Wenatchee Valley Chamber and Visitors Website & Branding

In 2013 the Wenatchee Valley Visitors Bureau was merged into the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce to form a new organization that would take care of both promoting the Valley to visitors and taking care of businesses in town. Apt Design had a great working relationship with both of the previous organizations, so their decision to continue using Apt Design was a natural extension of a successful partnership.

Branding the new Organization

We first set to work defining a new look for the new Chamber, and indeed creating an all-inclusive brand for the entire Valley. A composite of organizations in the Wenatchee Valley contracted with Arnett Muldrow to help them create a brand for our entire area. AM flew to town for a few days and in a short time delivered most of a comprehensive brand statement for the Valley. Apt Design then stepped in to finalize the assets the organizations’ would be using. While that focused heavily on creating a variety of separate yet unmistakably parallel logos, I also created a visual design style for the Chamber for use across all their materials – including online and print ads for visitors and internal flyers and brochures for local businesses.

wenatchee-logos

 

Next we turned our attention to tackle the biggest project – the merging of the two old organizations’ websites into a single destination on the web.

 

Structuring Content

Information architecture was critical on this site redesign. We pored over Google Analytics reports to see what visitors were doing on both old sites, and strategized how we could best get every user group what they wanted as quickly and easily as possible. Weeks were spent reviewing and reassessing the content from both old sites to make it easier for visitors to find what they were looking for.

wenatchee-website-business-pageIn the end we made the main emphasis of the website centered on visitors to the Valley and separated out the Business and Relocation sections of the site into entirely different areas. Each area was then given it’s own distinctive look and feel to subtly notify visitors that they were viewing a completely different set of information.

Because there was simply so much content in each area of the site we focused on a ‘listings’ model that applies to most of the site’s content. A listing is a place of interest, business, restaurant or hotel. Each listing is easily populated with things like title, photo and description but can also store information like website, location and Facebook page. Because each listing can then be categorized and tagged, they can then be dynamically resorted and cross-linked based on what you’re looking for (example: explore all the Kid-Friendly places in Wenatchee!). This became the true power behind the new website, and one that continues to be built upon.

Staying Fresh

wenatchee-website-full-pageIn keeping with the “fresh” theme of Wenatchee’s new branding, we knew that this site needed to keep content updated and current to maintain a strong presence in the Valley. Since the homepage is by far the most-visited page on any website we paid close attention to keeping it up to speed. The giant lead images let the Chamber promote the greatest parts of the Valley, and 3 easy-to-update callouts underneath are the perfect place for preeminent seasonal topics and links. Featured Calendar events get you to the action straightaway and a blog connects you to the latest thoughts and opinions in the area. Lastly a dynamic footer finally integrates the Chamber’s rich social media experience in an easy-to-view digest.

A comprehensive tutorial gave the Chamber the power to update and edit every single part of their website. Task in hand they have been diligent to keep new content entered and keep the energy of this site alive and active!

One Calendar to Rule Them

wenatchee-website-calendar

One of the main foci for the Chamber was having a fully-featured, comprehensive calendar that would be populated with everything happening in the Valley. We used Modern Tribe’s Event Plugin to get things going, then completely customized the design to make it fit beautifully. Filling in hundreds of events would still be taxing to the Chamber’s staff however, so Nick custom-built an events aggregator that pulls in events from other participating calendars in the valley to truly create one calendar to rule them all.

jerri-barkley Jerri Barkley
Marketing & Communications Coordinator for Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce
Brad is a consummate professional for sure and as you can see others agree with that wholeheartedly.  One of the best things about Brad is that I have not known of anyone that has worked with him on a project that has not been 100% pleased with the end product but also with the process.   From the beginning of our very large project through one project after another he has been terrific.  Re designing and reworking our new website seemed like a pretty daunting task but Brad expertly worked the plan.  His skills in time/project management are as exceptional as his eye for design.  Love having the opportunity to work with him and look forward to more.

Responsive All the Way

wenatchee-website-on-iphoneThis site was built with mobile users in mind from the very beginning, which is good because the site’s mobile traffic is already above 25% and growing! The mobile site delivers up the same powerful experience, but in a simplified manner. This is where our time spent on the information architecture showed itself advantageous – users are still able to access all the site’s content easily via the responsive menu. And since mobile users are often out and about looking for something to do we made sure the Calendar button was always available.

Robert Howard

Author

Brad came up with a powerful visual look and graphic design that tied together the various “chapters” in my story. What’s more, he is a pleasure to work with—a great listener and highly collaborative!

Reid Peifer

Creative Director at Modern Tribe

His design work and attention to detail is impeccable. He’s also pushed me, and our team to become better designers. When I look at finished work from Brad – I don’t see his face all over it. It’s not about him – it’s about the design. When I look at a finished project and see a happy client, happy budget and happy timeline – well Brad’s face is all over that.

Keith Wiggins

Co-Owner of Boswells Furniture

Since completion we have noticed increased customer usage of our website for research and enjoy additional business from these new customers. Brad comes to you from Boswells highly recommended.

Rolf Boone

Blogger

Brad provided very clear and understandable (for those of us who are tech challenged) directions on the process, explaining the steps he would take to build and design the site, as well as the input he wanted from me, and the training involved once the site was complete. Brad, who has a sharp eye for design, ran with it and produced a great site. He does good work.

