SugarPlum Studio

When Sharon O'Connor Spatucci asked me to design a website showing off her fanciful pastry creations, I responded with an enthusiastic "yes!" - not only because I'm married to the woman, but because... wait... that really was the reason for my excited reaction. But I also knew I could give her online portfolio the kind of treatment her tasty treats deserved, and that started filling my head with website concepts.

I'd already designed a logo for Sharon - a straightforward interpretation of the name "SugarPlum", which implied fairy, which is what Sharon wanted (note the whisk instead of the wand - her clever suggestion):

So the basic feel and color scheme would be derived from the logo, as is usually the case. I designed a layout (approved by Sharon on the first round!) and began building the Flash-based website. Besides the typical "Bio", "Events", and "Contact" sections, the main feature of the site is a set of categorized galleries featuring Sharon's work. We did all the photography in-house (get it? in our actual house!), building a green screen which allowed us (okay, me) to easily mask the pieces out of their backgrounds, letting them stand on their own - really, on the purple.

I also built an interactive Cake Constructor tool, which allows visitors to visualize a cake, adding, subtracting and modifying the number and shape of the tiers, color, size, and other decorations (elegantly called "adornments" in the dessert industry - I've learned a lot of cool terminology being married to a pastry chef). Once a visitor is happy with their creation, they can click a "calculate servings" button to get an idea of how many people could eat their custom cake, were it only not made of pixels.

We launched the site in 2007, and for my efforts I was paid a handsome fee of seventeen cupcakes - with sprinkles. Not really. But I wouldn't have complained if I was. I like cupcakes.

Visit SugarPlum Studio.

Oh and hey - see if you can find the zombie cake. The week Sharon was making it, I knew it was in the refrigerator, but when I saw the life-size decomposing head and hand emerging from the cake, I actually got a little scared. Just a little, though.

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