Yesterday afternoon was spent writing copy for the new Airbag website. Bronwyn says it’s the best place to start and she’s pretty smart (Intelligence 18) so I’m taking her advice and typing words instead of pushing pixels. Starting with the low hanging fruit first, I assembled a complete list of clients, something I’ve never done before.
I went back in time (via Blinksale—that important and intuitive business application that makes it easy to say, “Hey client, we gots to get paid. Aight?”) and composed a historical record of clients. When finished and printed the list was about as long as my forearm. That surprised but did not impress me, so I bumped up the font size to eleven and increased the leading, and increased the font size and leading again, one more time and then, well, uh, maybe three more times. Now our client list stands five feet tall (or about as high as our new project manager, who could have been a successful jockey if not for her love of project management, but all the same I wish she would come to work in something other than racing silks) and, in this impressive format I think it’s going to be a fantastic replacement for the California DMV Eye Examination Chart.
Work continues on the new site at a slow and steady pace. It’s been a challenge to find good creative time to work on this project rather than the ones that bring in the monies (That’s not a complaint mind you. If you’re in the creative services business then that’s how the business works, if it’s successful). A design treatment has been drafted but there’s this one nagging problem that, for almost two years, I’ve been hard pressed to find a good solution. One that typing alone can’t solve.
What in the hell do I do with the blog?
For anyone who hasn’t been around for the last eight years, Airbag began life as a blog. Then one day, after the Rocket Scientist became successfully employed, I decided to try for myself this business ownership thing. At the time my council of peers all agreed that, given Airbag’s popularity as a brand in the web design sphere, I would be an idiot to use anything else as the name for my new endeavor. Paying heed to their wisdom Airbag Industries LLC was incorporated in the state of California in the summer of 2005 but the website, the blog, remained fixed in place. Despite the lack of a good shingle, work continues to come in solely based off recommendation and/or reputation—so I haven’t been too concerned to make any big changes to the website (see also: All Time Devoted To Client Work).
The blog has always just been there not making a whole lot of sense to most of our clients who aren’t aware of this site’s history. That hasn’t been a problem or an issue until recently that confusion has been heard on occasion during our weekly status calls. Clients don’t complain or suggest anything negative but they do utter things like “saw that, didn’t understand…political…sarcasm…apples!” all of which is to say, “hey you have this blog on the homepage of your website that makes frank commentary on things entirely not related to the core of your business and we don’t really understand why it’s there.” Sure there are plenty of posts that relate to the business of interactive design but it’s those other kind of posts that keep feeling more and more out of place as Airbag grows.
And so here I am, working on this new business focused website wondering what to do with Airbag: Rigid Frame Commentary. No way in hell it’s going away but the blog’s current feature placement will become more of a problem if the range of subject matter is to remain intact. The easy answer, I suppose, would be to move the blog to another domain but Ryan, Ethan, and Russ feel strongly that the blog should not go away, that it’s a part of the brand, part of the Airbag experience.
This quandary isn’t make or break for Airbag, it’s not like once something has been implemented it has to stay that way for the next five years (like the current design has), but this brand would most certainly not be what it is today without the readers and for that reason your feedback is requested.