What We Love



Archive for ‘Random’

3 Oct
Posted by Haley

Style Mecca’s Hot Online Fashion Store – Launch Day!


We’re super excited to launch the Style Mecca website today. Featuring an all Australian lineup of designers, including: Alessa, Anu, First Base, Sara Phillips and White Suede, Style Mecca celebrates Australian fashion!

With a background in marketing and a passion for fashion, Eloise brings a wealth of enthusiasm to the online market, engaging with socially savvy women on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Style Mecca has already captured an enviable pool of social followers – even before the site was live.

Our designer created a beautifully modern canvas to showcase Style Mecca’s unique designer brands. The website is a fantastic port of call for keeping up with the latest fashion trends in the blog, otherwise simply sign up and newsletters can come to you. The site wouldn’t be a great little online store without our very own Tentacle system – a full e-commerce facility that is harmoniously linked in with WordPress.

We have no doubts that Style Mecca will continue to share her fashion inspirations in a digital marketplace. Join the social clubs, shop online and keep up to date with the latest fashion trends by following Style Mecca.



10 Jul
Posted by Haley

Big Sky Entertainment WA – Looks a million dollars!

Big Sky Entertainment WA, a leading Western Australian entertainment booking agency, required a rejuvenated website. When I look back at this project I am reminded of the Million Dollar Makeover car that I’ve seen driving around town lately. Just look at the website’s before and after shots.

The website was originally designed by Clever Starfish in 2010 and required a fresh new look after 3 years. We focused on simplifying the content to clearly communicate Big Sky’s core business, events, and encourage more enquiries by restructuring the entertainment pages. Rachel improved the general appearance of the website and went to town on the home page with a classy looking banner manager and feature areas.

Big Sky Home Page

Uli also transformed the original Tentacle catalogue by creating some great filters, which make it so easy for clients to find the perfect act for any event.

Big Sky Acts

We celebrated this launch with a delicious and suitably Orange cake from the Pearl of Highgate. OMG, this was so moist!

16 Feb
Posted by Davel

We don’t just have cake…

Here in Starfishland, food and tea is just as important as making great websites. If we can combine both of these things, that’s an epic win. So far, we’ve made an online tea store for The Seventh Duchess, the Tutti Frutti Australia site, and have plenty more digital deliciousness currently in the works.

It all started with Nico Moretti from Urban Provider, who runs very popular “dinner party cooking classes” in Perth and small group cooking tours to exotic international destinations. We designed and built Nico’s original website many years ago, and it’s still going strong!

Nico was kind enough to squeeze Jane and I into his ‘Tapas Passion’ cooking class at his studio in Leederville, which is less like a workshop and more like watching a live action cooking show—and you get to eat the food. It’s pretty easy to see why the classes are booked out well in advance…

Nico has just finished off his new cookbook Delicious Journeys, which also includes Thermomix methods—you can order it here.  (Warning: images on this page may induce hunger.)

Ok, on to the food!

First up was Spanish Potato Fritatta, Paprika & Garlic Chicken with White Wine, Garlic Prawns with Meredith Dairy goats cheese and olives. This was followed by a Chicken & Chorizo Paella, Pear & Rocket Salad, and ended with a wonderfully sticky Caramel Banana Tart. The surprise ingredient here was fresh rosemary, which actually works amazingly well combined with the sweetness of the other ingredients.

Nico also supplies the recipes for all the dishes he demonstrates, so you can go home and make them straight away. We had a great time, and would definitely recommend Nico’s classes to any fellow foodies!


9 Jan
Posted by Jane and Jayde

Should I put up a holding page? Questions, answered…

We get asked about holding pages all the time and whether they are worth the investment and often it depends on your business, competition, product and strategy. We launched a flurry of landing pages just before the Christmas break and were asked to quote an unprecedented amount last year. Here are the top three questions, answered.

Is it enough to simply put my logo and address up there?

