Friday Fun! Get to Know Steve the Bear

Meet Steve – Schipul’s Resident Polar Bear

If you’ve perused the Schipul staff page, you may have noticed some nonhuman Schipulites in the mix. One of those such team members is Steve the Polar Bear.

Get to Know Steve!

Schipul’s unofficial mascot is the Polar Bear. And when former Operations Manager April Kyle (now April Nassi!)  was looking for a visual reminder to set on someone’s desk when it is their turn to take kitchen duty – she followed suit and purchased a stuffed polar bear and named him Steve.

He has been a part of the Schipul tribe ever since.

Steve’s Many Outfits

In true Schipul fashion, we want to make sure Steve is taken care of in his time here with us. It is my duty (and privilege) to keep up with Steve & maintain his growing wardrobe, which over the years has grown to include outfits for summer, Christmas, business meetings, and of course Halloween.

Steve’s Wardrobe!
Steve Ready for a Round of Golf
Geek Chic Steve

Steve’s Newest Outfit

Steve’s newest outfit is a special one. Schipul is about to celebrate our fifteenth anniversary as a company! And what is more fitting for a fifteenth birthday than a  quinceanera? Appropriately, Steve’s latest frock is a mariachi outfit complete with sombrero and maraca!


Read more about Steve (and all of the Schipulites!) at!!

Friday Fun: Schipulite Superstitions for Friday the 13th!

Happy Friday the 13th!

Today is Friday the 13th – known as an unlucky day  – but we’re not scared! In honor of today as Friday the 13th, we’ve collected some superstitions from some of the Schipulites. They range from holding your breath while driving by a cemetery to how to choose (and not choose) a potential mate!

Did you know? Fear of Friday the 13th is called  friggatriskaidekaphobia

We asked the Schipulites: Do You Believe in Superstitions?

Check out our video interviewing the Schipulites on their superstitions.

Schipulite Superstitions for Friday the 13th! from Schipul – The Web Marketing Co. on Vimeo.

Happy Friday the 13th! We hope it’s not too scary!

Friday Fun: Eye Candy, Ahoy! Six Beautiful & Current Trends in Web Design

Here at Schipul we kinda sorta REALLY ❤ website design. And as a designer, I love spending hours scoping the internet in search of beautiful sites that push the envelope in terms of skill and creativity. I’ve come up with a list of six of my favorite popular web design trends (for designers and non-designers alike!) to catch a glimpse of what’s out there on the web and maybe give   some ideas for anyone thinking about updating their own website!


#1. Scrolly-Scroll

Scrolly-Scroll is what I like to refer to for sites that seem to go infinitely horizontally or vertically with content built onto just one page. The navigation of the site will not direct you to another page but will take you somewhere else on the homepage. This technique is definitely not for everyone (especially for folks that have a lot of content on their page) but for people with minimal content and a need to stand out from the crowd, Scrolly-Scroll is a fun site option for navigation.


#2. Illustration Skillz

Site Illustration is a growing trend with site design and can be done in a variety of ways – vector graphics, simple hand illustration, collage,   water color effects. The possibilities with illustration are endless but it’s also important to note that some website illustrations can get too overwhelming and distract from the content. Strong and memorable sites are able to find a happy balance with their illustrative graphics and the content of their website.


#3. Texture Love

Texture is something many designers are beginning to frequently use to add more depth to their layout. Whether texture is   just the background or to various elements of the website like buttons, a logo, the navigation, etc., adding texture to a website can make the site feel more personable, tangible, and welcoming.


#4. GINORMOUS Images

For a minimalist effect some site designers go for large images on a page with small navigation that sometimes almost seems secondary. Sites that use large graphics and backgrounds are visually eye catching but may not be the best for navigation and sites with large amounts of content to share. Some sites with large graphics and backgrounds like to add a dynaminc element which changes out the picture periodically, giving the viewer more eye candy.


#5. Type Treatment

Some site designers like to completely shift their focus away from graphics like large images or illustration and focus solely on typography to make their design stand out. This sites give prominence to type by making large words and numbers the sole feature of the layout. Adding texture and using specialty fonts (aka NOT papyrus or comic sans) help draw the viewers eye to the beautiful lettering.


