Needmore Designs Needmore Designs is an independent design studio in Portland, Oregon. We collaborate on beautiful, modern, remarkable websites that help you stand out from the crowd. Wed, 29 Mar 2017 13:52:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Needmore Designs 32 32 32245632 Introducing La Marzocco Home Espresso Subscription Wed, 29 Mar 2017 13:52:24 +0000 Nothing compares to beautiful espresso sipped in bed on a cold day. These joys are about to get that much more compelling as our friends at La Marzocco Home have launched their very first home espresso subscription.

This is a revolution for the home barista. Each month, La Marzocco Home will send out the coffee being served by the roaster in residence at their award-winning Seattle café, along with the exact brew ratios and other details.

La Marzocco tasked Needmore with crafting an identity and web presence that would both fit nicely within the global La Marzocco and more localized the La Marzcocco Home ecosystems while also standing out as a distinct program.

We jumped in with a fresh new badge, colors, photos, coffee cards, and (of course) a thoroughly customized web presence.

What’s more, if you sign up before April 1st, you’ll receive coffee from the phenomenal Tim Wendelboe (who we not-so-coincenentally featured in this week’s Unpacking Coffee podcast).

On Producing a Personal Music Website with WordPress Tue, 07 Mar 2017 17:40:26 +0000 If we’re designing for the web here at Needmore, the odds are pretty good we’re producing in WordPress. It’s been our platform of choice for over seven years now. This translates to working with WordPress day in and day out.

I also can’t remember a time when I wasn’t making music in one way or another. My personal archive of songs are piling up. Last week, I decided I really wanted a place to share this with the world, even if for my own gratification.

WordPress Will See Me Through

Playlist for an early album from the early years

To get started, I turned immediately to my trusted buddy WordPress and set up a website at (After Amazon S3 went down recently, I was hesitant to trust a cloud service like SoundCloud so soon after being reminded that those services come and go.) Instead, I oped for a website that I managed myself, much like the ones I build for my clients all day long.

The choice turned out to be fitting. First off, WordPress has dependable media handling right out of the box. It has the ability to make playlists (in case you want to post an album in sequence). WordPress even has a first-rate audio player that shows up whenever you add an MP3 to a post.

WordPress’s handy audio player

It’s a Podcast?

Listeners can even subscribe as if it were a podcast (go ahead, do it). Sure, there are several podcasting plugins for WordPress. Unfortunately, their quality varies and some come with additional costs. These paid services may be useful if you are making a podcast to submit to iTunes, but for a personal project such as this, it’s compelling to me that you don’t actually have to use one at all. Instead,  WordPress—out of the box—is ready to go for podcasting.

It’s disappointing that the podcast’s feature image is only some 512 pixels square, but otherwise it works pretty well.

I’ll admit that there are a few shortcomings: the episode images aren’t quite right and you don’t have much control of the overall experience. These are a small price to pay for a simple feed where anyone can tap on a link and begin subscribing.

The Music

As I’ve been entering older music, starting from 1988(!), the simplicity has been a revelation. For example, if you create a draft post and change the date back to (approximately) when the music was recorded, media gets tucked away in a folder matching this month and year. As a stickler for organization, it is a thrill knowing the server files will be in the expected place.

WordPress also inspires and allows me to go even further than I would on a platform such SoundCloud. With more flexibility, I’ve challenged myself to start writing a bit about each song (with hopes to link them all together at some point) while also tagging, categorizing, and guessing the dates of their recording. I’ve even taken to adding (mostly) original photography to them, since I’ve also been taking pictures for years.


This project has turned out to be a lot more fun and interesting than I’d expected, and choosing a blog-centric platform like WordPress probably has a lot to do with that.

As the days go by, I find myself inspired to write more and more personal anecdotes. I’ve started writing about the origin of the song, and it has slowly become a diary. This was unexpected, but as so often happens with constraints (writing only about each song, in this case), it turns out that these very constraints are what inspire me to write. Knowing I’m only writing about the song let’s me feel like I’m “getting away with something” when I write a little about the larger context.

The music is being posted oldest to newest, and so I’d like to think the best is yet to come.

Bohemian Coffee Club Tue, 07 Feb 2017 20:35:45 +0000 Needmore got our start working as and alongside artists and musicians more than a decade ago.  You might say that coffee and creativity are as meaningful to us as the air we breathe. As such, it was our great pleasure to work alongside Bohemian Coffee Club to craft and build an online coffee subscription for creatives.

From identity and illustration to website and packaging, this is a creative’s dream conjured into reality. More details in our portfolio.

