About Me

The short version…

My name is Barbara Holland and I am the woman behind BlackStone Studio.  I’m a graphic and web designer living in San Antonio, Texas helping solopreneurs, start-ups and small businesses with their branding and website design. I enjoy designing all types of projects, both for web and print, but I specialize in custom logo design and in creating simple, great-looking and responsive WordPress websites. [ Long Version ]

Are we a good fit?

Not everyone is, but that’s ok. The important thing is to figure it out early on to avoid frustration. So here are a few things you should know about how I work:

I’m Only Human

I’m only one person, so I can only work on a limited amount of projects at a time, which is why I tend to be selective with the work I take on.

Client Involvement & Collaboration

From the first consultation to the final design stage, YOU are involved every step of the way. My work process is very collaborative. Close collaboration with clients encourages more creative ideas and allows for faster and better results. My clients provide all the content, a clear direction and constant feedback throughout the entire project.

Rush Work

I only do rush work for existing clients. In order for me to do a project quickly, efficiently and in a time crunch, it helps to already be familiar with my clients branding and style. New clients will need more time to get to know me and my design process, to go through my contract agreement and to simply build a trusting business relationship, all of which is almost impossible to do under a rushed timeframe.

My Ideal Client…

  • Is excited about the work
  • Is willing to invest time and collaborate throughout the project
  • Gives clear direction
  • Replies back with feedback in a timely manner
  • Understands that I bring their ideas to life
  • Provides all content (wording and photos) at the start of the project
  • Provides content in a practical format like JPG, PDF or EPS for images and Word documents for text  — no hand-written, scanned or faxed documents

 

What I Do

  • Graphic Design
  • Web Design
  • Printing

Graphic Design refers to the design logos, business cards, letterheads, ads, flyers, brochures, banners, etc.

Web Design refers to the design of a great-looking and responsive WordPress website.

Printing refers to the digital printing of business cards, flyers, postcards, brochures, etc.

What I Don't Do

  • Business Strategies
  • Marketing Campaigns
  • Copywriting — I won’t write your content
  • Social network type websites
  • Domain Registration / Hosting
  • eCommerce websites*
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
  • Release any development or source files

*Although WordPress websites have the capability to sell through plugins like WooCommerce, at this time I don’t install or setup that feature for clients. You can set it up on your own — but I won’t be able to provide any guidance on it. If your website will serve primarily as an online store, I usually suggest using Shopify instead of WordPress. I can help you spruce up your Shopify website theme design, but I will not setup any product details, prices, shipping information or features.

The long version

From A Young Age

My design journey began around junior high when I used to create hand drawn ‘artwork’ for and with friends in the form of notecards and letters that we’d give each other randomly and frequently throughout the school year. I also loved technology, although at that time we only had my older brother’s Tandy computer — do you remember those? I would spend hours drawing in Paintbrush, which later became known as just Paint. Needless to say, I knew early on that whatever I chose to do in life had to be artistic.

Education

I am originally from the border town of Piedras Negras, Coahuila, México, and grew up going to school in both the US and México. I attended the University of Monterrey in Nuevo León, México and graduated Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design.

Eventually my passion for design expanded to the web. In 2005, I moved to San Antonio, Texas, where I earned a second degree as a Multimedia Specialist from Northwest Vista College. During my last year at NVC, I interned for a local advertising agency which later hired me as a full-time graphic and web designer.

Becoming A Solopreneur

In March 2008, I started my own business in San Antonio, Texas. BlackStone Studio is a boutique graphic and web design studio run and operated by one woman.  Yet, I can’t help but mention that while I am a one-woman business, I have an amazing husband who occasionally helps me with account management, and from time to time I hire a brilliant freelance PHP programmer to assist me on complex websites.

In 2008, I married this handsome guy, Justin Holland.

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