Keepin’ it 200 (OK)

WordCamp Fayetteville #wcfay, a gathering of WordPress enthusiasts is being held June 22-24, 2018 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Being loyal WordPress fans ourselves, it only makes sense that Sharp Hue is a Proud Sponsor of WordCamp Fayetteville 2018.  

Since the Sharp Hue team will be in attendance at the conference, we tasked ourselves to create a shirt for the occasion that celebrates our unique brand. So, we went straight to the drawing board to sketch out a few possibilities.

Our process starts on paper

Putting pen to paper is the best way to jumpstart the brain and get ideas flowing freely. We wanted a design that our team members could wear proudly, while not resorting to the overdone designs like putting software code on a shirt. While that’s something designers and developers would understand, we didn’t want to create something so niche that people outside of our circles would be lost. We needed something that everyone could enjoy while also channeling our inner geek!

Our original sketches (four concepts shown above) ranged from baking cakes to a Rubik’s cube. Now, while walking around wearing a shirt with a cake on it would’ve been a great fashion statement, everyone really liked the idea of playing off the “100” emoji 💯 and its related hashtag #KeepIt100.  And so…

#KeepIt200 was born!

If you’re wondering by now why we’re Keepin’ it 200 OK, that’s because 200 OK is a status code used by web browsers that means “The request has succeeded”. The hacker looking graphic below provides some insight into that page loading process.  While most people have come across a 404 Page Not Found, very few realize that 200 OK is a status.  In fact, there are dozens of status codes if you want to check them out here:  HTTP Status Codes.

From paper to digital concepts

Now that we had a solid concept,  then came the question, “how could we incorporate our own personal twist?” So, we made several variations and plentiful design revisions. During these revisions, we determined it would make sense to have a t-shirt color that matched to a color or two on our logo for the sake of brand consistency.  We decided on using two colors so we could keep the shirts within our project budget.  You may have noticed the Sharp Hue logo is quite colorful which can mean more cost in screen printing projects.  We had our shirts inked with a company called real thread that has a really simple online ordering interface coupled with a great customer service team that takes care of you along the way.

Finding opportunity in every concept

$1M dollar, original, one of a kind prototype.

All said and done, the t-shirt concept that the team loved the most was a badge-style emblem that marries the idea of #KeepIt200 with being proud of our company’s history. See bottom right of the photo above.

We are always a little sad when a design isn’t used, however, we also love stickers!  While “Keepin’ it 200 OK Since 2006” is great for a Sharp Hue team member to wear, we decided that the “Keep It 200 OK” emoji style emblem was a great way for others to champion our brand.

After some tweaking and including the domain name,  Kevin Bourne, our newest team member who worked on this project, was personally rewarded with the $1 million dollar paper prototype! We had the stickers printed with Sticker Giant which was very easy.

So, what does #KeepIt200 mean to the team at Sharp Hue?

While the t-shirt and sticker were really fun projects to work on, there are some deeper meanings to how #KeepIt200 connects with the Sharp Hue brand.

  • We always give our best to whatever problem we’re solving or project we endeavor.
  • We think through all the angles and double check to make sure we’ve thought of everything.
  • We really love things that are high-quality, built-to-last, and pay respect to our craft.
  • Because 200 OK means the website loaded successfully, we feel this strongly represents everything we do behind the scenes at Sharp Hue to create Beautiful Websites That Work®