iOS 7 fail – iTunes sign in

iTunes sign in iOS7

iTunes sign in iOS7Designing an OS is always going to have some idiosyncratic design aspects, but the above is a real dog’s dinner. The keyboard takes up the bottom half of the screen, and the sign in is too large to fit in the top half – obscuring the instruction text. Considering this function is used rather a lot, I’m surprised it wasn’t spotted sooner by (Ive?) Apple.

Missy’s website now live!!!

Missy wanted to be Cynthia Rhodes when she grew up. Life not always throwing the right kind of lemons, she instead trained in ballet, gymnastics and dance (as well as a good healthy dose of Fine Art Theory and History thrown in) – and has become one of the Southern Hemisphere’s top cabaret pole dancers.

It was clear early on that Missy is definitely not in the tacky plastic shoes, flat alcopops and bad r n b school of pole dance. It was clear we going to have some fun creating a look that instantly shows this distinction.

The site feel takes a lot from the silent movie era. It is hard to say exactly how this came about, but we talked a lot and had a common love of Weimar era styling. In fact, her formidable Art History knowledge, insight and sense of aesthetic set the tone and benchmark for this project. Whilst we didn’t want to directly copy a particular vintage design, the sense of romance and drama and magic of was definitely high on the list for the new website look.

The site homepage sets the stage for what Missy is about. Instantly distinctive, with an elegant image of her effortlessly posed on the pole. It is one of the most minimal homepages I have produced, with hardly any text – letting the imagery speak. On pressing Enter, the homepage flickers and fades away in almost the blink of an eye to show the new page. It is

The site details are based on 1920s ornamentation. The thumbnail images on the news page are small porthole pictures in Black and White. They softly saturate to full colour when you roll over them.

The menu bar takes cues from early movie theatres, and the calendar and gallery are styled in a panelled ‘leather’ upholstery.

Technically and artistically, this has been an extremely challenging site to make. The lack of text on the homepage is anathema to modern SEO compliant sites. I took a cue from live performance and theatre to get around this. The homepage is actually a ‘curtain’. When you enter the site, the homepage magically fades away to reveal the news page. The site, and search text is, essentially in waiting behind this curtain.

This site is the first one I have produced with the new WordPress TwentyTwelve as the parent theme. This particular theme is actually so new, I had to search around to find a download link for it. TwentyTwelve proved to be a perfect partner to the project for its own elegant and lean coding.

The calendar uses coding for perfect visibility on Google’s event searches.

Back to Missy, she is an extremely enigmatic person and performer. Her work on the pole is distinctive and quite unlike other performers. Go and see her in a show (check out the calendar page!), or if you are a promoter, hire her now, you need her in your show!

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Sapphira’s Pro Showgirls

Sapphira's Pro Showgirls at Red Bennies

We created a new look for Sapphira’s Pro Showgirl night at Red Bennies in Melbourne. We’ve taken Sapphira’s neo-burlesque style further and created this distinct artwork.

The night was one of the biggest nights ever at Red Bennies. Whilst a photo wasn’t taken, Prince himself passed a giant A0 version of this poster a week or so before when he played there!

Sapphira’s Showgirls is pretty much the most popular burlesque class in Melbourne right now, with classes in many major districts. For more info, check out:

To see more Artballs design for Sapphira, click here. 30% off Mega Sale



Shameless promotion for one of my clients, but it’s too good an offer not to shout about!, the South London based Fashion Emporium are having a huge sale on House of the Gods clothing. This isn’t shabby old stock from a past season, but brand new season stock. It’s a new site and they are feeling generous, so drop by, choose some stuff and use the coupon code: hogs30 at the checkout to get your discount!

Hurry, as a massive discount like this won’t last long! House of the Gods Mega Sale

A surprise from Sapphira’s Showgirls

Sapphira's Showgirls say thank you

I’m really quite touched to have received this photo, taken in Red Bennies, Melbourne by Sapphira and her Showgirls!

Thank you!

Artballs has been working with Sapphira for some time now, upping the game with new designs for her posters and website. People have really noticed – especially the posters put up around Melbourne. We’ve made two sites, and, and posters, xmas cards etc. to promote her business.

Sapphira by Artballs

Australian Burlesque Festival 2012 Pre-purchase passes available -10% discount!


The Australian Burlesque Festival is the bigger than ever this year – covering 6 cities and ten shows.

Special pre-purchase passes are now available for Melbourne and Sydney, saving you 10% on the price of the shows.

