I draw pictures, I don’t write stories! (A.K.A. Our New Site)

Mediavandals Website Evolution

I intended our first blog of 2017 (about our new website) to be written by Mediavandals co-founder Brandon, who created the concept for the new design, but when I asked him to write me up his experience during the planning and design, he quickly shot back “I draw pictures, I don’t write stories!”, so it looks like you’ll be stuck reading my thoughts rather than the thoughts of the creative guy..

Owning a Website Design Agency is very much like how the old story of the shoemaker goes, he’s so busy making shoes for everyone else, he never has time to maintain his own.

What do I mean by that? Well, we’re always so busy designing and maintaining the websites & graphics of everyone else, we rarely take a minute to update our own website with any of the new work we’ve rolled out. But every few years, I like to find some time to give us a facelift.

Technology and trends are always changing, and as a “digital” agency, it’s important for us to stay on top of them, failure to do so not only does an enormous disservice to our clients, it does a disservice to ourselves. After all, you can’t paint a Picasso if all you’ve got in your arsenal is a single brown crayon!

But first, let’s go back a bit before we go forward with this story.

Our last facelift was in Fall 2015, it was a good year, the weather was still warm in September, we took a company road trip to the East Coast, and our Creative Lead / Co-Founder Brandon had just won a CCMA Award for Album Design of the Year! We decided that this would be the perfect time to take the site in a completely different design direction from our regular Black & White company branding style.

We stuck with the paint splash Mediavandals theme, but played with the idea of removing the portfolio in favour of a few case studies about some of our favourite projects over the years.

While the site design had turned out to be much more colourful that our previous versions had been, it never really stuck with any of us. After a while, we started to think maybe it was too cluttered, we began removing pieces and adding in other assets. But it just never quite felt right.

Well, that time has come again, a new year, a new facelift. We began by mapping out what pages we would keep, and what would go. We wanted to bring our services down to a few key items so we could really focus on providing our clients with the best service possible. But we also wanted to make it easy to find information on the website without having to search through a ton of pages. Each service provides some information and a few key portfolio pieces that showcase the work we do.

We’ve brought back the portfolio, which our clients always found helpful to use as examples when telling us about their project. We really liked the colourful paint splash from the last version, so decided to continue with it as part of our brand, but instead drastically reduce the size of the header on the website.

Gone are the drop shadows and sliding header images, replaced with solid colours and easy to read fonts. We’ve also removed the ‘boxed in’ feel in favour of a full width website. We wanted to stick with the basics, following Google’s best practices for design and giving the site a clean, modern feel.

I have to say, I’m really feeling this one!  I hope you like what we’ve done as much as we do.. It’s about time we “tended to those holes” in our shoes 😉

Want to chat about how we can help give your site a fresh look? Give us a call: 1-888-983-2192.

Until next time…. Sheila

Case Study: CrossFit Cobourg


Client: CrossFit Cobourg
Website: www.crossfitcobourg.com
Designer: Brandon Heard
Developer: Sheila Hash

The Scenario:
CrossFit Cobourg is a CrossFit gym based in Baltimore (just outside of Cobourg, ON). Bud & Scott came to us looking for a refresh on their self made Wix site, as well as help with some promotional materials to get the word out about their gym. The guys were looking for an easy to use system that looked professional.

The Outcome:
We set the guys up with a WordPress CMS backend, which made updating the site themselves incredibly easy with minimal training. We then created a front end web design consistent with their branding and started them on a Facebook campaign designed to raise brand awareness within the local community. The CrossFit website visitors have more than quadrupled since the new site and ad campaigns have launched.

Services Provided:
• Mobile Responsive Website Design & Development
• Business Cards Design & Printing
• T-Shirt Design
• Poster Design
• Promotional Material Design
• Online Marketing Material Design
• Facebook Ad Campaigns

Case Study: Functional Accessories


Client: FUNctional Accessories
Website: www.functionalmusicaccessories.com
Designer: Brandon Heard
Developer: Dave Perry

The Scenario:
FUNctional Accessories was the brain child of musician Taylor Murray when she realized that fabric can be tailored to fit any shape, and her Dad’s guitar just happened to be in the room at the time. Every guitar player needs picks, and every acoustic guitar could use a little extra protection, so Taylor decided to start a company providing Fun and Functional accessories to musicians. Taylor came to us during the start-up of her business looking for an easy to use website solution and the services provided have grown from there.

Services Provided:
• Custom Responsive Website Design & Development
• Packaging Design for Various Products
• Business Cards Design & Printing
• Trade Show Graphics Design
• Poster Design
• Promotional Material Design
• Online Marketing Material Design

Oshawa artist wins country music award

Oshawa artist Brandon Heard is the winner of the Canadian Country Music Award for best album design for his work on The Boom Chucka Boys’ Ramble. Heard was also nominated in the same category for his work on Chad Brownlee’s The Fighters.


Securing two of the five nominations in his category was a good sign that Oshawa artist Brandon Heard was going to come away a winner.

Heard was bestowed the honour for best album design for his work on The Boom Chucka Boys’ album Ramble at the recent Canadian Country Music Awards in Halifax.

The Oshawa-based artist was also nominated for his work on Chad Brownlee’s The Fighters.

Heard wasn’t the only Oshawa resident to be nominated for an award, with KX96’s Peter Walker receiving a nomination for musical director of the year for a small or medium market. That award went to Paul Ferguson of Belleville’s Cool 100.1 FM.


Port Hope artists gets CCMA nomination

By Cecilia Nasmith, Northumberland Today

PORT HOPE – The Canadian Country Music Association Awards have a category honouring excellence among those behind the music.

When the CBC airs this awards show from Halifax Sept. 13, a Port Hope artist will be among those nominated for album design of the year.

Sheila Hash is on the list for her design work for Kelowna artist Chad Brownlee’s release The Fighters.

“I love what I do, and obviously it’s a huge honour to be nominated — and very humbling. It’s nice to be recognized by our peers in the industry,” Hash said in an interview.

“And of course, I couldn’t do it without the artists.”

This is her fourth year being nominated for this honour, and she hopes the fourth time is the charm.

Originally from Ottawa, later from Oshawa, she and her husband Brandon Heard moved to Port Hope in recent years, bringing along their business Media Vandals.

The glory days of album art for the larger canvas of an LP is past, except for those rare artists who want to press on vinyl. Those opportunities are fun, Hash allowed, but there’s more to CD design than just the art on the square in front.

“I think in the majority of albums, the major aspect that catches people’s attention is always the cover. But for art lovers, obviously, it’s the overall design once you open up the album and see both sides and pull out the layout and look at the lyrics,” she said.

“Myself, after I get my hands on a CD, I am always looking at the art.”

The rise of mp3s has been unfortunate in their taking away of this wonderful outlet, she said.

“I’m not a digital person — I love to get that finished artwork in my hands and look at it. I’m still thankful for that.”

Though nominated four times, she only attended her first ceremony last year. It was in Edmonton, since locations rotate. Next year it will be in London. This year it will be in Halifax.

“It will be my first time there since I was a child, so we will make a bit of a vacation out of it,” she said.