Graphic Design & Branding Part 1

Cummins Turbo Technologies Independence Day poster

Here at The Design Group, we are all about design projects, and though web design is a notable portion of our daily workflow, we are not JUST web designers.

TDG often takes on projects that center more around the traditional purpose of graphic design.  In fact, from branding to brochures, our team is quite seasoned in creating marketing materials for businesses. We recently partnered with Cummins Turbo Technologies to produce a Independence Day poster that was a multicultural in nature, to represent countries that the company has a presence in.

The poster’s main highlight is the integration of waving flags for each country. We achieved a realistic waving effect by transforming stock images in photoshop to create a bloated/puckered wave. The poster, overall, seemed to turn out quite well, and it was a nice change of pace from our usual workflow.

As our graphic design projects tend to reach many people, it, in turn, helps us accomplish our end goals of dominating the universe project by project. Stay tuned for more coverage on our Branding and graphics projects soon!

Healthy Lifestyle & Spirit

Healthy Lifestyle and Spirit

Recently, The Design Group has been collaborating with Sharla Patrick on shaping the Healthy Lifestyle & Spirit brand. We documented the HLSS branding we developed recently in this post.

Once we finalized Healthy Lifestyle & Spirit’s branding, we moved forward with the website layout development and design tasks for the brand, which ended up being a very fun challenge for TDG. Last Saturday Sharla headed off to a healthy retreat in Costa Rica, and we are happy to announce that we received design approval just in the nick of time!

The Healthy Lifestyle & Spirit website design centers heavily on the colors utilized within Sharla’s logo. Our goal was to provide a light & tranquil feel to the site, in an effort to accentuate the overall message that Ms. Patrick is trying to present.

During our design and planning phase, we made strategic decisions to restructure the website to increase usability, and we also were able to make numerous useful additions to the site features. The first one we decided on is an opt-in form, where a reader can sign-up for a newsletter type service that delivers a plethora of different media. At the top of the site, we decided to incorporate a drop-down javaScript form for easy access as well as the scalable effect. We also gave the site some direct links to interior portions of the site, which highlight services and products that the company offers. On the event calendar page, there will be a custom calendar designed for her site as well.

Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the site soon – The Design Group will continue to keep you posted!

(As hardworking aliens with hectic schedules, maybe we should have Sharla help us!)

Pelican Watch Villas – An ongoing project

The Design Group is proud to announce that we have been hired by Ravenel & Associates to help develop and incorporate a new design for their Pelican Watch Villas site (see the old version to the left). The old version of the site was outdated, (both aesthetically and in function), and did not provide the modern, simplistic feel embodied by the company. In an effort to emphasize the property imagery and atmosphere, we implemented a lighter color scheme as well as a full width layout, and designed advanced functionality features.

The redesigned home page created by The Design Group maintains a natural color scheme while also enhancing important elements like the logo and the images of the villas themselves – visible in the banner as well as the targeted section. We concluded that adding targeted links to specific interior pages would help navigation for first time visitors, ultimately leading them to the information they are looking for more efficiently. This guidance would ultimately enhance the navigation for the entire site.  The modifications we will implement will improve the usability of the site considerably, which ultimately is the first step towards optimizing the whole site for both potential visitors and users of the back end systems.

In addition to a re-design, we will be partnering with their design team to re-develop their .ASP back-end systems, to assist the company slowly transition to a more functional and expansive CMS system, which incorporates hundreds of individualized sites for specific property areas.

As aliens, were excited to be helping a property management company! (Maybe we can brain-wash them into giving us property for a home base? We need a home for all our servers so we can store all the info we have collected on the human race. Flying saucers are too shaky.)

New site coming soon!

Recently The Design Group completed a branding project for Healthy Lifestyle & Spirit, a business dedicated to helping clients lose weight and build a stronger immune systems, all while emphasizing strategies of maintaining one’s overall health and well being. HLS focuses primarily on promoting healthy lifestyle choices and activities such as Yoga, the importance of nutrition, etc. When we designed the logo (pictured) we worked to feature elements such as water, and a circular shape to imply a well-rounded approach.

