Web Design, Book Design, Publishing
Client: Frank J. Edwards, M.D.
This is one of my more recent web sites, which I did for poet, physician, novelist — and now friend — Frank J. Edwards
This site has a story behind it. Originally I was hired by an Arizona publisher to do a new book cover (see below) for Dr. Edwards’ novel Final Mercy, available on Amazon in print and Kindle versions. I like doing book covers but I don’t generally meet the author. I did in this case, and while Final Mercy (rightly described in an Amazon review as “one of the best books published in 2011…”) turned out to be one of the best medical thrillers I’d ever read, Frank J. Edwards was a story in himself: former Vietnam helicopter pilot, Master of Fine Arts in Writing, published poet, academic author, Emergency Physician. We hit it off at once. So much so that when the time came for me to start a small publishing venture of my own, Pascal Editions, Frank (who had re-acquired the rights to his novel) allowed Pascal Editions to publish it as its first fiction title. I created a second cover for it just to celebrate.
Every author nowadays needs a web presence, and eventually I had the pleasure of helping build one for Frank. While the attention here is on my work a web designer, I recommend visiting it not for that reason alone but because it also showcases the literary achievements of this exceptionally gifted and exceptionally fine human being.
(In fact, I’m so much of a fan that I did a Frank J. Edwards screensaver. Click, download and enjoy.)
Client: Colin Trafford
A more recent project for a very different author. I should probably not put this up yet, for Colin Trafford has not sent me all the content for the pages, nor even finished publication arrangements with Amazon, but he gave me carte blanche to create a site with a touch of elegance, and I would like to get the site (and the talented Colin) some attention asap. He is a trip!
Click here to see the site in progress.
Web design, business card
Client: Browncroft Garage
The greatest garage in the world, now led by master mechanic, cool guy, and good buddy Scott Posadny. Winner of City’s Best of Rochester Award. (The site even includes an earlier, completely different design for the site — en Espanol!)
Scott is improving and upgrading the place mightily. Below is a new business card design I’ve contributed.
One day I got a call from the University of Rochester Medical Center. Would I like to write something for the School of Nursing? Given that the University of Rochester is one of America’s top Ivy League colleges, I said sure.
For once my contribution wasn’t design but pure copywriting. I did the Success Stories section (plus an additional few paragraphs of web copy here and there).
I interviewed the students, got their often moving stories and wrote draft pieces in as close to their voices as I could manage, after which I gave it back to them to edit.
The end result was happy all around, but particularly so for me, because in some ways it was my first extended introduction to ghostwriting, a craft where catching the collaborating author’s voice is key, and one that became a large part of my later work.
Editorial Services, Book Design
Client: Center for Virtual Worlds and Education Research
And speaking of document design — not long ago a number of academicians and others interested in virtual worlds and education decided to put together a formal peer-reviewed journal. I became managing editor throughout the creation of the first issue, and one of my duties was the actual creation of a print and digital version of that first issue. This I did, and you can download the full 213-page digital version here.
It isn’t the first academic publication I worked or the last book I’m likely to do, but the criteria was certainly pretty stringent on this one, and it’s the only full book I’ve done that I can provide for your inspection free of charge. Enjoy.
Client: Peter Thomas Simon
A political blog by the thoughtful and eloquent Peter Thomas Simon, which I had the pleasure of designing not long ago.
I don’t have much to say about this one, for if there’s anyone who can speak for himself, it’s Peter. Click on over and see. This man is legend for actually having predicted Trump would win the Presidency on Christmas of 2014. There are scholars and gentlemen who have called some of his writing as much worth reading as the better-known columnists of the Times. But when it came to calling the big election of our time, he beat the lot.
Stop by peterthomassimon.com yourself sometime and have a read.
The shape of things to come is well worth knowing.
Business Writing, Document Design
This is a piece that I did for an upstate New York real investor who wanted to interest foreign investors in American properties.
It was an enjoyable project for me because it gave me the chance to do the entire project in one integrated whole, from writing the content to designing the document to carrying through to print.
I tend to give this to people as an example of my business prose, and also the way design adds to the overall impression a business aims to make on readers.
Though it’s intended for print — and, ah, that smooth glossy cover, crystal-clear image resolutions, and fine paper quality certainly made a difference — it’s worth reviewing as a PDF: you can download the document in full here.