#6. Color Minimalism

Some websites have a minimum color scheme to achieve a certain aesthetic. This simplicity can be nice while others may view the layout as dull and not “pop” out as much as colorful websites. Color minimalism is definitely a personal preference, just like all the other trends I mentioned earlier, and should be used only if it matches the content of your site.


Feel like I forgot to mention a web trend you love? Drop a note in the comments and let us know which trends you’re really loving right now!

Friday Fun: That’s Not What She Said

I like “That’s What She Said” jokes just as much as the next person. I could listen to them all day (and I do), but I really do miss the days when jokes didn’t have to be perverse or controversial to be funny. Somewhere around the age of 12 or 13, it seems like everyone’s funny bone becomes a funny boner. Humor and perversion become inseparable.

What happened to finding humor in a play on words that didn’t hinge on prepositions like “up” or “in?” When did we start having to look over both shoulders before telling a joke? When did NSFW even become an acronym?

Well, I, for one, still love the clean classics. A good knock knock joke or a clever and innocent play on words will tickle my fancy every time. So, in honor of the oldies but goodies, in honor of a time and age when we wouldn’t have understood a single Michael Scott joke, here are a few of my favorites:

Joke # 1

Q: “What did the mommy buffalo say to her child as he walked away?”

A: “Bye, son.”

BWAAAHAAAHAAAHAAA!!! Get it!? Bye, son. . . . Like bison – as in plural for buffalo?. . . . . . Man, this joke is genius. . . . . Now, catch your breath, I’ve got more.

Joke #2

Q: “Did you hear what happened to the peanut in Central Park?”

A: “He was a salted!”

Brilliant! Come on, someone call Mariska Hargitay, this peanut was A SALTED!!!!! Hahahahahaha! This is purified awesome.

Ok, Ok, there’s more…

Joke #3

One day a piece of string was going for a walk to blow off some steam. He ended up walking into a bar to get a beer. Immediately the bartender said: “Hey, aren’t you a piece of string?!”

String said: “Why, yes I am.”

The bartender replied, “We don’t serve string here, GET OUTTA MY BAR!”

Now String was pretty upset, but as he continued on his walk he ran into a friend. She said, “String, what’s wrong? You look so sad.”

String said, “Oh, I’m just having a bad day, and I got kicked out of this bar….”

She knew just the thing to make him feel better, so she frayed his ends. And sure enough, he felt like a whole new piece of string. Unfortunately though, the feeling didn’t last long, and soon he began to sulk again.

A little while later, he ran into another friend. She said, “String, what’s wrong? You look so sad.” He told her the whole story. She knew just the thing to make him feel better, so she tied him in a knot.

And it worked. String felt so great, he had the confidence to go back to that bar and demand his beer.

He walked in and said, “Bartender, gimme a beer!”

The bartender looked at him for second and said, “Hey, aren’t you that piece of string who came in here earlier?”

And then the string said, “No, I’m a frayed knot!”













Ok, Ok, I’m back. I’m Sorry. I was laughing so hard I couldn’t even type (wiping tears from my eyes). That might be my favorite. joke. EVER. . . . . I’m a frayed knot. . . Who did that crazy string think he was fooling?

Ok, moving on. . .

Joke #4

Q: “Why did the tomato blush?”

A: “Because he saw the salad dressing”

Pure. Classic. Genius.

And finally. . . .

Joke #5

Now this one is for the super big nerds out there. And the fact that I even understand this joke is proof that working at Schipul has turned me into a bona fide GEEK. Special thanks to our programmers for this, as a couple of them recently tweeted this joke and had me in stitches.

“A SQL query walks into a bar. He approaches two tables and says: Mind if I join you?”

HilARious!!!! Y’all, jokes like this are why knee slapping EXISTS.

In conclusion. . .

I hope you enjoyed my sweet, silly and clean jokes. If you didn’t, I’m sorry. But don’t misunderstand my apology. I’m not sorry because I told them to you. I’m sorry because that little piece of your soul – the place where joy and simple things live – is empty. That must suck.

The End.

