An Early Single-Handed Design & Development Project

By Arthur Breur When I look back at my 19 years of work in this company, an early subcontract project sticks out as one of my most impressive solo achievements. It wasn’t as music- or animation-rich as some of the animation work the company did in the 2000s, but it was an accomplishment. In 2003 in Tampa, I was still a one-person shop. Then, as now, the company got most of its work subcontracting on projects for agencies. One agency that I was working with at the time won a contract with a large local car dealer—“Century Auto Mall” (now Century Buick / GMC)—with me as the designer and developer on the pitch.

The original, mounted art boards of my initial sketches for from 2003.

I had already done quite a bit of custom website programming by then, and had more than a dozen years of professional graphic design experience. So while it was a stretch and a challenge for me, it was within my abilities to do. I worked with the dealership’s owners and managers to come up with a new look for the site (using the textures and materials from the inside of their vehicles as design elements in the site). I built the site to fit the content that the agency provided. I photographed the dealership team to use their images prominently throughout the site, often positioned in front of scenic spots around Tampa Bay. I even came up with the process for the in-person photography of inventory, uploading the images, and making sure each vehicle was recorded and correctly documented.

The final, approved design of the 2003 website, showing how we would position photos of the dealership’s team in front of various Tampa landmarks.

Century Auto Mall used my site design and inventory system from 2003 to 2005, and I still use the mockups from that project to explain how a website design project works. So yeah: in 2003 I personally designed and developed a completely new auto dealer website with a proprietary, customized online inventory management system. It makes me puff up my chest in pride thinking about it, even with it being so many years ago.  

Starting At ACCESSline Newspaper

By Angela Geno-Stumme I joined the FireSpike LLC team as Managing Editor for ACCESSline newspaper in 2010. Which means my 10 year anniversary with the company is coming up this fall! I didn’t realize that until writing this – my, how time flies! While I was working for ACCESSline I had a lot of wonderful memories of people I had interviewed, events I attended and just the amazing news that came about while I worked there. But one memory that stands out to me involves my daughter.
In 2013 my daughter was 4 years old and had been helping me at my work (mostly handing me newspapers when we did mailing) when Arthur and Broadview Wildflower Seed had an idea about an advertising campaign that could include her. My daughter got to do a photoshoot for two of the ads in this campaign. She was used to posing for photos with me and had fun posing for the photographer in the beautiful wildflowers, eating chocolate pudding! Yep, the campaign needed pictures of messy moments at their beautiful wildflower farm.
It was a lot of fun. She had costume changes and was coaxed into expressions during the ‘messy moments’ that makes me smile thinking of them today. The landscape was beautiful and afternoon was fun work. It’s a unique memory that I will treasure and is much different to the work I do today at FireSpike LLC.

Fun Before COVID-19

By Colin Bond I haven’t had a lot of “fun moments” since quarantine started and I haven’t had any at all when working with Firespike. So I’m going to tell you about a fun moment before quarantine and when I started working for Firespike. It’s been a while since this event so my memory is a bit fuzzy. I remember the night before I was hanging out with friends and I heard that they were going to an amusement park and of course I wanted to go, so with some convincing I was able to go. Later that night I ended up spending the night with those friends, we played games,talked,etc.. The next day we had a multiple hour drive to the amusement park and we mostly slept because we had stayed up most the night before. When we got there, we instantly headed to the restroom and then headed out in a direction. We rode a lot of rides and played a lot of games that day and so many were fun and thrilling but of course the most fun of that day was waiting in line… I meant riding the roller coasters, always the most fun at any amusement park. After a long day we spent the night in a hotel and slept the rest the night away.