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Time For a Catch-Up…

May 24, 2017

It’s been a while since we blogged, but we’ve been far from idle. As well as launching some gorgeous new websites, we’ve been working on a number of current projects, as well as diarising some lovely new work which will fill our summer months. But, we’ve also been doing something else. Something quite Life changing – in many ways!

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After much soul-searching and researching, we’ve sold up in West Didsbury and are now finally settled in our new home in Istria, in north west Croatia, very close to the Italian border. Yes, after years of putting things into place – leaving day jobs, setting up our own business, moving from an office to home-working, restructuring our business and down-sizing – we’ve done it! We moved in on 1st March 2017 and it’s been a whirlwind couple of months as we get to grips with Croatian bureaucracy, a whole new language and some increasingly hot weather 🙂

Although we still have a long way to go in terms of our plans for the house, we are now fully set up with the internet, we’ve ported our Manchester telephone number and are back on with the important business of design. Everything is continuing as normal. We have an amazing group of clients and whilst it is lovely to meet up with people, many of them we’ve never actually met before. We call, email, Skype – and this is what we’re continuing to do now. When we are back in England, if we do need to meet up, we will, but as this way of working has been how we’ve done it for quite a long time, you can be rest assured that you’ll still be in very good design hands.

We work with a fair few clients you may well know – Withington Baths and Leisure Centre, Thyme Out Food Co, The White Closet, The Flower Lounge, Love Bridal Boutique, Azzurro Restaurant, Pinchjos – doing ongoing design work, as well as welcoming new clients to the Life Family, since we’ve relocated. Some in Manchester. Some further afield. And the message from all seems to be, distance is no object, as everything is online and we’re as accessible as we were in West Didsbury.

So, if you’re looking for a designer – and perhaps a business meeting in the sun – get in touch. We’d love to hear from you…

 

 

Life For Sale…

January 16, 2017

As some of you may be aware, we’re planning some quite big Life changes. Whilst we’ll be continuing with our core businesses of We Are Life Design, Didsbury Life and We Are Life PA, we’re going to be streamlining other projects we’ve been planning, as we relocate to sunnier climes in northern Croatia 🙂

We won’t be moving full-time for a few months yet – we need to do quite a lot of internal work on the house we’ve bought, and still remembering how awful it was trying to live and work in our Didsbury house as we renovated, we’re having that done without us there! So, we’ll still be around, just not in the house we’ve lived in for 17 years.

However, we do need to really rationalise our business. The vision that we had for rolling out websites similar to Didsbury Life, is now not going to happen – at least by us. But, it also means we’re sitting on a fair few domain names, which we figure could be used by some creative, innovative people out there.

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We’ve set up a small website detailing why we’re selling these domains and which domains are actually available. If you know of anyone who may be interested in speaking to us about these, please pass them our way – they can fill in the contact form below or email via the Life For Sale website.

We have purposely not stated selling prices – some are domain names only, some are domains/twitter/emails etc and we’d rather speak to people to arrive at a mutually comfortable price. We are not selling these domains to make as much as money as possible – although that would be lovely, in an ideal world! Rather, we’d like these to go people who will do something with them and inject their own ideas and personality.

 

Nick Walker, Artist : Website

January 13, 2017

Didsbury based artist (and landscape designer), Nick Walker, wanted a website which wiould showcase his artwork. Having worked with him previously on his landscape design website, he returned to us and commissioned us to create his next website. As well as showing his artwork, Nick wanted the ability to sell online and so an e-commerce section was included, for his prints.

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Nick wanted to keep the website as clean and simple as possible, with easy navigation. For a slight twist, we placed the menu down the left hand side and used an original photo, taken in Nick’s studio on the landing page. The “About” page was also kept to a minimum, text wise, as we felt that the photo conveyed quite clearly, what Nick did.

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An enquiry form was created and linked through to, from the original art work pages as Nick wanted to speak to clients pre-sale and conduct any selling off-line.

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As Nick wanted prints to be able to be bought online, an shopping cart as created, enabling this functionality…

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The website is also fully editable, meaning that artwork can be changed as and when necessary, giving Nick control over the galleries and shop facility. From feedback from our client, we’re confident that we have designed and built a simple, but effective website for the purposes of displaying original artwork and selling prints.