Friday Fun Post: (kind of) Manly Tips When Getting Hitched

It’s wedding season in my world right now, both for friends of mine and for myself. For the past 7 months my fiance, Brooke, and I have been busy planing our wedding and attending a few others. Next week we will be going to wedding 7 and two weeks from now will be the 8th and final on our list for the year.

Today is actually 6 months to the day from my own wedding so I figured I’d share a few things from a guy’s point of view that have helped me thus far for anyone else in the same boat. First tip, don’t call the day six months from your wedding your “negative six month anniversary”. I just learned that last night.

Second, pick a couple things you are passionate about to be more involved with then let your bride-to-be have final say on everything else about their wedding. I call it “their wedding” because it is. You get to be involved, be excited about that.

That doesn’t mean you cannot care, answer questions and have an opinion. If she’s asking she wants to know. Give your input then focus on what you can do about those couple things above.

Mine were/are…

Groom and groomsmen wedding attire:
I don’t really want to put what I get married in back in a bag and return it to Men’s Wearhouse so I’ll be using this opportunity to rationalize buying a killer Don Draper-esque suit. If suits are your thing, J Crew has some pretty rad options. Otherwise department stores give you a chance to see a wide variety.

No matter your preference on a suit or tux you will want to make sure it fits. And actually fits, not like the guy at Al’s Formal Wear says it fits to sell it to you. GQ has a couple quick slides online about buying a good suit and Esquire offers an easy 7 point diagram covering the basics.

The folks at Saint Arnold Brewery were kind enough to let us use their nifty building for engagement pics.

I like photography and think when it comes to weddings a lot of it is lame. I’ve been in weddings where the photographer needed other people to suggest photos and help arrange shots. I didn’t want to worry about this so finding a good photographer was important. One thing I found very helpful was meeting with them to see their style and how they interact as a person, not just what they post online. In the end we got a killer photog and the pictures are going to rule.

*Bonus tip for the ladies – if you follow her or friend her you can win free wedding stuff.

You want the music to get grandma on the dance floor but not be cheesy at the same time. Or I do anyways. Everyone’s style is their own so no help there but what has been useful is keeping a running list as I hear songs or think of them. You probably don’t need to write down “Shout!” but the song you and your better half scream all the words to in the car may slip your mind when it comes time to picking tracks.

And while I’m not positive yet, I think the same theory covered in this post will apply to another big wedding element… registering. We are starting this process tonight so we’ll see how it goes but my plan is to register for highball glasses and an iPad then let Brooke pick everything else. Everything minus a butter dish because those are useless.

Good luck gentlemen. And ladies, thanks.

Derek Key | @derekskey

Thumbnail photo for post courtesy of jessekruger on flickr.
Post photo courtesy of Kelly Hornberger Photography.

Friday Fun Post: In Ur Interwebz

When I started blogging several years back, it was considered a cardinal sin to devote an entire post to nothing but pictures of your cats. It was a standard bored blogger fallback. Nothing interesting to say, but still want to put up a post so your readers will check in? HEY GUYS, LOOK AT THIS CUTE THING MY CAT DID! Perhaps understandably, to many people those posts signaled a blogger who had just lost all street cred. [Blogger “street” cred being so very important of course.]

Funny how times have changed. Now it’s not only acceptable to post pictures of your cats, if you slap a silly saying on top of it you have the potential of becoming an internet sensation overnight. If you’ve ever visited the Schipul office, you know that we have a fondness for these four-legged furry creatures. Some of us have cats that are so talented they tweet! LOLCat images find themselves in just about every office-wide email thread, and some of us [not saying who] might have a small collection of the images prepared for any occasion that might arise.

We’re also big fans of (client) IKEA. From delicious lunches to roaming the aisles looking for that new great thing we just have. to. have. So naturally, when we got wind yesterday of a marketing experiment from IKEA UK that involved dropping 100 cats in a store overnight, just to see what would happen, we fell in love. It’s a very creative campaign and as you’ll see, resulted in some lovely images. We can’t wait to see what the final product looks like.

UPDATED: Here’s the final product! Thanks @McTello for the link!

