Overhaul Your Image for Better Results

Content is King, but an Emperor needs great clothes.

If you have a blog or a website, your image instantly conveys to site visitors your marketing position, where you stand and what your business represents. Miss the mark, and you could be losing business. Get it right, and your site could become the biggest thing going.

We’ve recently completed some projects of people who understand that image and content go hand in hand for success. We thought you might like to take a look at what we’ve done – and give you a chance to ask questions or share your thoughts.

cath.jpgFirst off is Catherine Lawson’s blog. Catherine’s original design was plain, with a red banner and white text. We thought that she needed a bolder look to represent her straightforward style of posting and a sleek business image that reflects her professionalism with an edge.

Without going over the top, we blended chrome accents with a rich red banner, and Catherine’s blog now looks cutting-edge and slick.


Second on the list is Brett Legree’s new blog, Six Weeks. We were starting from scratch with this design, working from the edgy guidelines of the Fight Club. Brett wanted a slightly grungy industrial appearance that gave him an edge. At the same time, he didn’t want a bad-end-of-town image that would put people off.We met this challenge with open arms and gave Brett a Fight Club look for a blog he can rock and roll with. In fact, we’re almost jealous.

monika.jpgMonika Mundell was our third design customization for the month. She had extremely specific requirements and a particular image in mind. As a professional writer who needed to highlight the quality of services, Monika wanted a black-and-white look that left viewers with an impression of high-caliber writing and elegant style.

We created a glass reflection effect and highlighted the sophisticated simplicity of her banner for a business image that conveys confident professionalism without shouting.

Feel free to let us know what you think of the designs we feature here on our blog. Let us know what you like, what you don’t, or ask questions about our procedures and processes.If you’re ready to revamp your site and image for better results, we’re up for the challenge. Contact us. We’ll make your site stand out from the rest.

We take your vision, your ideas, and your desires, and we transform your blog into a successful image that fits you and reflects your marketing position well.

Start off with a consultation to get a good idea of what we recommend, or jump right in for a look that sets your site apart. And best of all, we don’t bust your budget.

Post by James Chartrand

James Chartrand is an expert copywriter and the owner of Men with Pens and Damn Fine Words, the game-changing writing course for business owners. She loves the color blue, her kids, Nike sneakers and ice skating.

Join the Discussion. Click Here to Leave a Comment.

  1. Hey guys,

    Thank you once again for a top quality job. You can probably guess who’s door I will knock on whenever I have clients who want a unique WordPress theme. 😉

    I’m super pleased with the new look of my site since you took the bull at the horns and managed to come up with exactly what I had in mind! As your post went live I just about finished my portfolio site by updating all the links and information.

    Love what you have done with Cath’s blog. Those metal reflections are really groovy. And once Brett will go live (you didn’t include an URL) I’m sure he will be ready to beat us all hands down.

    Great work!

    Monika Mundell’s last blog post..Use The Pareto Principle To Sack Annoying Clients

  2. James (and Harry),

    I have three things to say:

    1. Thanks again so much for my design, and the help you’ve given me – as everyone can see, this is why I’ve been saying, “these guys are the best” – I still marvel at the design

    2. Catherine & Monika’s blogs are equally amazing, if not more so – this really showcases how you guys work with each individual client

    3. Thanks for a firm kick in the butt. I fixed that RSS link this morning, and said to myself:

    “The text at the top of my new blog is, ‘fail early, fail often’ – what the hell am I doing not launching this?”

    Yeah, I could give myself a break, say “I have four kids” – yes, I do, and I have plenty of time to spend with them. So tonight I’ll be moving my stuff over to the new site. I’ll fix it as I go!!!

    Oh – one more thing – this was a great post today.

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..the privilege of choice.

  3. @ Monika,

    Looks like you and I are on the same wavelength today! Your new theme is simply incredible and suits you perfectly. I am so happy for you. 🙂

    I’ll send out the link tonight, from here (I’m sure it would be easy for people to guess, but there’s nothing there – yet).

    I might take you up on your offer for help too, so as not to bug James & Harry all the time… 😉

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..the privilege of choice.

  4. @ Brett: Thanks buddy. I reckon we all rock big time! I’m happy to help you, just bear in mind the time difference we have. I’m online now and will be for maybe another hour and then it’s sleepy time. You can also skype me if you like. ID is found on my shiny new blog under contact me. 😉

    Monika Mundell’s last blog post..Use The Pareto Principle To Sack Annoying Clients

  5. Michael Martine, Blog Consultant says:

    You guys are doing some great work! Congrats on your success! 😀

    Michael Martine, Blog Consultant’s last blog post..Moving from WordPress.com to Self-Hosted WordPress in Plain English

  6. @ Monika, I’ll agree with you there, we all rock pretty hard don’t we… 😉 Oh, I’ll wait until the evening for sure, as you know I have a few contacts in NZ as as you in Oz so I’ve found that the 8:00 pm range at my end works for you folks over there. Thanks and I’ll skype you for sure…

    (still looking in awe at all of the new pretty designs – Harry & James, you guys are amazing)

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..the privilege of choice.