Unpacking a Royal Holiday Thu, 22 Dec 2016 22:28:50 +0000 /?p=15380 We recently invited friends throughout coffee to donate to a fundraiser for Children’s Cancer Association (which was a hearty success). It has been a thrilling ride from start to finish and an excellent opportunity to trace coffee from green beans to a bag of roasted coffee.

Royal Coffee Crown Jewel coffee

Ethiopia Wenago Zelelu Ararso Double Washed crown jewel from Royal Coffee

Our journey started with a beautiful Ethiopia Wenago Zelelu Ararso Double Washed Crown Jewel from Royal Coffee Importers. This gorgeous green coffee was then roasted by our friends at Roseline Coffee Roasters.

60th Anniversary Blend Coffee Bag

We designed a bag fitting for the 60th Wedding Anniversary it is destined to grace; vintage colors and textures along with a custom illustration.

unpacking-coffee37-holiday-blend unpacking-coffee37-ron-penner-ash-pickup-up
Get the rest of the scoop on our first annual Holiday Special on Unpacking Coffee or check out the show below.

On Podcasting with Literary Arts & The Moth Tue, 20 Dec 2016 20:49:37 +0000 /?p=15348 For thirty years, Literary Arts has focused on a simple mission: to engage readers, support writers, and inspire the next generation with great literature and we are thrilled to have been collaborating with them since 2006. Each year, the Needmore team gathers together to celebrate at Portland’s recording of The Moth (one of our most beloved podcasts and live shows).

Needmore / Unpacking Ad in The Moth program

One of the great joys of The Moth night is whipping up something for the program. With a them of the Between Worlds, we happened upon our mutual love of those iconic childhood Choose Your Own Adventure books. And thus, our ad was born (illustration by Amy Ruppel).

Choose Your Own Coffee book cover by Amy Ruppel and Needmore Designs

We even sat down with Literary Arts to talk about our podcast, Unpacking Coffee, the future of podcasting in general, and how we got started.

For years, we focused primarily on designing and producing websites. A couple years ago, we began helping our coffee clients with more (branding, naming, story, packaging, etc). It was important to us to have a solid understanding of the visual landscape in coffee and so we began researching coffee design. As we were ordering and talking about trends in coffee, we became fascinated with how different roasters were uniquely showcasing and talking about their coffee. Unpacking Coffee was born out of this research.

If you love podcasts as much as we do, check out 25 of our favorites.

Why Your Sites Need SSL Now Tue, 25 Oct 2016 20:15:45 +0000 /?p=15023 A Quick Primer

There’s a good chance that your website has a URL that starts with HTTP. Until now, that’s likely been acceptable. This past month, we learned that the times, they are a changing.

The short of it is that, if your site has a password to log-in or is an e-commerce site, Chrome is going to throw up a new warning about your site not being secure unless you are serving secure pages.


On the other hand, a secure page has that an SSL certificate—a way of encrypting websites to make them safer and less hackable—will appear with a bright green safety icon that gives visitors a green light to continue browsing.


Does My Site Count?

For those without e-commerce on their sites, this might not sound like all that big of a deal. However, all WordPress sites have a login page which means that WordPress sites will need this security.

Not WordPress or e-commerce? We believe this still matters matter as these warnings are step one in a path towards all pages needing to be secure.

Beginning in January 2017 (Chrome 56), we’ll mark HTTP pages that collect passwords or credit cards as no-secure, as part of a long-term plan to mark all HTTP sites as non-secure..Eventually, we plan to label all HTTP pages as non-secure, and change the HTTP security indicator to the red triangle that we use for broken HTTPS.

This means that, soon enough, any site that is not behind HTTPS will show a big red warning sign.


The Time is Now

If you have a  website serving up HTTP and want to avoid labels of not being secure, you have until the end of the year to make the change. That’s right. The end of THIS year.

We’ve moved our site over the HTTPS and recommending that each of our clients do this (and are, of course, here to help).

Featured photo – DeathtoStock
Message examples – Google Security Blog


Coffee Brings Joy to Children Fri, 14 Oct 2016 20:44:56 +0000 /?p=14966 Our friends at Children’s Cancer Association (CCA) recently invited us to put together a “coffee lover’s dream package” to auction at their annual gala fundraiser. After working with them on their web relaunch, it was a incredibly moving to work alongside them to on this fundraising mission. Watch this short clip to get to know more about CCA.

We couldn’t be more grateful for the quick and full-hearted response from so many friends in coffee. The coffee package alone raised  $1,750 for CCA. The night as a whole was incredible successful; combined, the silent and live auction raised over $220,000 (which is a record and allows them to do such amazing things for kids and their families).


