more pumped to be working with all the amazing people here. For those that don’t know me, hopefully this little intro will help shed some light on who I am. My story starts like this…

on March 10, 2015 - by Alex Sailer

How We Do: The Project Management Experience

I’ve been wanting to write a series of project management posts for quite a while, hoping to finally both arrive at and convey to my colleagues my PM “manifesto.” I’ve got this mishmash of linear-thinking-meets-circuitous-big-idea-cherry-picking all up in my head, desperate for an outlet and some sympathetic comrades.

on March 5, 2015 - by Shabnam Gideon

Spotlight: Juwan

What’s going on?! My name is Juwan and I’m the new-ish member of the Focus Lab family. I help the team be more awesome than they already are. I like to serve broad roles so I can touch every corner of the business.

on March 3, 2015 - by Juwan Platt

Portfolio: Assembly Branding

I wanted to capture the step-by-step process of creating this brand through the video medium. There was a great deal of footage, so the challenge became culling what shots would best capture the experience and the great deal of time and talent that went into this project. We were careful to include real life scenarios in which the brand could be used and displayed. That helped convey the social community characteristic that lives within Assembly.

on February 27, 2015 - by William Kesling

Spotlight: Charisse

Hi, everyone! I’m not from the South, so I refuse to say “y’all.”

on February 23, 2015 - by Charisse Bennett

2014 Recap

As always, it’s hard to imagine that the year is coming to an end. 2014 has been full of newness. New projects; new clients and partners; new team members; new experiences; new lessons.

on December 18, 2014 - by Erik Reagan

Snapshot: This Week in Photos 12/8

Whoa Nelly! It’s has been a hot minute since the last Snapshot. Don’t fret, my pet. We’re back with a packed post.

on December 9, 2014 - by Alicja Colon

We Go Places: Client Kickoff in the Big Apple

Savannah’s airport is small. One terminal and two Starbucks small (I know… only two). Generally a person could arrive an hour before departure to clear the checkpoints and walk on board their plane, all without weaving through copious amounts of people, or swearing because of the airport joggers. So when Shub and I were in the herd of people awaiting their turn at security we were surprised. Though no amount of “hurry up and wait” could dull this moment. We were en-route to the next on-location client meeting but something was different this time around. It was our inaugural visit to New York City!

on November 20, 2014 - by Alicja Colon

Behind the Scenes: Focus on the Fun Stuff

More GoPro-captured tomfoolery from the 2014 Focus Lab office retreat in the mountains of East Tennessee. Including live-action shots of Summer getting hazed, a rousing round of drinking games, and the fateful Sketch Mex meal that resulted in company-wide food poisoning.

on November 18, 2014 - by William Kesling

Spotlight: Andy

Hello, I’m Andy! I am the new guy on the team. Well, newest. I have been here for a few months now but am just now getting around to introducing myself. Let’s just say they are keeping me busy!

on October 30, 2014 - by Andy Fought

Behind the Scenes: A View from the Top

Footage of the Focus Lab team mountain–high in East Tennessee. The first company retreat included adrenaline-soaked off-road mountain biking and zip-lining above the treetops. Not suited for those easily prone to motion sickness.

on October 29, 2014 - by William Kesling

Snapshot: This Week in Photos 10/28

This time around, I wanted to share a tad about what my teammates have to deal with on an average Monday: Me. Muahahaha.

on October 28, 2014 - by Alicja Colon

In the News: JibJab Messages App Featured on the Today Show

Last week, we told you about all the fun we had designing the new, already head-turning JibJab Messages app. Well, word about the hilarious, personalizable GIF-making and -sharing app has traveled fast.

on October 23, 2014 - by Summer Teal Simpson

Best in Show: Bill’s Faves from the Design World 10/22

I am constantly blown away by how much talent there is within the design community. I’ve gathered and listed below some awesome work from this week’s web trolling. Huge props to these designers and the work they are putting out. I’ve categorized my picks below.

on October 22, 2014 - by Bill Kenney

We Go Places: Brand New Conference

I had the amazing opportunity to go to the Brand New Conference a few weeks ago in Chicago. I have special ties to Chicago, as it’s my birthplace. But my parents relocated when I was very young, so it was really great to explore the city as an adult.

