On the Brain…

And now….


And now your moment of zen….

Difficult to find the source of this gif online, but could be artist Iris Nan


Help Wanted!


join-the-team-copyrighted2You may have noticed that about two months went by between our last two posts and we’ve finished about 10 projects since then. Things are a little nutty around here! (What’s new, right????)

So we’re looking for someone to come on board as a part-time Project Coordinator. Below is the job posting and description. If you’d like to apply, please email your resume, cover letter and references to info@aasarts.com.

Help Wanted: Project Coordinator

Is your life dull? Do you long to live in a world of mystery, unpredictability and utter chaos? Then we have just the job for YOU! We are a very small design and marketing company looking for a Project Coordinator to work between 10-15 hours/week.

This is a very casual, low-key, flexible working environment but we exist within a fairly hectic and intense workload. In other words, a willingness to work hard is important but we never lose our sense of humor!

A marketing background isn’t necessary, but might be helpful. Common sense and a willingness to learn new things are much more valuable!

Excellent written communication skills are a must, as it’s a such a big part of the job. It’s especially important that your communication style is thoughtful, organized and clear.

High comfort level with computers, social media and the internet are definitely necessary. Knowledge of Mac, Adobe InDesign and WordPress are a plus.

Please note: Workplace has a resident dog (and probably another arriving soon!).

Job Responsibilities Include :
— Communicating with clients on project status
— Help generate content for clients (research, copy writing, etc.)
— Online research
— Provide administrative support
— Handling some incoming calls
— Scheduling projects, meetings, printings, etc.
— Preparing estimates
— Billing
— Preparing training materials (i.e. WordPress instructions) for clients
— Other responsibilities and projects that arise
— Work schedule is flexible, although deadlines may call for occasional weekend or evening hours
— Driver’s License required for occasional office-related errands (delivering contracts, etc.)


It’s that time of year again! I’m drawing the chalk logo on the memory wall for the Heart Walk. These are photos from last year’s completed Tribute Wall, the starting point for 2016’s wall (including our dedication message) and the post-walk wall from this year too!

2015completedheartwalkchalkboard heartwalkexactoblade 2016startingheartwalkchalkboard 2016finishedheartwalkchalkboard


I sit on the Board for the Center for Independent Living of North Central Florida, a non-profit headquartered in Gainesville. Their mission is to help people with disabilities live more independently. While the mission is simple, the ways in which they undertake that mission are extremely varied, including sign language interpreting, services for the blind, wheelchair ramp construction, and so on. One of their programs is the High School High Tech program and one part of that program is hosting internship opportunities for high school kids interested in pursuing careers in technological fields.

tia-at-computerI was thrilled to have an opportunity to host a High School High Tech student intern this summer. And I am especially pleased that student was Tia!

Tia split her time between my office and the office of Joe Osburn the Publications Coordinator at University of Florida Performing Arts. We figured that way she was able to experience the environments of both an in-house designer and a freelance designer.

Joe and I were both wowed by how quickly Tia learned and grew. She’s smart, funny, creative and so talented! Right away Joe introduced her to Adobe Illustrator, which is one of the more tricky programs graphic designers use. We both love it, but some people never get comfortable with it! Well, Tia took to it immediately and picked up a new skill every day.

She started by recreating some of her own pieces of artwork. Then in her last week, we created a logo together! (shown below) Tia selected the font and built the final vector version that will be used for a series of thoroughbred horse riding competitions. The feedback she received on the logo was stellar!

tia-and-williamAn unexpected added benefit of sharing an office with a creative 17 year old is that she introduced me to several new bands that we listened to while we worked (i.e. Twenty One Pilots). It has had a lasting impact on my workday soundtrack! William, became attached to her right away, as you can see in the photos.

The studio shined a little brighter for the few weeks Tia was around! I’m certain she’ll be able to tackle any goal she puts her mind to!!!


To learn more about the CILNCF or the High School High Tech program, visit their website www.cilncf.org.


Google AdWords Changes


Here are a couple of interesting posts about the recent changes to Google AdWords that will continue to evolve during the coming months… There will now be four ads at the top of most searches, instead of three. And there will be no ads on the right side of the search (which is no biggie because people have been visually blocking those out for a very long time). This will mean a decrease in the total number of available ad spots, which may increase the demand for those spots, and as a result potentially increase the cost. We’ll be keeping an eye on this to see how it continues to take shape.

