Red Hat Micro-Winery

Joseph Dakroub is a TWS veteran. I featured his site, LDM Technologies, a while back (unfortunately, it looks like the company has since been bought out and is no longer using the site). He and his fiancé, Kimberly Fisher’s, latest work, and this week’s featured site, Red Hat Micro-Winery, is a great example of how “CSS-only” is an empowering, not restricting, way to design. It’s a little on the heavy side from all the background-images it uses, but that’s excusable due to the unique look and feel, and wonderful detail, those images create.

Since I haven’t done an interview in a while, and since I enjoyed reading Joseph’s answers to my standard questions, I’m going to forgo my usual droning this week and present you instead with, “An Intimate Evening with Joseph Dakroub.”
1. First, Joseph, can you pass me the wine?
Oh, sure … the Cabernet or the Franzia?
2. What do you think?
Right. Sorry.
3. Oh, man, that’s good. Come to Pappa. Alright, let’s get started shall we?
Ready when you are.
4. To start off, can you talk a little about your company, LOFT417?

LOFT417 is a 2 person company consisting of myself and my fiancé Kimberly Fisher. We reside in Pontiac, Michigan and have been working as a company for roughly 2 years. Kimberly is a graduate from The College for Creative Studies in Graphic Design. I have been involved in web development and design for the past 6 years or so. Our aim is to provide high quality websites and print design for small businesses, ranging from 1 person to several hundred.

Red Hat Micro-Winery contacted us in December, 2003. It wasn’t until February, 2004 that we finally got down to business. Red Hat is a father and son company started with the premise of providing good, affordable wines to ordinary people for a great price. The intriguing part is that people, companies, whoever, can go to the shop and get wine custom-blended to their own specifications. Once the wine is blended, they can make a party of it and bottle the wines themselves, complete with custom labels.

Since Red Hat was a startup company, they enlisted us to develop not only their website, but their complete identity system, from the logo to the wine labels. We were thrilled to work on the project as it meant that we could control the direction of the project from the bottom to the top.