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.

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?

  • Shabnam Gideon
  • May 28, 2015

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.

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.

  • Alex Sailer
  • May 13, 2015

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.

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.

  • Juwan Platt
  • Apr 29, 2015

Table of Contents


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.

6 days ago - 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).

3 weeks ago - 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

Spotlight: 2014 Color Run

You may have noticed from previous tweets and journal posts. We like to have fun as a team. Fun things are more funner with more peoples. Hence, team fun-ness occurs. Back in March we ran in a local 5k to support the March of Dimes, an organization I have a particular connection to after my daughter was born prematurely. After that event we knew we had to do other races and runs in the future. Almost immediately we had our sights set on The Happiest 5k on the Planet, otherwise knows as The Color Run.

on June 13, 2014 - by Erik Reagan

Bookshelf: The Strategic Designer & Designing Type

This past month I read two books, one on brand strategy and the other on typography. We are in the midst of refining our branding process again, so I thought the first book would help further that internal discussion. At the beginning of the year, Bill and I discussed my goal of furthering my knowledge of type. Hence, the second book.

on June 12, 2014 - by Rocky Roark

Lifestyle | Weightloss Journey

Last year after our big office party, I came to the realization that I wasn’t happy with myself and how I had let my weight get out of control again in my life. I remember saying to myself, “Hey! You’ve got your dream job, but what about the life you have always wanted?” At that moment I decided that I wanted to make some real life changes.

on June 5, 2014 - by Rocky Roark

How We Do: Team Focus Lab!

Two weeks ago we had a full house at Focus Lab HQ…for the whole week! It’s amazing to see the office energy surge when the whole Focus fam is in town. We did miss a couple peeps that week… Alicja Colon and Matt Blackwell… just know we cracked one open for you.

on May 27, 2014 - by Kellie Groover

Spotlight: Branding Bear Joins the Team

Here’s a quick little introduction story about me and how I got to where I am sitting now (if I’m really even sitting, you’ll never know). Hopefully my little half-wit story will spark some interest with you, so here it goes.

on May 22, 2014 - by Jonathan Howell

Special Events: Focus Lab Streams TEDxCC

TEDxCC is a hot event this year! Ticket sales quickly sold out to the event at the Jepson Center. Our team at Focus Lab waited too long to purchase tickets, so instead we’ll be viewing the live stream instead from our office. We wanted to invite our friends who may have missed out on tickets for the live event!

on May 21, 2014 - by Summer Teal Simpson

Portfolio: Fynder

Once we’ve successfully completed a branding project, we like to do a little something special for the client. Often times, client gifts involve new “gear” imprinted with their freshly designed brand experience. But before we ship these goodies, we like to capture the essence of the project and client in an internal photoshoot led by resident photographer Alicja Colon. In the below shoot, I modeled with the branded yoga mat and water bottle, appropriate props for a British web booking platform. We were in love with this client. And how well this gradient mark came out.

on May 20, 2014 - by Summer Teal Simpson

How We Do: We Meditate

Well, some of us do. We might not do it every day, and we definitely don’t do it right at the scheduled time of 11 a.m. But, hey, we’re doing it.

on May 15, 2014 - by Shabnam Gideon

Standards: Keep it Simple

Of all the amazing standards that hang on our wall, this is the one that echoes in my mind: keep it simple. It applies to Focus Lab in obvious ways: we observe a simple design aesthetic; we streamline processes to only what is needed; we look to build and grow simple, honest relationships with our clients; we 86 the bullshit.

on May 8, 2014 - by Summer Teal Simpson

Original Art: Oreos

Can I tell you a secret? This project manager doesn’t like Gantt charts. Sure, I seem to fall on the side of organized over chaotic, but that outer shell isn’t my flavor.

on May 6, 2014 - by Alicja Colon

GIFs speak louder than words

Chances are, If you’re reading this blog, you’ve used a GIF in the past week or two. Our industry is no stranger to communicating with animated GIFs or otherwise fun images. It’s not an officially policy around here, but most of our team members have taken it upon themselves to build up a library of such images for use in daily conversation. Suffice it to say we’ve seen our fair share of conversations in GIF form.

on May 2, 2014 - by Erik Reagan

We Go Places: Creative South Conference

A few weeks ago, eleven of the Focus Lab team members caravaned to quaint, historic Columbus, Ga., for the 2014 Creative South design conference. The five-day trip was an expo of some of the industry’s most talented creatives, a well-planned networking opportunity, as well as a chance for some team building and sightseeing. We came; we saw; we laughed; we ate, drank, and were merry. Thanks to Mike Jones, Daniel Severns, and the whole Creative South team. Our hats off to you for a fantastic experience. We look forward to next year.

on May 1, 2014 - by Summer Teal Simpson

How We Do: Working Remotely

I’ve worked remotely for the better part of a decade, so I’ve seen the good, the bad, and totally terrible side of it. It takes a certain type of person to work remotely. You have to be a self starter, focused, excel at time management, and be immune to distractions. Don’t have these qualities? Neither did I when I first started out.

