” She just took over a company that is all paper. She actually said to me “I don’t know what I’m going to do Cody!” All Paper!

Cody Tatman, freelance web designer and digital marketer, on the ups and downs of his latest work, finding clients and living in a burnt out mill.

The best thing about building CloudCannon for web designers is that they tend to be cool people who build cool stuff.

And we get to deal with them a lot.

It seems like a shame to keep all that to ourselves so we’re shining the spotlight on the best designers we’ve come across so far.

Cody Tatman Cody Tatman

This week we caught up with Cody Tatman, freelance web designer and digital marketer based in Sacramento, California.

The recently re-launched CodyTatman.com is eye catching, combines simple elements to great effect and is making good use of the power of CloudCannon. Here’s what Cody had to say:

CodyTatman.com CodyTatman.com - Cody Tatman

What was your goal with the look and feel of the site?

I was looking to make the site as simple as possible. My previous sites were really complicated and had too much info. I wanted this new version to be as direct and easy for people to navigate as possible.

It’s a simple site but there is still a lot going on. What’s your favourite part?

The moment you come to the page and everything appears makes the biggest impression on me. I hope that that small attention to detail grabs attention of my site’s visitors. While that makes a big statement, my favourite part of it is the gliding image in the background. I just think the CSS that I put there is really cool.

What was the trickiest part of the build?

I’d actually never used Font Awesome before. Some things weren’t working and I couldn’t figure out why things weren’t showing up. Then I realised - way late - that I was just using an old version of it. I think building my site was all really simple for the most part but you’ll always hit a speed bump now and then.

How would you describe your personal style?

I guess I’d describe it as really clean, temporary, a little bit nostalgic. A hint of ‘Gotham’.

I’m drawn to large, bold fonts that leave little room for confusion. Also, nearly every photo I use around the web has a focus on architecture. Black and White tends to draw the eye.

Untitled street print Cody Tatman - Nikon D7000, Focal Length 50mm, Aperture f/7.1, Shutter Speed1/200s, ISO 200

Your website certainly showcases all that about you. I was browsing your photo website CRTphoto.com yesterday and the architecture thing really comes through.

Yea architecture - that was actually my first career choice. I thought about studying but in the end I was like “I don’t know math”. *laughs*

What influences for your web design, your photography and the digital marketing stuff that you’re doing?

Honestly, I am inspired by my client’s personalities, fashion sense, and aesthetic and then I kind of feed off of it.

One of my newest clients is looking to basically create a whole new website. She actually doesn’t have one yet. She just took over a company that is all paper. She actually said to me “I don’t know what I’m going to do Cody!” All Paper!

The brand name she’s working with is Logo Logos, and the first thing I thought of was those old 3D photos where you had to wear the red and blue glasses. The first logo I created had this effect on top of a vintage 3D image.

I guess you’d say that it’s very nostalgic. Sticking with my style!

3d glasses http://www.3d-image.net/images/3D-glasses-anaglyph.jpg

How long have you been a web designer for?

I’ve probably been doing it for two years total now.

How did you get into it and how did you learn?

I’m all self trained. I went to school for digital marketing and then I realised I like to get my hands dirty just a little bit. So everything I’ve learned is via Codecademy, Lynda videos or just Google searching issues as they come up. I have a lot of fun learning on my own.

I actually used to work for a SharePoint company where all of my skills went out the window - the process was completely outdated. After a year of working with them I got back into self-learning code.

What are some of your upcoming projects?

My next big project is my friends website. That’s going to be a pretty big deal for my career. She basically does merchandise - like event ‘swag’ I guess you’d say. She left a big company that did promotions and she finally decided to go out on her own. It’s going to be a learning experience for me as this will be the first eCommerce site I’ve worked on. With promotions, many of the products are aggregated from many sources and I’ll have to bring them all into one. So I’m really excited to be working on that.

WRK Midtown WRKmidtown.co - Cody Tatman

I’m also working on another project called WRK Midtown, promoting the creative industries in Sacramento. Lately I’ve been working on getting out there and reaching local companies to feature on the site. I actually have about 5 CEOs that are down so that’s cool. The real focus is to create a better network of professionals in my hometown. If everything goes according to plan, WRK can become a go-to site for “best places to work in Sacramento”.

Is that how you’re finding most of your business? Through word of mouth and through networking?

A lot of it is yeah. And I’m okay with that. Connecting with people on a personal level is more important to me than sending out CVs and proposals. People want to work with people.

I did get someone who came to me through LinkedIn recently and it was someone who said they needed a lot of work on their eCommerce site but what they actually wanted was someone to become their new full time marketing person. I wasn’t willing. Not for them. *laughs*

Where do you do most of your work?

I’m talking to you from my house. This is it. I live in an old flour mill actually. It’s been completely renovated into living space because of a fire that happened in the 90’s.

Globe Flour Mills Cody Tatman

All of the stairwells are inside the flour silos. It’s really cool.

Globe Flour Mills internal stairwell landing Cody Tatman

You can actually see the old graffiti from when this was abandoned like in the hallways and on my walls. It’s awesome.

Globe Flour Mills entrance Cody Tatman

Globe Flour Mills stairwell Cody Tatman

When I was in high school, I used to break into buildings like this. And now I get to live and work in one. So I’m pretty happy!

How are you using CloudCannon at the moment?

I love the the editable regions definitely. I haven’t used them on my own site because it’s so simple. But for all my client stuff it’s the best. I recently updated my rate card and CloudCannon is now listed as my CMS of choice.