The award goes to…

design that wins awards

Dayna Crawford, Deputy Director, Project Manager for ART and Sandy Hill of Studio Hill Design

While many this weekend were comfortably curling up on the couch to watch the Oscars we packed our bags and headed to Florida. There, in Tampa, we were thrilled to collect our 1st Place Adwheel Award for ART (Albuquerque Rapid Transit) from the American Public Transportation Association. We learned a ton about transit and the weather wasn’t even half bad. Ok… the weather was awesome!

Ybor City, Tampa, Florida

Ybor City, Tampa, Florida

Award Winning Design from Studio Hill

Studio Hill Design is pleased to announce that in conjunction with the City of Albuquerque Transit Department we have won a First Place Award in the 2017 Annual AdWheel Awards competition. The competition, sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association, accepts entries from municipalities across the country.

The winning entry for Best Marketing and Communications Educational Effort will be presented at American Public transportation Association’s 2017 Marketing & Communications Workshop in Tampa, Florida, Tuesday, February 28th. Don’t forget your swimsuit!

Stone Age Climbing Gym reaches the summit with a new website by Studio Hill Design

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Albuquerque’s gathering place for the New Mexico climbing community would be stoked if you took a look at their new website – and so would Studio Hill Design. The indoor climbing gym is on the cutting edge of facilities across the Southwest and now clearly stems the gap on the web too. Fully responsive and optimized for both mobile and desktop, the website doubles down on the welcoming environment of their brick and mortar. On the technology side, the website utilizes the endless flexibility of the WordPress CMS and seamlessly integrates RockGym Pro to allow climbers to book classes and schedule events. clip in and check it out. http://www.climbstoneage.com

Studio Hill Designs Websites with Heart

nmhi_webNew Mexico Heart Institute, the largest private cardiology practice in the state of New Mexico, has unveiled a complete redesign and rebuild of their website www.nmhi.com. Developed by none other than Albuquerque’s Studio Hill Design, the new website puts the patient experience front and center. The new site presents a fresh, friendly face for NMHI, and welcomes viewers with a simple and intuitive navigation experience.

With various custom built tools running a complicated but sleek backend, the site delivers simple and easy access to patient information and resources while allowing for easy in-house updates.

Studio Hill Design is proud to be a part the effort of NMHI to keep New Mexico hearts happy and healthy.

Studio Hill Design in the News… Albuquerque Business First interviews Sandy Hill

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Mike English of Albuquerque Business First took a left turn into our Downtown Albuquerque studio office to find out what it takes to make a perfect website and what it takes to make a successful 30 year career in marketing and branding. The interview can be read in the current issue of Albuquerque Business First or online via the link below.

Here are some excerpts from the article:

Sandy Hill’s marketing career covers more than 30 years in Albuquerque. As the owner of Studio Hill Design, which she started in 1986, she guides the company’s branding and web design efforts as well as everything from logos to interior design. She spoke with Business First about how her company helps clients discover the core of who they are and what they want from their website.

Your design career predates websites, if I might note. How does web design relate to other kinds of design?
It’s true. We not only predate websites, we also predate computers — think Xacto knives and rubber cement. But basically, the same principles still apply and they apply across all mediums. What I tell our web-design clients, who might be comparing us to other tech firms, is that we’re a marketing firm and a design firm. Our goal is to go in and see what is unique about the client, learn about their target audience and make a connection. Websites are just the vehicle that carries the same kind of messaging that we’ve always created.

What makes a good website, here in 2015?
All of the above: making a connection, providing value, speaking to the viewer and not just yourself. There’s a book around here we all had to read called “Don’t Make Me Think.” It explains that if someone needs to muck around on your website to find things, that’s not good. It needs to be simple and straightforward, easy to understand, easy to navigate and it needs to make a dynamic connection with the viewer right away.

How do you work with clients to identify what they want from their website?
We run everyone through our branding questionnaire, which is probably 12 questions, from asking them to describe their company in one sentence to what their target market is, what their goals are, all of that. The magic comes when we can get to their unique value. That’s why we do so much listening. It’s just like human beings: When we look in the mirror we cannot see ourselves objectively. Companies are that way too. We’re too close to see ourselves. I think that’s the beauty of having a company like ours come in, because we know how to look and listen and sort and separate out the magic of a company compared to what all their competitors might be doing. That’s the core truth we build the marketing message on. The super fun part then is to figure out how to communicate that.

Read the full interview here…

Sign On!

Our lives and our streets are full of visual clutter. Even if your business has a great location, it is difficult to get noticed/found/discovered in the urban jungle. Few roadside signs are truly well designed beacons for the unique companies they represent. This is a great waste of a powerful branding opportunity. It is literally a chance to rise head and shoulders above the competition and get your company noticed and respected.