on October 16, 2014 - by Sam Stratton

Portfolio: Our Work on JibJab Messages

Update: JibJab Messages app featured on the Today show. If you’ve been on the internet at all in the past 15 years then you are well aware of who JibJab is. If not, then you have been missing out big time. (Go do your homework at JibJab.com and StoryBots.com.) Well, 2014 has ROCKED. In large part, that’s due to the fact that we’ve been working with the entertainment godzilla JibJab–first on branding and then on their new mobile app, JibJab Messages, a new nerdy GIF–sharing, selfie–capturing messaging tool that makes your daily existence and communication mo-better.

on October 15, 2014 - by Bill Kenney

Portfolio: WP Ninjas

From the beginning of the WP Ninjas branding project, I was really excited to start working on this. The clients were super cool and very trusting. They gave us some great direction and then free creative range to work our magic. Based on their initial feedback, one of the things that I found most important when building the mark was the fact that they were so community-driven. WP Ninjas creates a variety of Wordpress plugins that people can use to implement on their site and customize to their liking, so when a problem came to the forefront people would shoot them emails of how to fix or change something they had questions about. This is where they would step up to the plate and respond to each and every email that came through. So keeping this in mind, we both agreed that the best approach to this would be to have something that was friendly, functional, and trustworthy.

on October 7, 2014 - by Jonathan Howell

Snapshot: This Week in Photos 9/30

Another two weeks, another snapshot. Last time we’d started a few new projects, launched a new site, and enjoyed some giggles (which is par for the course around these parts). We’ve had progress ‘up in hur.’

on October 2, 2014 - by Alicja Colon

Behind the Scenes: A Day on the River

In preparing for our first annual company retreat in the mountains of East Tennessee, we were sure to suit up with multiple GoPros and accompanying apparati. The result? An up-close-and-personal perspective of the awesomeness that ensued.

on September 22, 2014 - by William Kesling

Snapshot: This Week in Photos 9/18

New projects are a plenty over here at Focus Lab. Be sure to stay tuned as we start sharing the process from discovery to launch.

on September 18, 2014 - by Alicja Colon

3 Basic Ingredients to Setting up a Failover Server

Last week the Focus Lab website went down, along with some clients’ sites. It wasn’t just a simple, brief outage. The shortest outage was just past 10 hours; the longest was around 42 hours. That’s a long time for a site to be down. We were able to restore a few of them by deploying the version-controlled files to another environment and updating the DNS records to point to the new environment. But in each of those cases we were technically deploying an older version of the database, which isn’t ideal. This experience helped nudge me toward a more automated approach to setting up a failover server. This isn’t just about having a back every X number of hours. This is about automating a response to downtime that is longer than acceptable.

on September 17, 2014 - by Erik Reagan

How We Do: Custom Lettering

Hey, I’m Will. I am helping capture moments at Focus Lab. The special moments, like at the recent inaugural company retreat, as well as the everyday moments of creative magic. Like this one.

on August 19, 2014 - by William Kesling

The Big Reveal: Clique Hits the App Store

After blood, sweat, and tears–and to much fanfare–we’re announcing the beta release of our first app, Charlie Waite’s baby: Clique. It’s available today in the App Store! Introducing a revolutionary way to share and connect with people. Manage and grow your contacts through this user-friendly platform and up-to-the-minute cloud synced personal and professional contact information.

on August 14, 2014 - by Summer Teal Simpson

Portfolio: Orange PR & Marketing

It’s not often that we get to work with local clients. When we do, it tends to be a pretty awesome company. If there’s anything we’ve learned it’s that great people = fun project. Orange PR & Marketing, new to Savannah in 2014, was TOTALLY awesome and fun. Here’s a peek at the final product.

on August 12, 2014 - by Summer Teal Simpson

How We Do: Retreat Wrap Up

If you follow us on social media, you are well aware of our recent, first annual, weeklong company retreat to the East Tennessee mountains. An amazing week filled with adventure, shenanigans, team building, and a little food poisoning, here is a person-by-person recap of the incredible week spent together. For a comprehensive recap, scroll down to Kellie’s entry, which captures play-by-play of the week.

