What does "Good design for everyone" actually mean?

M. Kendall Ludwig,
president and principal designer
I just finished “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert (fantastic, by the way!), and feeling inspired to embrace CurlyRed's creativity and uniqueness in the marketplace. Furthermore, my husband, Mark Ludwig, told me recently how much he still believes in CurlyRed's vision, or our “why.” This got me thinking.

From CurlyRed's “about” page: “As our business has grown and we’ve developed deeper relationships with more businesses, I’ve realized that there is an even more important challenge ahead. I see, over and over again, other design firms and advertising agencies holding their work ransom for sums impossible for anyone to afford, except the largest and wealthiest companies. Something seems fundamentally wrong about that. There are far too many small business and non-profits with great vision but a limited marketing budget. Don’t they deserve the same access to good design?”

But I want to expand for a minute. Every time I speak about my “why,” 
questions come up, such as:

As a business owner, don't you want to make money?

Yes, I would love if this business continues to help support my family, and enable us to give back. But the dollar isn't driving my business—my love of creativity, and my desire to serve the outliers and the over-looked drives me. To serve the companies and organizations who assume that they could never afford strong branding, a great website, etc. The ones that go to a few agencies, get quotes, and walk away discouraged.

Does that mean that everyone can afford you?
Sadly, no. If marketing isn't a priority, or if a potential client comes to CurlyRed hoping to get the same rate as a student or crowdsourcing website, they might not see the true value of our services. But we do our absolutely best to work with our clients' budgets, and develop creative ways to make our services as affordable as possible.

Besides cost, why else would someone pick CurlyRed over a large firm or agency?

It's actually a long list, but here are a few reasons:

1. The client will get to work directly with me. Yes, I have a team working with me, but I am involved in every client relationship, and have a creative hand in each project.

2. A real person answers the phone when you call (during normal office hours).

3. We deliver within our clients’ budgets. Always.

4. Our clients know exactly what they are getting with CurlyRed, from the very first meeting. We lay out our expectations as clearly as possible, and make sure we are on the same page with our client before starting any job.

5. Everything we create is custom. No templates, and no recycled design work. That goes for our branding, print and web work.

6. When we meet to discuss your project, CurlyRed works hard to discover who our clients are, and design around their needs and preferences. We listen. We care. We want the creative process to be a relationship, a dialogue.


Convinced? Almost? Awesome. Please contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you.


A winning combination: creatives, pumpkin carving, and free drinks!

We are SO excited for this event! 

B'More Creatives is teaming up with Betamore and for a night of spook-tacular fun 
(we can't wait to see what fun carvings these creatives come up with). 

Join us on Oct 30th at our Pumpkin Carving Soiree: http://tinyurl.com/pumpkinsoiree


Featured clients: R.K. Tongue and Holy Trinity Christian Day School

This month at CurlyRed, we are thrilled to have two more website projects under our belt. One is a long-time client and Baltimore-based insurance firm called R.K. Tongue. The other is a brand new client, a Christian childcare and day school in Laurel, MD called Holy Trinity Christian Day School.

R.K. Tongue was looking for a fresh, high-end new look (and a revised, softer color palette) with a sophisticated down-down menu, and a solution to the challenge of having a large amount of important content to convey to their customers.

Holy Trinity Day School needed a total visual overhaul, with new branding, engaging imagery, an easy-to-update calendar, and easy-to-view PDFs for parents of the students. 

If you're looking for a fully custom, mobile-friendly website, with the element of the unexpected, please contact CurlyRed today. We'd love to help you bring your vision to fruition. 


CurlyRed @ Get Found University!

Are you thinking about a website refresh or facelift? Do you want to create a stronger online presence? Are you curious about how to create a dynamic and captivating website for your company or organization?

You're in luck: that's what M. Kendall Ludwig, president and principal designer of CurlyRed will be discussing, as part of Baltimore Innovation Week. Discover where website design is going, and how to quickly and effectively communicate and engage with your customers. Kendall will discuss branding, color, content, imagery, mobile-friendliness and much more!

Get Found University is on Thursday, October 1st, 9-12:30pm at the University of Baltimore.  Wanna come? Buy tickets here.


Featured client: Kellie Holoski, Medical Illustrator to the stars

Now THIS was a super-fun job to work on. Not only is Kellie’s work outstanding, but we were able to work together to create new branding and a new look for her portfolio website to really showcase her talent and impressive client list. 

We share a love for white space and stunning typography. And the final result is a functional, clean and beautiful mobile-friendly website! 

As always, we are available to discuss your branding, print and/or web design needs and help YOU create something beautiful! Contact us today.


Featured Client: Ludwig Painting and "Mobilegeddon"

Josh Ludwig, CEO of Ludwig Painting and cousin of president and principal designer, M. Kendall Ludwig, was very happy with the website we created for him a few years ago. But WE had one major problem with it: it wasn't mobile-friendly.

As you've most likely heard by now, Google began rolling out a search engine update on April 21st, dubbed “Mobilegeddon.”

 From Google: “We’re boosting the ranking of mobile-friendly pages on mobile search results. Now searchers can more easily find high-quality and relevant results where text is readable without tapping or zooming, tap targets are spaced appropriately, and the page avoids unplayable content or horizontal scrolling.”

So basically: if your site isn't optimized for mobile, your site is most likely already losing MAJOR traffic on mobile searches. This is especially important given that, as of this year, mobile devices are now the main source of Google search traffic.

Due to this news, we at CurlyRed have decided that mobile-friendly sites will now become the standard for all of our customers moving forward. 

As you can see, Ludwig Painting's site looks as fantastic in mobile form as it does on a desktop—and Josh no longer needs to worry about losing out on potential mobile traffic and customers. 

So if you're in need of a website that looks great on every device, contact us today!


Design Inspiration and Travel: Nashville

We decided to celebrate 11 (yes, 11) wonderful years of marriage by taking a trip to Nashville. And we were inspired the entire trip! There are such wonderful treasures in "Music City," here are just a few we want to share:

This little gem of a coffee shop was totally unique and very East Nashville—industrial, artistic and very-well branded.

From the website:

Hatch Show Print (started in 1879) now resides at 224 5th Avenue South, in four different spaces designed and built to suit the demands and mission of such a busy icon of design, letterpress printing, and history:
• A large print shop where visitors can watch posters roll off the presses;

• A store with wall space to display the 100-plus posters created by the print shop and available for purchase;

• Hatch Show Print's Haley Gallery, featuring historic restrikes of original posters from the Hatch collection, as well as Master Printer Jim Sherraden’s monoprints—contemporary interpretations and celebrations of the classic wood blocks of Hatch Show Print; and

• Hatch Show Print Space for Design, a classroom and workshop space that will offer visitors and clients opportunities to learn more through demonstrations, hands-on printing and more in-depth programs.

One of the highlights of our trip was our visit to the record label, venue and shop of the great Jack White—one of our all-time favorite musicians. Every detail of his shop was so well-thought out, it was awe-inspiring!

So, that's our short and incomplete list. And don't plan on losing weight while you're there—did we mention the incredible BBQ? hot chicken? biscuits? GooGoos? EVERYTHING?

If you get the chance to visit the great city of Nashville, don't hesitate. We loved it!

good design for everyone