This years festival features top international stars:

And homegrown stars:

And of course, the festival hosts:

Discount festival passes are available here.


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Goldsmiths University

Screen shot 2012-03-06 at 02.46.26

Goldsmiths University asked us to tidy up their Strategic Plan online. They had an existing site that was (made by a student :-0) and whilst had some really nice illustration elements, was hard to navigate.

This project was a little unusual in that the target audience (teachers) is already captive. The site itself is not public, but used as information and forum for comment and discussion. With this in mind, we spent time comprehensively going through the Strategic Plan content itself and created a three layer flow for the navigation. The Plan itself features just a few main chapters, each with bullet points that are expanded upon. We created a fairly standard ‘top’ navigation, which features a flyout menu of the Plan sub headings. When you choose an item, it shows in the main content area on the right of the page. Any item from the plan is can be reached with this simple 1, 2, 3 flow from left to right across the screen.

The site is connected directly into the university system to allow only relevant staff access, and allows the University staff to comment and discuss each aspect of the plan individually. Staff can comment, or add video feedback. web shop now live!! is the online presence of U Turn clothing in Tooting Bec. The friendly boutique shop features some of the best fashion clothing for women and men in South London – with brands such as Religion, Ringspun, Wrangler, House of Gods, Komodo and more.

Whilst Tooting Bec is known by some to be the centre of the universe, we wanted to create an international presence for the physical shop, as well as feature special items and offers that are available online only.

The shop features a live search – which filters, with images, as you type and helps you find things you like quickly. Each product can feature a gallery of different views and closeups to get a real shopping experience.

You can choose between three different views to help browse the clothing, and also view items in a particular price range. The shop is designed to be hands on and finding information is very easy from the Help menu.

The site is hooked up to the Google Merchant Centre, which means that the shop is connected directly to Google for product searches – helping reach a wider audience.

The site has been really well received by both regular shop customers, and also the brand suppliers.

The site receives excellent traffic outside of the UK, and the first online store customer was a lovely lady from the Netherlands. A very exciting online start to a boutique shop in Tooting Bec, London!

Check out the shop here:

Australian Burlesque Festival 2012 redesign complete!!!


The Australian Burlesque Festival is back! Bigger an better than ever. Now in it’s third year, and with more cities added.

The ABF team wanted something more grown up this year. They worked with Kathy St. Clair (check out her postcards) to produce the logo rework and titling, then Artballs used the branding colour scheme and created new site layouts.

The site was extremely successful last year, and as mentioned here, top of Google for a lot of Australian Burlesque related search terms. This is in part due to SEO management being an integral part of the site structure (admittedly it is also in part of Artballs nagging advising the team to post more! ;-)

The site flow has been turbocharged based on looking at the site analytics. The site still features the ‘high street’ banner system from last year. This is basically a cute looking column of banner ads (not showing on this screengrab – 2012 sponsors live shortly!). Rather than have annoying and intrusive ads within the page, Artballs came up with the High Street idea – of  putting all the banners together, all on, all the time. Audacious, but it had the feel of shopping on a high street, hence the clever name!

The ads were very positively received displayed in this way and got huge click throughs.

If your business is involved in burlesque, cabaret, costume or make up (headline sponsor was Illamasqua last year), his site is THE top online advertising/sponsorship destination in Australia right now.

Just Google ‘Australian Burlesque’ if you don’t believe us!

Now here’s the really fun stuff. The site navigation has been improved. It is easier to navigate and find things, and on the back, easier to update too – bonus!

Each city was represented in the header last year, and this year we had the cunning idea of incorporating the city names directly into a secondary ‘Buy Tickets’menu bar. We used a 1930s style ‘feathered’ ticket office arrow to give it that subtle ‘romance of travelling’ hint! So, you not only see which cities the festival comes to this year, but the city names are functional too!


Australian Burlesque Festival 2012 sitelinks





The menu code design improves Google sitelinks – Buy tickets now shows – pow!

The slideshow is fully iPad/touchscreen compatible and the description text (showing on the Google screengrab) is lifted straight out of the user editable animated slidewhow – see SEO built right in!


Our favourite feature is the map – which features event dates and ticket links. We think it is the easiest ticket system we’ve ever come across! You just roll over the city stars and the show dates magically appear. Clicking the star gives you full show info and a ticket link. Voila!

Trumpet blowing, but Artballs is about innovation and fun.

If you are in Australia between 7th–24th of June, the Australian Burlesque Festival is the hottest ticket in town.

Australian Burlesque Festival 2012 website

Wanna see the old site?