Thanks to everyone who donated to transform the lives of children and families with serious illnesses.

Along with all of the awesome coffee schwag, the winning bidder picked up a few pounds of a custom roasted coffee with their own name and packaging by Needmore. We’ll look forward to chronicling the experience on a future episode of Unpacking Coffee.


A special thanks to Mark Hellweg from Clive Coffee. Mark has been integral to putting together this amazing package. He let us know that his donation is in honor of Ezra Boone Owen, the baby boy of friends who is waging his own battle with liver cancer.

The Crown Jewel Wed, 07 Sep 2016 13:31:20 +0000 /?p=14419 Oakland’s Royal Coffee is leading coffee in a thrilling new direction. If you’ve watched our show, you know we care deeply about making coffee accessible and approachable. For some, this might mean tasting a new coffee or coffee drink. For others, it might be taking that first step towards learning to roast. In this philosophy, we’ve found a kindred spirit in Royal’s team and they’re already delivering in a big way.

Royal Coffee is a green coffee importer who has been finding homes for coffee beans since 1978. Recently, word dropped about their forthcoming coffee lab, tasting room, and education space dubbed The Crown.

When this space opens, it will be like nothing we’ve seen in coffee so far. It is an honor (and we don’t use that word lightly) to work alongside these visionaries as they focus on making coffee education and experiences available to seekers at every level.

“Needmore was one of the first people we called when we got serious about this project. We knew that in order to reflect the heart and soul of The Crown, we needed a digital representation and online platform where we could share our findings freely and widely.”


Not to rest on their laurels while the buildout happens, Royal has just unveiled The Crown Jewel, beautiful coffee available in a 22-pound box. Since green coffee is typically available in bags over 100-pounds, this lowers the bar for entry and is a game changer for home roasters and established roasters alike.

“We want this to be for people just getting into the industry,” The Crown General Manager Richard Sandlin told Sprudge. “But we also want it to be for people who are established and want to diversify; and for people who are roasting at home, because this is a huge trend.”

Leading up to the unveiling, we worked with the team at Royal to design and produce a powerful new digital experience that embodies the spirit and character of Royal through a top-to-bottom redesign and rearchitecture featuring gorgeous photography as well as an information-rich coffee market and blog.

Royal-Coffee-Website-Redesign -13

As the gents at Sprudge note, what better way to let the world know about this new offering than with “a spiffy new website with in-depth coffee analyses from coffee game web winners Needmore Designs.” (Side note: coffee game web winners is now vying for a place as our new tagline.)

We couldn’t be more thrilled to share this new project with you today. Our hearts are full as we imagine the impact of Royal’s leadership and vision on coffee. We’ve glimpsed into bits and pieces of this future and it is indeed bright.

Subscription Site Design Strategies Wed, 06 Jul 2016 22:05:17 +0000 /?p=14391 The folks at WooCommerce have written a must-read article on subscription website home page strategy and design. In it, they make a compelling case for how important it is to create a clear, engaging page for a stellar first impression. We’re thrilled to see our work for Salt & Straw and Supercrown Coffee Roasters among the examples.

Supercrown Coffee Roasters

Supercrown is a coffee subscription curated by Roaster Darleen Scherer. The model is crystal clear: subscribe and join Darleen’s expiration through coffee. The sign-up experience is equally transparent.

supercrown-subbscription-chooser supercrown-cards-ipad Supercrown-3 Boxes-Front Detail

“Supercrown Coffee Roasters also has an amazing tool on their homepage used to show you the exact price you’ll pay when you select the coffee volume and delivery frequency you prefer. This transparency goes a long way to keeping potential customers satisfied… and on your site.”

Salt & Straw

From Salt & Straw, we learn that crystal clear benefits and gorgeous photography go a long way.

Salt-and-Straw-Home-iPad Salt-and-Straw-Sq Salt and Straw in Portland Monthly


“The appeal of an ice cream subscription is likely obvious, but Salt & Straw clearly explains why their ice cream subscription is the one worth buying: with their Pints Club, you get five new flavors to try each month. It’s a crystal clear sales pitch that sets them apart.

Note also that Salt & Straw uses a combination of images and text to make their point clear. You’ll see the same theme repeated with many of the other sites highlighted here. You can say whatever you like about your products or the benefits of a subscription model, but great photos are ultimately one of the best ways to drive your point home.”

These are a couple of the handful of tips for customizing a subscription website’s home page. Check out the full article for more.

25 Podcasts You Need to Know About Tue, 21 Jun 2016 17:12:38 +0000 /?p=14331 We’ll admit to being pretty big podcast nerds here at Needmore. There’s nothing like being gripped by a compelling story on the ride into the studio or learning about the latest and greatest gizmo gadget on a brisk walk home.

