How we started
Kyle Rasmussen and his death metal band Vitriol planned to have a very different 2020. When the band’s tours cancelled due to COVID, Kyle and his partner Sofia Huerta took things into their own hands. They reached out to me through Vitrol’s manager Mark Vieira to figure out how to go from zero to e-commerce.
They decided to create Steel Weather, a business built around the entirely custom-built, aggressively spiked guitar straps Kyle would wear onstage. I had so much fun working on every aspect of the site, from concept to creation and everything in between. When their first drop sold out in 3 days, I knew we’d hit the right buttons. Here’s how we did it.
Concept and brand identity
Kyle and Sofia have incredible vision and a very clear sense of what Steel Weather would be all about. They needed a web developer and designer like me to help them focus their energy and start the right fires.
We started out with a branding design process. Steel Weather had a logo already designed, as well as some illustrations for future t-shirts. After a design consultation, I created a brand style guide to create a visual language to communicate who they are.
I added a metal texture to their existing logo to reflect the chrome of the spikes they use. I also added some industrial texture through rust. The leather and reptile textures reflect the textures of the high quality marine vinyl they use in their guitar strap and accessory designs.
It would be easy to pull the harshness all the way through in the visual design and leave it at that, but I felt it was important to reflect the luxury inherent within their work as well. Their t-shirt fabrics are high quality. They hand-stitch their flagship design of guitar straps, and include a great deal of consideration of comfort in the design. They look brutal, but feel divine. In that spirit, I chose Playfair Display as the headline font to provide a sense of classic sophistication.
Here’s how it all came together:
A customer was trying to make a purchase before I had even finished adding the ability to accept credit cards. That’s when I knew that, by our powers combined, Steel Weather found the magic to turn Kyle and Sofia’s 2020 COVID year around.
We decided to use WordPress and WooCommerce to power the site. There are a lot of options out there, but for the customized experience we were looking to deliver, WordPress and WooCommerce were exactly what we needed.
It was incredibly important to me that Kyle and Sofia ended up with a site that they loved, and would bring their vision for Steel Weather to life. Here’s what they had to say about their experience: