This site showcases the (mostly) digital work of Andrew DiFiore from both Virtual Arts Studios and answerYES Interactive as well as random thoughts and experimental projects too volatile to be contained anywhere else.

 
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    Logo design and tagline for Viking Builders construction company based in Stamford, CT.

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    The year was 1965, four students at Boston College form the rock band The Leafmen, named after an off-campus residence Greenleaf Hall where three of the members lived. Over the next several years The Leafmen became a fixture of Boston music scene.

    Decades later the band members would reform to play small gigs in and around the Boston area. They do a lot of Van Morrison, Rolling Stones, Beatles, but their version of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida sounds as if they were channeling Iron Butterfly themselves! The drummer of the band, Sal Rizzo, is my uncle but I really came to appreciate their talents when the band got up (impromptu) to play at my cousin’s wedding.

    I originally created The Leafmen logo and small promo site (no music) as a tribute in 2005. But in 2007 I received a demo CD from Sal along with some old photos. I decided to convert the website into a Flash microsite, featuring three of my favorite tracks from the CD. Had a lot of fun pushing the envelope on the Flash animation. Enjoy!

    Logo for Stamford Toys


    Created this logo design for local toy shop Stamford Toys (formerly know as Imagination Station) which would be used on everything from business cards to display ads to storefront signage. If you are in the Stamford area you can see the signs at 970 High Ridge Road (near FedEx/Kinkos).

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    I recently launched the ecommerce site for start-up cookie company StaceyLu Confections based out of Weston, CT. They specialize in custom-made cookies for corporate and private events. I was hired to do logo design, website design and development (used osCommerce as the ecommerce platform), and to design a newsletter template for Constant Contact.

    In addition to the server-side stats I also enabled Google Analytics (you can never have too many metrics when it comes to tracking your return on investment). Along with this came server-side search engine optimization (SEO) which includes something relatively new, submitting XML sitemaps to Google (and others). I used the free sitemap generator XML-Sitemaps.com for StaceyLu (for small shops the free version is more than adequate). The site has been live for a few weeks now so go buy a cookie already.

    Aside: when asked to do the newsletter design I decided to take the plunge and learn the special Constant Contact mark-up language for creating email templates. Already familiar with XML I didn’t have any problem getting up to speed and creating the first newsletter using my new StaceyLu template. Ahh, but here’s the rub, Constant Contact does NOT allow you to keep your custom template on their server so it would be available the next time around. To do this, you have to pay them $600! Given I did all the work, this felt like a crude bait and switch. A workaround is to upload the template code each time you compose a newsletter but this is not a practical thing to ask a client to do (who was taking over the task).┬áNeedless to say, I was a bit peeved. I ended up redoing the newsletter using one of Constant Contact’s built-in templates (not nearly as chic). Going to use MailChimp next time!

    {Ed. Note 12/19/06: I was interviewed by The Hour (Norwalk, CT) about my viral marketing campaigns and the StaceyLu website was pictured along with the article. Free publicity for StaceyLu but honestly not sure why the paper grabbed that picture, it has nothing to do with viral marketing. }

    {Ed. Note 3/30/10: StaceyLu is no longer a cookie company. The site is being converted into a blog about “personal growth” or something like that. It has been many years, often are the whims of start-up entrepreneurs. Still, it was interesting work at the time. }

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    Metro Business Systems (MBS) provides comprehensive IT services for wholesale computer hardware, procurement, network integration, and inventory management throughout the New York tri-sate area.

    MBS hired answerYES to redesign their brand identity, logo, business cards, brochure, and website. This included digital photography and writing fresh copy for both the company’s online and offline marketing materials.

    “We have had an amazingly positive response to our new website from old, new and potential customers. I am most impressed in the clear and concise manner in which our company’s services are featured. answerYES Interactive exceeded our expectations and as a result we will continue to utilize their creative services for all our online marketing and advertising needs in the future. It has been a pleasure working with them,” states Jeffrey LoRusso, Senior Vice President and Co-founder of Metro Business Systems.

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