Scout James is a total pro and an absolute delight to work with. He’s all about helping his clients achieve the best expression of their own vision, rather than about imposing his own vision on his clients. He’s friendly and considerate as well as having a sensitive eye for simple and timeless designs. A-plus.—Steve Silberman, author of the New York Times bestseller NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity
Scout James is a print designer who also makes easy-to-update, hand-crafted websites. He helps individuals and organizations devise authentic branding, effectively communicated through the written word, creative design and beautiful typography.
Hiya! I’m Scout, and I design, code and consult on print and web materials. Mine is one of the best values out there thanks to my ability to design eye-catching branding and use lean, best-practice-following code. While I have the capacity to carry out the most sophisticated of projects, I don’t have the same overhead as bigger firms. To get in touch, email me: scout AT scoutjames DOT com
Scout James is a pleasure to work with. Not only does he have great creative skill which opened my mind to new possibilities, Scout’s a fantastic listener. He helped me clarify what I really wanted to communicate in my design projects.
—Emily Whyte, Alexander Technique Coach
DISTINCTIVE PRINT & BOOK DESIGN
My design education is in graphic design and typography. I prefer typographical solutions that challenge assumptions, yet prioritize readability. Collaboration with photographers and illustrators has resulted in some of my most exciting work. I have more than 10 years of experience crafting everything from front-to-back book designs to letterpress wedding invitations.
“Scout James’s creative genius and artistic intuition are remarkably matched by his comprehensive technical abilities. Working with him to design two websites and my first book has been an unqualified pleasure. Whatever my budget was, he went beyond just branding to communicate what was beautiful and true, and have fun in the process! Scout is a treasure!”
—Nanette Walsh, Instructor & Author
CRINGE-FREE PERSONAL BRANDING
Together, through consultations, brainstorming, social media audits, and goal-setting, we arrive at a look and feel that communicates your individual or organizational mission and doesn’t make you squirm. Design and website build choices can be made today that will allow for expansion in the future, so I take special care to get a sense of aspirational positioning as well as present-day income needs, whether you’re a rock violinist or a nonprofit for victims of abuse. We’ll talk about five-year and ten-year goals, and we’ll talk about how you’re perceived today. You also won’t do anything that doesn’t feel genuine. If you’re allergic to Twitter, you’re allergic to Twitter; there’s no use faking it, and we’ll find ways to work around it.
Not only is he talented and detail-oriented, but he is also one of the most reliable and punctual contractors I’ve worked with.
—Megan Lynch, Owner, Sublime Designs Media
MOBILE- & SEO-HAPPY
My latest sites come with specially-crafted mobile versions. Most visitors to your website are probably distracted and many are away from their desktop computers. Your site needs to catch their attention on all devices.
The underlying content management system (CMS) for my websites, combined with my lean, best-practices code, allows for a clean framework under which Google and other search engines can find you right away. Because of the way I build my sites, in most cases, additional steps are unnecessary.
I use WordPress as the underlying CMS for my sites because of its flexibility, open-source culture and reliability. Starting with WordPress, which is technically blogging software, and harnessing it into a website is endlessly more flexible than using Squarespace or Wix.
Working with Scout James on my website design was a great experience. I made his job extra hard by having strong ideas about how I wanted it to look with no idea how to achieve them. He came up with a design that was exactly what I wanted and it has operated very smoothly ever since. As with any creative process, there was some back-and-forth but Scout was patient and responsive throughout. Although he taught me how to make changes to the site myself, I have continued to enlist him because he’s a pleasure to work with.
—Terry Kleinberg, Architect
Here’s a good article on WordPress. Although you must pay for hosting and a domain name, you own the website outright once it’s built and installed—it operates independently on your turf. With Squarespace or Wix, you’re renting. Also, there are a zillion WordPress coder/designers out there, and a handful of great ones. If you decide you dislike your design five years from now, another coder/designer needs only to build a new design (a theme) around the WordPress site you’ve already set up.
After our initial consultations and information-gathering period, I will begin work on a few mockup designs. After some revisions, we will arrive at a design that we are all happy with, and I then convert that design into a custom WordPress theme or child theme, depending on the needs of the layout. All my contracts have a stipulation that if we don’t arrive at a design we love during the mockup phase, we drop the project and the majority of the cost is refunded (nobody has ever taken me up on that).
Scout and I worked together to launch a new section of our company website. Throughout the process, he was incredibly easy to work with – always very helpful and friendly. He kept me regularly appraised of both hours spent and progress made. When necessary, we discussed alternative routes to cut time and costs and ended up with a stellar finished product in an amazingly short amount of time. I highly recommend his services. Five stars.
—Jessica Minto, Invado Solutions (Austin, Texas)
BEAUTIFUL TYPOGRAPHY & DESIGN
My design education is primarily in typography and layout, so I love when websites look and feel as intentional as typeset broadsides. That said, I can also customize a flashy slider, Ajax content delivery or CSS3 bells & whistles with the best of them. Business cards, letterhead and other physical materials can also be produced to complement your new website. Give my design portfolio a look for more of my creative work.
CONTENT & COMBATIBILITY
I help clients create, consolidate and edit the message they wish to convey. Writing comes naturally to me, and my acting background helps me keep your genuine voice and character in mind as we work. You can probably tell that the tone and voice of this particular page might not work for a therapist or a birthday puppy-rental company. I take special care, at all steps of the process, to make sure that you or your organization defines the work we do and the message that is communicated.
I had put off doing a website for my business for years. But Scout James made creating a website so easy and so painless and so much fun. He was a joy to work with. And I am thrilled with what he produced. He has been so helpful and so responsive and so sensitive to what I wanted to convey. I have already recommended him to one of the largest publishers in NY. I would recommend him to any one who wants a website designed.
—Vicky Bijur, Vicky Bijur Literary Agency
With WordPress, the combinations and compatibilities are endless, and I have almost a decade of experience experimenting here. You can seamlessly embed YouTube videos, SoundCloud files, Google Docs, MailChimp forms, Instagram feeds, payment gateways, and so on.
In addition to my fee, you will also need to buy the domain name and hosting (as low as $4/per month) from a company like Bluehost or A Small Orange. (Note: those are specially-formatted referral links—I get a reward for sending them your way. They happen to be my favorites). Take care! When you set the password for your hosting account, please use a suggested one, or generate a secure one. If your site gets hacked because your password is ViolinKing1234, fixing it is expensive.
CONSULTING & OTHER SERVICES
I am available for private or group consultation on these subjects:
- Finding your voice or brand
- Using branding to focus career goals
- Genuine social media outreach
- SEO optimization
- Cheap or free alternatives to making a website
- Resumes and Bios
- Teaching yourself WordPress
- Teaching yourself design or typography
- Actor-specific personal branding and outreach
Beyond hand-crafted web and brand development, I’m also available for smaller tasks: I’ve rescued broken websites, updated HTML sites from the 90s, converted sites to WordPress, transferred domains to a new host, designed gift mugs, typeset books and designed album covers. Get in touch! scout AT scoutjames DOT com
WANT GET STARTED?
If you’re ready to start, contact me at scout AT scoutjames DOT com to begin, get a quote, or learn more.