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Services

If it's digital, we do it

Web Design/Development

Web Design/Development

Website and CMS development (WordPress, Drupal, Movable Type, Joomla, etc.) utilizing standards-based protocols and the latest innovations in CSS, Flash, and HTML5. E-commerce and shopping cart development (Magento, X-Cart, etc.).

SEO, SEM, & Social Media

SEO, SEM, & Social Media

We know every way to help you navigate around Google's Panda and Penguin. More white hat, less black hat. Determine the right approach for the right social media channel. And best of all, simply build high-quality web pages to engage and persuade.

Branding & Market Strategy

Branding & Market Strategy

A strong brand is invaluable as the battle for customers intensifies every day. Through a comprehensive design approach, we can help you integrate your company's brand strategy at every point of public contact, and positively differentiate you from your competition.

Online Advertising

Online Advertising

Interactive online advertising design and development in static and animated formats; standalone-image, animated .gif, or Flash in all major IAB-format sizes. Standalone ad banners, integrated multi-ad campaigns, and advertising tied to integrated e-mail marketing campaigns.

E-Mail Marketing

E-Mail Marketing

Static and rich-media e-mail campaigns; standalone or tied to online/offline advertising and social media channels, programs, and promotions. Special expertise in print and digital publishing subscription campaigns, industry conference events, and webinars.

Mobile Apps/Mobile Design

Mobile Apps/Mobile Design

Apple iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile app development directed at specific device capabilities, and designed to create rich B2B and B2C mobile environments. Responsive website designs designed to maximize the mobile browsing experience.

UI Design

UI Design

User interface enhancement, prototyping, and design assistance; from landing pages to mobile interfaces to deep hardware device and software application product design prototypes. Two decades of award-winning interactive entertainment design.

Publishing Communications

Publishing Communications

Design and implementation of forms-based online data entry pages for subscriber-acquisition applications, either standalone or tied to e-mail marketing and/or online advertising campaigns; plus supporting confirmation and feedback pages.

Corporate Presentations

Corporate Presentations

The dog-and-pony show. The PowerPoint slides. The tradeshow presentation. They don't have to be boring sleeping aids any more. We can create rich-media presentations for any target. Tie online presentations to offline promotions and seminars.

E-Learning

E-Learning

Leverage the combo of the Internet, mobile computing, and digital speed to elevate electronic learning in secondary-education, college, and corporate environments. We can help you navigate the optimal delivery platform without losing sight that content is king.

Document Services

Document Services

OK, you've created a strong market message. Now, don't back it up with inadequate support documentation. We've created award-winning product manuals and technical documentation for enhancing and supporting great products in multiple industries and market segments.

Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence

We've co-developed and implemented sophisticated data-acquisition and aggregation software that can be used for the following data initiatives: competitive intelligence, OEM channel compliance, data mining, and internet site audits.

...I worked with Mark on a number of projects over the past 18 months, while working with WDM Group. During that time, Mark not only provided exceptional development assistance to our company, but oftentimes went above and beyond the call of duty, providing after-hours support and training. Mark has a tremendous amount of experience, possesses great communication skills, and is a wonderful asset to any creative team!...

J.P. Sheridan - SEO/SEM Guru, Digital Marketing Specialist

Portfolio


Portfolio Archive

Clients

We create awesome work because we have awesome clients!

 
 

About

Mark Johnson

Founder

Mark Johnson is the founder and President of Lone Star Productions. He has close to three decades of product development, marketing and design experience in the hi-tech industry. He has also been an award-winning producer in the entertainment software sector (including 7 CODiE awards, and 2 Macworld World Class Awards), and has brought more than 30 hardware and software products to market, from segments as diverse as video production hardware to notebook computers to computer entertainment software. He has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Rice University.

From the Blog

iPhone Wallpaper Templates for Lock Screen

BY Mark Johnson / Marketing, Posts / 0 COMMENTS

After searching the net for some simple Photoshop templates to assist when creating iPhone lock-screen wallpaper and not finding any, I decided to create some. Why would you need a template for lock-screen wallpaper? Well, prior to iOS 7, the lock screen image exhibits a layout that looks like those in the following images, depending on the model of iPhone:

iPhone 5 Lock Screen
iPhone 4 Lock Screen
iPhopne 3GS Lock Screen

iPhone 5
iPhone 4/4S
iPhone Original/3GS

640 pixels width x 1136 pixels length; 326dpi
640 pixels width x 960 pixels length; 326dpi
320 pixels width x 480 pixels length; 163dpi

 

