Vivid Office Emerges as Creative Design Force of Rare 'Skins' Solutions for Microsoft's SharePoint Services

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With few Web designers worldwide capable of delivering template or custom Web design solutions to accompany Microsoft's Office SharePoint Services 3.0, Vivid Office has established itself as the primary creative design engine and industry-leading source of 'skins' and Master Pages, or Web templates, for SharePoint product. Vivid Office, with years of experience on Microsoft projects and the SharePoint platform, has invested in staff training and development to focus on expanding upon its successful history with standard HTML/CSS Web templates to building high-quality Skins and Master Pages for multiple versions of SharePoint. Vivid Office has since gained support within the development and design community as a trusted source for SharePoint Skins, which delivers to users low cost, high value solutions that allows SharePoint users to match its internal sites with overall corporate branding.

Working with SharePoint 3.0, we found new, market scalable opportunities to build more templates and designs than were possible in previous versions

With few Web designers worldwide capable of delivering template or custom Web design solutions to accompany Microsoft's Office SharePoint Services 3.0, Vivid Office has established itself as the primary creative design engine and industry-leading source of 'skins' and Master Pages, or Web templates, for SharePoint product.

Vivid Office, with years of experience on Microsoft projects and the SharePoint platform, has invested in staff training and development to focus on expanding upon its successful history with standard HTML/CSS Web templates to building high-quality Skins and Master Pages for multiple versions of SharePoint. Vivid Office has since gained support within the development and design community as a trusted source for SharePoint Skins, which delivers to users low cost, high value solutions that allows SharePoint users to match its internal sites with overall corporate branding.

"Working with SharePoint 3.0, we found new, market scalable opportunities to build more templates and designs than were possible in previous versions," said Jason Reckers, chief executive officer of Web-template purveyor, PixelMill.com, parent company of Vivid Office. "Our development strategy fits ideally with the rapid growth Microsoft is experiencing with SharePoint, and Microsoft's new Online Services' Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) and we can now efficiently build both mass market and custom designs that work across WSS (Windows SharePoint Services), MOSS (Microsoft Office SharePoint Services), and BPOS."

Vivid Office SharePoint Skins combine a minimal Masterpage design with a theme or linked style sheet to provide a quick, attractive makeover to the out-of-the-box SharePoint site without affecting any SharePoint functionality. PixelMill currently offers similar products for public facing sites with content management features built on top of WSS. These products are called SimpleCMS SharePoint Templates and they're used for Small Businesses who want a Web site with the power of SharePoint behind it.

Vivid Office has also coupled its in-house design expertise with increasing demand from enterprises both large and small to deliver a new suite of custom solutions services for SharePoint users.

"Interest within the community for this unique niche has grown quickly, we've adapted, honed our expertise, and now we're consistently selling SharePoint Skins on the mass market through PixelMill," said Reckers. "With this product exposure we also found a growing need for custom design work specifically focused on applying a design to SharePoint. We now also provide custom services for global enterprises, including a major pharmaceutical, Shell Oil, and increasing numbers of mid-size and small businesses."

Custom solutions and design implementation services provided by Vivid Office assist businesses which posess specific brand designs already created by their graphic design department, but require additional support to apply it to SharePoint. Vivid Office's new Custom Solutions program launched, in part, to respond to the fact that most companies' in-house web designers don't have experience with SharePoint design.

Launched in 2002 under parent company PixelMill.com, Vivid Office (http://www.vividoffice.com) packaged and developed a number of complementary products, design templates, and instructional guides featured in the Microsoft Right Tools Toolkit. Vivid Office then also developed effective strategies to help users implement these designs into their Windows® SharePoint® Services Web sites. Vivid Office previously built designs and templates for both the first and second versions of SharePoint, which were provided for free download from sharepointcustomization.com.

While supporting SharePoint' first versions, Vivid Office anticipated newer versions of SharePoint would soon enter the market. In 2006, PixelMill's Reckers began developer and design training with the PixelMill team to deliver Web design solutions that enabled client companies to ensure brand consistency. Previously, the market size for SharePoint templates was limited because of the upfront building expenses required for each pre-built template. Earlier versions were simply not built in a way to make mass market capabilities feasible and required designers to have access to the server to apply specific elements.

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