Website SEO Strategy

Let’s talk Website SEO Strategy in beautiful Fort Lauderdale!

I attended and presented for a group of distributors for the company S-5! Attachment Solutions, based out of Colorado Springs, CO. There, we  discussed content, keywords, and website SEO strategy. I had a full house of fantastic human beings who are either business owners, engineers, architects, installers, and contractors. We dove into the nitty-gritty in managing their business websites to enhance their presence.


Fort Lauderdale, Florida, website SEO strategy

Fort Lauderdale beach morning sunrise in Florida USA palm trees via Adobe Stock.


Let’s get to work with SEO

In my talk with this group, I went over the importance of Website SEO Strategy, how to research the keywords in their industry, and then implementing their website strategy through their websites, resulting in better search results. We also reviewed some tips for writing content for their audiences and industry. I showcased tools like WordPress and Yoast to help them along, easing the day-to-day for those smaller businesses who don’t have the bandwidth to do anything more than what a clean and easy to use CMS can offer. Some of us focus on this as our day-to-day, and we find ourselves helping out many of our clients through this. My goal was to provide some guidance to the room on how to implement this think-path into their web presence to give them a boost in their user experiences and at the end-of-the-day, their sales.

It’s been a pleasure meeting these fine folks who build a vast network and community in the metal construction industry. I’m will enjoyed talking with them through the follow-up days, learning about their businesses and how S-5! can be that much more supportive to their distributors. A lot of client research for me to support what I do for this company.


Rob Haddock, S-5

Todd Hockenberry

Jessica Haddock, S-5!

Nik Holley, S-5!

Dustin Haddock, S-5!


Branding an event

Before we could even get to the conference, D564 also had the privilege of designing the look and feel for the conference. Taking on each element from the event program, to name tags for speakers and guests, table top displays, and decals for the entry way. This is much less stressful than speaking, but I enjoyed every minute of the experience.

D564, Branding Events

S-5! Conference, Decals

S-5! Conference, Decal, Branding


Big ups and thanks to WordPress for the supportive swag (sunglasses, popsockets, stickers) to include with my presentation! You’ll be happy to know that many of the businesses in the room use WP.

Wordpress, D564, swag


D564, swag, WordPress



If you need support and help with your strategy, reach out! I’d love to chat.

Open Studio: January Edition

Join us on January 5, 2018 for our Open Studio at the Cottonwood Center for the Arts in Studio 239. We’ll have wine, cheer, and chit-chat as you peruse the galleries during First Friday in beautiful Downtown Colorado Springs.

CCA is celebrating the life and career of locally and nationally acclaimed artist, Bernard Arnest. An artist, advisor, and teach, Arnest was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Work in Painting. Learn More


We look forward to seeing you there!


D564 Studio

Ornament Auction and Holiday Party

‘Tis the season for cheer and festivities, and Ornament Auctions!

I had the bug to want to organize an event this holiday season. I wanted to revive an Ornament Auction, an event that I’ve hosted in New Mexico when I was serving as President of the local AIGA chapter. I have to say; it was by far one of my favorite holiday events that I really couldn’t have done without the enlightenment and support of one of our previous Presidents of the NM chapter. Anyway, I didn’t want to do this on my own, because what fun is that? Also, what better way than to come together with the locals of Denver and Colorado Springs. So, I brought together Cottonwood Center for the Arts and AIGA Colorado with Design5sixty4 to host a fun and festive Holiday Party and Ornament Auction.

An event like Ornament Auction pulls in a great deal of community support.

One is, we get to call all creatives and artists to submit an ornament that they donate in-kind to the cause. We received over 200 ornaments for this event, handcrafted of glass, ceramic, paper, origami, and mini paintings inspired by Picasso – to name a few. Once we hung them for the event, that was about 80 sets of ornaments for auction. The Ornament Auction serves as a great way to get artist names out there and support the creative industry in communities. During the auction, we had many bidders going at it on their favorite ornaments.

The holiday party and ornament auction is set up as a fundraiser for the non-profits involved in supporting the communities they serve. There’s a little bit of information about each of them below. The funds earned will go to support upcoming events, classes, workshops throughout the year of 2018. Stay tuned, Colorado – we are planning to host another one in December 2018. And a big THANK YOU to everyone involved in making our inaugural Holiday Party and Ornament Auction a success!


Auction Ornament

Ornament Auction Bidders

Auction Ornament - Handcrafted

Auction Ornament - Origami

Cottonwood Center for the Arts
Cottonwood Center for the Arts is more than just an arts organization. They promote the exploration of a creative life through the process of creating art or enjoying art as a patron in the community, Cottonwood strives for everyone to have access to the highest quality arts and culture our fabulous city has to offer. They work to create a thriving arts district in downtown Colorado Springs as well as an environment for a thriving arts community, leaving a legacy of arts, culture, and beauty to future generations.

