Soul Customs is a full-service welding and custom fabrication shop located in Pen Argyl, PA. The art of making an idea a reality is second nature to the team at Soul Customs. With a deep portfolio of functional and creative metal work, they needed a website that would showcase their skills to potential customers. Mediastead provided a custom web design, with an expandable project portfolio, that fit Soul Customs’ existing brand.
From the beginning, it was difficult for David Baker, Soul Customs’ owner and artist, to express what he wanted into words. He spends most of his time realizing other people’s visions, that when it came time for him to put his vision into words, he needed a little nudge.
Mediastead’s project workflow is designed to guide our clients through a difficult creative process that most people are unaccustomed to. Although David has his own creative discovery process for his metal shop, the web is a completely different animal for him. Luckily, after the initial strategy session, things clicked for him, and the ideas started to flow.
Mood Boards and Beyond
Dave is used to a very collaborative process, which fit perfectly into our workflow.
The first step in most projects is a detailed “who are you? what do you do?” session. This session, the first of many weekly meetings, determines the course of the project … a deep dive into a business’ focus, where they are now, where they want to go, and what the purpose for the new website is. In the case of Soul Customs, we already knew that a large part of the website would be dedicated to presenting their portfolio, and giving potential customers a variety of ways to contact Soul Customs. This made the focus of the first few sessions how we can achieve this in a way that would be visually representative of Soul Customs.
What’s a mood board?
Mood boards are arrangements of design elements, such as colors, fonts, photos, patterns, lines, textures, and website design examples. Mood boards are used as a way to visually represent the concepts discussed in the initial discovery meeting with our clients. If we’ve asked the right questions, and backed that up with solid research, the first draft of a mood board should represent a good variety of visual elements that are close to what a client had envisioned, but could not express. This step is paramount to a successful project. It gives Mediastead and our clients a playground to develop our ideas and design concepts collaboratively. This speeds up the development process. It averts time wasting exercises, such as the process of designing multiple complete web designs that may not fit a client’s vision or brand.
Express yourself, hey hey.
A key element to the authenticity of the Soul Customs website was to have a narrative for each portfolio item, as told by the owner of Soul Customs. After a couple of strategy sessions, it became clear that it was difficult for Dave to express himself properly with the written word. Michael Rapino, Mediastead’s creative director presented an alternative for Dave.
Dave would record his stories, and Mediastead would transcribe and edit them into web-ready content.
This process worked out beautifully, and will be an integral part of the Mediastead workflow moving forward.
The end is the beginning.
The Soul Customs website project came to a successful close. A modern, photo-rich design captured the brand beautifully. Relevant, detailed content described each portfolio project with suitable passion. WordPress was used as the website platform, allowing for future customization and growth.
The new Soul Customs website is mobile ready, allowing them to present their work on multiple platforms.
As new projects are completed, the website portfolio can be added to and organized to suit Soul Customs’ growing needs.