No-Nonsense Branding, Design, and Websites

Phases Design Studio provides no-nonsense branding, design, and websites for emerging and established businesses.

We’re not a large ad agency, we’re not a solo freelancer — we’re the perfect balance of skills, know-how, and customer-service focused services dedicated to helping your brand succeed.

We work with a select few larger companies along with small to medium sized businesses who need our technical and design assistance to implement their brands -- we're proud of our ability to provide branding resources to businesses of all sizes.

Services include brand development, graphic design (everything from a logo to a bus wrap), and WordPress site development. With our straightforward, customer-driven processes, we help make sure every detail is taken care of.  

 
$1,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
2 - 9
 Founded
2000
Show all +
Denver, CO
headquarters
  • Phases Design Studio Denver, CO
    United States
    303.995.1472

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Une Belle Vie Memorial Urns, Westerra Credit Union, Inflow, Murray-Brown Laboratories, Advanced Pediatric Associates, The VOICE Customer Service Training

eCommerce Site Design - Awarded MARCOM Gold

We have had the pleasure of working with Une Belle Vie from the beginning of their vision in 2009. Since then, we have worked with them to refine their brand, their online offerings, and continue to strive for success in ongoing marketing efforts. In conjunction with our inbound partner, Inflow, and the Magento developers at 303 Software, we re-launched a new site in early 2015. The process was focused on improving site performance based off of analytical data and user needs while reinforcing Une Belle Vie’s brand.

Our work on the site remodel was presented with a Gold Award for exceeding the high standards of the industry norm by the 2015 MARCOM committee.

Public Transit and Vehicle Wraps - 2016 MarCom Gold Recipient

We have been working with Westerra Credit Union since 2004 and love seeing the brand grow and develop. It’s quite rewarding to work with a brand that is so active in the community and offers such high-quality financial resources to all of Colorado.  Those of you in Denver might have seen some of the award winning pieces around town: A full RTD Light Rail wrap, bus boards on the 16th St. Mall Shuttle, and a custom full car wrap. Westerra’s dedication to the Colorado community and top-notch financial services is well represented by these pieces, and we’re proud to be a part of the team responsible for implementing the Westerra brand.

Our work for their public transit brand awareness campaign was recognized as exceeding high standards of the industry norm by the 2016 MARCOM committee.

Small Business Branding - 2016 MarCom Gold Recipient

Quilted Feathers is a small business in Mesa, Arizona. They provide long-arm quilting for quilters across the U.S. and are active in a local chapter of Quilts of Valor. Phases was tasked with helping Quilted Feathers develop a brand background, and to create an initial set of brand assets including logo, stationery, and a brand standards guide outlining brand approved fonts, color, and logo use guidelines. The key component to the success of the project was developing key audience profiles to ensure the brand was on target and the competition analysis which helped determine how to differentiate Quilted Feathers from other like vendors. The same process used to brand Quilted Feathers is also the process outlined in my new book, Build a Savvy Brand.

Our work was recognized as exceeding high standards of the industry norm by the 2016 MARCOM committee.

Reviews

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WordPress Web Design for Bug Repellant Company

"She's incredibly easy to work and communicate with, so don't hold back."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Jan. - Sept. 2017
Project summary: 

Phases Design Studio designed a website for a pest repellent company's transition to WordPress hosting. They also optimized efficiency through plugins and trained team members in site administration.

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 Employees
 
Bismarck, North Dakota
Corporate Communications Specialist, Bug Repellant Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

A successful and smooth transition to the WordPress platform resulted in a more user-friendly experience and improved analytics to guide future web projects. Phases offered superlative responsiveness and the technical know-how to back up their design skills.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the corporate communications specialist for a natural pest repellent company. I handle digital marketing, blog writing, and social media.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Phases?

We needed to move our website hosting to WordPress to increase efficiency, improve our Google ranking, and increase traffic capacity.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

When I got involved in this project the wireframe and design concept were already done, but I worked with Kandra [Churchwell, Founder and Designer, Phases] on implementation. She trained me on WordPress maintenance and integrated plugins like WooCommerce and Yoast.

Some pages had to be custom built to fit the WordPress theme, so she dealt with image sizing issues to make everything appear properly. Also, whenever we needed to manage site permissions or notification options, she either showed me how to do it or took care of it herself.

