Hi. I’m Richard Almasi. I design websites. Which means I play many roles.
I brainstorm, conceptualize, strategize, design, and direct.
I create ideas. I sell ideas.
I play nice (and drink nice) with teams, agencies, and clients.
I believe that business requirements establish the status quo. I believe that brand should demolish the status quo.
I’m available in early December 2011 for project work. Send me an e-mail and we’ll talk.
I’ve moved to the next chapter as Principal + Creative Director at Kinetic, a small digital agency with big ideas.
You'll want to take a look.

Cinemavault2010 // Site design

Intended to replace a stale existing website, the client (an international film distributor) had lofty ambitions for what could be done with the new site. Phase 1 launched in October 2010 and includes a new direction for the brand, a rich UI, and an integrated video player that will soon stream full-length films on the iPad.
Client: Cinemavault // Philazzure Services Ltd
Roles: Design

Rothbart Centre for Pain Care2010 // Full design + development

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When Rothbart Centre approached for a website redesign, they did so with a painful statistic: not one patient out of over 70 surveyed knew about the existing website. More issues surfaced, and coupled with invaluable survey data about designing for patients with chronic pain (red is a pain trigger!) the redesign addressed existing pain points by guiding users into a linear navigation in one of three streams. Cufón font replacement was used to add some interest to the brand while allowing the client to make changes to the content without resorting to web-safe fonts.
Client: Rothbart Centre for Pain Care // Anderson Creative Dept
Roles: IA, design, front-end development

Baycrest MyScore2010 // SharePoint portal design

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Team portals are often launched with good intentions, but after an initial period of excitement user adoption drops. While content is King, much of this drop can be attributed to useability and design. Baycrest wanted the design to break out of the traditional Microsoft SharePoint mould, and (in their words) to "pop" off the page – without sacrificing the user experience. The result was a SharePoint template that pushed the limit of the platform and met Baycrest's elevated design requirements.
Client: Baycrest // Orangutech
Roles: Template design

Richardson GMP2010 // Full site design + development

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The merger of two very different brands – one traditional, one innovative – into an entirely new company provided plenty of challenges. Trust in the new company was paramount, especially given the older-skewing demographic of their clients. Working with Rao, Barrett, and Welsh on the rebranding, the site eases the transition for current clients and helps prospective clients validate what they've heard from their Investment Advisor. Visually, there are no surprises, ensuring clear, consistant communication.
Client: Richardson GMP // Rao, Barrett, and Welsh
Roles: IA, design, front-end development

2010 MAZDA3 Microsite2009 // Microsite concepts

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Pitching a microsite to an automotive client in 2009 is a challenge – unless you can show value and deliver. An immersive, interactive experience was eschewed in favour of an accelerated process to help drive leads. Why-buys are communicated through traditional hotspots,a community page aggregates user opinion along with YouTube videos and Flickr photos, and a simplified build process guides users through the funnel and ultimately converts browsers to leads. In the end not all creative concepts were used, but lead generation was up significantly from Mazda's corporate Web site.
Client: Mazda Canada
Roles: Strategy, direction, design, copywriting

Addiction Centre Toronto2008 // Full site design + development

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Treating drug addition with Methadone isn't without controversy. ACT's marketing consultant wanted to speak to the subject with a clear, positive attitude to let users and health care workers make informed decisions. An online creative identity was established that follows the direction of ACT's print collateral, and the site meets the objectives of clear, linear navigation, easy-to-read large text, and well-organized copy.
Client: Addiction Centre Toronto // Anderson Creative Dept
Roles: IA, design, front-end development

Mazda Web Site Redesign Proof of Concept2008 // POC design

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Mazda Canada asked us to envision what their corporate site might look like in 2008. We responded with a fresh, clean design that elevated the Mazda brand to the same level as their top-tier competitors. But look-and-feel wasn't enough. We gave more room for images and video. We created a vehicle selector that drilled down based on rational and emotive criteria. We created personas for guided selling, matching vehicles with target customers, and shot video tours to speak to product benefits, not just features. The concept never got the green light, but promoted innovative thinking that benefited the program overall.
Client: Mazda Canada
Roles: Conceptualization, strategy, direction, design

Gabby’s Restaurants2007 // Full site design + development

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A chain of sports bars, without the sports bar image? As Gabby’s grows across the GTA, the Web site needed to reflect their updated store design and still keep the neighborhood-friendly feel the bars are known for. A mix of layers and patterns, gradients, and a bit of grit gives the site visual appeal while keeping relevant information clearly organized.
Client: Gabby’s Restaurant Group
Roles: IA, design, front-end development, CMS integration

Mazda MX-5 Microsite2006 // Microsite design

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When one of Canada's networks deemed the 2006 Mazda MX-5 :30 spots too racy for prime time, they found their audience online. Users could view all the spots, vote for their favourite, and enter to win a range of prizes.
Client: Mazda Canada // Doner Canada
Roles: IA, graphic design, Flash interaction design, Flash video development, video encoding

twentyfourbythirtysix2006 // Full site design + development

There are tens of thousands of photoblogs in the blogosphere with just as many designs. This personal project called out of a minimalist design, with effective use of type, colour, and fine details that don't take away from the whole point of a photoblog: the photos.
Client: Personal project
Roles: Design, photography, front-end development, CMS integration

Degrees Kitchen Store2005 // Full site design + development

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A high-end retail store’s first foray onto the Web needed a clean, modern, and warm design, and the site delivers. There’s nothing to sell online, but customers learn about new products, promotions, and seminars through the web site and a targeted – and branded – e-mail program. All of it is wrapped up in content-managed, standards-compliant goodness.
Client: Degrees Kitchen Store
Roles: IA, design, photography, copy writing, front-end development,
CMS integration