About

Vistasmith is a one-man design studio run by me, Marc Drummond. Vistasmith focuses on hand-chiseled design: I put my care and attention into creating a custom design personalized for your business. I take time to learn about what you do, because the better I understand your business, and what your customers are looking to learn on your site, the more successful it will be.

Background

A statue of Marc Drummond A statue of Marc Drummond,
hand-chiseled… in Photoshop

I was born and raised in Minnesota and graduated summa cum laude in 2000 from Albion College with a BA in English. So why web design?

I’ve always liked languages, and to me, all the funny tags and scripting conventions that make up HTML, CSS, and such, well, they’re just another language. I also look at web design, and graphic design as well, as merely a means to communicate a message, both through the content and the design that supports that content.

I taught myself the principles of web design and further pursued those studies at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, earning a certificate in web design and a certificate in electronic publishing (essentially, graphic design). Beyond the web and graphic design work I did at my jobs, I started Vistasmith to help friends and colleagues with their web design needs.

I now do web and graphic design professionally during the day, but I just can’t get enough, so I continue to help others through Vistasmith. While I don’t work on Vistasmith projects during regular business hours, I do give my full care and attention to the projects I do work on in the evenings and weekends.

My toolbox

My primary tool for helping you is my knowledge of coding to professional web standards, which primarily means XHTML and CSS. I code by hand, or more accurately, by keyboard.

For software, I rely upon Adobe. I manage websites through Dreamweaver, and use a mix of tools to create web graphics, including Photoshop, Illustrator, and Fireworks. Adobe Acrobat Professional comes in handy now and then, and if called upon, I can work in Flash as well. If you want to be able to edit the content of your site yourself, I will probably suggest that we create the templates for your site in Dreamweaver, and you can manage the content through Contribute.

For doing more dynamic websites, I prefer to program in ColdFusion, though I am familiar with PHP and ASP as well. I am interested in learning more about unobtrusive Javascript techniques. I have worked with designing and managing databases through both MySQL and SQL Server. For larger sites, I’ve found some interesting uses of XML and XSLT, which are techniques to store and transform data, respectively.

For graphic design projects, I am a big fan of InDesign and use Illustrator and Photoshop primarily to create the graphics for print work (though for some flyers, Illustrator on its own works just fine). I’ve worked with a number of printers and know what needs to be done with files sent to them to make them happy and have printing go smoothly. I can work with Quark as well.

I’m currently using Creative Suite 3 from Adobe. I work on a Mac, but also have Windows at home, primarily for browser testing. I also use Microsoft Office (though not for design work, unless forced to do so!).

Copyright © 2008. Designed by Vistasmith. All rights reserved.