If you are a physical business like a doctor, coffee shop or dentist this might be enough. If you have a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (etc) you would be crazy not to add these to the page and encourage people to interact.

What else should I think about adding to my holding page?

We recommend that the very base you start with is;

  • Social links – This enables you to lead people to a place where they can interact with you now.
  • Google Analytics – There is nothing more powerful than seeing how people are finding your business and what sites are sending people your way. As you build your site you might want to consider adding pages and content to rectify challenges or benefit from opportunities presented by Google and referrers.
  • Newsletter signup – If you have the opportunity to build a crowd before you launch your site (especially if you are in e-commerce), why would you pass up on it? We can setup HelloStarfish or link with most other newsletter systems to streamline the storage of your mailing lists for you. Building a crowd before launch means you start business with a bang!
  • Top notch content – It doesn’t have to be a novel (it’s best if it isn’t actually!), but a well-written paragraph synopsis of your business and/or a fabulous photo of your product/s is worth it’s weight in gold.
Should I have a content-management system, like WordPress?

If you plan on having your landing page up for longer than 10 weeks and you want to change your content at least monthly – we suggest you do. However you need to be really strict with yourself about what you really need to edit otherwise you may as well be building your website. Probably the best example of a well-suited landing page with a WordPress content management system is The Globe. They designed a page that was going to be an image banner and synopsis and we suggested that we build in a banner manager so that they can add their projects to showcase as they launch them.

Is it better to keep my old website up there for now?

If you have a huge site and the content is still, for the most-part, relevant then keeping your old site up there whilst you make the new one is probably a good thing – especially if you have lots of content and pages. The reasoning behind this is Google. If you go from 70 pages to 1 page then you are considerably reducing your ‘Google juice’ or footprint. You can make a huge number of dead links too unless you redirect all your old pages to the home page and your relevancy on searches can drop very quickly. We will address redirects in a future blog.

So how much is it going to cost me?

There is no magic number but you should be expect it to be over $300 and under $3000 unless you are being super simplistic or building a mini site. The best way to find out is to call and have a chat with the digital people in your life. If you don’t have any – feel free to call us and we would love to have a cup of tea and a chat.

To make up for way too many words, here are some pretty holding pages designed buy our team and some of our clients.

12 Oct
Posted by Jayde

Gangnam ‘Starfish’ Style: The Video

With the power of the amazing Yakub at Milkable and a spare one and a half hours at the studio down the road, this video was born…

5 Oct
Posted by Konalee

Gangnam ‘Starfish’ Style…

Have you ever wondered what we get up to in our spare time? Well of course, like some of you, we love Gangnam Style! When Milkable called us yesterday to say that they had a spare couple of hours in the studio, we packed up our desks to star in a tribute to the pop phenomenon. The popstar states that we should “dress classy and dance cheesy!”

The music video features The Clever Starfish Team – Jane, Gregory, Konalee, Jayde, Rach, Dave, Uli and Adam. Unfortunately, Trevor Hutchison was absent from work. Thanks for such an enjoyable shoot! We are all looking forward to seeing the end result :)

26 Sep
Posted by Jane

Zippity Zap on my electric wheels in heels!

For the last month or so, some of our starfishes have been helping Zap Electric Vehicles to spread the word on how awesome electric bikes are and how they are perfect for us Perthites. ‘Zap‘ felt a great way was to get people up and out on bikes for free…which is a great idea and they are doing this via their Facebook page! After chatting with the crew there I *sort of definitely* pestered my way into being a test-rider for a few days and they graciously let me.

I own a mountain bike, so two wheels is not a new concept for me – and I would ride it to work if it was ‘dress-friendly’ but unfortunately wardrobe issues and sweating has put me off. Amazingly, the ZAP bike negates both these problems. The bike that they chose for me has a graceful ‘old-school’ bar for ladylike mounting/dismounting and does most of the pedalling for me so hence, no sweat! I love it and it is actually 10 minutes quicker than the bus and $27 cheaper a day than driving (not including petrol!). I am seriously considering buying one.

