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Creative Brief

Who are you?

I am a solutions architect and coach focused on the advancement of organizational goals through pragmatic technology. My work spans music, financial, public sector, and technology industries including start-up and multi-national organizations like Microsoft, Bank of Montreal, and officialCOMMUNITY. I engage teams and executive management to boost productivity and drive innovation through user-centric design and craftsmanship in software engineering. Recognized by the community for interactive contributions in public speaking, community building, and writing, I have been awarded a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for ASP.NET for several years. My work appears across books, forums, and web casts. You can find out more about me on the web at ColinBowern.com.

What do you need?

As I look at a lot of developer blogs they lack a polished feel to the visuals. After tinkering for years in the design of my site it is time to engage an artistic eye to help design my personal home on the web. I am looking for the site to represent my professional work including a bio page and a blog .

This is where you come in. I am looking for assistance in the graphic design aspects which will result in a layered PSD file that covers the home page, about page and a sample blog post page with all of the usual trimmings.

Because this is a personal site I need to be realistic on cost which means that I am more than willing (and actually prefer) to do the XHTML/CSS work myself. This is partly because I enjoy that work, but also because I haven't finalized a decision on content management systems.

Do you feel that this scope of work matches your passions for graphic and web design?
Can you point me to examples of related work which you feel are similar in scope?
What process do you typically follow to bring a design to life?
What is your rate for providing a design along with layered PSD file (hourly, fixed fee, etc..)?
What is your availability to start and how long do you foresee it taking to complete?

I have included some design notes that will help kick off the conversation for the design. Please feel free to ask any further questions around the scope if it is not clear in the notes below.

Thanks!
Colin

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Site Name: Colin Bowern
Tag Line: Making IT Work for Business

Home Page
- Captures the latest post for each category with emphasis on the most recent post by placing it at the top, for example:
Top
On Building Teams (small, faded?)
Title + Date
Abstract
Link to article
Bottom Left
On Development
Title + Date
Abstract
Link to article
Bottom Right
On Infrastructure
Title + Date
Abstract
Link to Article
- Catches your eye without the need for a post-related image
- Sidebar lists off
Events I am attending
Notable links I have saved to delicious / Google Reader shared blog posts

About Page
- Primary visual is Photo + Paragraph Bio
- Secondary is a backstory of how I came to be (see current site about page for example)
- Sidebar - link to LinkedIn CV, StackOverflow/ServerFault badge, logos from groups I belong to, conferences I have spoken at, books I have contributed to

Blog
- Will be posting in one of three categories - Building Teams, Developing Apps, Deploying Infrastructure
- Posts will have code blocks (C#, ASP.NET, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PowerShell, SQL), images (screenshots, diagrams, sketches, video/slideshow embeds)
- Post text should be a clear and comfortable-to-read typeface

Footer on All Pages
- Short 2-3 sentence bio
- Follow Me
Twitter
Linked In
Blog Feed
Events Feed
- Contact Me
Email
Mobile
Messenger
Skype

Sites I Like
http://blog.whiteboardlabs.com and www.whiteboardlabs.com
Nice chunky font header, hand written like "Findings, musings and lighter things"
Nice whiteboard diagram in the header background
On the www site great contrast in color
www.nickfinck.com
Readable type faces
Clear that he is the brand
Don't like the blog layout
Like the about page
www.bennadel.com
Feels very human and accessible as a person
Like the photo bit where he links to various people's sites - very nice touch
www.tehcpeng.net
Like the hand written masthead / navigation
Dark grey/black, white, yellow and red color mix looks well put together (wondering what a blue variation might look like)
www.pieoneers.com/technologies
Like the "Technologies We use and Like" font
www.alexcoleman.net/profile
About page looks very professional, partial to color set (although I think the dark grey text is a bit hard to read)
www.mattdempsey.com
Like the color set - looks put together for a home page. Blog background is a bit dark for the text area though

Miscellaneous Notes
My favourite color is blue
In a year from now I know this website worked because the look feels personal yet professional. People come to leverage the learnings that I post because I'm like an old friend sharing a nugget of awesomeness.

Who Is Your Audience?

My audience is developers, IT professionals, and folks in the start-up community.

Requirements

We Like These Examples

Sites I Like
http://blog.whiteboardlabs.com and www.whiteboardlabs.com
Nice chunky font header, hand written like "Findings, musings and lighter things"
Nice whiteboard diagram in the header background
On the www site great contrast in color
www.nickfinck.com
Readable type faces
Clear that he is the brand
Don't like the blog layout
Like the about page
www.bennadel.com
Feels very human and accessible as a person
Like the photo bit where he links to various people's sites - very nice touch
www.tehcpeng.net
Like the hand written masthead / navigation
Dark grey/black, white, yellow and red color mix looks well put together (wondering what a blue variation might look like)
www.pieoneers.com/technologies
Like the "Technologies We use and Like" font
www.alexcoleman.net/profile
About page looks very professional, partial to color set (although I think the dark grey text is a bit hard to read)
www.mattdempsey.com
Like the color set - looks put together for a home page. Blog background is a bit dark for the text area though

We Absolutely Must Have

Home Page
- Captures the latest post for each category with emphasis on the most recent post by placing it at the top, for example:
Top
On Building Teams (small, faded?)
Title + Date
Abstract
Link to article
Bottom Left
On Development
Title + Date
Abstract
Link to article
Bottom Right
On Infrastructure
Title + Date
Abstract
Link to Article
- Catches your eye without the need for a post-related image
- Sidebar lists off
Events I am attending
Notable links I have saved to delicious / Google Reader shared blog posts

About Page
- Primary visual is Photo + Paragraph Bio
- Secondary is a backstory of how I came to be (see current site about page for example)
- Sidebar - link to LinkedIn CV, StackOverflow/ServerFault badge, logos from groups I belong to, conferences I have spoken at, books I have contributed to

Blog
- Will be posting in one of three categories - Building Teams, Developing Apps, Deploying Infrastructure
- Posts will have code blocks (C#, ASP.NET, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PowerShell, SQL), images (screenshots, diagrams, sketches, video/slideshow embeds)
- Post text should be a clear and comfortable-to-read typeface

Footer on All Pages
- Short 2-3 sentence bio
- Follow Me
Twitter
Linked In
Blog Feed
Events Feed
- Contact Me
Email
Mobile
Messenger
Skype

Materials

Contract
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