Another big event in Schipul-land this week was the introduction of Google’s new instant search. Now that we’ve all gotten a chance to play with it, it’s interesting to look at how this new move from Google will change the way we search, and as a result, the way we build websites.

But you didn’t want to hear about any of that stuff right now. This is FRIDAY FUN time! So instead, check out the fun application of the instant search from Urlesque.

Now that we’ve killed your afternoon workplace productivity… Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday Fun Post: Brewmasters International Beer Festival

It’s the day before Labor Day Weekend and you still don’t have plans? Why not go down to Galveston, Texas for the Brewmasters International Beer Festival? Heck, you could even go for the whole weekend if you want.

“The Lone Star State’s Premiere Beer event Is finally here!”

Labor Day Weekend  |  September 3-6, 2010

Beer lovers rejoice at this four-day extravaganza with an unimaginable variety of hundreds of beers, musical entertainment, scrumptious culinary selections, educational seminars from Beer 101, all the way to how to brew your own. There will also be BrewLicious featuring fine food & beer pairings, and many more events for the beer lovers delight.

Let your taste buds get carried away with specialty beers from around the world. Utilizing the beautiful bayside oasis of the Moody Garden grounds & conference center, beer enthusiasts gather to grab a mug, take a chug, and enjoy the ultimate beer sampling experience.

What a perfect excuse to go to the Beach with fellow Beer Lovers to  eat Brats & Burgers while have a Brew!

Check out some of the other awesome things that will be happening at the event this weekend:

For other news about Beer in Texas, check out  Ronnie Crocker  Beer, Tx Blog over on the

You can also read about some of the Schipulite’s favorite Beers on an oldie but goodie blog post “Thirty Days of Thanks – Beer” by David Stagg.

Don’t Drink and Drive.

Friday Fun Post: And That’s Why IKEA Totally Rocks!

Shipulites pose for the mock IKEA catalog at the IKEA 2011 Catalog preview party

Special thanks to photographer Annie Ray for the wonderful photo! To see more of her work or more photos from the event visit her site:

*Sigh* I love you IKEA.

Long before it was a Schipul client and I was Schipulite, IKEA was my home goods haven.

I’m a neat freak. Let’s just get that out of the way.

Also, it’s pronounced /ee-KAY-uh/. I promise. Let’s get that out of the way, too.

Yesterday I Went on a Field Trip to IKEA’s Cafeteria

*Faints*Food at Ikea is reasonably priced.

It was exciting. And that’s when the magic of it all hit me, and I realized how much I love this place.

The menu is decent. The food is good. The view isn’t bad. So what’s the magic you ask?

For me, it’s the same magic most sane people feel when they open the catalog and start imagining the room they’ll build with the furniture they’re eyeballing.

Eating in IKEA’s cafeteria is like eating in IKEA’s catalog.

And I’m not afraid to admit it:   I’d love to live in the IKEA catalog. (The photos that Annie Ray took at the IKEA 2011 Catalog Preview Party prove that most people would!)

Some of the menu items include their famous Swedish meatballs, organic pasta and Princess Cake. Also, shoppers can purchase some of the goods in the Swedish Food Market section of the store and take the yummy goodness home. (It’s near the Bistro/Exit Cafe‘, which is a whole other blog post).

I’m Still A Neat Freak

The best part of the experience came with putting away my tray.   There’s a pretty blue wall, and in front it looks like a condiment station. But be not fooled! The hind side of the wall holds a shelving system just for trays. It’s the most efficient, DIY, tray taking system I’ve ever seen. I shed a tear (@happykatie saw it…maybe).

I encourage you to visit the restaurant. No. You’re not gonna get a five-star, Zagat-rated meal. But you’ll get good food in a pretty place. And who wouldn’t want that?

Friday Fun: SXSWi 2010 Wrap-Up Video

Believe it or not, only a month ago we were having a blast at SXSW interactive. Relive these good times by watching the SXSWi Wrap-Up video! If you were unable to attend, or just want to see more, be sure to check out these follow-up blogs to see what you missed! This blog provides a day-to-day update with the bands who played during SXSW.– A wrap-up blog of what went down! – An interesting perspective of SXSW – The official website for SXSW