What is the team dynamic?

I had weekly phone meetings with Kandra, and she was very responsive through email whenever I needed her.

How did you come to work with Phases?

We were with an e-commerce marketing agency (and a Hubspot Certified Partner) called Inflow, but we wanted someone who was specifically familiar with WordPress, and they referred us to Kandra.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started the project in January 2017 and the website launched in September.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Now that we’re hosted by WordPress, we get better analytics from Google. We haven't had enough time to compare metrics from before and after, but we can get more information, so we're going to be able to make better informed decisions on how we proceed. Plus, it looks great, and it's easier for users to navigate.

How did Phases perform from a project management standpoint?

They were incredibly responsive and helpful. We used phone calls, e-mails, and a project management board similar to Trello.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Kandra knows about all aspects of the website launch, and she can explain things on a technical level, but if that's over your head, she can dumb it down.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Nope.

Advice for potential customers?

She's incredibly easy to work and communicate with, so don't hold back. Ask her anything, and she'll never make you feel like it's a stupid question.

5.0
Overall Score Kandra was pleasant and helpful.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    She was responsive and easy to communicate with.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I don’t know the cost, but the value is spectacular.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    She was knowledgeable and easy to work with.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would definitely refer her to anybody who needs a similar project done.

Branding & Web Redesign for Credit Union

“Phases Design Studio will help you achieve your goals.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Oct. 2007 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Phases Design Studio augments branding standards and provides website redesign as well as SEO. They also develop marketing campaigns for TV, radio, print, video, and social media.

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 Employees
 
Denver, Colorado
Nancy Bunte
VP of Marketing, Westerra
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

This 10-year relationship has contributed to significant growth in both member numbers and assets. Phases Design Studio efficiently communicates, stays on schedule, and has the ability to capture the essence of a brand to maximize its marketplace potential.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the vice president of marketing and public relations at Westerra Credit Union, a local Denver area credit union.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Phases Design Studio?

Westerra consists of four merged credit unions that provide products and services to people throughout the Denver metro area. We created our name and logo based on the words “west” and “terra,” which means “land of the west,” to try and communicate that we serve people in this particular region. Our challenge was building awareness, and knowing how to adapt this into branding and product campaigns.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We worked with an advertising agency previously that helped us create our name and logo, but shortly after I began working here, I met Kandra [Owner, Phases Design Studio]. She was able to take us to the next level and implement the different pillars of our brand across multiple mediums. She helped us bring our brand to life and make it visible to more people.

Initially, Kandra [Owner, Phases Design Studio] put together some campaigns for us, and we continued to build onto those which helped us create the branding standards we utilize in everything we do. We collaborated with her to create a document entitled “Who We Are, What We Do, and Why it Matters,” which explains the ins and outs of the Westerra brand. We use this with our internal marketing team to implement the brand into our daily work so it can reach a higher level.

We’ve worked with Kandra [Owner, Phases Design Studio] for about 10 years, and she has helped us create documented brand standards out of campaigns. She’s very creative, insightful, and candid. She keeps the branding consistent and makes sure it resonates through whatever it is we’re promoting.

For example, Kandra [Owner, Phases Design Studio] helped us create an offer for people to receive a free Colorado State or National Parks pass if they come to the credit union and get a financial checkup. This helps communicate different brand elements, like who we are and that we’re locally based in Colorado. So, this particular campaign not only helps people to manage their finances better, but it also ties into our local heritage. We believe people choose businesses that share similar values, so that’s what we’re trying to communicate. She helped create the digital and website aspects, printed materials for our branches, social media elements, as well as adapting it to TV, videos, and radio. She's helped us reach not only current members, but potential ones as well.

What is the team dynamic?

Kandra [Owner, Phases Design Studio] has an amazing network of professionals she works with. Steven [Phases Design Studio] work on some things for us, and if we’re working on something more specific to our website and SEO, Kandra also has contacts to help with that. She has a great network of staffed employees and business partners who she respects and has worked closely with.