To illustrate our point, here are a few “Do’s” in sign design.


 

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Consider the logo design and how it would best work as a sign.

In this case, one feature of our logo for DKG and Associates Roofing Contractors is that it is perfectly reversible. We took advantage of this and created a freestanding 3D version of the logo that can be viewed from both sides, and reads the same either way!


 

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Consider the architecture of the surrounding buildings.

The Seasons sign is in the Old Town Albuquerque area and needed to conform to historic regulations of size and material. A stucco finish was used to coordinate with the buildings in the plaza. A slightly more vibrant yet cohesive color helped it stand out from the surrounding stucco colors. The sign is carefully designed to work well both day and night with integrated lighting in the lettering.


 

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Let the logo do the work.

Once again, referring to the logo to inform the sign design, Zinc’s sign is a circle shape. We stayed true to the logo shape while creating a pleasing balance with the building architecture. The result is a simple, upscale, yet highly visible sign.


 

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Know when to use neon!

EDoSpaces Real Estate office is located on Central Avenue near downtown. They wanted an outstanding neon sign that optimized their logo. Once again, extracting and emphasizing the most unique features of the logo, we created the overall sign in neon while focusing on the solid A with a backlit letter shape.


 

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Be sure it works for both day and nighttime 

By day, the white and silver type stands out against the deep purple. It is pinned away from the surface for added shadow effect. By night, the Aquaceros “a” is internally lit and shines both through the lucite face and reflects on the background. The “aquaceros” type is backlit only, to create a visual hierarchy.

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Coordinate interior and exterior signage.

The “a” is carried to the interior with an elegant treatment of white on white. Green and purple neon behind the sign provide contrast in the form of a colored glow for a subtle yet fabulous effect.


 

paakoCoordinate, rather than compete, with strong architecture.

The Paa-Ko Ridge Golf clubhouse features a stately circular entry, which complicated the sign design due to its curved face. We pared the Paa-Ko logo down to its simplest form, and applied the letters separately to accommodate the curve. Care was taken to balance the proportions of the lettering to the building.


 

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Make it pretty.

Since we had a pretty logo and an attractive building, we had fun simply juxtapositioning the two for a pleasing result.


 

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Maintain and enhance historic structures.

As a designated historic site, Hotel Parq Central had strong restrictions on its sign options. Using a classic old font, we carefully balanced the size and location of the freestanding lettering on the upper building facade. A streetside monument reinforces the brand image.

 

Studio Hill Design Ranked Top Web Design Firm – Again

connection-speech-bubbles-blogIn 2013 Studio Hill Design was again reported by Albuquerque Business First to be one of the top grossing web design firms in New Mexico. How does this happen to such a small company? Offering a combination marketing-based website design, graphic design, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and video production for websites is common place among good web design firms. But we add a little something special. We make connections. Using what our clients have referred to as insightful questioning and intuitive understanding, Studio Hill Design has developed an expertise in discovering and understanding each client’s potential. With this understanding we design websites that create positive, meaningful experiences … that’s how.

Albuquerque has a new Ride!

21 brand new city buses just rolled in to Albuquerque. Studio Hill Design provided the concept and design work on the buses, including the new coordinated interiors. The new ABQ RIDE buses, managed by The City of Albuquerque Transit Department, are a big change from the previous bus designs.

“We felt this was a highly visible opportunity to help brand and promote Albuquerque.”

Read more at Albuquerque Business First >>

According to Sandy Hill of Studio Hill Design, “The city buses are large and they are everywhere. We felt this was a highly visible opportunity to help brand and promote Albuquerque. Working with ABQ RIDE, we selected 8 cultural icons unique to our city, and illustrated a different one on each bus, along with the tagline ‘Where You Want to Go.’ The illustrations will engage visitors and inspire them to see more of our city. Locals will be reminded of why this is such a special place to call home.”

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Read more at Albuquerque Business First >>

In addition to the cultural icons that are displayed on the sides of the buses, Studio Hill Design developed an entirely new color palette for ABQ Ride. The palette was chosen to enhance and coordinate with the existing turquoise used on the bus shelters and on the Alvarado Transit Center window trim. A modern, fresh lime green was selected and used as a natural complement to this classic New Mexican color. The lower section of the buses are detailed with graphics representing the streets and bus stops of a transit map and applied in highly visible reflective vinyl to keep our city safer.

A new, coordinating ABQ RIDE logo was also developed as a modernized, simplified graphic that is easier to read and works well on various applications including the bus shelters, print materials, and of course, the buses themselves.  Catch the Ride!