From Mozilla:

From a marketing trade website:

FAQ: All About The Changes To Google’s Ad Layout On Desktop Search Results



We’ve just submitted a proposal for a new project and the process of creating it actually generated a couple of cool illustrations. Since only a few people will see the proposal, we thought it would be fun to post these two illustrations we whipped up for it.

Copyright Allison Stevens

PS: I love that the way they’re laid out in that image, they make a little face! I can’t see anything but the sweet smiley face now!


Two Bold Sites


I’m not sure how this always seems to happen, but again we’ve had two sites go live in two days! And they’re two very different sites with one thing in common, they definitely have a bold color palette!

bodiddleyplazasite-copyright-aasartsOne is a temporary landing page for the reopening of Bo Diddley Plaza in downtown Gainesville, Florida. We are also excited to be currently building the main site for Bo Diddley Plaza that will go live after they reopen! So stay tuned for that too.

See the Bo Diddley Plaza Landing Page »

ufsbvdrsite-copyright-aasartsThe other is the new site for the University of Florida Division of Small Business and Vendor Diversity Relations. This is a real source of pride for us because of what this division can mean for businesses just like ours — small, women-owned businesses in a very male-dominated industry with a lot of big fish to compete with!

See the UF SBVDR site »

Check out the sites. We hope you enjoy!




Fabric samples spread out on the desk for a client… definitely a sign of a fun, interesting day!



Incredible Design Trivia


Did you know that the consumption of alcohol makes it more difficult to tell the difference between red and green? One of the many reasons you shouldn’t drink and drive (think stoplight confusion)…





How fantastic is this image of Edythe Turnham and her Knights of Syncopation (c. 1925)?!?!?!

Turnham toured the Northwest with her band and played up and down the West Coast and on President Line Cruises, embodying travel routes that linked Washington musicians to the rest of the nation and the country. (Image courtesy of the University of Washington Library Digital Collections.)

See the original page…


More Quotes


We’re really bad at Capitalism. — The Anfield Wrap (Podcast about Liverpool Football Club)


We’re climbing on the soapbox for a moment:
We couldn’t say it better than Nicholas Kristof does in this NY Times OpEd:

Our world is enriched when coders and marketers dazzle us with smartphones and tablets, but, by themselves, they are just slabs. It is the music, essays, entertainment and provocations that they access, spawned by the humanities, that animate them — and us.

Read the Article »

The Humanities are incredibly important. Not only do they make life worth living, careers like graphic design (which some view as frivolous) are a pivotal part of human communications.


Quote of the Month


An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision.
– James McNeill Whistler, painter (1834-1903)


Quote of the Month


“I am moving forward with my music, universal language, expressing things of value. And if there’s some people want to listen, they’re welcome. I’m just like the birds. They sing. Those who like can listen and those who don’t, don’t have to.”  — Sun Ra


The description from YouTube says it all. “This is my favorite 4min selection of a larger work by Ralph Steiner. The original was silent, and the DVD had it set to classical music. I have swapped the audio for an electronica/industrial track by 3 Liquid Hz – Little Boy.”


Another Geek Moment


By now, you can probably tell that we’re a little geeky here. So here’s your geek moment for the day:

This is a video taken by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory of the Sun’s 4-hour solar eruption on December 31, 2012. The video shows a bright plume of magnetic plasma erupting from the surface of the Sun.


Putting Things in Perspective


Putting things in perspective: Earth and our moon as seen by the Messenger Space Craft while orbiting Mercury.  Amazing….  The earth and moon are the two bright spots in the lower left quadrant.  


Icon Mathmatics


icon-mathmaticsToday we heard comedians Huff & Stapes (@huffstapes on Twitter) ask designers to stop the overuse of symbol-only buttons when making online user interface designs :

Huff: “… A picture of a trash can, ok, we get it, we know what that one is. But have you seen this thing they have now on Google Docs? It’s like a “T” with a line and an “X” next to it? That’s an actual symbol on Google Docs.”

Stapes: “I mean, what is that? What does that mean?”

Huff: “I have no idea.”

Stapes: “Is that for when you need to calculate the speed of light or sound in your email????”