Web design, graphic design, document design, copywriting, and editorial services
Client: Kirtas Technologies
Ah, Kirtas Technologies. In some ways my finest hour. Back in 2008, Kirtas, a multi-million dollar Fortune 100 business and the greatest book digitization firm in the world, whose Google-like stated mission was to digitize all the books ever written, hired me to revamp their web site. So impressed were they by the results that I got the job of webmaster and graphic designer (as well as sometime copywriter and marketing consultant). Best of all, their clients included people likeMicrosoft, Yale, the British Library, and the Library of Congress, the last few of which were eager for book covers for their millions of neglected classics.
For this fascinating firm I created the greatest web site of my professional life to date, coding every line from the ground up, and working with the incredible Lynne Perry, who handled the programming for the back end. It was vast, with well over a hundreds of pages, and spun off two variations for their global market: kirtaseurope.com (led by the amiable and excellent Netherlander Marcel Alderwald) and kirtasmaghreb.com, my first web site in Arabic. The three interrelated sites eventually stretched to over five hundred pages and thousands of associated files, took on multiple language and e-commerce capabilities, and included an extensive secure Extranet. I found myself training an assistant webmaster, and settled down to what looked like a long happy future of web site maintenance and book cover artistry. And then…
And then the company laid off a third of the work force, the entire marketing department vanished in a puff of smoke, management changed hands, I departed for elsewhere, and the firm as a whole passed into, not quite oblivion, but a very different condition. My work faded into pixel heaven with it. And some of that work was rather nice:
These things happen. I joined in 2008, the year of the Big Crash, when firms folded left and right. When a General Motors goes bankrupt, the whole business landscape trembles. That’s an occasion for more than just personal regrets; but I do regret it — I liked the place, and the people.
One of the sad things about being in web design is that every few years (sometimes every few weeks), management wants a ‘fresh look’, and a perfectly good if not spectacular and effective web site vanishes into digital oblivion. Your best work is not only gone but leaves no trace. Thus there’s no Kirtas web site I can point you to, only to pictures of some of the earliest layouts. Still, it’s a pleasure to have had a chance to do major work for a major client. It stretches you.
Web design and internet marketing
Kirtas is gone, but DTN Security is still there, online and off. Not surprisingly, for this firm’s been protecting Rochester homes and businesses for well over forty years. Above is the site I did for Donald T. Noga, president of DTN, a Rochester-owned, Rochester-based security systems firm that’s kept literally thousands of Rochester homes and families safe, and that’s served clients ranging from the Ginna Nuclear Plant, the US Navy, the US Marines, Arby’s, Pizza Hut, Marriott, Bally’s and everyone else on down — even ADT!
Don is a tinkerer, and this site undergoes minute changes almost daily. But the company itself is the best, and its owner, Don Noga, and his wife Lillian, are even better, genuinely committed to helping people and keeping them safe. There aren’t finer people in Rochester. Seriously. Call them up at 585-342-4480. Your home and family are worth it.
Web design and internet marketing
Wealth Building Workshop
The Kirtas site would take you days to go through — assuming you could get security clearance! Here’s a site that’s completely different: a one-page web site created almost overnight to publicize a one-day financial seminar by Equity University, in association with FFREIA, an upstate New York real estate association.
I intended the header image, which you see featured here, to do double duty as a digital ad to be used on Craigslist, but the site as a whole is worth reviewing: click here to see it online.
It isn’t a full-length web site, though it could be expanded into one very very easily. It’s a simple event announcement/sales page, but it hits all the notes it has to hit, fast and cleanly. That, and the fact that I hit the overnight dealine I set for myself, left me feeling rather pleased with it. Have a look.
Web design, digital advertisements
Steve Greene! Guitarist extraordinaire, bluesman, jazz artist, recording artist, composer, teacher, master of a vast multitude of string instruments, and, in general, cool guy! Steve had an existing web site, but wanted another one that focused on his teaching activities. So he called me up.
I suggested to Steve that he might want to do a bit of internet advertising on Craiglist and elsewhere online; and to that end, I ended up knocking out a quick variety of digital ads I thought he’d like. He didn’t care for a single one!
(But he’s still cool by me.)
