For a web design firm, the process of taking a project from a blank page to a fully-realized solution is thoroughly thrilling.  We research, we analyze, we brainstorm, we sketch, we present – and before we know it, we’re celebrating the launch of another website.  And by celebrating, we mean posting something on our blog.  Don’t say we don’t know how to party.

Today’s announcement is that we’ve just added another web design project to our portfolio – a clean, modern, and functional website for Apple Bus Company. Apple Bus Company is a full service transportation provider, dealing with both pupil and public transportation.  They needed a better online vehicle for their brand and engaged us to design and develop a website that both conveyed their commitment to service as a family-style business and their extensive capabilities as a large-scale operation.

Kansas City’s Branding Examiner

Posted in News on by JLSA

We’re proud to announce that Johnny Lightning Strikes Again co-founder and strategist David Cecil has signed on to explore the topics of branding, design, and visual strategy at Examiner.com.  His articles, which you can read and subscribe to here, will focus on how great branding can be leveraged to solve a variety of problems facing both large and small businesses.

Respecting convention

Posted in Strategy on by James Penman

Derek Sivers recently posted an article titled Quit Quirks When Working With Others, and it made some good points about how virtues like “originality” can fail. He highlights how you’re sometimes doing everyone (yourself included) a disservice with your reinventions of “tired” concepts. By toeing the line of convention and saving your unique ideas for places where they’re welcome, you preserve what’s most important: Playing well with others.

Typography is the “style and appearance of printed matter” and there is a reason that we bore clients to death discussing the brand ramifications of serif and sans serif fonts.  It matters!

Cavs owner’s letter mocked for Comic Sans font

Comic Sans Font

Tim Boeshaar is a lighting designer in Kansas City, MO and the head electrician for the Kansas City Repertory Theatre. Our employer, Johnny Lightning (no, you cannot meet or talk to him), has a special place in his heart for the people who make the Kansas City art scene run.  Therefore, we were thrilled to be able to design and develop an online portfolio for Tim that showcases his skill and commitment to making the theatre look fantastic.


In my last post, I brought up a question that everyone considering hiring a design firm will inevitably ask themselves – what is the difference between a good designer and a great designer?  I’d like to explore the first differentiator raised by Cameron Moll in his presentation, “Nine skills that separate good and great designers“:



As previously hyped, we had the pleasure of attending the (hopefully annual) Designer/Developer Workflow Conference this past weekend right here in Kansas City. What was it about? Well, here’s the description from the website:

What’s the big deal about workflow? Workflow is something we all do, day in and day out – although you may not even think about it. Do you work with multiple applications during the day? Do you work with team members, departments, clients, etc.? Improving those workflows is what D2W is all about.


Designer/Developer Workflow Conference Speakers

Totally surprisingly, Kansas City is going to be host to a conference for designers and developers of websites! I know, right? The only way you normally get to see presenters like Seb Lee-Delisle speaking is if you catch a flight to Brighton and attend Flash On The Beach or other such conferences, usually in cities that are a prohibitive plane-flight-and-hotel-room-cost away.

If you’re going to be there too and want to meet up at some point, give us a holler!

TE Woods Homes - Billboard Design - Johnny Lightning Strikes Again

Sometimes people wonder what we at Johnny Lightning Strikes Again like to do with our free time, assuming that when we’re not thrilling ultra-satisfied clients with groundbreaking design work (sales pitch!), we all have super interesting hobbies.  Not true!  Truth be told, we’ve been spending all our free time as of late taking road trips on I-70 out of Kansas City to cheer out the window at the billboard we just designed for a great client of ours, T.E. Woods Homes.  We’re always proud of our work, but we’ve never before seen it so BIG and so on the side of the road.  We decided to forego today’s road trip, however, to tell you all about the work.


Web fonts! *shakes fist*

Posted in Strategy on by James Penman

Web Fonts - TypeKit Homepage Screenshot

A List Apart just published an excellent article looking at the state of fonts on the web. It covers all the reasons to be optimistic as well as a few things to be concerned about. The article links to a funny-because-its-true open letter to commercial font vendors that highlights the backward state of most font foundries by stating quite simply: