Good Design Tells a Story


Good design helps you tell a story. Your story is unique, and your presentation of that story should be equally unique. It helps you to illustrate the connection between what you are offering and what your audience needs.

Your idea doesn't have to be big. It just has to be yours alone. The more the idea is yours alone, the more freedom you have to do something really amazing. The more amazing, the more people will click with your idea. The more people click with your idea, the more it will change the world.
Hugh Macleod

Unleashed is a full service design entity; on most projects my role is far more comprehensive than just the design and development and includes re-branding, content creation (via partners who specialize in copywriting), and consultation. My goal is to help you shape a story that best explains who you offer and who you are.



Although you might not care about the specifics of the tools I use, you should at least have a basic understanding because it will set you on a path that you may be on for some time.

Everything I use at the base level is open source and platform agnostic — this means that your site has a firm foundation which can grow over time. Ideally, we'll hit it off famously and be joined at the hip forevermore. Realistically, someday you're going to be working with another agency or individual. I use tools that any professional developer can run with.

Right now we're at an exciting time in web development, things are changing rapidly and new tools are coming out every day that are absolute game changers. Some of these tools are a bit immature yet, but have amazing promise. Because of this, I don't like building sites that marry us to any specific language or framework. When possible, I like to build sites as simply as possible and use services for the more complex parts.

Current Stack

Things change all the time, I use various stacks for various clients. Some are straight up Ruby on Rails, others in Node.js, Go looks fantastic — there are a lot of fun options. .NET is the only language I absolutely won't work with.

This is what I seem to be using a lot lately:


I'm currently working on my portfolio. In the mean time, you might be better off looking at my work on Dribbble. But below you can find a small sample.


Unleashed, formerly Unleashed Creative, is the studio of Perry Kibler. It was started it in the autumn of 2003 under the premise that traditional design agencies aren't the best fit for every client (and sometimes they are).

My niche is the front-end design and development, I help you shape your ideas into something that will be interesting in the proper format — usually web. I still do print design, but that's usually for established clients (it's not my primary focus for new clients). I use trusted, long-term contractors for backend website stuff (shopping carts, web app backends, etc.).

I’m located in a small town just east of Boulder, Colorado, but location isn't much of a hindrance anymore, I have experience working with clients across the world as well as clients down the street.

Part of working with someone is whether or not you get along as people; you'll work better with people you actually like than you would just a vendor.

Besides being a designer and developer, I'm also a father, a husband, a distance runner, a climber, and a neophyte kung fu student. I'm lucky enough to live in a part of the world that is famous for trails to run and rocks to climb, so as much as I can be, I'm out enjoying the real world.

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.
Edward Abbey

Random Unsolicited Opinions

One of the things that I think is a trait of great designers is that we always feel we can do something better. We look around the world and see all these problems that need fixing: traffic issues, politics, the UI at the ATM, etc. Obviously, we can't fix them all, but at the core of our personalities, we're problem solvers. (Most of us are narcissists too, which makes things complicated, but hey, no one is perfect.)

  1. I believe that content as a service (e.g. Contentful, Prismic, etc.) is the future and that CMSs are the devil.
  2. I prefer and Foundation to other frameworks, probably in that order, but it kind of depends on the day.
  3. People shouldn't be allowed to work on rainy afternoons in the spring unless they are out on a covered porch with a cup of coffee (or tea, tea's lovely too).
  4. Jade > Slim > Haml. Writing HTML in 2015 is like using a fax machine.
  5. Caffeine is proof of the divine.
  6. I don't believe in flashes of inspiration on coffee shop napkins. I believe in hard work and stubbornness guided by experience.
  7. Nothing is ever finished or perfect. We do the best we can in the time we have and hope for more time later to improve and fine tune.
  8. This is a rapidly changing industry. There are game-changing tools out there that didn't exist six months ago. We have to stay current. However, there is also a trend where a lot of the new fancy tools are poorly constructed and fall just short of functional before being abandoned by their developers whom are off chasing the next shiny object. Fast to market is awesome, but it still has to be good. That last 10% is the most important. So, while I love all the new stuff, I don't jump on the first hot new tool just because it's hot.
  9. Content is king. The best presentation doesn't matter if the content isn't just as good (or better). Furthermore, design and content need to work in harmony.
  10. The best company out there is the one changing the world into a better place.

How It Works

All new projects starts with a conversation. We’ll chat about what your goals are for the project, your timeline, your budget, and your expectations. Afterwards, you’ll get a price, a contract, and a schedule — all three will be honored. Like everything else, my goal is to keep it as simple as possible.

How many comps (versions of the rough draft) do you get?

I’ll take into account your content, your target audience, and the function your site will serve — and then I’ll blend all of these into the best way I feel it can be presented. Will it be perfect the first time? Doubtful, but refinement is part of the process, and some of that is going to be based on your feedback. As far as how many changes, that’s hard to quantify because a change could be anything. This usually isn’t a big deal as I expect a certain amount of changes, but we’ll set some guidelines in the budget.

Good ideas rarely come in bunches. The designer who voluntarily presents his client with a batch of layouts does so not out prolificacy, but out of uncertainty or fear.
Paul Rand

How will comps be presented?

I design in the browser, you’ll see your evolving site on a temporary, password-protected server (usually Design is no longer static — it’s going to be a different bird on your phone, your iPad, your laptop, and your external monitor. You’re not going to get a good idea of how things work unless you see it working. Furthermore, I don’t believe in doing one, magically perfect comp right off the bat, it will continue to change (and improve) throughout the process.

Am I interested in (your project here)?

It’s not always the project, it’s half project and half people. I’ve been struggling with a good way to explain this for some time. I look to work with people who are looking for a long-term partner to build something fantastic and unique. As usual, someone smarter than me has said it much better than I could have. How to Get a Designer is a fantastic article and worth the seven minute read.

In general, the types of projects I gravitate toward are custom, hand-crafted sites that take a little time and love. If you're looking for a Wordpress template or just some quick mockups, I'm not a great fit. Many of my clients are non-profits, but I choose them because I like to work with clients who are changing the world — you don't really need to be a non-profit for that.

Do I bid on projects as a flat fee or hourly rate?

Both. I work in one of two ways.

  1. Some clients have enough ongoing work that their design efforts require a lot of attention, but not quite so much to justify a full-time employee. We agree on a set amount of hours per week or month and I commit that much time to work toward mutually agreed upon goals. This is my preferred method in many cases as I believe that many forms of design (especially your website) should be constantly evolving.
  2. Some clients simply need X done and then we part ways for months or years. If that's the case, I bid the project with a flat bid (which we also agree on) and we agree to some limits on time spent so that the project doesn't scale wildly out of hand. This is a little more spendy per-hour, but has a definite beginning and end.

Other questions?

I honestly view every site and every client as an individual, I don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach. If you’re really curious, let’s just chat.