Archive for FINE News

The Resolvatron

20 May 2010 | Comments Off

It all looks so seamless to you. By the time you see your website, mobile app, CMS, or other incarnation of digital magic, it’s veritably error-free, enviably attractive, and fully functional in all 50 states and beyond. What we haven’t told you during the sales meeting, or in subsequent presentations and interactions, is that our Portland office employs a futuristic robot called The Resolvatron to assure this outcome. It’s from the FUTURE.

The Resolvatron is in the midst of a multi-year beta that began in the year 2091, under the oversight of several shady government agencies whose acronyms we cannot even share, except to say that there are both vowels and consonants in them. Forget we even told you that. Read the rest of this entry »

Langan Website Gets Industry Excellence Award

12 May 2010 | Comments Off

Langan Engineering and Environmental Services works on big, award-winning projects around the globe. And their new FINE website is emerging as one of their most notable projects in recent months. The site was just awarded the 2010 ZweigWhite Marketing Excellence award for best website. This award recognizes the finest outreach efforts in the architecture, engineering, and environmental services industries.

The winning review  [download PDF HERE] acknowledges facets of design, technology, and effectiveness – beyond “sophisticated colors and clean layout”, or “dynamic Flash-driven portfolio”, it’s most gratifying to read that the site has nearly doubled traffic since launch, and that “the personal tour capability has revolutionized Langan’s ability to tailor the experience of a particular client.”

Le Chef Tam

6 May 2010 | Comments Off

Our Alumni get sweet gigs. In places like France.

Kristine Ashe Vineyards

4 May 2010 | Comments Off

The intimate Flash experience of Kristine Ashe Vineyards’ new FINE-designed website is like being drawn into a family dinner (albeit one with attendant sheep). Lush photographs and a lot of personal touches by winemaker Kristine Ashe herself add to the personal, heartfelt tone of the website.

Which is appropriate for this kind of winery, not a giant acreage with buildings full of industrial equipment, but a small plot of soil in the Napa Valley tended by a handful of passionate people who pick the best grapes by hand at night.

View the project

Mr. Mondavi Lives On

29 April 2010 | Comments Off

Robert Mondavi’s passion and vision had a profound influence on American culture. And the new site at is a celebration of that.

A few years back, industry giant Constellation Brands bought the Robert Mondavi family of wine brands for a whopping $1.2 Billion. It made a big statement about how much equity the Mondavi name had built while Robert Mondavi was helping to build Napa Valley and the American wine and food culture we know today. Along with perhaps 1-2 other famous wine and foodies, you can probably thank Mr. Mondavi for the fact that our Wonder Bread and Kool Aid culture has been infused with a little more food and wine sophistication, including everything from organics to the Food Network.

The newly designed wine website is the first time his vision of a populist wine and food culture has ever been presented in one consolidated public venue. It takes you through the timeline of how his vision evolved, integrates the on-site events and educational programs that helped make his ideas accessible. The winery website is peppered with his best quotes and ideas, and back-ended with a CMS to keep it all fresh. And above all, it creates a brand platform, using everything from color palette to navigation to content and imagery, where everyday wine and expensive wine can co-exist in an unified vision of gracious living.

Somewhere, Mr. Mondavi is tossing back a nice Cab and smiling.

Some People Got Robots

28 April 2010 | 1 comment

A farewell gift for the lil’ robot in all of us. Domo arigato, Mrs. Roboto.

Here Comes The SunRun

28 April 2010 | Comments Off

There’s a big future in sunshine, and that was never more clear than it was with yesterday’s launch of

SunRun’s a company that makes it easy to go solar by helping you finance and install without having to get a PhD in solar cell technology or an MBA in finance. They’re backed by another client, Accel Partners, and often in the news talking about their sunny vision. And their new online presence sheds light on that approach with custom quotes, easy steps, and a design that makes everything abundantly clear.

We hope a few of you reading this will have panels on your roof shortly after clicking through on the link to their new website.

The Lunchtime Scenic Route

13 April 2010 | Comments Off

From the San Francisco office to the nearest deli is 4 blocks as the crow flies. Unless the crow decides to take a slight detour loop up the Filbert Steps to Coit Tower. And then come down the Greenwich Steps. And then, after a circuit around the salad bar, back up the Greenwich steps. And finally down the Filbert ones again. If the crow does that, then it’ll experience something like a cross between a glorious spring walk in Paris and the Rattan Death March. But its probably better exercise than what you’ll get out of your gym membership this week. Watch out for the Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill and enjoy!

Ultimate Creativity

13 April 2010 | 1 comment

A work in progress here in San Francisco.

Quoth The Ravenswood

7 April 2010 | Comments Off

Once upon a midnight dreary, we pondered weak and weary, over many a quaint and curious concept of forgotten lore, and now we’re done we marvel at the site where the dark bird dwells. Quoth the raven evermore at

Ravenswood’s always been a bit of a rebel wine. It started with their single-minded mission to popularize Zinfandel at a time when wimpy wines like white zin were gaining popularity. After many years, and an acquisition by Constellation Brands, they finally have a site that stands up to their claim of No Wimpy Wines as boldly as their brand. It features illustrative stylings, parallax flash, extra deprecated dynamic SEO and promotion engine fu. As you strafe across the brooding raven landscape, don’t miss the winefinder tool that helps do a fast search by varietal and brand family, and fan them up on Facebook while you’re at it.

And, before you know it, it’s already been selected as an upcoming CommArts Site of the Day.

[sorry about the bad Poe]