 

 

Love Bridal Boutique, Altrincham

January 12, 2017

As with a lot of our clients, we have a close relationship with Emma, owner of Love Bridal Boutique and her husband, Jonny. Jonny is our go-to-photographer when clients need one, as he completely understands how we design and what we always try to achieve. So, working on the bridal boutique website has been a real joy, as amazing photography has just been a given. And, if you know us, you’ll know the emphasis we put on imagery.

The structure of the website also followed our mantra of less is more.We’ve seen lots of bridal boutique websites which are just not us – or our clients. Many, to us, seem overly fussy and overly pink – and this was definitely not something that Emma wanted. We had designed the original website for Love Bridal – in contrast to many bridal boutique websites, in collaboration with Emma, we opted for charcoal grey and powder blue as the main palette, as we were working with a logo designed by another illustrator. However, for the second phase of the website, we felt that that a very clean looking website, with a white background, to showcase big, bold images was the way forward.

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As with every site we design, this was a truly collaborative effort. We never use templates and so every design we do, must involve the client and this is how we approached the Love Bridal website. If you decide that you’d like us to work on your design project with you, you’ll hopefully do what we did with Emma – and this involved sitting in front of the computer, together, from time to time. This approach is so important to us – ultimately it’s YOUR website and so we think it’s crucial that YOU are involved in the design process.

If you like the look & feel of Love Bridal, and like the approach we take, we might just be able to help you if you are looking to up your design game. Just drop us a line via the contact form below and we’ll be in touch…

 

 

Designs on Cherry Tree Bakery

January 11, 2017

Family run, independent and successful – but design wise, in need of an overhaul so as to attract larger corporate clients. This was the situation Cherry Tree Bakery found themselves in when we had our initial meeting with them. The website was dated and was not showcasing the products effectively enough – and with a client who was prepared to put his faith in us and give us quite a lot of scope, we relished this particular challenge. The new website had to work immediately, in attracting new clients and then securing them, so we knew we had to pull something pretty special out of the bag for Cherry Tree Bakery.

We’re big on the power and impact of brilliant photography. We avoid stock images as much as we possibly can, always encouraging clients to consider original images. We’re lucky that we work very closely with two very talented photogrpahers – Jonny Draper and Ilian, who specialises in food photography. Cherry Tree just got immediately what we meant about photography and booked both in – Jonny to shoot the bakery, the people, the processes and Ilian to shoot the products. This delighted us, because we knew we would have the most amazing images to work with – and we weren’t wrong. Feast your eyes…

Photography by Jonny Draper

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Photography by Ilian

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So, with beautiful shots in place, the structure of the website just fell together, as we wanted to use the photographs to maximum effect, not only on the gallery, but across all pages. The original logo was kept – and athough we initially felt it should be updated, we agree that it sits very well with the new design of the Cherry Tree Bakery website.

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I found working with We Are Life to be a sublime experience, from start to finish. Being a medium-sized business I initially looked to larger agencies, however I didn’t like the corporate feel of being passed around a large team, nor their dull aesthetic sensibilities. We Are Life was exactly what I was looking for: a small yet fantastic team, who took time to really understand my needs and who ultimately had the ability to transform that vision into a beautiful and visually striking website. I massively appreciated their constant care & attention, and the way they blended their stunning photography and web design into a harmonious whole. Thank you for creating a website we can be proud of!

Joshua Entwhistle, Cherry Tree Bakery

If you too would like us to work with you on your website overhaul, drop us a line and we’ll see what we can do together 🙂

The Italian Job Part 2

January 9, 2017

Building relationships with clients is something that is very important to us. We love that we have people who’ve come to us for design work and who we now count as very close friends. Of course, this doesn’t happen every time, but for the most part, it does. Emil and Anna, at Azzurro Restaurant in West Didsbury are people who fall into the category of clients and friends. We’ve worked with them now for a good few years, helping to develop their website. In 2012, we redesigned the first website we did as it was showing signs of age and the new website served the restaurant very well. But, these things date quick quickly and a refresh is always a good idea – and that’s just what we did last year.

The current website is simple in design as we wanted the focus to be on the food, not flashy-showy-off-design. Photography was done by our client and friend, Jonny Draper but we also incorporated the restaurant’s Instagram feed, as Emil often takes photos of food being prepped and served and we felt we didn’t want to miss the opportunity of showcasing the food as it happened.

We’re really happy with the new look Azzurro website – but still look forward to its next incarnation…

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If you too would like find out if we’re the kind of people you’d like to work with on your design project, why not take a look at our website portfolio or drop us a line here? You never know, we may just become firm friends, too…