Kelly Allen

Owner of Late Bloomer Productions

Brad is not only one of the most creative people I have ever worked with, he is truly one of the “nice guys” who make life and work easier and more fun.

Kelly Boyle

Realtor

I would recommend him to any business that seeks to improve their image and market share. Brad is more than a service provider, he is a business partner.

Eric Granstrom

former Director of Marketing for the Wenatchee Valley Sports Council

Brad was quick, efficient and completely approachable about changes. Best of all, the final layout looked phenomenal.

Marcia Janke

former Tourism Director of the Wenatchee Valley Visitor's Bureau

Brad is a delight to work with.

Gina Muller

former Director of Sales and Marketing for Gill Diamond Hospitality

We have seen an increase in our internet revenue since having the new websites.

Susan Lagsdin

former Executive Director of Write On The River

Brad’s design work is creative and impeccable — and best of all, he listens well and asks all the right questions, with no assumptions about his clients’ experience.

Carol Scibelli

Humor Writer & Speaker

I chose Apt Design because Brad’s websites stood out from all the others I saw. The bonus was that besides his talent he is also a joy to work with.

Marissa Collins

Marketing Director at the Numerica Performing Arts Center

Brad executes a project with such ease that it really makes for an enjoyable experience. I trust Brad and would highly recommend his design solutions to anyone.

Brad is a complete professional and a pleasure to work with — he’s intuitive, creative, responsive and reliable.

Rebecca Hargrove Fox

former Member Services Director of the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce

Brad is a pleasure to work with: professional and friendly every time. He continuously produces excellent work.

Steve Maher

Partner at RunWenatchee.com

We’re proud of what the public experiences when they come to our Run Wenatchee website. The site is clean, well-organized and lively, and for good reason. Brad Fitzgerald took the early design concepts we had in mind and made those come to life in a singular fashion.

Annette Pennington

former Executive Director of the Wenatchee Downtown Association

The design work is flawless, the content is accurate and always within the project budget. He is consistently able to be reached, is open to questions and comment, and each project has been completed on time.

Nena Howell

Freelance Marketing Consultant

He’s nailed countless designs for my clients and he gets it every single time.

After scouring dozens of author websites I contacted Brad – because his designs are clean and tight, and he is easy to work with. From inspecting his initial concept drafts, it was clear that selecting Brad was the right move.

I had a terrific experience working with Brad. He was at all times flexible, patient, and responsive. Above all, Brad is a terrific person and working with him was a pleasure.

Shane Pearlman

Shane Pearlman, CEO at Modern Tribe

I can count on Brad. When he says he’s going to do something he gets it done. That accountability is probably one of the most important things I can have from someone I work with. Brad is certainly one of the most accountable people I’ve had on my team.

When you hire Brad you get his creative talent mixed with dependability and you end up with someone who is really great to work with.

Jamie Howell

Author, Owner of Howell at the Moon Productions

Communicating design concepts can be tricky, so when you find somebody who can consistently understand your abstract needs and ideas and translate them into creative designs that actually work, you latch on to them. That’s why I latched on to Brad at Apt Design at the very beginning and have stayed with him ever since.

Allison Williams

Executive Director for the City of Wenatchee

Brad was excellent to work with! He was creative, utilized broad input and was very quick to turn around deliverables. I would highly recommend Brad and Apt Design.

Andy Dappen

Founder, Editor of WenatcheeOutdoors.org

Brad was always extremely prompt and professional in turning around what we requested. And Apt Design brought top quality design elements and ideas to the table for our consideration.

Susan Hufman

Executive Director of the Leavenworth Summer Theater

…finding Brad was the answer. He listened, researched, welcomed honest responses to drafts, adapted, educated us, stayed on deadline and delivered a first-rate creative website that continues to draw rave reviews.

Zach Cheatham

Owner of Z-AXIS Creative

Brad always seems to find new and exciting ways to convert ideas and client direction into beautiful and unique website designs. The quality of his work, turnaround time, and attention to detail are all top-notch.

Sherri Schneider

Executive Director of Community Farm Connection

It was so much fun working with Apt Design on our logos and branding. Brad listened carefully to what everyone had to say and then somehow gleaned the critical points out of that diverse input.

Lilia Grundy

Marketing Director for Icicle Creek Center for the Arts

Working with a new designer can be overwhelming – but through Brad’s organizational systems and resources, we were able to work through various projects in record turn-around timing. Additionally, our latest posters and designs have captured the hearts and attention of the community. We increasingly receive requests such as “how can I get one of those posters?!”

Traci Mann

Author, Professor of Psychology

Brad is an incredible designer. My book’s website is exactly what I wanted, even though I couldn’t even begin to articulate what I wanted before talking to Brad. Not only is the website wonderful, but he finished it faster than he promised, and he was great to work with. I am so glad I hired Brad for this project. I am absolutely delighted with the results.

Jerri Barkley

Marketing & Communications Coordinator for Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce

I have not known of anyone that has worked with him on a project that has not been 100% pleased with the end product but also with the process.

Justen Forge

Author

EVERY project he works on is the most important project to him, and that’s how he makes you feel through his accessibility, responsiveness, communication and professionalism.