AIGA Colorado
AIGA advances design as a professional craft, strategic advantage and vital cultural force. As the largest community of design advocates, we bring together practitioners, enthusiasts, and patrons to amplify the voice of design and create the vision for a collective future. We define global standards and ethical practices, guide design education, enhance professional development, and make powerful tools and resources accessible to all.


ornament auction thanks


We love to collaborate. Whether it’s for work or raising up the communities we’re involved in.
Let’s talk about how D564 can support your business goals or boost your creative strategy.

Flashback Friday!

It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?

Henry David Thoreau


It’s flashback Friday, and we’re updating some of our favorite portfolio pieces. While this is never an excuse to lose inward focus; we have been incredibly productive (aka busy) tending to our new and existing client needs. The goal this fall is to continue to focus inward from time to time, to keep the portfolio fresh with works that we’ve been throwing down on. In the meantime, take a look at a few updates on what we’ve been working on and keep your eyes open for more.


View Work



Design Business: Do the work you love.

In design business, when you love the work that you do, it doesn’t feel like work.

Can we really do good work and the work we love, and continue to succeed? Sure! Do we have to work with miserable people on either side of a project? Nah. As an independent contractor, I’m really grateful for the clients that I get to work for. And I strive to operate a happy design business, to be a great designer and strategist for my clients, and above all – a partner. I have the opportunity to work on projects that are fun and fulfilling. I believe in the idea that when you do the work you love, that it doesn’t feel like “work”. Of course, there’s the actual work that goes into it, but again, when we love what we do it’s fun. But how do we make sure we’re getting the good projects and great partnerships? Here’s a couple of considerations for you independent types out there:

Are you valued?

You’re bid or proposal was accepted for a reason – you’re a pro! When you can share and apply your expertise to a conversation, and it’s considered in the process, you’re doing good. Sometimes you might find yourself being overly controlled, and not sure what to do. This is a good opportunity to remind a client as to why they hired you in the first place.


Do your clients give you time to be creative and do good work?

Clients should understand that things don’t just magically appear. There’s a process. You know it, they should know it. If they don’t, that’s okay because this presents an opportunity to educate your clients on what you need. They’ll thank you for being clear and transparent about what you need to do good work.


Are you getting along?

How’s the energy in the room? Or when you meet up with a client? Does it feel sticky? Does the conversation flow naturally? Pay attention to the vibe in the room. If your gut throws red flags, or you have any sense of hesitation, you are in a good place to reconsider this project or client relationship. Remember, respect goes both ways.


Do the work you love, build healthy relationships with your clients, understand and respect each other in the creative process. Remember, you don’t have to do work that you don’t want to do or that you’re not comfortable with. It’s especially important to remember this as we’re building and growing our businesses.

design5sixty4 we'll take you there

Design related questions? Want to work together? Let’s talk!

Open Studio | July Edition


You’re Invited!


You’re invited to join us at Design5sixty4’s Open Studio!

Hosted on Friday, July 7, 2017. In the spirit of celebrating Independence Day, we’ll be talking about what it means to be independent, along with the supporting core values.

There will be light snacks and beverages for you to enjoy, and casual hangs as you enjoy a nice stroll through the downtown galleries for First Friday. The Cottonwood Center for the Arts is also exhibiting a great collection in the gallery space that you’ll certainly want to check out.

In the way of art and supporting this community that I’ve come to love, I’m hosting this beautiful piece by Al B Johnson for a continuation. You can read more information on this artwork here. It looks absolutely amazing in the space, and I hope you can stop by to enjoy it! Also, it is for sale! <nudge> You know, if you’re into it.

“Pronounced Hyperbole”
Al B Johnson

Looking forward to seeing you later this week!

Artist Spotlight: Al B Johnson

Showcasing artists is one of my goals in having a studio surrounded by so many talented creatives.

To start, we’ve been hosting Al B Johnson’s “Pronounced Hyperbole” at Design5sixty4. Al B is an artist located at the Cottonwood Center for the Arts in Colorado Springs. He is a contemporary abstract acrylic artist, with an eye for bright color, minimalism, and movement. He is an artist, teacher, and identifies himself as a student, constantly expanding his ability in mastering new techniques.

Al B Johnson, Pronounced Hyperbole

His piece “Pronounced Hyperbole” is featured at the Design5sixty4 studio, and complimented upon arrival of my clients, or any passer-by’s who catch it. The biggest element feels like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, that also seems to be a common catch with on-lookers. To the left of this piece is a patch of blocks that feels like looking up to windows on a tall city building. To the right of that, I imagine a small bunch of towers, or a cityscape possibly. While Mr. Johnson tends to throw bright color in his work, this piece, in my opinion, wouldn’t hold the same power if it had anything more than black and white. It’s a beautiful piece that leaves me feeling like I’m in the mix of a rush in the concrete jungle. Personally, I love the big cities, which feels like what draws me to this piece.


