I’m Dani Ward,

and I do lots of things.

Web Design

Icon Graphics Website

I’m very proud of the work I put into the Icon Graphics site redesign. Some of the strategy options weren’t implemented for various reasons, but the process of planning and organizing and writing and designing for such a large project, along with helping to oversee the progress and ensure quality, was a process that helped me grow as a designer, writer, and web professional.

New in the Portfolio: Web, Lettering, and Print Items

After putting it off for far too long, I’ve added several pieces — old and new — to my portfolio. As you can see, my work spans a wide range: logo development, hand-lettering and calligraphy, web design, copywriting, brochure design, ad design, and self-mailers. I love my job, and I’m so proud of the work I get to create for such a wide variety of clients and even for my own artistic drive. Hope you enjoy!

Humans Vs. Robots in the Fight for SEO

When it comes to writing content for your website, there are 2 main schools of thought seemingly at odds with one another. Many argue that you should focus on the people reading your content and forget about search engine optimization entirely. They suggest a heavy focus on loading your writing with keywords makes your content too stiff and difficult to understand, resulting in a disconnect from your visitors. But others insist the goal ought to be to focus on search engine robots crawling your site through loading your content with keywords. Their reasoning is that people can’t find your site if search engines don’t, making SEO of utmost importance. In short, the former focuses on human connection; the latter focuses on data alone.

But what if there doesn’t have to be a fight? What if content managed to be good while taking both humans androbots into consideration? What would that look like? What guidelines might inform how you write?

Read more over at Iconography!

“Different” isn’t enough.

Occasionally, in both my freelance and office work, I’ve gotten requests from clients to create a design that’s different. “We don’t want to do what our competitors are doing. We want to be different.” Don’t get me wrong. There’s definitely merit to this request. A design that mimics competitors — or is so bland as to be invisible — fails to have a lasting impact. A strong and unique design is always appropriate.

But just being “different” isn’t enough in and of itself.

Sometimes, it can even be disastrous.

So, when is a “different” design just not enough?