Jeff Schuette is the founder of Hart+Vine, a boutique web design agency focused on strategy, digital branding, and responsive design.
Be agile. Embrace change. Technology is going to accelerate radically in the next few years. New devices will get smaller, faster, and more sophisticated. The web will look different—centered around mobile. Don’t get caught clinging to what worked yesterday—continually seek to innovate.
Passion is the key. If you don’t love what you’re doing, then you’re dead. Lucky for you, I enjoy my work. Every project is a unique challenge, and with every challenge comes a unique solution. It’s not always the challenge that I like, but the creativity that I love.
Know who you are, and know who you are not. It can be tempting to take on every project that comes along, but that can lead to a lot of frustration. I’m a creative person—I like music, art, and fashion, so I tend to look for projects that have a certain design appeal.
Be reliable. Apparently this is a big deal. We've heard story after story about bad experiences with unreliable designers and developers. Don’t be one of them. Put high value on customer service. Be honest. Deliver what you promise. Develop a policy for responding to emails and calls.
Communicate. Strong lines of communication create goodwill and camaraderie. Does the client know where you are on the project timeline? Do they know what’s next in the process? Have a sense of their needs and expectations, and use technology to keep everyone informed.
Rest. Rest is not the absence of activity, it is the activity that nourishes and replenishes your soul. Some of my most creative moments come when I’m outside, watching a game, or doing something completely unrelated to work. Take at least one full day a week to relax, because God said so.
The majority of my work is centered around responsive web design, with a focus on beautiful design and digital brand management. Here are a few projects that I’m currently working on or have recently completed.
The new site for MK Asante incorporates stunning visuals and well-crafted content, telling the intriguing story of this bestselling author and filmmaker. Redesigned from the ground up for modern browsers and featuring a responsive design, the site opens a new chapter for the MK brand, with the pre-order now available for his upcoming book Buck.
See it live
You can tell when a company is passionate about what they do. Their work is authentic and inspired, they know who they are, and they have vision. Rhetorik Creative loved our attention to detail—the way we incorporated their new branding and displayed their work—all in a mobile-friendly responsive design. Check out their reel. Incredible.
See it live
Pray For Hope
I’ve had the privilege of working with Pray For Hope from the beginning—from the launch of their first website to the newly redesigned version. The shift from a partner/organization focused site to a individual/user driven site took many discussions over several months, which involved our input and strategy. Along with converting the site to a responsive design with focus on mobile, we’ve added a public-facing version of their Prayer Chapel.
New site launching very soon
“Jeff is a different breed because he’s fully immersed in tech, music, and has the right connections.”— Lee Steffen, Photographer and Creative Director
“We initially hired Jeff for a logo design, and loved his above-and-beyond suggestions regarding our website that we hired him to redo our site, too. We love the result! Jeff was punctual, willing to answer all of our questions, and we now have a site with design and function that we love. I highly recommend Jeff and Penguin Creative.”—Kimberly Novosel, KMN Consulting