  7. 🙂 that should have said “as well as”… oops

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..the privilege of choice.

  8. @ Brett: cool, I look forward to it. It’s off to lala land now. Talk to you tomorrow my time.

    Monika Mundell’s last blog post..Use The Pareto Principle To Sack Annoying Clients

  9. @ Monika – thanks, have a good night and thank you for your encouragement! I have learned a lot in the past few weeks, but I still have a way to go before I can give you or Catherine a run for your money… 😉 but I have some really great mentors around here, that’s for sure.

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..the privilege of choice.

  10. @Monika & Brett: It was a pleasure to work on your projects. We did have the URL to Brett’s site in there, but I was looking at it last night and didn’t feel right linking to it if he wasn’t ready yet *poke poke*. Once it goes live, Brett, I’ll change the link in the post.

    May your new blog themes bring you many readers and much prosperity!

  11. @ Harry, I need a poke (or a boot to the head!) every once in a while… 😉 I’ll be working away at it tonight so don’t be surprised if you get an IM saying “how the heck does this work?”

    I’d also like to repay the compliment in kind, you guys have been a textbook example of “professionals”.

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..the privilege of choice.

  12. They all look great! I was by Monika’s blog before the redesign and what you guys did really makes a difference!

    Dave Navarro – Freelance Smackdown!’s last blog post..Freelance Smackdown – Did It Blend?

  13. Hi James and Harry – I absolutely love the theme you designed for me. Thank you – it really has changed my life.

    You know, the number of people subscribing to my RSS feed has already doubled since installing it.

    It stands out, it’s unique (I haven’t seen a metallic RSS anywhere) and people seem to take me more seriously since I got the new theme. It really does make a difference – I only wish I hadn’t waited to so long.

    I also love what you’ve done with Monika and Brett’s themes. Monika – you will definitely get more work with that theme. It looks really professional and memorable. And Brett’s theme is really unusual – it’s sure to make an impact.

    Men With Pens are the only people I would recommend for theme design – they’re brilliant to work with.

    Cath Lawson’s last blog post..Sky TV: Bad Customer Service Or Theft?

  14. ugh! reading this barefoot, hair uncombed, jeans that need a wash in an office that’s a mess partly because I’ve just moved into it. Image… well, I do clean up fairly well 😉

    Anne Wayman’s last blog post..The Blues, Robert Johnson, Creativity, Freelance Writing and Blogging

  15. Hey, thanks for all the compliments, guys. We appreciate that very much.

    We wanted to show off how personalized any theme of your choice can end up looking. Blogs don’t have to be same-old, and making change opens up worlds.

    Like Catherine mentioned, the impact on business is wonderful and it doesn’t take much. Too, the right fit, look and image makes people feel better about the blog they have, so they come off more confident.

    @ Anne – I’m clean and showered, but in sweats and my desk is an absolute mess. And this is a good day. I can so relate 🙂

  16. @ Cath (or should it be Catherine?), you have one more subscriber as of about a minute ago. I think one of the many things the Men with Pens excel at is getting to know the people, who they are, and for me – my theme is a reflection of who I am. I suspect it may be the same for you, too.

    @ Anne & James, don’t worry I have my shoes off and I’m sitting in a traditional office right now… 😉

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..the privilege of choice.

  17. Nice work guys! Brian’s themes are above and beyond and you’ve done a great job customizing them to bring out each personality. These new designs will definitely bring more work and traffic!

    Melissa Donovan’s last blog post..Jeff Buckley: Grace

  18. @Allison: Since I don’t have a Mac, there’s no way I can check that issue. It seems that some of the themes, like Melissa’s, have some issues with some browsers. That would be something we’d all have to look up on Brian Gardner’s forums to see if anyone else had the same problems and how they fixed it.

    On my computer, his Revolution Pro theme never shows up right in FireFox, but if I view it in IE it’s fine.

    Thanks for the heads-up though 🙂

  19. All three blogs look just fantastic! I love the designs… each one is so very unique, and they suit each individual blogger so well!

    One comment about Catherine’s blog… when I look at it, the stuff in the sidebar is getting pushed to the right about an inch, so it overlaps the other line on the outside of the sidebar. It only does this on Safari though (I’m on a Mac), but when I checked in FF, it was fine. Just thought you might want to know!

    Allison’s last blog post..Unagi Asparagus Roll

  20. Great job guyz! 🙂
    I get the same thing with Catherine’s blog when viewing in Safari and Firefox2 on Mac OSX, might be just an unclosed div or a float:right or something like that (on single posts there are 2 sidebars next to each other but on the main page there’s just 1 sidebar but it looks like there’s still space for that leftbar)

    ahh geeky stuff 🙂

    Jon – FreelanceFolder’s last blog post..Online Entrepreneurs And Responsibility

  21. It’s interesting that Mac sees it differently. I know nothing about a Mac. It’s on my wish list – and it’s definitely a coding issue, not a design one (though to create the design, we needed to have someone alter the coding).

