It's with great excitement that I'm beta launching a redesigned web site at www.altimetergroup.net today. I welcome your feedback before I port the main altimetergroup.com site over to the new design on Friday.
The site was designed by Horn Group, a digital communications agency (disclosure: Horn Group is a client and they were paid for their work on the site). The goal of the site is to provide more information about Altimeter, the services being offered, and also be a home for The Altimeter blog. My favorite gee-whiz feature -- the rotating tag cloud sphere on the home page.
A big shout out goes to the Horn Group team for the pushing me to adopt an innovative design, porting it to WordPress, and most importantly, being patient with me!
If you have any feedback on the site, I would love to know about it. What do you like, or dislike? What content am I missing? Please leave them in the comments below or send via email to charlene (at) altimetergroup (dot) com.
You'll also note that I'm finally using the logo that I had designed on crowdspring.com last fall. The Horn Group team keyed the design of the Web site off the name and logo, giving the site a sense of flight.
The logo project on crowdSPRING received 146 entries and I gave feedback to every design because I was grateful that these designers took the time to submit a concept. In the end, I gave two awards of $400 each because I needed more time to decide between the two winning designs.
Both designs were done by professional designers, which was a surprise to me - a common misconception is that it's students and creatives just starting out that use the crowdsourcing sites. The first award (see the logo to the left) went to Orbis, a creative designer who specializes in logo and brand development. The second award for the logo I eventually chose was done by ANV, who has a day job as the creative director for an ad agency -- he participates in crowdspring to "keep his design chop up".
I wanted to provide some background on the two different approaches I took to designing the logo and site, especially as the NO!SPEC community has taken umbrage with my use of crowdSPRING. I believe there is a time and place for different approaches to brand marketing and design. In relation to logos, I have done projects that ranged from an agency-led, tens of thousands of dollars logo and branding for a new online product to paying LogoWorks a few hundred dollars for a few designs. For the scope of my logo needs, I had a clear sense of the brand and didn't need all of the support that a formal branding and logo process required -- I just needed a good logo that met the detailed specs I provided with the project.
But when it came to Web site design, a different type of relationship was needed, one that was much more collaborative requiring an ongoing relationship. That is the reason I decided to work with Horn Group, a team that understands how to use social media, Web design, and also author promotion. Left to my own devices, I would have veered toward a more traditional design. But the relationship with Horn -- and the trust I developed in them over the engagement -- gave me the confidence to try a different approach. And I love it!
There is a time and place for crowdsourcing design, and I would definitely use sites like crowdSPRING again. But they do not spell the death of agencies or creative designers, as the iterative, collaborative process is still very much needed and alive.
I hope you'll take a moment to visit the new site at altimetergroup.net and let me know what you think.