An industry design veteran who has successfully conquered both coasts, Drew Stauffer combines innovation with web standards to bring a blend of usability and creative vision to every project. As Director of Development for Wildfire Productions and CEO of Alibi Productions, Drew leaves no development stone unturned. He has published many articles on web standards and has been featured on WebProNews and Google News, and his companies count The Hyatt, BMW, and Michelin among their many satisfied clients.
I was originally born in Charleston, SC but shortly moved to Pensacola Fl., so that‘s where I call home. Pensacola was a great place to grow up. Beautiful beaches and a decent size city was plenty to keep me in trouble throughout most of my youth. It took me a while to figure out the direction that I wanted to go in life. I attended business classes in college because I thought that was the safest bet.
I moved to San Diego, CA. in the beginning of 2001. My plan was to attend San Diego State and major in Internet marketing. To my surprise, SDSU doesn’t offer Internet marketing. After a lot of long and hard thought as to what I liked about marketing, my path lead me to design.
I began Platt College in April of ’01 and was focusing on web design. Platt devoted all of its educational resources to Graphic Design, Web Design, Animation, and Digital Video. While I was there Platt went through many adaptations. The school was growing and becoming more popular every year.
Unfortunately so was their course load. A year before I was supposed to graduate they instated new credit qualifications which forced me to focus more on just web design. I finally graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Fine Arts and Media, basically I’m qualified to develop websites, special effects in motion graphics and animation. The animation was a very good balance that turned my “design eye” to greater detail. In the animation world when you build a character from scratch, you are forced to study, stare, and better each minute detail. Half-ass quality shows through very prominently.
After about a year at Platt I was qualified to be a graphic designer. I got a job at a commercial sign manufacturer. We designed signs, banners, and billboards. At Platt the design side of things was sacred, you worked slowly and had time to complete your projects. Working in the real world I soon realized that business comes first and design comes second. You have a certain budget, a specific timeline, and you complete the project when it was supposed to be done. Working in that kind of environment really helped to hone my business skills. I worked there for 2 years and soon realized that I had hit the ceiling and it was time to move on.
I later moved to my next company, Einstein Industries. Einstein was “Marine Corp” type place, meaning everybody started at the bottom and worked their way up. Starting at the bottom allowed me to learn the way that websites are supposed to be built. Corrections to Production Assistant to Senior Designer, I was soon at the top of the chain again.
I learned so much at Einstein and there was no reason that I couldn’t do it for myself, so like any other designer, the freelance began. I started Alibi Productions when I was in school as a fictitious name of business. After re-doing the site many times over the years alibiproductions.com has changed a great deal. It has developed with me as my skills and knowledge progress.
Alibi was a perfect place for my personal projects but I wanted a more professional image. I began Wildfire Productions with a life-long friend, John King. We grew up together in Pensacola but the road to college took us on separate paths. One day we found ourselves both living in San Diego and the option to begin a company together was too tempting. Wildfire designs and develops custom and professional websites as well as entire branding and marketing lines. Wildfire Productions has been very lucrative in its first few years and I couldn’t be happier.
I not only design and develop websites for these three companies, but I also consult. In the Internet business world I am constantly answering questions. I wanted to find a way to give back the answers to more than just the people who are asking. I developed this blog to publish and organize the tricks of the trade that I have learned over the years. Please free to contact me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org if there is a question you have that I have not written about. Asking is the first step. I’m here to help.