Our team has rounded up the podcasts we are listening to this week with notes in our own voice. Some you may know, some you may delight in discovering. All of them should be on your playlist.

Melissa Allen, UX Designer


“I spend a good part of the day binging on podcasts, from my 45 minute bike ride to and from work to the 8+ hours at work. Everything from personal stories and NPR, music, science, and art & creativity. I tend to start my week with some good laughs and embarrassingly awkward stories.”

Grownups Read Things They Wrote as Kids (here’s a favorite) and The Mortified Podcast
These two podcasts are about revisiting stories, journals, and diaries as an adult and sharing it with a room of total strangers. Being an avid journaler as a child, these stories bring me back to my awkward middle and high school years with plenty of good chuckles.


StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson
What more can I say, a science-packed podcast with guests like Bill Nye, Seth MacFarlane, Chuck Nice, Bill Clinton, etc… Here’s a favorite.

Science and Creativity from Studio 360
They cover a wide variety of tops including: science in Hollywood, micobiomes, space, animal extinction, dark matter and more!

Science Friday
Highlights and recaps of science news.

The Human Experience / NPR-esque / Random Knowledge

The Moth 
People sharing their experiences live.

KCRW’s UnFictional
Very Moth-like with true stories that expand on the human experience.

99% Invisible
The show’s about the unnoticed things that shape our world, and where your curiosity is answered.

This American Life
Each week they present a theme and base unique and interesting stories around it.

Kandace Brigleb, Producer

Supercrown-Kandace-3 Box-Tower

“I like my podcasts to scratch that curious, insatiable Anthropological itch, to give insights into how people think and feel. Bonus for something that will make me laugh or cry, or both.”

The most addictive podcast on the planet.

This American Life
Sorry, Ray, but Ira Glass is basically my man crush.

The Moth
Became a fan after seeing The Moth live at a Literary Arts event. If I walk into the studio in tears, I’ve been listening to The Moth or This American.

The Message
Basically War of the Worlds in a podcast. Don’t panic.

Literary Arts / OPB : The Archive Project

The Archive Project
This is a collaboration between Literary Arts and OPB. An incredible archive of some of the most engaging talks from the word’s best writers recorded right here in Portland, Oregon.

The Creative Agency Podcast
Insight into creative studios. I had the pleasure of kicking-off this podcast and have been listening ever since.

Coffee Podcast by Cat & Cloud
Gotta dig their focus on empathy and service in coffee. They are currently opening their first brick & mortar shop so we are getting a fascinating glimpse at the business of coffee. Plus, they’re high energy and hilarious.

Coffee Sprudgecast
This relatively new podcast feels almost like having lunch with Sprudge founders Jordan and Zach (which is a hoot).

Also just discovered The New Yorker Radio Hour and Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin. They’re in audition mode. So far, so good.

Raymond Brigleb, Creative Director


“Being kind of an Apple nerd… ahem… I do listen my fair share of Apple-specific shows. They are a category unto themselves. I also listen to a lot of plain old nerdy, non-fiction, NPR-type shows as well. (Plus a few that fall on the spectrum between the two.)”

The Talk Show with John Gruber
I’m not likely to miss an episode of this podcast. The formula is simple: John with a guest, sometimes two, talking for two hours. Mostly about Apple. Sometimes about Baseball (but I just skip over those parts).

Accidental Tech Podcast
Also mostly about Apple, generally just three extreme nerds chatting. And yet, I find myself listening again and again.

Less nerdy, but still often about Apple. This is Walt Mosssberg chatting with Nilay Patel of The Verge. Good 20 minutes to spend here every week.

Ben Thompson and James Allworth tend to talk mostly about disruption, innovation, and the marketplace of technology. This tends to focus on business. Often the business is, unsurprisingly, Apple.

FiveThirtyEight Elections
Now that we’re deep into election season, this podcast is a guilty pleasure. I love to nerd out about statistics and politics, so this is perfect.

Planet Money
Also rather nerdy, but often about a wide variety of things. I don’t miss an episode of this one.

Quite a variety of topics. Consider this the nerdy sister to This American Life.

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History
Do you have 15 hours to learn about WWI? If so, this podcast is your new best friend. It is friggin fascinating.

Coffee Podcast by Cat & Cloud
Presently the only coffee industry podcast I listen to (except ours, of course).

 Unpacking Coffee

Kandace & Ray on Unpacking Coffee

Finally, there is one we can all agree on! Unpacking Coffee, our own video podcast introducing new coffee roasters one episode at a time.