on April 29, 2014 - by Charlie Waite

Standards: Make it Better

Make it Better (seen above) is one of the eight core standards that we have at Focus Lab. When we first reviewed these standards as a team, my mind went back to one of the most meaningful essays I have ever read, Merlin Mann’s Better. Better was written in 2008 and came to me at a time when I was stuck professionally. I’d been at a job for many years and I struggled against the flow of that daily routine. Around me, others were content with what they knew about their jobs and methodologies. Meanwhile I dealt with a feeling of professional inadequacy. I didn’t have anyone pushing me, telling me to do better, or to learn more. I was just stuck.

on April 25, 2014 - by Jonathan McGaha

Original Art: Holga Patina

Everyone has a side project. Even if you don’t know it. Maybe you find yourself washing dishes all the time. That’s a helpful and productive side project.

on April 22, 2014 - by Matt Yow

After Hours: In the Garden

Spring has sprung in Savannah and, with it, the beginning of my gardening season. I am by no means Farmer Rocky; after taking a year off of having a backyard garden, I am throwing my hat into the ring once again.

on April 17, 2014 - by Rocky Roark

Musings: The Trendy Slippery Slope

I often ponder the industry that we are in and how it operates. My recent thoughts have lead me to speculate about trends. I’ve noticed that the design industry gets caught up with trends. I understand where they come from and why they exist, but at what point do they become detrimental to our work? Is work of poor quality if it doesn’t “trend” on Behance or dribbble?

on April 15, 2014 - by Sam Stratton

Spotlight: Myles in Minneapolis

I’ve restarted this blog post now probably half a dozen times. Each with mildly entertaining introductions about stories from my past. And as the night progressed, I found it unnecessary to talk about how I grew up in a town of less than 300. Or to explain how my high school years were spent in a van with four other smelly dudes playing music. I thought it was counter—productive to ramble about how my best friends and I skipped junior prom to play Splinter Cell until the sun came up. Chugging Mountain Dew until we went into cardiac arrest. I thought to myself, “No one wants to hear about how the majority of your childhood was spent effectively avoiding security guards while on a skateboard.” I then took a step back and realized being grown up isn’t half as fun as growing up, and if I wanted to keep this short and to the point I had better fast-forward 20 years. So here’s the post I decided to write…

on April 8, 2014 - by Myles Kedrowski

Spotlight: Kellie, Take 3

Hey there, hi there, ho there! I’m Kellie Groover, one of the newbies here in Focus Lab Land. I’m the behind-the-scenes office lady, resident mouseketeer, backstage manager, special forces teammate, pretty much whatever-I-can-do-to-make-everyone’s-life-easier, go-to gal. Think of me as a fairy godmother for the Focus Lab team.

on April 8, 2014 - by Kellie Groover

We Go Places: Creative South Speakers

We’re pumped about speaking as a team at the Creative South Conference. Four of us will take the stage at this awesome design conference to talk about the moving parts that we’ve needed during our rapid growth over a three year trajectory.

on April 3, 2014 - by Bill Kenney

Portfolio: PinkBlush Maternity

PinkBlush is an online-exclusive maternity and fashion wear boutique based out of California. They’ve been serving up tasteful and sincere clothing for several years without a tailored brand image. That’s where we came in. We rebranded PinkBlush with a purpose that really sets them apart and positions them well on their continued path of growth.

on April 1, 2014 - by Matt Yow

Erik Reagan, COME ON DOWN: Our co-founder’s adventure on The Price is Right

Erik’s traveling and otherwise slammed with work or else he’d be reporting this to our blogosphere directly. And, well, we just couldn’t contain ourselves any longer from sharing this awesome announcement. Our very own Erik Reagan got to compete last month on none other than The Price is Right (aired 3/28)!!!

on April 1, 2014 - by Summer Teal Simpson

Bookshelf: Dale Carnegie Collection

One of my goals for 2014 is to reignite an old passion for reading, one that fell dormant in college when I was forced to read textbooks and the dreaded poetry. (Queue music from Psycho.) I started this year off right and finished one book within the first few days of the new year. I kicked off with How to Win Friends and Influence People by the amazing author, Mr. Dale Carnegie. Here I will discuss my reading of both this and another book that carries his name (though wasn’t written by him), Make Yourself Unforgettable: How to Become the Person Everyone Remembers and No One Can Resist.

on March 26, 2014 - by Rocky Roark

High Fives: A Toast to Dribbble

We love Dribbble. Ok, that’s an understatement. The fact of the matter is Dribbble alone helped grow our two-man company to a team of 14 in just a couple of years. And our Dribbble networking was likewise responsible for introducing us to some stellar clients and industry peers. Easily, half of our recent output is attributable in some way to our Dribbble presence. Last year alone, Dribbble leads accounted for $800k of our revenue. (If I’m being honest, it drives more potential than that; we’re limited in the amount of work we can take on.) We—and the greater design community—are blessed to access an affordable platform that can turn a couple hundred dollar membership investment into nearly $1 million in revenue. Other industries would kill to have an outlet like that. Forget that it’s actually fun to post and monitor.

on March 19, 2014 - by Bill Kenney

How We Do | We Work OUT

Our 2014 company resolution is Fitness this year. We kicked off the new year with office planking challenges in January, 30-day fit challenges for February, and the office ladies have also started running as a group. Our next challenge we thought, how about a race?

on March 14, 2014 - by Kellie Groover

That’s all, folk. Go buy a book. :)