Cool by Association

I may be biased when I say that we have some of the coolest clients in the business, but seriously, we work with some pretty impressive companies. However, even I must admit that one of our clients takes the cake when it comes to being cool. Big Nerd Ranch, the unique software engineering and training company that utilizes monastic principles in their technological developments, happens to count Apple (yes the company founded by Jobs himself and the developers of the iPhone) as one of their clients. So technically, if we were to use the six degrees of Kevin Bacon theory, we could say that we do work with Apple, but who would do that?

Kevin Bacon associations aside, our work has made a few appearances at Apple Headquarters. In fact, this past Monday, Big Nerd Ranch’s Director of Corporate Training gave a big presentation to the Apple Enterprise team. The presentation, although kind of a big deal, was not a definite go until a mere seven days prior, which meant we not only had to come up with an idea that could be produced in time, but it also had to be smart enough to impress the epi-center of Nerds. No big deal.

Luckily, we didn’t have time to think about the fact that our work would be seen, and possibly judged, by Apple folks; we had a project to design, print and program. The initial idea was to create an easily accessible, digital brochure. However, the light bulb went on when we heard that the Nerds were planning to pass out their newly released book, Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide at the presentation. What better way to utilize the book as a vehicle to drive the audience to the digital brochure, than with a bookmark complete with a custom QR code. It proved to be an excellent way to create a tangible leave-behind that provided a gateway to a specialized online presence.

With the bookmark idea a go, we laid out a design that would seamlessly match the Big Nerd Ranch aesthetic. Incorporating the QR code was easy, once we gave up on the idea of fitting a square QR codes into a rounded cowboy hat logo.

Once the bookmark was signed, sealed and delivered to the printer, our next order of business was to create the complementary landing page that was to link to the QR code; a pretty vital component. The one-page site didn’t need to sing and dance, but it did need to perform. In essence, the site had to act as the introductory hand-shake of the Big Nerd Ranch, and what better way to do that then mirror the look and feel of the current Big Nerd Ranch website and then sprinkle in bite-sized information about the products and services they offer.

By Sunday afternoon, the day before the big event, the bookmarks were traveling across the country, the programmers were inputting the last lines of code and we finally had a chance to sit back and ponder how cool we now are by association. Just kidding, we actually were thinking, ‘Oh man, I hope they don’t think we could have left more white space!”

To be honest, just having the opportunity to work with Big Nerd Ranch and our other amazing clients, means that we are pretty cool, associations or not.