Kandra [Owner, Phases Design Studio] provides resources for all aspects of our marketing communications and branding. We have a 5-person team here at Westerra who interacts with her on a daily basis through email, phone calls, and screen sharing. She is a primary point of contact and an important part of our team. When we send emails, she sets up a resource on her end and we end up only having to communicate with one person.

How did you come to work with Phases Design Studio?

In the past, we had three different sources for our design and marketing. After we met Kandra [Owner, Phases Design Studio] and started working with her, we eventually migrated all the work from those three sources to her company. The fact that we transferred the work of multiple sources to Kandra’s company should speak highly of her work. Having a new name, logo, and brochure was challenging, but Kandra was able to take what was already done and pull it all together. She took our brand to its next level by implementing it into campaigns and utilizing the full potential of our materials.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in October 2007, and the relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

The credit union prior to the merger had about $555,000 in assets, and today we’re at about $1.5 billion, which is almost a billion dollars in growth in 10 years. Part of that growth is attributed to mergers, but a substantial part is attributed to our branding and marketplace visibility. Prior to the mergers, the credit union had about 35,000 members, and today we have about 115,000. The combination of mergers and brand building with Phases Design Studio has helped us significantly grow in both members and assets, as well as helped us create a known name in the marketplace.

How did Phases Design Studio perform from a project management standpoint?

Their project management is excellent, and they always follow up to emails. Kandra [Owner, Phases Design Studio] will map out a timeline, including projects and the phases within each. We then receive reminders, which is great because it helps keep us on track.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their most impressive feature is the ability to look at the big picture to integrate brand strategies into specific campaigns and promotions. I would highly encourage anybody who is considering them to go through with it because Phases Design Studio will help you achieve your goals.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can’t think of any areas for improvement.

5.0
Overall Score They’re an excellent team to work with.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They’re good at keeping us on schedule.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They provide excellent value, and they’re priced fairly. Kandra [Owner, Phases Design Studio] is worth the cost and the work she delivers is great. We’ve continued to use her all of these years because of her value.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They have high quality standards and it shows in the work that they do.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have referred them and highly recommend others to utilize them.

Magento Memorial Service Brand Design for Urn Manufacturer

"The process was overwhelming initially, but [Phases Design Studio] took care of it."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Sep. 2009 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Phases Design Studio designed and developed an e-commerce website. The work included branding and logo design, with the team now providing SEO and custom functions, such as Amazon integration. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Centennial, Colorado
Melody Jamali
President, Une Belle Vie Memorial Urns
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The website has received great feedback and the branding is consistent and great as well. Phases Design Studio’s owner excels at project management, understanding client needs, and taking charge. They provide good suggestions for improvements and generally deliver before the project deadline.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the president of Une Belle Vie Memorial Urns, an online retailer of traditional, artistic and custom cremation urns. We offer alternatives to the traditional cremation urn. We receive feedback from customers all the time who say that our urns are a welcome product on the market. Our clients appreciate having a different choice.  

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Phases Design Studio?

We needed help with branding, including building a website and designing our logo. We didn’t have a website prior to this. We wanted to create a more nurturing environment and make the sales process softer, compared to some of the other urn websites. We wanted to create a more artistic page, one that was a celebration of life, as opposed to “Someone’s passed away, and you need to purchase an urn.”

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Phases Design Studio has been with our company since we began. My husband has a retail background, but I do not. Kandra [Founder, Phases Design Studio] walked us through the website process. They didn't just provide design, but coordinated the whole launch. Phases Design tweaks the actual visual appearance of our Magento website, monitors SEO based on new findings, and makes recommendations for tweaking pages. That’s where we are right now: in tweak mode, fixing small things here and there, and changing the design of the homepage. 

Kandra does everything, including taking recommendations from the SEO team, writing the content, having telephone conversations with our web developer, sending us screenshots, and keeping track of the whole project timeline.

Phases Design also helped us with some special functionalities, such as Amazon integration (and we plan to launch on Amazon Handmade as well since our urns are individually made) to help us expand our customer base. They also helped us to sort our urns into categories. We have adult and keepsake sizes on our pull down menu, and each includes a product picture.

What is the team dynamic? 

We’ve gone through several web developers (around 3 over the lifetime of the website), primarily because they moved on from Magento, and each relationship has been great.

