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A Community Design Project

October 26, 2017

Through Didsbury Life, we’ve worked with The West Didsbury Residents’ Association for a number of years, on such events as the annual Christmas Lights Switch On event, WestFest, community litter picks, flower box planting etc. So we were delighted when they approached us when the time came to update their website. The original website was becoming a little bit tired and needed an injection of “oomph”.

We encouraged the use of original photography which would hopefully begin to give a flavour of the work of the WDRA and of the vibrant area of West Didsbury. Now that the website has an integrated Instagram gallery, it will be much easier for the group to update this imagery and ensure that the site remains vibrant. As a community website, an important feature for the WDRA was the ability to add to, and update, events so that members could quickly access this information, as well as on online membership facility linked to PayPal. A feature which had never previously been available.

We hope that the new website has met the brief and that what we have created is more contemporary, more streamlined and more representative of the organisation.

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If you too are looking to update and revamp your webiste – or if indeed, you are looking to just start out with your first website, why not do what the WDRA did, and…

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An Inspiring Project

October 12, 2017

We’ve worked with our client, Rowena, for a number of years now and have been delighted to be a part of the growing business she has created. Recently, she decided the time was right to re-brand her copywriting business and came to us for a complete overhaul and new look. As a client, Rowena is clear thinking, focused and organised and provided us with a very succinct brief, as well as giving us really precise guidance about the kind of imagery she wanted on her new website. This approach really helps us to nail a concept/design early on in the process and quickly, we were able to begin pulling together ideas for consideration – the new branding, being approved very quickly.

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Big thanks to for the beautiful new branding. Farewell Row Writes. Time to re-launch.

Being a copywriter, Rowena naturally provided all of her own copy. We know that not everyone can/wants to do this and many of our clients do prefer to have someone else be their “voice”. We can work on copy for you, and help you to craft your words, but if you are looking for a professional copywriter, well, we might just know someone

It was agreed that the words had to be the selling point of the website, but that the “look” and “feel” was also important. No good having great words, if the design is messy and lacking cohesion. A definite case of less is more (the We Are Life mantra). A holding page was created as the work went on in the background, signalling the new direction of the company.

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As our clients know, we have recently relocated to sunny northern Croatia, to hopefully experience a better quality of life. More sunshine and warmth. More good food and out door healthy living. What we didn’t count on, was just how difficult it would be to have good, secure internet installed in our new home – whilst at the same time, trying to keep on designing. The Words Inspire project was one of a number we’ve been working on, whilst trying to remain sane in the face of Croatian telecoms bureaucracy. But like most things, it came good in the end and we are now fully connected. However, we would like to say a big thank you to Rowena for her patience and understanding. It’s clients like her, who do keep us going 😉

So, Words Inspire is now launched as new brand – and we are super delighted with the results. We’d love to know what you think…

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If you like what you see – and read here – and think we may be just the people you’re looking for, for your design project, why not get in touch? It could be the start of something very lovely.

 

 

Back in the land of the living…

October 11, 2017

…and after SEVEN months of erratic – and sometimes non existent internet connection –  we really do feel that we are back, now that we seem to be fully online, as of today. It’s been a frustrating few months, to say the least, trying to keep on top of design work and deal with enquiries and emails, with something so inconsistent and fragile. We’re sure that people will have seen tweets when we’ve been holed up in hotels, saying we’re working, and you’ll have thought “Alright for some…”, but believe you me, when you are in a gorgeous place but don’t get to appreciate it because you know you have a limited amount of time to get work done, it’s definitely not the holiday it might appear!

So, after tearing our hair out and making many trips back and forth to the telecoms shop, collecting a nice pile of defunct routers (four at the last count), becoming acquainted with many of the Croatian telecoms personnel, having a very nice, but useless pole and cabling installed, we now seem to be up and running. Thanks to Mauro, the only person, in a long line of many, who seemed to have an understanding of the seriousness of our situation. Mauro, we salute you 🙂

And what all of this means is that we can take a rest from being Booking.Com’s best customers and finally get on with the business of designing, from the comfort of our own home. At long last!

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Although, we will most definitely not be designing on a Friday evening. You may think this is because we’ll be out, living it up. Not at all – another momentous event happened recently. After seven months of no television, this was also installed last week and joy of joys, the guilty pleasure that is Midsomer Murders is broadcast, in English, on a Friday evening. It’s rock & roll out here, in Istria 😉

The Small Print…

October 4, 2017

We know how it is. Small print is boring. Blah. Blah. Blah… But – it’s there on our website for a reason. And the main reason being, that you don’t receive an unexpected – but very avoidable – invoice, for additional charges. We try VERY hard to keep our charges as affordable as possible, but sometimes we just need to cover unexpected work. Especially work which you request, because you have decided, for whatever reason to move away from us, and which takes us away from the work we will undoubtedly be doing for other paying clients.

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When we get the rare request like this, we can always gurantee the word “urgent” will be attached to the request. Fine. We’ll do it urgently, and because you’ll have read our small print, you will pay the invoice before we release what you want, because you know this is what happens.

But, just in case you’re an avoider of the small print, here’s what’s very clearly set out on our website

The small print: If it is necessary for We Are Life to carry out any administrative tasks on your behalf, which do not fall within the remit of our signed agreement, we reserve the right to charge an administration fee of £35.00. Work which becomes more involved and which has been initiated at your request, will be costed out accordingly. You will be notified of any additional costs, prior to us doing any further work. Works which fall under this admin fee include domain/hosting transfers, reinstating websites due to non-payment of hosting and other tasks which need to be carried out, at your request, and which involve dealing with an external third party. All administration fees must be paid PRIOR to any works, of this nature, being carried out by We Are Life.

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.