How discovering a great URL lead to a greater idea

There are a lot of dangerous threats to our nation’s youth: climate change, fiscal debts, and sharknados. But one of the biggest threats is often under reported: all the good domain names and usernames have been taken.

But when we set out to do a website for Zach Morris, we found a stunning domain that hadn’t been taken:

Zach is a high school classmate of mine. He lives in Indianapolis with his new wife Rachel and Zach’s going to be starting a stint in the Navy this summer. But when he’s not single-handedly guiding battleships through the Pacific, he draws.

Zach does caricature work, in addition to other sketches, doodles, cartoons, and art. It’s a recent endeavor of his and the initial idea was for a site that can just showcase some of his recent work.

But when I checked the availability of on a lark and found it was available, it sparked new ideas about what the site could do. Ultimately we ended up with a showcase of work, a blog, and an interactive storefront so you can buy your own caricatures, upload a photo, and receive a digital version back (or a printed version delivered by him or the Postal Service for a little extra). You can even book him to work live at events for things like “visual minutes” and on-site caricatures of your co-workers and friends.

It came out colorfully and neatly, and with a lot of his artwork to boot. Even during the Google “honeymoon period”, it’s managed to snag some interested event coordinators. Our thinking on the design of the site was trying to capture a balance between a fun carnival, where people most associate caricature artists, and something conservative enough to garner the attention of corporate event planners.

While Zach’s away serving his time with the US Navy, his site will change a little to make mention of the fact he’s most likely piloting an aircraft carrier through a hurricane. Or running laps. Either way, it’s a neat site and you should check it out and order your own caricature before he ships out in July.

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Justin Harter

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