Branding / Design
Brandon Lee Kitajchuk
Kelly Malone is incredible—the best. I’ve sung her praise many a time for many a reason. Most recently because she edited my first trade paperback for Tabi No Hana, the comic book series I make. I’ve known Kelly forever, she is my aunt afterall, and I’ve worked with her on more than one iteration of her website. Back in the day, as it were, I designed and developed her old WordsUp Communication website. That site hung around awhile but the times sure do change, and so do websites. Eventually, the old Wordpress site just wasn’t cutting it anymore.
For this go-around I was brought in to do what others in this case simply could not do—build a clean, functional website that is easy to update and integrated with several key services for Kelly’s business needs. For this I went with my trusty Clutch stack. Clutch is a modern headless CMS SDK for Prismic.io. I chose this route because Prismic is a very clean and straight forward publishing platform that is endlessly configurable and customizable. Kelly appreciates the ease of use this provides her to manage the content for her site including blogging.
As a developer what I love about Clutch is the versatility. Outside using Prismic as the CMS, Clutch utilizes an entire pipeline to integrate with AWS, Circle CI, and any other services a project may need to authenticate with. On the AWS side of things, Clutch uses OpsWorks to manage the Stack and the clutch-chef cookbook to configure instances of the Stack. One can attach an S3 bucket to Clutch to serve static assets from and if you want you can add a CloudFront CDN to that bucket. Circle CI creates a fault-tolerant integration with the two key environments: staging and production. Each environment is attached to a git branch: dev and master. Clutch does a lot more and the magic is in the code. You can explore that on Github.
While I’ve worked out several third-party service integrations for Clutch via the authorizations pipeline, WordsUp required me to write some new ones. Previous projects have had me setup Vimeo, Instagram, Hubspot, and even an ICIMS integration ( don’t ask :/ ). Kelly needed two I hadn’t tackled yet: Mailchimp and Google’s Recaptcha. Luckily the authorizations pipeline for Clutch makes this pretty easy. Most services these days support Oauth2, but I have been forced to utilize Basic Auth setups for services that offer a “developer” resource—quotes very much intended here.
Working with Kelly isn’t like working at all. She inspires me to keep at my own game—hustling my skills as a rare breed of illustrator/designer/developer that no one seems to grasp the real nature of. I love her. I love working with her. My artwork is hanging on the walls of her home. Granted its old and I wish to replace it with something newer, but you get the picture. It’s all in the family and we even get the bonus of discount services. But I don’t have to be the only one to tell you these things about Kelly. Hear what others have to say about working with Kelly and their success thereof.