“When I’m sometimes asked ‘When will there be enough [women on the Supreme Court]?’ and I say ‘When there are nine,’ people are shocked. But there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.” — The Honorable Notorious RBG


This image was inspired by a sign we first saw held by Clemson running back Darien Rencher during a protest on June 13, 2020. The original sign was reportedly made by University of South Carolina quarterback Jay Urich and friends. We wanted to create an electronic version for people to easily share. So please feel free to share this file if you’d like!


The following is copied from a helpful post by MailChimp:

HTML Email Basics
This reference assumes you’re a front-end web designer with an intermediate working knowledge of HTML and CSS. You’re comfortable coding in and using HTML tables for structure, and working in coding standards that were state-of-the-art in 1999. Feel free to crank up a little TLC or Goo Goo Dolls to get into the spirit of things.

Best Practices: Design

There are a few things to keep in mind when designing HTML email campaigns.

  • Emails should be 600-800 pixels maximum width. This will make them behave better within the preview-pane size provided by many clients.
  • Design for simplicity. Use grid-based layers and avoid complicated elements that require HTML floats or positioning.
  • Assume images will be initially blocked by email clients, or that certain images—background images, for example—will completely fail to load.
  • Don’t design an email that’s essentially one large, sliced-up image. While these kinds of emails look pretty, they perform poorly.
  • Use basic, cross-platform fonts such as Arial, Verdana, Georgia, and Times New Roman.
  • Avoid elements that require Flash or JavaScript. If you need motion in an email, a .gif is your best bet.
  • Don’t forget about the mobile experience! Is your email readable at arm’s length on a small screen? Will the images slow its load time on a mobile device? Are your links easy to press with a thumb?

Best Practices: Development

Much like with design, there are best practices to follow when coding HTML email.

  • Code all structure using the table element. For more complicated layouts, you should nest tables to build complex structures.
  • Use element attributes (such as cellpadding, valign, and width) to set table dimensions. This forces a box-model structure.
  • Keep your CSS simple. Avoid compound style declarations (IE: “font:#000 12px Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;”), shorthand code (IE: #000 instead of #000000), CSS layout properties (IE: slot, position, clear, visibility, etc.), complex selectors (IE: descendant, child or sibling selectors, and pseudo-elements)
  • Inline all CSS before sending. (Mailchimp will do this for you automatically.)
  • Use only absolute links for images, and host those images on a reliable server. (Mailchimp provides free image hosting.)
  • Don’t bother with JavaScript or Flash—those technologies are largely unsupported by email clients.
  • Account for mobile-friendliness, if possible. Use media queries to increase text sizes on small screens, provide thumb-sized (~46x46px) hit areas for links. Make an email responsive if the design allows for it.
  • Test, test, test. Create email accounts across various services, and send emails to yourself. Do this in conjunction with services such as Litmus.

Allez! Allez!


Madly in love with the background pattern in the jerseys for the Senegalese national team, affectionately known as Les Lions. Allez allez Sadio Mané!




Two thoughts came to mind when listening to this bootleg video of Prince covering the Radiohead tune Creep: 1) Radiohead songs are always better when Thom Yorke isn’t singing and 2) it’s funny how distinctly Prince-sounding the tone of this rendition is.

When you’re always focused on making sure your clients are happy and adapting your style in order to express theirs, it’s easy to think of having your own “sound” or a “look” that people associate with you as a negative thing.

But this is a nice reminder that having your own style isn’t the worst thing in the world. It’s part of being creative and part of being an artist. You don’t always have to fully shape-shift.

And just wait until you get to that guitar solo….


Sweet Things


This summer, Tia, our intern from the Center for Independent Living’s High School High Tech program, created a logo for an organization called Deaf and Hard of Hearing Awareness. Every year, we do a couple pro bono projects for organizations we support and believe in, and we were so happy to be able to match Tia, who came to us from one such organization, with this client, who came to us from another.  Recently, the client made her logo into some delicious-looking cookies!

Isn’t that sweet?


Today, the FCC voted to repeal net neutrality legislation passed in 2015. These regulations made it illegal for internet service providers to slow or block some content or prioritize their own platforms or services, or those of their partners. In a net neutral environment, all content is treated equally. With net neutrality repealed, we may see changes in the way we use the internet, or how we’re billed for our internet use. The following link is informative, and we encourage anyone whose businesses are web-based to learn about the potential impacts of these changes and take whatever action seems right. There is still time to call your representatives in Congress to voice your thoughts on the issue, and it is possible the matter could be taken to court.

Learn more with this CNN video about net neutrality »

If you’re located near us in North Florida, Contact Representative Ted Yoho:
DC Number: 202-225-5744.
Gainesville Office: 352-505-0838
Orange Park: 904-276-9626.
Email here: https://yoho.house.gov/contact


We brought our “puppy” Maisie with while we worked on the American Heart Association Heart Walk chalkboard this year. She was quite a hit with the volunteer groups who were helping with setup. They all wanted her to join them for their group pictures. She was great and, of course, loved all the attention!


Last year, we hosted Tia, a student participating in the Center for Independent Living’s High School High Tech Program, which works with high school kids with a wide range of disabilities who are interested in pursuing careers in high-tech or technology-related fields. Tia was a wonderful intern. In addition to being creative and funny, she was a receptive learner and quickly picked up on the Adobe Illustrator features and functions we were teaching her. If you scroll down to the September 16, 2016 blog post, you’ll be able to see some photos of a logo Tia created during that internship!

