Recently we reached out to our favorite web designer, Denise Biondo after becoming aquainted with her through working with Celia Siegel. Denise works very closely with Celia Siegel of CSM & VoiceGeek Micromanagement and has created some of our favorite VO sites. If you’re in the market for a website or a website makeover, Denise is the go to girl!
VL: Your websites are like works of art!! What is your design process when creating a website for a new client & how do you come up with such unique concepts?
DB: Thank you! Biondo Studio, which is composed of myself and my husband John was started in 2003 in Brooklyn and we are now located in Buffalo, N.Y. I really consider each website to be a collaboration between our studio and the client and it keeps the work interesting and fun because each client is unique and we bring that out in the design of each site. I work with many different types of people and businesses, but many of my sites are for voice over actors. This came about because about 7 or so years ago, I was contacted by the voice over manager Celia Siegel to create her website and then she began to outsource me to work with branding and design for some of the VO actors that she represents. The process begins with an outline submitted to me, based on Celia’s consultation with her client, working with her writer Marnie Lee to brand the best description of the voice and image, and then deciding how to present the whole package to those within the VO industry. From there, I like to have a phone conversation with the client to get to know a bit more about them personally and their likes and dislikes, and provide details about technical aspects of the site. Next, I write up an estimate and send it to the client and then if they decide to hire me, we go from there. The design process is the most time-consuming part because there’s a lot of thinking that goes into it, pushing and pulling of different ideas on the screen, research of different styles, etc. Sometimes I hit the nail on the head with the first sketch. Most times there’s a few revisions that have to be done to get it right, and on rare occasions I have to start over from scratch because I’ve got it all wrong, but even in that case, we usually get it back on track with the second revision and then move full-steam ahead. Most times there is a waiting period to get started on the design but once we have begun, I’d say that the process takes between 4 to 6 weeks.
VL: What are some success stories of your clients who have handed their websites over to you for a complete makeover?
DB: I’ve had several clients who have come to me and they were trying to get started in the VO business and then within a year they were doing VO full time. I also have many author clients who have said that their website really helped with the sales of their books. I create nicely designed tool for them to use to show off their talent, but their success also has to do with the business advice they’re following, the demos that they’ve recorded, and how hard they are working at promoting themselves. Someone could have the most elaborate and beautiful website, and if they don’t get themselves out there and use it, it would probably not get the results that they want. On the other hand, if they have something stylish and memorable that they are putting out there and people respond to it, they might not have to work quite as hard. We’ve all bought something because of the packaging: wine, books, perfume, etc. I’ve had people tell me that they knew they’d hire me immediately when they saw my page load in. Aesthetics definitely aren’t everything, but they’re an important piece of the puzzle.
VL: Obviously you’re more than a web designer, what other services do you offer through Biondo Studios??