Kandra has a set group of partners, based on what her clients need. She makes the introduction, and we move forward. She’s helped us transition each time. When we needed SEO, she introduced us to our SEO team. We’ve formed longstanding relationships with each provider.

Our current support group includes 3 people—Kandra, our SEO person and a developer. Initially, when we still had people writing content and exploring PR options, the team might have consisted of 5-8 people, but it’s petered down since then. We’ve come far-enough along to not need those services as much, but if something happens, we do get extra resources.  

How did you come to work with Phases Design Studio?

We were frustrated with the funeral industry. We weren’t happy with the service provided by the funeral home and thought we could do better and make things more affordable. We decided to launch our own website.

After deciding to start this new path, I touched base with the web design team of the last law firm I worked at. They specialized in corporate cookie-cutter websites, so they recommended Phases Design. We talked to Kandra, who brought in a team of content writers, marketing advisors, and PR specialists. The process was smooth sailing. Having never undergone online retailing, I was surprised at the cost. Not that they overcharged, but it was a big deal to get a website off the ground. We built it from scratch, so it wasn’t a cookie-cutter approach. We had estimates and work orders, so everything was organized, and we were informed as to what was going on, and what to expect.

How much have you invested with them?

Our first year was the most expensive, with a cost of $40,000. It’s since tapered, going down to $11,000 in the second year.

What is the status of this engagement?

We initially met Phases in July 2009 and worked together over the summer, across several meetings, and launched on the 25th of February 2010. Phases Design has been working with us ever since.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We’ve obviously been pleased with Phases Design’s service since we’re going into 7-8 years of working together. It was fortuitous that we found them. There is a whole feel for our website and I believe we’ve developed a brand that we’ve promoted and stayed true to. 

The fact that we’re still in business in a very competitive market is a result in and of itself. It’s been a push, but we are growing annually. In 2017 and 2016, our sales have increased across all channels by around 70-75%, according to my last report. We’re at the point of having exponential growth and trying to keep up. We’re committed as a team, but everything that Phases Design has done on the website has reinforced what we were trying to do. We owe part of our success to their branding and the fact that they helped us to stay true to our initial goals.

People have loved the website. There were a couple of small tweaks we had to make, mainly for people who weren’t very tech savvy. We try to label everything, provide specifications and dimensions as much as possible. The overall comment is that people love the site. The feedback has come from the industry as well. There are funeral homes and pet crematories which call us and mention finding our site online, how beautiful it is, and if we have affiliate offers.

How did Phases Design Studio perform from a project management standpoint?

We have a telephone conference with Kandra every Monday, and with our web developer on Thursdays to touch base on either ongoing web development projects or ideas for upcoming ones. We also communicate by email, and there is a task-management system in place for the developers. We can log into it and follow the tasks and conversation threads. It’s an organized process including screen shares when necessary. Lately, everything has been humming along happily, so the conference calls can last from 5 minutes to an hour, depending on what we’re discussing that week.

Kandra has been a key part of the team, and it wouldn’t have been possible without her. She has broad knowledge, manages the web developers, whereas I glaze over when they start talking about geeky things. We have been lucky to find her, and I can’t emphasize this enough. She’s never missed a deadline, and usually delivers a couple of days early. The technical items tend to fall off for us in running the business, but Kandra picks them up. She knows what’s going on, and I expect nothing less.

The one web development team we parted ways with couldn’t deliver in terms of timelines and weren’t accessible during major projects. Things fell through the cracks and we were scrambling. I did not like that, so we righted the ship, and made another selection for a developer. We’re still with them.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Kandra can see the big picture. She can talk to a customer, determine exactly what they want, understand their vision, and go with it. On top of that, she is versatile and can write much of the content herself. She grabbed the bull by the horns, explained everything, and helped us understand exactly what was going on every step of the process. Like I said, she was very good with timelines and had a task-management system. Anytime we had a question, we could revisit the notes on a conversation. The process was overwhelming initially, but Kandra took care of it. This was one of the best things for me. The process is reassuring and I trust her with my business.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I am not the type of person who always gives 5 stars, but I have to here. I would even give Kandra 6 stars if I could. There was one time when we had differing opinions on something, but we talked things through and in the end, she did what I wanted to do, while not being afraid to talk through her thought process. Since she’s been doing this for many years, I will sometimes take her advice, but there are times when I say no, and she respects that.