Over the last year, Tia has furthered her skills in Adobe programs at school, and during her much-anticipated return to our office this summer, we introduced her to new concepts in InDesign and Photoshop, which she used to create a logo for a hearing loss awareness organization.

We’re over the moon to work with Tia again, and always proud to work with the High School High Tech Program.


Recent posts from the websites of professional photographers have highlighted an ongoing issue in the world of digital image creation of which designers, photographers, and their clients should be aware: the fauxtographer. A fauxtographer is someone who uses another photographer’s images on their website or in their portfolio and claims it as their own work. This is theft. Often these thieves are are newbies on the digital photography scene who are trying to jumpstart their photography career before putting in the time to build a portfolio, but their actions are not only illegal, unethical, and unfair to their fellow photographers, but also unfair to clients who think they’ve booked a seasoned professional to shoot their wedding, but have actually purchased the services a two-bit fraud at a professional rate.

Read this article from Allebach Photography for tips on spotting and avoiding fauxtographers. AAS Arts is also happy to recommend some trusted professional photographers to our clients and community.


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.


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!


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…


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.


A. Quinn Jones Museum



In 1923, A. Quinn Jones became the inaugural principal of Lincoln High School in Gainesville, Florida (at the time offering grades one through eleven). With the belief that his graduates should receive full high school diplomas, “Prof” Jones, immediately began preparing the school for full accreditation from the State of Florida. In 1926, Lincoln High School became only the second African-American high school in the state of Florida to qualify for this distinction. Accredited diplomas gave graduates the credentials they needed for full acceptance at colleges and universities. The A. Quinn Jones Museum project is intended to honor this visionary educator and the unique community that he helped build.




A series of websites created for writers By Nicolas Berggruen and Nathan Gardels to promote their book Intelligent Governance for the 21st Century: A Middle Way between West and East in several different languages. Pictured is the Chinese language version.

ENGLISH » intelligentgov.com
SPANISH » gobernanzainteligente.es
PORTUGESE » governancainteligente.com
FRENCH » gouvernerauxxisiecle.fr
GERMAN » klugregieren.de
CHINESE » ZhiHuiZhiLi.com




A series of websites created for writers By Nicolas Berggruen and Nathan Gardels to promote their book Intelligent Governance for the 21st Century: A Middle Way between West and East in several different languages.

ENGLISH » intelligentgov.com
SPANISH » gobernanzainteligente.es
PORTUGESE » governancainteligente.com
FRENCH » gouvernerauxxisiecle.fr
GERMAN » klugregieren.de
CHINESE » ZhiHuiZhiLi.com


Intelligent Governance




A series of websites created for writers By Nicolas Berggruen and Nathan Gardels to promote their book Intelligent Governance for the 21st Century: A Middle Way between West and East in several different languages.

ENGLISH » intelligentgov.com
SPANISH » gobernanzainteligente.es
PORTUGESE » governancainteligente.com
FRENCH » gouvernerauxxisiecle.fr
GERMAN » klugregieren.de
CHINESE » ZhiHuiZhiLi.com


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


501px-Heartbleed.svgSome of you may have heard stories in the news lately about the HeartBleed “Virus” attacking some very high-profile websites. It was definitely a big deal and it was a very surprising issue for the tech world because it went after a specific, very widely used method of securing websites that had, up until this point, been viewed as very secure.

Most security authorities have advised that people change passwords on their more sensitive logins, which we would recommend as well. A note to WordPress users, although WordPress doesn’t typically use the style of security (called “SSL”) that was affected by HeartBleed, WordPress has updated their files for further protection, so it’s a good idea to update to the most recent version of WordPress as well.

Please continue to be careful about where you login to your site and as always protect your passwords!

More information about the Heartbleed Bug »


explorerAs if we needed another reason not to use Internet Explorer, there is currently a security vulnerability in all versions of Internet Explorer (or “IE”) targeting financial institutions and defense companies/contractors. Computer users still using Windows XP are particularly vulnerable. It’s believed these attacks are an information gathering effort. Microsoft will most likely be providing a program update to fix the problem soon. But in the mean time, we would suggest you use an alternative web browser such as Firefox or Google Chrome.

For those of you who aren’t computer savvy, if you have Windows this program is probably what you think of as “The Internet.” It’s a big lowercase E with a gold circle around it.

As a helpful guideline, the University of Florida Information Security Office has issued the following recommendation: Avoid financial and defense (military) related Web sites until Microsoft releases a patch – only go to these types of Web sites if it is absolutely necessary and do not use Internet Explorer until a patch is released. And users are advised to avoid using Internet Explorer when possible until a patch is made available. Users should consider using an alternate web browser such as FireFox, Safari, or Chrome when use of Internet Explorer is not required.

A link to a CNN story about the IE threat »

Visit these pages to download the alternative web browsers:

Google Chrome
Apple’s Safari


I’ve mentioned some delays. Well, this was a big one. And an expensive one. Turns out the house was NOT re-plumbed. Soooooo. Now it is! We got a great deal from Scott Dykehouse of Tiger Plumbing. Nate did the work and everything is working well now. And now there are (among other improvements) beautiful pipes coming off of our hot water heater instead of bowing PVC piped that look like they might pop off at any moment! This photo is the plaster repair that Vicky did in Robbie’s office where they had to cut out an access panel.