In the end, both Sharla Patrick, the owner of Healthy Lifestyle & Spirit, and TDG were pretty happy with the results! We are also now super excited to announce that we are beginning a website redesign project for HLS as well! Be  sure to look for updates on the project periodically on our blog and social media platforms, where we’ll give you some sneak peaks into how the project is going!

The aliens of TDG are all excited to be actually involved in a project that involves client interaction from the inside out – providing a huge advantage for us with our world domination strategy! It is just one more step we will soon be able to obtain full control of the universe.

New Members of the Alien Crew!

We at The Design Group are proud to announce that we have added two new aliens to our team! (we needed reinforcements for all the new world domination tasks…)

Abbey Suchoski

Front End Developer

Abbey Suchoski came to Charleston from Pittsburgh, PA where she graduated from Pittsburgh Technical Institute in 2004 with a concentration in Graphic Design. Even before she went to college, she knew that her passion for art and design would give her a solid direction for college and later life. After graduation, she worked as a Print Production Artist in a print shop for before she transitioned into a new field as a Desktop Publishing specialist with a translation company. Despite her dedication to company, she decided that she wanted to go BACK to school, where she graduated again in July of 2011, this time with a concentration in Web and Interactive design. After her second graduation, she worked as Front-end Web developer for a few months, before moving to Charleston, SC in March of 2012, where she took a job with The Design Group.

Despite all the chatter she constantly hears about conquering the human race,  Abbey is looking forward to utilizing the creative environment at TDG to flex the vast amount of talent she has in the old noggin, and expand upon it further.  Of course, The TDG aliens are thrilled to have another great mind involved with our ultimate plan for world domination!

Though she will have to get used to the Palmetto bugs and green Christmases, we have a feeling she will fit in just fine.

Trevor Wagner

Development Intern

Trevor came to The Design Group’s alien leaders a month ago as an alumnus of the College of Charleston from Florence, SC. Trevor was a biology major at CofC, where he also developed a passion for web design.  After taking a couple of relevant courses in college, he opted to pursue his passion in his spare time. Although he doesn’t have world domination tasks taking up his entire agenda yet, our goal is to break him in fairly quickly.

Currently, Trevor will be helping us out with some of TDG’s smaller projects, as well as assisting the aliens at TDG with managing their own website, social media presences, and blog (all tasks that have proven difficult for aliens aiming to topple the world to do alone).

When Trevor gets away from the conspiring aliens at TDG, he enjoys bird wrangling, a good game of pool, and an occasional football game.

Style Savers

Style Savers is a blog thought up by The Design Group’s own Kaylee Walters that features tips, tricks, deals, steals, and everything you need to know about staying ahead of the fashion curve while on a budget.
The site features a multitude of useful tools, such as a form where users can contribute and share their knowledge with others, coupons in every form (printable, codes, and deals), and a sidebar that displays the most current savings (which also shows user contributions once they have been approved).

The site itself was built in wordpress, and was highly customized from a bare-bones HTML5 theme to become what it is today. This makes it an easily update-able platform that can accommodate all kinds of new add-ons, should the future warrant any.

Be sure to check it out a!

Wine Awesomeness Site Launch

Wine Awesomeness homepage

In order to properly integrate into the earthling culture, The Design Group often works with charitable causes – all in an effort to disguise our underlying world domination plans.  Our most recent project illustrates this ‘philanthropic’ side of TDG:

Wine Awesomeness is The Design Group’s latest project to be launched as of April 4th, 2012. The site’s purpose is to meld wine culture and charity events together to give wine enthusiast an opportunity to purchase exotic red, white and sparkling wines, while supporting a charity in the same instant.

