The Evolution of a Project – What We Do and How We Do It

SkyHawk Studios recently completed an extensive promotional project for a Portland-based design engineering firm, Sturges DesignWorks. It’s a good example of the broad range of services we offer, but more importantly, a good example of how to execute an extensive project in an orderly, sequential fashion. We thought we’d share our experience with you. .

The owner of Sturges DesignWorks, Dan Sturges, had invented a tool device called the Sturges Turning Head System which turns any CNC milling machine into a precision CNC lathe. (CNC – computer numerical control – refers to a machine tool that uses computer programs to automatically execute a series of machining operations). The Sturges Turning Head System is a brilliant invention that can save machine shops, maintenance departments, hobbyists, and many other fields, thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars in equipment and lost time.

When we first met with Dan he explained to us that he wanted a complete branding package for his invention which included a new company logo, a website dedicated to the Sturges Turning Head System, promotional literature, and a four-minute demonstration video. The project would also include product photography.

We realized that our challenge would be communicating the unique advantages of this new system, and clearly showing how it differed from other alternatives on the market.

So we took the time to fully understand the Sturges Turning Head System. Dan’s excitement was infectious.

First, we tackled the logo, as this would be visible on the machine itself in product photography. We wanted something that would convey the precision, accuracy, and forward-thinking of Sturges DesignWorks. The logo was designed to look great as machine labels.

Next, we tackled product photography, shooting all of the parts of the Sturges Turning Head System from different angles. We photographed the Turning Head System both in our studio and in operation at Dan’s shop. The best of the photographs were then composed and enhanced in PhotoShop to clearly show all parts of the system.

Based on our conversations with Dan, we wrote copy describing the Sturges Turning Head System, and also wrote a demonstration video script. The photographs and copy were then incorporated into a website for the product, and handout literature.

Finally, we shot and edited the video. This involved two days of shooting. On the first day, we interviewed Dan in our studio, and on the second day, filmed the Sturges Turning Head System in action at the Sturges shop. This material was then edited down into a four-minute video presentation showing exactly what the Turning Head System is and what it does.The result of all this work can now be seen on the completed website,

Working for months with Dan was a complete pleasure for us.  He was very hands-on throughout the process, taking the necessary time to work and meet with us to ensure we understood exactly what he wanted. And that aspect was crucial to the end result: a business owner who was totally involved, hands-on with the project.

We wish him the very best in his new enterprise!

(If you’re interested in a more detailed account of how we execute a project, you may want to read our article “How We Work”)

About Jefferson Hawkins

With over 40 years experience in graphic design, marketing and advertising, Jefferson brings a wealth of old-school basics to the digital age.

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