How a Custom Designed Web Site Can Capture the Essence of a Business So People Remember You
by Larry Berman

In my previous article, "Thinking of a Web Site," I stressed the importance of choosing the correct web site name. This column focuses on how custom web site design can make it easy for you to be identified and remembered on the Internet.
Five web sites we've built in the past few months for Pittsburgh businesses illustrate some of the graphical elements that set these particular sites apart from the hordes of ordinary sites out there.

A Dentist with a Sense of Humor

Dr. Michael Eisenberg hired us to rebuild his dental practice web site. To inject an element of humor, I used my digital camera to take a picture of Dr. Eisenberg tied into one of his dental chairs, with his staff arrayed about him, as if about to operate on him. The scene even included some old woodworking tools. The resulting picture -- not easily forgotten -- has received rave reviews.

Taking an Existing Catalog to the Web
Tim Woiner of Brooks Metals, a jewelry wholesaler, hired us as computer consultants. He already had a printed catalog, but he did not yet have a web presence. Contacting the company that printed his catalog, we obtained high quality scans, from which we created web pages. We mapped the (approximately) thirty pieces of jewelry on each page, making each piece a clickable link to a detailed pop-up window that opens up in the exact color of his catalog pages. It is now easier to see the details in the jewelry on the web site than it is in the printed catalog.
The Web Site as a Calling Card
I met Tom Freyvogel for the first time at Radio Shack. He had questions they couldn't answer, but I could. Within two weeks, Freyvogel had hired us both as computer consultants and to rebuild a web site for a book he had published entitled "Seize the Century." Using graphic elements from the book's jacket, we created a distinctive futuristic looking theme that visually captured the content of his book. Since Freyvogel is also very immersed in network marketing, and as a speaker about multiple streams of income, we created a second web site for him that captures the essence of his other businesses -- a professional calling card, one might say.
Taking it to the Road
Neilly Canvas, which makes canvas tarps for all sizes of tractor-trailers, is located in the Strip District. Due to increasing competition, Les Neilly felt a web presence was essential. Our goal here was to create a web site theme that captured the feel of the open road, one that truck drivers would talk about to each other on their CB's. We achieved this result by placing, on every web page, the sounds of a large truck shifting through gears.

Larry Berman has been a Fine Art Photographer for 25 years. He's now working as an online consultant and web designer. His web site, www.BermanGraphics.com, is filled with tips and examples of how a web site can be used to increase sales. 
You can reach him by e-mail at larry@bermanart.com,
or by telephone at 412-767-8644 or 800-350-9289.

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