One of the most rewarding aspects of the site was integrating the Coggins Fulfillment shopping cart platform with the aesthetics of the website to create what could be considered a “social shopping experience.” In addition to the shopping cart to display all the different wines available for the shop, the website also incorporates a google calendar that shows current events pertaining to causes that Wine Awesomeness supports, (such as Breast Cancer Awareness and Clean Water Campaigns).

The incorporation of each of these elements into a WordPress CMS platform allows the user to effectively “connect” with their social scene and become involved with a number of worthy causes, all by enjoying and exploring their favorite libation.  Be sure to check out Wine Awesomeness today to get in on the large-hearted lushness!

The New Frontier – Social Media!

Our plan for world domination is one step closer to fruition!

As of today, The Design Group is officially on Twitter. You can get all of our updates by following @TDGSC (The Design Group SC)!

PLUS We also have updated The Design Group’s Facebook page, where you can find information on our recently launched projects and more.

Now that we are social gurus, be sure to keep an eye out for new launches and content arriving periodically. TDG has an assortment of new projects in the works.
…Bringing us one step closer to our ultimate goal of achieving complete control over the universe…

We’re Hiring: Front-End Web Developer(s)

Our company is made up of fun but hard-working self-starters enthusiastic to create great work through skill & collaboration. We offer a relaxed work environment where your input and abilities will have a direct impact on every project you are a part of. Consider joining us!

We are looking for the following:

Position Requirements:

  • 1-3+ years of hands-on, agency (preferred) or freelance development experience
  • Extensive knowledge of HTML, CSS, and PHP
  • Experience working with HTML5
  • Solid understanding of JavaScript/jQuery
  • Strong understanding of web standards & browser/platform compatibility
  • Awareness of current trends in digital design and development

Ideal Attributes (Pluses):

  • Graphic Design knowledge base with solid comfort creating designs in Photoshop
  • Experience developing for open source CMS’s (WordPress, Drupal, etc), modifying and creating custom themes and plugins
  • Experience with common APIs (Facebook, MailChimp/Constant Contact, etc.)
  • Knowledge of MySQL and/or the WordPress Platform a plus
  • Experience with E-Commerce Platforms of various types
  • Familiarity or Experience working with PayPal integration


  • Create top quality designs in Photoshop, HTML/CSS
  • Handle new website design and re-design projects on a set schedule and interact proficiently with clients.
  • Implement updates and changes to existing client websites as assigned.
  • Integrate Programming aspects to enhance and expand on the functionality of individual websites.
  • Have a highly creative approach to Web Design and familiarity with trends in design and technology

To Apply:

Please include a cover letter with your resume. Send them to with the subject line reading: “Front-End Developer Position with TDG”. We look forward to hearing from you!

The Design Group is offering competitive salary, performance-based bonuses, paid vacation, and benefits.

If you feel like you would be a good fit with our company, please send your resume and cover letter to with the subject line reading: “Front-End Developer Position with TDG.” Only individuals available to work in our Charleston office should apply. Contractors, recruiters telecommuters and other agencies need not waste your time.

Atlantic Edge Credit on CSS Mania

{ CSS Mania Feature for TDG! }

Exciting news for The Design Group: One of our latest website domination devices, Atlantic Edge Credit, has been recognized by a couple of sites recently for it’s design and semantic structure. Included in the sites recognizing TDG is one of our personal favorites, CSS Mania! Other websites that recognized AEC:,,, and more.

We are stoked to be categorized with some of the most powerful creatures in the web galaxy. This sort of thing proves that our world domination plan is slowly but surely beginning to take effect. Our patented mind control devices have begun to make TDG a power player in the industry of the world wide web… and there is nothing you can do about it now!
Be sure to check it out for yourself

South Carolina National Guard Web Development and web design in Charleston
{ SC National Guard }

Web Design, Development, CMS+

Web Design and Web Development Project in Charleston SC
Hawk Institute for the Space Sciences Web Design by The Design Group

Web Design by The Design Group

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