I’m thinking of hooking up some video action for tomorrow… just so you can see how awesome the bike is too. What do you reckon and yes, that is a cake in the back. You don’t think I would consider riding/driving something that would not be cake-friendly do you? Happy Birthday Jayde!

19 Mar
Posted by Jane

Seeking new starfish!

We are currently looking for a new Digital Account Manager – could this be you?

16 Mar
Posted by Jane

long hair, mullet, rat’s tail, mohawk, gone!

This week has come to an end with a good old hair shaving story! Adam, one of our programmers here decided it was time for a change and put himself forward for the World’s Greatest Shave! He was a late bloomer, only just registering last week but still managed to raise $177. Nice job! Needless to say, I am sure having the undivided attention of all the girls in the office would have been nothing but a bonus, right Adam?

24 Feb
Posted by Jane

a client says “we need a mobile site!” and the starfish replies “we agree!”

We are getting asked more and more about developing sites suitable for mobiles, which is fantastic! Did you know that is doesn’t have to be its own dedicated site these days?

I have worked in digital since a phone was quite a large bricky Nokia that had a one-colour screen. I remember when viewing a website on a phone would have been laughable and impossible. I also remember when mobile sites started to take off and clients needed to create a second version that required all the content to be edited separately to your regular site.

It would have been about a year ago when I was discussing this problem with a very talented designer/developer hybrid friend…  He showed me a site that shrunk to fit the screen size – folding down as you pulled the corner in. It was very exciting and spurred the “we can do that too!”… and we did!

About 7 months ago we teamed up with our open-minded client, Wild Lily Empire, and went on the journey of designing and developing what we call a “responsive” website. We build them with WordPress and e-commerce capabilities.

We haven’t looked back since. Yep, even our site is responsive … Pull the right hand corner in to check it out.

Do you want a mobile site?

8 Feb
Posted by Jane

hint, hint!

With an office full of girls, is it any surprise that we came up with this idea for Wild Lily Empire?


16 Jul
Posted by Kay

Starfish talent focus: Kristy Davis

Kristy originally came on board at Starfish Central in a part-time role, because of her experience with icon design. While she’s certainly very good at that, it’s illustration at much larger sizes where her true interest lies.

Kristy still does freelance work, but we’ve managed to snag her attention for at least four days each week, doing web site designs as well as custom icons and logos.

I asked Kristy to jot down some notes about her illustrations, and she was kind enough to oblige:

I produce a lot of creative illustration pieces either just as single artworks for prints, for storyboards for comics or animation ideas, or just simply for fun. I’m also often involved in producing instructional illustration, that is, illustrations which explain to a viewer how an object works, shows it in a way that the viewer would not normally be able to see (for example, the insides of a machine that are not accessible) or how to carry out a task.

The type of illustration I do does vary greatly, as well as the execution. It ranges from freehand sketching, coloured pencil illustrations, vector artworks in Adobe Illustrator, and digital sketching and painting in Adobe Photoshop.  My favourite is traditional illustration with graphite pencils, Tria markers, and Aquarelles (water colour pencils) or a combination of all three. The process feels a lot more personal, and is especially challenging when there is no undo button, but computer based illustration lets you achieve much more.

It’s become a stepping stone for everything I approach in the creative world, from the rough sketch of a web site layout, to designing a logo, to creating a sculpture. I enjoy it because at the end of the day, it’s just you, a piece of paper (or even a napkin), a pencil and whatever your imagination can produce. You can show people things they’d previously not thought of or viewed in a particular way before, and the reaction is pretty awesome!

Kristy did the logo and web site design for lawyer Richard Timpson, and drew the awesome Brutal Pixie mascot (based on photographs of our copywriter, Leticia Supple). More of her work will be going live soon.

In the meantime, here’s some examples of her amazing illustrative work.