    And YES. There is a distinct difference between a designer, a coder and a programmer. Like the diff between a press release writer and a mystery novelist. Both writer, different jobs 🙂

    Gonna email you, Jon.

  22. you know my e-mail address 🙂

    Jon – FreelanceFolder’s last blog post..Online Entrepreneurs And Responsibility

  23. And I’ve just emailed Catherine. We’ll have that patched up by tomorrow aft. Thanks to the Mac users for catching that!

    (all donations for Jamie’s new “Buy Chartrand a Mac” fund welcomed!)

  24. @ James, I could *give* you an old PowerMac G3 B&W if you wanted… (I have two)

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..the privilege of choice.

  25. (All donations – used, free, old and worn – are welcomed by the “Buy Chartrand a New Mac” fund)

    Does it work? Will I curse?

  26. It works. A bit slowly, but it works. It’s a G3/400, 1 GB of RAM, 80 GB hard drive, DVD burner, OS X 10.4 on it. (I have another one, sans burner, but otherwise the same.)

    I sort of hot-rodded it a bit, they never came from the factory with specs like that… heh heh 🙂

    One other thing – both of them look nasty, in that the plastic shells were cracked and broken in places. So I took off the shells, leaving the angular stainless steel case below.

    I call them “Terminator Macs”…

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..the privilege of choice.

  27. @ Brett: haha…terminator Macs, sounds really dangerous. You seem to be a bit of a fighter then. 😉 I can’t wait to see your new theme live.
    I wish I had those abilities in tweaking computers myself. It always amazes me how somebody can understand what exactly a particular wire does.

    @ James: I also love to own a Mac one day. One thing that I’m concerned on is whether they are compatible enough with the rest of software I use.

    @ Dave: thanks for the heads up. It was important for me to have a great looking portfolio site as a branding tool and that other theme was a sore thorn in my eyes for a while now. I know that Christine uses it too, but she blogs on it and I don’t.

    @ everyone else: thanks guys for all your input. I actually scored my first job with the new site already and it’s only been live properly since yesterday (Aussie time).

    Go the Men with Pens – you manage to please the hens. 😉

    Monika Mundell’s last blog post..Use The Pareto Principle To Sack Annoying Clients

  28. @ Monika: well, I did cut myself on one of them (sharp edges) so they are a bit dangerous… 😉 not sure if they are out to get me though, and they look nothing like Arnold! I should take a picture of one of them…

    Well, the thing is, we are all good at one thing, or another, so the trick is to help each other out. You are really good at what you do, for instance, and I’d be willing to trade computer know-how for what you do, sometimes!

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..the privilege of choice.

  29. @ Brett: very true, good job you are moving to this part of the world. At least trading might become an option, sometimes. Hehehe….

    Monika Mundell’s last blog post..Use The Pareto Principle To Sack Annoying Clients

  30. @ Monika: it’s a deal.

    (looks longingly at the weather down under, as he kicks the slush from his boots)

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..the privilege of choice.

  31. That’s some slick work there, dudes. I’m impressed with it all, especially the individuality each design has.

    And that Terminator style RSS button is…(insert bad word here)…amazing!

    Congrats and thanks for the inspiration.

  32. @Charlie: Bro, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet 😉

  33. @ Alison – thanks for noticing. I wish I had a Mac, but they’re so expensive.

    @ James – thanks for offering to fix it so quickly.

    @ Brett – Thank you. And you’re right – James and Harry are excellent at matching people’s personality to a blog design. It’s a wonderful skill to have.

    Cath Lawson’s last blog post..Business Partnership – Is It Financial Suicide?

  34. @ Brett – That’s our governator! *groans at her bad attempt at a joke*

    Allison’s last blog post..Naked Spicy Tuna Roll

  35. @ Allison: 🙂 It made me laugh, hey I have a Governator t-shirt that I picked up in LAX…

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..the privilege of choice.

  36. @ Allison: LOL, I loved your bad joke. It’s pretty hilarious. But maybe that is due to the two glasses of wine I already drunk. And it’s only 9PM. 😉

    Monika Mundell’s last blog post..The Process of a Business Nip Tuck

  37. @ Monika, watch you don’t end up with a headache like me (I only had a couple of beers last night, I swear! But it was *Quebec* beer…)

    And don’t worry, the joke was pretty damned funny sober, too… 😉

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..the privilege of choice.

  38. Catherine’s banner is all fixed for you Mac-whackers out there 🙂

    Thanks, Jon!

  39. Welcome 🙂

    Jon – FreelanceFolder’s last blog post..Online Entrepreneurs And Responsibility

  40. @ Brett – Tee hee. I’m glad it made you laugh! 😀

    @ Monika – Heck, I’ll take any laughs I can get… even if they are only attributable to alcohol! 😀

    @ James – Yay! Looks fantastic!

    Allison’s last blog post..Naked Spicy Tuna Roll


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