on August 5, 2014 - by Summer Teal Simpson

High Fives: Focus Lab Featured at How Design/Logolounge.com

Admittedly, I am a little late to the party. So many of you may already know that several Focus Lab designs were named at this year’s HOW Design Live Conference in Bill Gardner’s 2014 Design Trends Report. If you missed it, be sure to read all about it on Logolounge.com.

on July 31, 2014 - by Summer Teal Simpson

Spotlight: The Client’s Perspective

We recently finished branding work for Druid, an open-source data store that handles real time data ingestions and real time interactive queries. Awesome client, awesome product.

on July 29, 2014 - by Summer Teal Simpson

Spotlight: Shub

Hiya. I’m Shabnam, a relatively new Focus Lab addition, in a project management seat. Well, on a ball, to be precise.

on July 24, 2014 - by Shabnam Gideon

A day at the office

I wanted to share a quick video one of our newest team members created. You’ll get a more formal introduction to him in the coming weeks. For now, check out one of the first videos he’s made at Focus Lab. There will be much more to come!

on July 22, 2014 - by Erik Reagan

How We Do: Diversity in Design

Since starting here at Focus Lab, I’ve had the opportunity to work on a bunch of different things, like e-newsletters, icons, a complete brand refresh, and a little bit of user interface design. This is something that I’m grateful for–being able to work on different deliverables gives people the opportunity to explore different approaches to design and they are able to find things they are good at or enjoy doing. Since joining the team, I’ve begun to have this overwhelming love for creating icons. I am not the best at them so I’ve been taking notes from Matt Yow and Charlie Waite. I can tell that my skills have improved in the past four months.

on July 15, 2014 - by Jonathan Howell

After Hours: Kellie’s Top 5 Movies (of all time)

Let me start with how much I appreciate film. I studied film in college, worked at the Great Movie Ride at Disney where I spent days spieling movie facts, had the entire Blockbuster library at my disposal while working through college, and have had the awesome opportunity to work on a few films. I love the medium. I love film history. I have such a broad appreciation for film, from the early black and whites (including silent films), up to today’s CGI-laden action/sci-fi’s (lens flare).

on July 10, 2014 - by Kellie Groover

After Hours: Jonathan’s Favorite Podcasts

While the rest of my coworkers are currently working on Top 5 Favorite Albums and Top 5 Favorite Films series, I thought I’d tackle what I spend most of my days listening to: Podcasts.

on July 8, 2014 - by Jonathan McGaha

After Hours: Rocky’s Top 10 Favorite Movies!

While enjoying a recent movie marathon, I decided to compile my top 10 favorite movies of all time. Truth is, I could probably write up a top 100 list but this is a good start. Every single one of these movies carries with it memories. Not just the memory of what happens within the movie but what happens before, during, and after sitting down to watch it.

on July 3, 2014 - by Rocky Roark

Business in Marriage: The Third Spouse

I’ve been married for seven years, a father for six of those years. My bride and I have experienced commitments and limitations of employment, transition to entrepreneurialism and the stresses inherent, financial hardships, and the joys of growing a business. We’ve disagreed. We’ve fought. We’ve resolved. We’ve learned. We’ve taught. We’ve grown. We’ve been on quite the journey over this relatively short span of time. A significant part of our journey has been learning to build and maintain a healthy marriage while also learning to build and maintain a healthy business. One of those is hard enough on its own. But doing both?! Mission impossible? I don’t think so.

on June 26, 2014 - by Erik Reagan

After Hours: Gaming

We all have our hobbies. We all have that certain something we turn to once we punch out for the day. Some people enjoy baking cookies, flexing at the pool, knitting scarfs to re-runs of jeopardy, or lip syncing Wu Tang. For me, that certain something is hopping online and getting waist-deep in decapitated bodies (and lip syncing Wu Tang). Totally have your attention now, don’t I?

on June 24, 2014 - by Myles Kedrowski

Rustbelt Refresh

Two weeks ago I made the 40 minute trek north to Cleveland to take part in the second annual Rustbelt Refresh. Rustbelt is a one-day web design and development conference expertly put on by the Cleveland Web Standards Association headed up by Brad Colbow, Brad Dielman, and Bridget Stewart. Here is a rundown on the talks and my personal takeaways.

on June 19, 2014 - by Jonathan McGaha

That’s all, folk. Go buy a book. :)