Al B Johnson, Pronounced Hyperbole

Al B Johnson, Pronounced Hyperbole


Come by Design5sixty4’s open studio this Friday to see it for yourself.

If you’re interested in purchasing this piece, you can message me or you can reach out directly to Mr. Johnson:


Independent Diaries: Grief and Business

Life happens.

And so it happened for me and threw me into a whirlwind of grief and sadness. I lost my father in early April, and there is absolutely nothing in this world to prepare me for this kind of loss. It affects everything, and it certainly affected my business. Thankfully, I have had some incredible support from my clients; and I’m incredibly thankful for them.

Running a business without a team to pick up the slack forced me to show up and do the work. But there was no way I was doing this at 100% capacity. It took a little bit of openness to seek the support that was needed. So, with that, I want to share some tips from my recent experience as a solopreneur when in the midst of grief and loss.

Discuss your situation with your clients: 

We are all human, and as uncomfortable as it might seem, clients appreciate knowing what’s going on with the people they contract for work. Send an email, or if you can handle talking on the phone, discuss your situation and let them know that you’ll be taking a little time to process grief.

Keep them updated: 

Touch base with your clients. Let them know where you’re at on expected projects. The last thing we want to do is miss deadlines, but if one is creeping up and you need an extension or extra creative support, let them know.

Take the time you need to grieve:

As hard as it is, I had to listen to the grief when it held me back. The moments that I went against the process, it hit me ten-fold later in the day or in a moment when I needed to get through a deadline. When I allowed grief to hit me, and I rode that wave, I was able to come back to the project with a little more clarity, vs. the times that I tried to push through and swim against the current.

Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg has recently implemented a 20-day policy at Facebook for grieving; and I hope to see other businesses follow suit. A couple of days is not going to cut it, and I feel like some family close to me could’ve benefited from more time to process. Even still, this kind of policy doesn’t work for me, because someone has to keep my business afloat and that someone in a solo position is ME! I was back in my office the next week trying to work and took everything just to keep up with email, and each week following was more productive than the last, but I realized in hindsight, it took me about two months to finally feel focused and ready to return to my studio.

“Grief, when it comes, is nothing like we expect it to be. … Grief has no distance. Grief comes in waves, paroxysms, sudden apprehensions that weaken the knees and blind the eyes and obliterate the dailiness of life. Virtually everyone who has ever experienced grief mentions this phenomenon of ‘waves.'”

Grief is like the sea. Sometimes it’s calm, other times it’s swallowing you in a tsunami of emotion. Let it, because resisting makes it worse, in my experience at least.

I’m going to leave you with a few resources shared with me, along with some articles that I stumbled on along the way. I wish for no one to feel the heartbreak of losing a parent, or anyone that you hold dear. If you do, I hope this helps you to give yourself permission to take care of you to be able to take care of your work.

Option B, Sheryl Sandberg

Joan Didion on Grief

Seneca on Grief

Grieving the Death of a Parent, Nancy Stordahl


Take care, friends.

Give Your App User Control

As a designer working with websites and mobile apps I have the opportunity to focus on very different mediums in terms or size, utility, capability and most importantly User Experience, referred as the UX of UI/UX. The UI part stands for User Interface, for those new to this. While there are many different aspects of designing, this post will focus on how much control to give the user.


user control, app design, development

App developers like to think that they are in control, and that’s understandable from a coding perspective, but in reality, it’s the designer’s role to give the user control. The best apps let the user feel that they have complete control of the app, or more to the point, their data. After all, don’t lose sight that to a user, an app is really about data, image, music or videos that interest them.

Your app designer should understand the user and the data. Certainly, an app can suggest a flow, but it’s usually a mistake to design an app that takes control of most of it. We’ve all seen apps that take the user down a path where screen after screen loads, with no choice but to go along for the ride. We want to avoid this roller coaster.

READ MORE from my guest post at inCaffeine’s Blogspot!

Open Studio at Design5sixty4

Well, Hello!

It’s been a while, and there’s been a lot of moving gears. Of course, I’m hoping to get a little more ahead and timely with these invites, but I’d be doing everyone a disservice if I didn’t at least make some kind of announcement.

You’re Invited!


Join me Friday, April 7, 2017 for D564’s second Open Studio. I’ll have light snacks and beverages for you to enjoy, and casual hangs as you enjoy a nice stroll through the downtown galleries for First Friday. The Cottonwood Center for the Arts is also exhibiting a great collection in the gallery space that you’ll certainly want to check out.

In the way of art and supporting this community that I’ve come to love, I’m hosting this beautiful piece by Al B Johnson for the month of April. More information to come on this artwork. It looks absolutely amazing in the space, and I hope you can stop by to enjoy it! Also, it is for sale! <nudge> You know, if you’re into it.

“Pronounced Hyperbole”
Al B Johnson

Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!