My last blog celebrating 25 Years…

…it’s been an interesting reflection on the last 25 years at Baseline.

November 30th, 2011 will mark the end of this 12-month journey, celebrating and reviewing our past work and shared skills that have allowed Baseline to reach this stage in our history. I’ll continue with this blog, but it will be one dealing with moving forward through design and applied communication using a broader brush stroke and how we might continue to contribute in this fast paced and changing environment.

Over the last twelve months, I’ve reviewed – through illustrated stories – the clients we have had the privilege to work with: not-for-profits, government, political parties and small businesses, requiring our professional design and production team to tell their respective stories.

One story that really has never been given sufficient space (though mentioned) is the work of my esteemed partner of 25 years, David Lach. He is articulate and a master of the many web delivered tools that we have created. A man who loves dissecting problems and a person of detail, thinking through the myriad of scenarios in any given project or problem, before moving forward with a wonderful and appropriate conclusion, whether applied to a website, an online newsletter or other web delivered product.

David – with assistance from David Steiner, our other Code Professional and Andrew Ware our Senior Production Artist – created the back-end engine that manages and generates the CHF Canada website, a complex project (1200 pages) for the national co‑operative housing organization. David was also responsible for developing much of a totally web-based information system for the Agency for Co-operative Housing.  David has designed and created incredible coding along with easy to use CMS, backend editing tools, for online delivered newsletters such as: Health Match BC, The College of Licensed Practical Nurses of BC. David also created our virtual company administration page as we entered this new method of working virtually. A transparent tool where we can keep track of jobs, create dockets for client jobs, post times on current assignments, tally times worked, post external expenses and at the end of the day provide the ability to generate invoices, sent electronically (without paper output) to our clients. In closing, I think we have a brilliant history and one that we will – hopefully – continue by contributing design and production for our present clients and those of tomorrow.

In closing, at the beginning of this journey of designing and producing online work in 2004 we were approached by the Vancouver City Planning Commission to submit a bid for a new initiative on housing issues. I was lucky to have established a relationship with Robert Buller, then manager at the Commission. He was at the preliminary and planning stage to create a web presence primarily aimed at informing and engaging public input into the future of housing in the city. We were given the task of creating the identity for this initiative (Alternative Futures) and designing the website. This was an intensive design process but more importantly it was David’s skill that made it possible to incorporate many hours of video material in the site, working around the limitations of download speed and technologies of that era. The Commission later moved its site to a new server and the Alternative Futures pages disappeared from view. We’ve recently been involved in bringing the Alternative Futures site back to life as an archive site, to be eventually accessed from the Vancouver City Planning Commission’s website. The illustration below shows the initial static deign layouts for the identity and a sampling of the static website pages for initial discussions.

Alternative Future original design layouts. (Click to enlarge)

So we at Baseline wish you all a wonderful Christmas experience and I look forward to connecting and communicating with many of you in the New Year.


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