Australian Burlesque Festival 2011 site design

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Random Postcard Project


Random House had a great postcard project a few years ago. You pick a number from 1-100 and email them for a one word response. You then create some postcard art based on that number.

The project is running again with a new theme. I’m pleased to say that one of my postcard artworks has been used in the promo for it (London bus).

You can take part by emailing a number from 1-100 to:

Check out more here:

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Sapphira xmas card

Screen shot 2012-03-06 at 03.05.16

Sapphira, one of Australia’s best known burlesque artists and teachers (and co-producer for Australian Burlesque Festival 2011) wanted something a bit cheeky, cheesecake and retro for her Christmas card. My first thought for an xmas card was ‘snow’. You’ve got to have snow on an xmas crd, right? Well, not in Australia you don’t – it can be 45 Celsius on the 25th of December! I must admit this was a bit of a challenge to a Brit used to the ‘festive season’ being pretty parky.

The chosen colours are reminiscent of ice cream. This in turn allowed me to use beautiful snowflake patterns. The resulting design suits the Aussies, viewing their xmas cards through a pair of sunglasses with a cold Cooper’s in hand, but remains firmly… festive in the good old British sense!

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Well done Lizzie!

Lizzie Haines at

Lizzie Haines of Do It Momma ( that we designed last year is going from strength to strength. This year she became the face of Curvy Kate, and this month has one the 100percent people 2011 plus size model of the year award with a whopping 36% of the vote.

Lizzie makes customised and bespoke items, and promotes herself online via her website (did we mention that Artballs made it?).

Well done Lizzie, and all the best for 2012.

Sapphira Music website now live!!!
Sapphira is an electronic/dance singer who works with top dance producers, such as Faithless, Audio Fly, Kayden, Black Dog and others.

The site is a lush full screen image of Sapphira, with a glossy transparent overlay. The site features a jukebox with her latest tracks, buy links to her released music on iTunes Music store, full discography with SoundCloud audio files.

The site also features an easy to update events calendar, and newsletter sign up.


Hive Bar & Restaurant website live!!!


Hive Bar & Restaurant is Brixton’s liveliest food and drink joint. They have live DJs every weekend, a regular monthly line up and special guests throughout.

The site features a sumptuous intimate and friendly vibe of the restaurant itself. The homepage has special features on a slideshow, and right below, shows their regular music nights, Brixton Academy gigs on a live feed (they have special pre and post gig deals for band nights!)

There is a monthly lineup night page, and an upcoming events calendar. The site also has the latest menus updated directly from their work computer without the need to remember to put it on the site!

The site has advanced SEO management and automatically assists in making key words and other visibility features automatically.

The site is designed to be informative for the user, as well as quick and easy to update in the busy restaurant environment.

Oh yes, did I mention? The home page also features the latest sidetraked mix, which works on your computer, or via iPad/iPhone – and can even be connected via Airplay to your wireless speakers!

You can visit the site at:

Related Images: now live!!!

Screen shot 2011-08-25 at 16.00.52

Laetitia Perrot is a Brighton based photographer and image maker. She photographs in a travel reportage kind of style, creating dramatic landscape images and scenes.

She has a unique approach to wedding photography too and creates an enigmatic and stylish set from the event.

Laetitia was looking for an easy to use site and had already found WordPress. However, the off the shelf template she’d tried didn’t really work very well, looked very generic and certainly didn’t bring out her character, or that of her work.

We tried a few ideas out. The dramatic landscapes needed a frame to show them at their best. We tried a very slick, modern style at first, but it soon became clear that she preferred a more vintage and nostalgic look. We came up with this ‘travelling photographer’ feel. I noticed that Laetitia looks a little bit like Leica, the company that makes some of the most elegant looking rangefinder cameras. The hand drawn Laetitia logo is a gentle hat tip to those amazing cameras and the distinctive Leica logo. The camera motif in the background is also based on a 1950s Rangefinder camera.

Laetitia is busily adding her work to the online shop, and soon you will be able to buy her superb prints from the site.

Related Images: now live!!!

Dolores Daiquiri is a a very prolific performer based in Melbourne. She co-runs the Australian Burlesque Festival with Sapphira and Rosy Rabbit.

The site features a slide up ‘safety curtain’ on the splash page. The curtain slides up under a diaphanous menu bar. It sounds like a bit of frippery, but actually, it allows for a heavily visual splash page, but also keeps the news posts on the home page for good search engine visibility.

The pages all scroll up under the header, giving a very theatrical feel to the site.

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