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.

Niobrara Valley Preserve brochure

Founded in 1951, The Nature Conservancy is the world’s leading conservation organization. One of the flagship projects of their Nebraska office, The Niobrara Valley Preserve,  is roughly 60,000 acres, which makes it one of their largest preserves worldwide. Home to a recorded 581 plant, 213 bird, 86 lichen, 70 butterfly, 44 mammal (including bison herds), 25 fish, 17 reptile, and 8 amphibian species, the preserve’s mission is conservation, scientific research, and education.

Oxide featured in LogoLounge 8

We recently received our copy of LogoLounge 8: 2,000 International Identities by Leading Designers at the Oxide office. The book is part of a long-running series published by Rockport, and authored by Bill Gardner. From logolounge.com:

“LogoLounge 8 is judged by an international panel of identity designers including Mikey Burton, Quique Ollervides, Katie Kirk, Fraser Davidson, Debbie Millman, Ty Mattson, Mike Abbink, and Simon Frouws. Of the more than 35,000 logos submitted, 2,000 were selected to be featured in the 8th edition of this bestselling series. This inspiring collection provides a wealth of insight for graphic designers and their clients.”

What I learned during my
internship at Oxide (Julie Gates)

If you are looking for one of those internships where the lowly intern is thrown into a tiny cubicle sharpening pencils and folding mailers, then you’ve come to the wrong place. During my time at Oxide, I’ve learned what it’s like to work with an awesome team that does great work. A small design studio has always been appealing to me, and after my experiences here, I’ve really grown to love it. The office itself is one really cool room where everyone is working, joking, and bouncing around ideas. I even got the desk next to the sweet office dog Rosie for a little while. It was fun to observe how Drew and Adam handled conference calls and see Julia discussing a site map with a client. And best of all, I got to work on real client projects!

Julia’s Great™ movies

I watched a lot of movies this weekend. (Guardians of the Galaxy, Gravity, and The Internship — if you were curious.) This got me thinking it was about time to resurrect the old Oxide classic: the Great™ movies blog post.

As Adam explained in his list awhile back, “a Great movie is one that you would watch right now.”

Now, I tend to really enjoy fantasy and/or sci-fi films — and Shakespeare adaptations. You’ll see many such films below. While I recognize that these movies may not be universal favorites, they’ve brought me much joy over the years, and I highly recommend them.

A brief history

So I’ve been at Oxide a few months now and I realized that I’ve yet to write a blog post properly introducing myself. Don’t worry, this will be short.


As with most other designers, I grew up making things (drawings, paintings, Lego fortresses). I loved creating and, naturally, took lots of art classes in school. I eventually ended up an art major in college and graduated with a BFA. After that, I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do. On a whim, I took a graphic design class at a local college and instantly knew it was where I was supposed to be. So after more school, a few internships (including a stint here at Oxide), and a job as a designer at an ad agency, here I am, a designer at Oxide Design Co.

Cuming County website

We recently had the privilege of helping Cuming County, Nebraska, combine their government, tourism, and economic development websites into one beautifully designed site.

This project involved some extensive site-mapping; we looked to design the most straightforward structure to best serve these three branches and their visitors.