Client: Mark Groskin, DDS
Here we go. Mark Groskin, fine dentist and all-round good guy, asked me one day if I could create a half-page black and whie ad for him for the Messenger Post Newspaper group. Of course, said I, and provided the ad above.
He liked it enough to go for full page! Check it out:
Client: Mark Groskin DDS
Speaking of full-page newspaper ads, here’s one of my first, done eons ago for the Fitness Studio of Pittsford. An idea ahead of its time: the Studio aimed at high-ticket clientele, and my requirement for this ad was to be elegant. I like requirements like that.
I did quite a few little things for the Fitness Studio of Pittsford, and expect to add more in a bit. If fitness advertising interests you, stop by again.
Client: Long Life Magazine
Digital ads! Newspaper ads! Can’t you do an Old School magazine ad, Pascal?
Sure. This was for Long Life magazine. Loved doing the text — it had a ominous, faintly sci-fi quality. The shape of things to come is always something worth thinking about.
(The shape of the model was was worth a passing thought too.)
Client: The Little Flower Community
A noble experiment.
The Little Flower is a cooperative in Rochester, New York. What is a cooperative? A group of people who live in an intentional community. They know each other, help each other, meet a few times each week to talk over the state of community and how everyone is doing, share common tasks, work to help build up the surrounding neighborhood, and live in houses owned by the cooperative.
A hippie commune? No. An extended family. With a healthy sense of civic reponsibility. Led by Joe DiFiore, profiled in the Democrat and Chronicle and 585 Magazine and on television, the cooperative has hosted couchsurfers (travelers) from around the world, organized Vegan potlucks galore, and in general shown that the good life is here and available now.
But all good things need a web site to blow their horn, so that other seekers of a better way of living can be reassured that another way of life is indeed possible. It is, and visitors to the Little Flower web site can learn all about it. Why not drop by?
Client: Caring Hands For Angels
Every year in Rochester children die in the process of being born. Two hundred of those children, who come so briefly into the world, do so in such crushing poverty that the parents or family can’t easily afford a burial gown for the child.
Caring hands for angels is a group of people who sew and provide such gowns. There is no charge. But there is a need for people with sewing and organizational skills, and a crying need for donations of suitable material. Sometimes brides will donate their wedding gowns, but of course such donations can be sporadic.
It was felt that more help might be given if people were aware of the work that Caring Hands For Angels was doing. So I was contacted and asked if I could donate a web site that would let members and the public know about the organization. I did, of course.
Sadly, the need for further help and donations is ongoing. Should you have suitable material to contribute, or wish to help or donate in other ways, please feel free to visit the site and contact the — fine and compassionate — people behind it: www.CaringHandsForAngels.com.
Client: Cryonics Society
The shape of things to come — and the poignance of what might have been.
Every now and then a marketer likes to take on the impossible. My marketing work for the Cryonics Institute and then the Cryonics Society is a case in point — the sort of thing that only a fool takes on. But then it is precisely that kind of challenge that inspires one’s to do one’s best. My work for the former organization tripled membership after two decades of — dare I say? — glacial torpor, and the FAQ for that site alone led Philip Alexander, to my mind the finest copywriter in Canada, to graciously tell me it was the finest copywriting he’d seen since Ogilvy. He overstated, and revision has much tarnished the once Elgin marble. But at the time I strove like hell to truly nail it, and I did nail it, and am proud.
The Cryonics Society? It has never found the patrons or supporters to lift it to the heights it deserves in its own exceptional niche; but it endures too, waiting for the visionary venture capitalist who is ready to transform the world. You, perhaps?
“You don’t have to be articulate to change the course of history. You don’t have to express yourself clearly to be a leader or make a difference. But it helps.”
I’m a little foggy on how many years I taught writing on literary and business subjects across the board at Writers & Books, the third largest independent such writing organization in America. Seven years? Eight? At some point they asked me to do a print ad for them, and there it is. The gentleman in the picture is a fellow writer of some merit. I thought he could do with a spot of PR.
There’s more, of course. I’ve decided to put the straight design (logos and such) and the book covers on their own pages. More work is created virtually daily, so more will be arriving on this page soon enough. If anything you see makes you think of a project you may have in mind, well — just give me a call.
You can reach me at 585.643.1167 or contact me directly via this web page.
Thanks for stopping by!