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Make things.

I came to be a web developer in a somewhat unorthodox fashion. I didn’t grow up writing code. I didn’t major in computer science in college. But I have always enjoyed making things and understanding how things are connected.



Happy Halloween 2014!

Halloween is a special holiday for creatives and a particular favorite here at Oxide. For the occasion to date, we’ve built custom props, assembled screen-accurate ensembles, dressed completely unexpectedly, and produced unique getups with items we had lying around. For the third year in a row, we’re excited to share Team Oxide’s costumes!



Oxide celebrates thirteen
years in business

This week we celebrate Oxide’s 13th anniversary!

Around this time each year, we like to take a look back at the previous year and take stock of what’s happened. If you’ve driven by the office lately, you’ll see that major construction is underway in the Blackstone District. The city is busy converting our seven-block stretch of Farnam Street to two-way traffic, which will greatly improve the accessibility, walkability, and enjoyability of our neighborhood. (Also, several more restaurants and bars will open on our block in the next month or so!)



Josh’s Great™ movie list

A while back Julia shared with us her Great™ movie list, and I felt that it was time for me to do the same. As I’ve been told, this is a list of movies that I would watch right now, if given the opportunity. This was a borderline impossible task for me, as I like a lot of movies. I’ve seen plenty of movies that I think are Great™ but are only viewable under certain conditions. I have also seen movies that I’ve thought were Great™ but never need to see again. This is a list of movies that will usually cause me to stop whatever it is I’m doing to watch. Obviously not everyone will agree with these, but these are movies I would recommend to almost anyone.



Oxide Slides™

At Oxide, we have a process we do with new clients when we’re trying to uncover more about their brand. Because we like to keep things simple, we simply call it Oxide Slides. We ask a client to flip through our concepting slides — physical swatches of visually interesting images — selecting 20 slides that speak to their corporate (not individual) identity, their essence. We try to get all the decision-makers involved in this process, so we’re all on the same page and everyone’s voice is heard.

We ask them to select slides that they feel capture some abstract element or elements that are appropriate to their core brand. They can select a slide for any reason: color, texture, content, type style, emotional response — anything.



Westside Warriors logo

Did we learn our lesson from the failure of our proposed Benson Mighty Bunnies logo? No we did not. Without being asked, I designed a new logo for the Westside High School (Omaha, NE) athletic department. (Before our designer friends get mad at us, please read the entire story.)

Westside is currently using The University of Wisconsin’s athletic logo, paying them an annual logo usage fee. This was perhaps somewhat acceptable prior to The University of Nebraska’s move to the Big Ten Conference, but it is now a logo that should be despised by the citizens of our state. I realize that not everyone in Nebraska is a Husker fan, but I believe the time for Westside to create their own unique identity is now.



Boss Studios naming and identity

We’ve recently been reviewing the items contained in Oxide’s online portfolio, looking to showcase our most effective work. Along the way, we’ve encountered some great projects on which we never shared the deeper story. One of those projects is Boss Studios.

Back in fall of 2007, Oxide was approached by a group of three entrepreneurs looking to open a new salon suites business. The difference in their business would be a focus on taking care of the needs of the owner-operators of the suites, first and foremost. In their words, it would be “high-end, upscale salon suites that cater to the needs of hair stylists, aestheticians, nail technicians, and massage therapists.” They needed a name and a logo that captured their essence.



Backing up your WordPress site:
A refresher

Most of the websites we build for our clients run on WordPress. This is great, especially for users responsible for updating site content. WordPress sites are user-friendly and convenient, and the platform itself is well documented and actively supported. As such, new versions of WordPress are released fairly frequently, and updating to the latest version is highly recommended as it provides additional features and helps keep your site secure.

One über-important thing to keep in mind before you update to the latest version of WordPress:

Back up your site.



Nebraska Craft Brewers Guild Logo

The Nebraska Craft Brewers Guild (NCBG) is a non-profit organization committed to the promotion of craft beer and craft beer culture in Nebraska. Recently, Oxide was approached by the NCBG to redesign their logo — and we jumped at the chance.

The Nebraska Craft Brewers Guild is made up of independently owned and operated craft breweries  from all across Nebraska. Since its beginning, NCBG has been promoting the interests of its members, pushing craft beer education, and helping build awareness of the Nebraska beer industry.



Oxiversary One

It’s my Oxiversary today. One year of working with these fun, creative, quirky people.

I thought I’d look back briefly over some of the things I’ve learned and experienced in the past 12 months.

I’ve learned a lot about meeting with clients.

My first client meeting was with Nebraska Loves Public Schools. Their website redesign would help them become more of the resource they intended to be. It was a big and exciting project, with lots of uncertainty, lots of pieces to figure out. I was shy and really just observing.

I’ve loved sitting in these meetings over the past year. I’ve loved learning how to bring some structure to this abstract idea, particularly from watching Drew in those meetings. I’m not always great at talking in the abstract, so it can get over my head. I think most designers need to be excellent at concepting — lassoing this big idea, pulling it in inch by inch, until they can examine all the dust and hairs and vector art up close.