Do you have any advice for future clients of Phases Design Studio?

If the client is looking for a partner who is ethical, trustworthy and has great organizational skills, then that’s Phases Design. Everyone will want to look around, and I did talk to one other web developer or project manager (which is what Kandra is for us), but I wasn’t impressed from the start. Kandra and I have a sort of rapport as if we were old friends. She has a calming way about her, even during some of the more difficult Magento upgrades.

5.0
Overall Score We wouldn’t be where we are now without Phases Design.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    There’s never been a project we worked on that wasn’t completed within timeline.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I have no point of comparison, but I would give them a 5 because I haven’t regretted spending any of the money.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They do everything they say they will, within the agreed time and price. There were no surprises.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would refer them to anyone. Kandra has worked for my husband a bit, and has helped with some non-profits on a pro bono basis. She is a good person to talk to and get a grip on where everything falls.

WordPress Web Redesign & UI/UX Update

“The ideas that [Phases Design Studio] brings to the table are impressive."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
4.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2006 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Phases Design Studio redesigned and relaunched the WordPress website of an e-commerce marketer, including the mobile site. They collaborated with the in-house team, leading on strategy and implementation.

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 Employees
 
Denver, Colorado
Everett Sizemore
Director of Marketing, Inflow
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new site has seen an increase in traffic and quality of leads, with particular improvement in conversions from the mobile site. Phases Design Studio continues to be a valuable long-term partner, offering additional tutorials as needed, such as on handling the blog’s backend.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the marketing director of Inflow, and we provide e-commerce marketing.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Phases Design Studio?

We needed a website redesign for a mobile friendly site. The first version had been designed in-house. For the redesign, we wanted a responsive design, but we also wanted to be able to control the mobile user experience separately, so for some of the pages to be adaptive.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

I served as the project manager and Kandra from Phases Design Studio acted as the strategist and implemented all the code changes, along with all the design mockups. We already had Kandra on retainer for website maintenance, but this project was separate because it was a complete redesign and relaunch of our website. Kandra was involved from the initial concept through to quality checking the live site.

Along with responsive design and adaptive content for mobile, we also have an advanced ad plug-in that had to be customized, which is how we control our content offers throughout the website. We also have a case study section that was custom developed by Kandra. The site was developed mostly in WordPress.

What is the team dynamic? 

There were two resources from Phases working on the project, along with several people from our company. The size of the team stayed the same throughout.

How did you come to work with Phases Design Studio?

We had worked with them previously, for several years. For the redesign, we wanted to work with someone who was familiar with our site and our brand. We also looked into pricing and focused on choosing someone local so they could come to our office once a week.

When we first started working with Phases, we were looking for a design partner who could work on some of our clients’ sites for us to augment our team as we didn’t have any design resources in-house.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent $50,000 or more since we started working with them.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in 2006, and the relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Since the redesign, there’s been an increase in traffic to our site, especially on mobile. There’s been an increase in both the volume and the quality of leads.

The design is much better than the previous iteration, especially on a mobile device. We’ve received lots of compliments and comments about how easy the site is to navigate on mobile. Prior to the work, it was more difficult for mobile users to convert.

Handling the backend of the blog isn’t easy, but now it works very well. Kandra recorded several video tutorials to help us with that.

How did Phases Design Studio perform from a project management standpoint?

We had meetings scheduled every week. We communicated via email, Slack, or Teamwork, the project management system they used. They kept the project on time and on budget.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The ideas that Kandra brings to the table are impressive. We may have something we want that’s difficult from a technological perspective, but she always has ideas for alternatives that may be easier or more cost effective.

Are there any areas they could improve?

The communication could be improved. I don’t like the project management system they use. We have our own system, but they like to use theirs.

Do you have any recommendations for potential clients?

Make sure that you scope out the project well. That advice applies to any development or design consultant you’re engaging with.

5.0
Overall Score It’s been a pleasure to work with Kandra and her team.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They delivered all assets on time and updated the timeline as needed.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    It was very cost effective, but we hit our budget as we added to the scope throughout.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We are very happy with the website.
  • 4.0 NPS
    Willing to refer