After many good years with our former label we felt we needed to move on. We discussed where we came from and where we wanted to go, took a closer look at our every-day-work and future goals. At the end of the process stood a lot of insights, some goals and, last but not least, a new name: Start-the-Loop.

We began to work under the label in 2006. Back then, our main focus was on graphic design. We built websites using HTML and CSS and also build some websites using the CMS TYPO3. The web was still pretty new and things changed rapidly. TYPO3 has never been a CMS we managed to embrace fully. Too bulky, too tough on clients, maintainance was dreadful.
When we first stumbled upon WordPress it was version 2.9. And we got the feeling this might lead somewhere. When version 3.0 came along with the brandnew standard theme TwentyTen things started to get moving.

WordPress changed a lot.

The more we actually worked with WordPress, the more we changed our focus. But it probably wasn’t just us working more and more with WordPress but the whole approach to websites changed. With the iPhone and growing numbers of smart phones coming along the need for responsive design arouse.

While the design still is an important part of a website, it needs to be a lot more flexible now. Today, we consequently use a “content first” approach. More than 10 years ago, websites were more of a “nice to have” piece of decoration. Nowadays websites need to provide actual usefulness and take an active part in a company’s media strategy. Therefore, usability and actual functional elements of a website grew more and more important.

With WordPress, we had found a tool that has been allowing us to really concentrate on building this kind of websites.

The Start-the-Loop team

Over the years, we also grew as a team. With our new approach we have been able to work together more closely. We certainly still have a different focus: Kirsten, with her background of communication design, is our theme developer and CSS wizard. My background in engineering science allows me to be a lot more comfortable with server configurations, code in general or the command line. (And please don’t ever ask me to develop a design.) Additionally, I have been dabbling into marketing over the past years (e.g. Seth Godin’s Marketing Seminar).

At the same time, we also have common interests: Both of us love conceptual work, we share our interest in usability and accessibility. This is where we complement each other, work extremely well together and would like to put more focus on in the future.

Why a new name, though?

First of all, “design” as a part of the name is misleading at the least. Design is only part of the process, and sometimes we don’t even develop the design in-house any longer.
The name “Schelperdesign” also only represented half the team. That was okay in 2006, when I only started working along with Kirsten and were only working part-time. Today, though, we truly work as a team.
What we love about the new name: It’s open, it has a “let’s get started” feel to it. True, it doesn’t really tell what we do. But over the years, we also learnt that we might not have a clue about what we will be doing, let’s say, 5 years from now. We are committed to our work, but we are also open and willing to embrace change.
For insiders, at least, the name is truly connected with WordPress*.

P.S. Thanks so much, Manuela Hoffmann for the most amazing owl!

*You will find “start the loop” as a comment in many WordPress templates. It marks the place where the WordPress “loop” begins. In coding, a loop is a way to work through a certain routine repeatedly. Within a WordPress template this loop is used to retreive e.g. all the posts within your WordPress install.