What is probably apparent is that any attempt at a full-screen image resides partially underneath the information bar and clock/calendar display in the upper region, and the "slide to unlock" overlay in the bottom region. Now, with these images and other similar examples. the effect is actually positive, as the opaque image appearing from underneath is usually visually pleasing, as it is here. (Although you might be able to make the argument that the particular animation image above is slighted by being partially hidden under the clock/calendar overlay.) However, sometimes you may want an image component to display only in the non-opaque center region of a particular phone's display for clarity's sake. A good example of this is with company logos, or text-oriented images where you want maximum clarity for that image component. I ran into this issue when I was trying to create a simple wallpaper image for a barbecue catering client. They wanted the logo and tagline text to reside solely in the non-opaque center region so that all the image details were as clearly visible as possible, like the image below:

iPhone 4S Lock Screen Image

And rather than guess as to the non-opaque screen area, I created three different blank (transparent) Photoshop psd template files that have guides in the appropriate locations dependent on the iPhone model. Under iOS 6 and below, the 4, 4S, and 5 models display the information bar in the top 40 pixels of screen area, while the original iPhone and 3GS models use 20 pixels of vertical screen area for that upper region. Both the clock/calendar region and the "slide to unlock" region use 192 vertical pixels on the 4, 4S, and 5 models, and 96 vertical pixels on the original iPhone and 3GS models, respectively. That leaves an "unencumbered" central display region of 712, 536, and 268 pixels on the iPhone 5, 4/4S, and Original/3GS models, respectively. All of the psd files have guide lines displayed at each region boundary in order to facilitate being able to design your image optimally when you want to stay clear of the screen overlays. For my client image example, although we wanted the main logo and tag line to not overflow and be muted by the overlay regions, it actually turned out to be a visual advantage to have the opaque "slide-to-lock" region mute the image copyright info at the bottom and make it less visually obtrusive. (Click on the sample images below to see these guide markers more clearly. To download the particular psd file for your iPhone model, right-click (or control-click on the Mac) the appropriate link line, and save the psd file to your system.)

 

With the advent of iOS 7, the situation is a little less clear. If you look at the default lock-screen image below, although the text used to display the time, date and "slide to unlock" command are still present, there is no surrounding opaque overlay as existed in previous OS versions. Depending on the image you want to use, you may still want to avoid conflict with those ever-present lock-screen components, but now that the surrounding opaque overlays are gone, you may be able to encroach the text regions a little more than before. Once I've had a chance to put an iOS 7 phone through its paces, I'll update this article with a psd template appropriate to the new environment.

 

iOS 7 Lock Screen

 

Changes to Google Authorship Are a Potential Game Changer for Search and Social Media

BY Mark Johnson / Posts, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media / 0 COMMENTS

Google's new authorship initiative (links below) has the potential to be a real game-changer for organizations that focus on delivering news on the Internet, be it via blogs or traditional news sources. Here's how it works: In a clear attempt to establish Google+ as the post facto standard for social media identity (at least for authors), writers are being instructed to link their Google+ identities to the publications they write for. In turn, the articles on the respective publication site are linked back to the author's profile, either via a designated author page, or more directly from an article itself. So, you may start seeing more of those little Google+ icons popping up on articles across the web, similar in fashion to Facebook Like and other social media icons. This is intended to be a win-win situation for both Google and the authors - Google gets needed traction for their Google+ social media environment in the battle against Facebook, as they are clearly differentiating Google+ as a "more serious" reflection of an individual's total identity, in contrast to Facebook, which can easily denigrate to something resembling an immature collection of rants and raves over a period of time. The authors and their publications gain the potential for desired publicity and possibly an increase in pageviews for their respective articles (something that authors could readily use with the recent removal of the "search by author" capability within Google News). Only time will tell in determining if this initiative serves to increase pageviews as well as provide what the sputtering Google+ platform needs to both increase its growth as well as differentiate itself positively from the likes of Facebook.

Google's new guidelines on authorship:
http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1408986

Recent details on improvements to the Google authorship process:
http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1229920

Forget Web Development, HTML5's Biggest Impact is on Advertising

BY Mark Johnson / Advertising, Posts / 0 COMMENTS

There have been a lot of posts about how HTML5 is great for website development. The subtler, yet more interesting story about HTML5 is that it has incredible potential to make advertising both rich and scalable, especially as publishers and advertisers grapple with the requirement to serve slick creative to all devices. As a result, the W3C standard that is "not ready for production yet" is gaining tremendous popularity on mobile and tablet devices and has become a major game changer for mobile display advertising.

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Contact

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10 Ashton Avenue
Millbrae CA 94030 USA
Phone: (650) 218-7335
Fax: (650) 345-6382