Messenger-Inquirer features RPS on Business page

The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer  yesterday published a profile of Red Pixel Studios on the front page of the Business section.

Check out the article below.

‘Somebody they can rely on’

By Beth Noffsinger

Posted: Sunday, March 24, 2013

Owensboro brothers Eric and Jason Kyle used the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce directory when they first started Red Pixel Studios from a room in Eric’s home in 2001. They used the book to find Owensboro businesses that might be interested in their services, which at that time focused on print marketing and website design.

After about eight months, the company was able to move out of its cramped confines, leasing its first of two downtown rentals in 2002 before purchasing its current East Third Street home in 2010. Over the past 12 years, Red Pixel Studio’s services have evolved, encompassing its original mission along with embracing the new technology of smartphone apps — and creating original products.

Red Pixel Studios’ clients include schools, hospitals and tourism groups in the United States and reaching into Argentina. The company helps its clients with its print and digital identities, in some cases helping them improve their Facebook presence or their branding. Much of their work is still print-based marketing pieces, such as brochures or rack cards that travelers see in tourist destinations.

Eric Kyle said Red Pixel Studios, a marketing design studio, still has many of the same clients it started with in 2001.

“They are looking for a partner, I believe, because honestly, a lot of people are intimidated by the technological aspects,” he said. “Print is not as intimidating, but when you start to get into Web databases, and even app development especially, that’s even more intimidating. They’re looking for somebody they can rely on, and we’ve always billed ourselves as a department within our client’s organization.”

One of its innovations is the infoApp, which allows organizations to build a mobile marketing portfolio, making apps for Apple iOS and Android along with a mobile website, according to the company’s website. Red Pixel Studios does all of the design and development, Rob Howard, the company’s spokesman, wrote in an email, and the clients provide the content.

“Clients are able to update their app instantly using a Web-based administration tool that we developed,” Howard wrote.

InfoApp can be customized with a variety of modules, including a directory, contact information, Facebook updates and push notifications (which sends an alert to a person’s smartphone), according to Red Pixel Studios’ website.

Red Pixel Studios also designed the RPS Real Estate app, which is available for Android and Apple products. The L. Steve Castlen Realtors app was a custom app, Jason Kyle said, that allows users to search listings, save their searches, select their favorite listings and send messages to specific agents.

It has real-time analytics, Kyle said.

“Castlen can go on and see how many people are using the app right this minute,” he said.

Red Pixel Studios has also designed several tourism websites and apps, including infoApps for the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Oldham County, Maysville and Kentucky Lake.

Eric Kyle said clients can call Red Pixel Studios if they need help with a specific integration.

“If you need help creating a message for a certain campaign, we can do that as well,” he said. “So we become almost a research and development department, but also a communications department for organizations who can’t afford necessarily to have those people full time.”

“Typically they can’t hire one person who will have the skill set of seven,” Jason Kyle added. The company has seven full-time staff members including the brothers.

The company recently won a contest in Argentina, creating the winning app in the inaugural “Buenos Aires Apps” contest.

“Bicicleta” provides information for bicyclists in Buenos Aires. Red Pixel Studios took a data set provided by the government to identify the location of public transportation in the form of bicycles, Eric Kyle said.

Users can see how many bikes are at a certain rack, see what routes are available and look at the weather to determine whether or not they should be riding a bike, he said.

“This app was developed in a very short time frame, as well,” Kyle said. “Something that happened in a span of weeks instead of a span of months.”

Red Pixel Studios got involved in the contest through Pablo Gallastegui, a developer for the company who is from Argentina and lives in Owensboro. Red Pixel Studios hopes to expand more into Argentina with Gallastegui and Gustavo Molina, another developer for the company who lives in Argentina.

“It’s going to be primarily in travel and tourism,” Kyle said. “We see that as a growing, expanding industry. As economies level out a bit, things stabilize in that regard. I think it’s going to be a huge industry, I mean even bigger than it is currently.”

The company has entered the second annual Buenos Aires Apps contest.

Most of Red Pixel Studios’ websites are built using WordPress, which is a widely accepted open source content management tool, Kyle said.

“The reason we build on that is we like our clients to feel they have mobility,” he said. “If they need to go to another developer five years down the road or they want to bring things in house, they’ve got skill sets out there. You’ve got millions upon millions of websites based upon WordPress.”

One of Red Pixel Studios’ longtime clients is the Daviess County Public Library, which recently introduced its redesigned website. The design group and the library spent more than four years working on the new website, said Alicia Harrington, a Web services librarian. Red Pixel Studios had also designed the library’s previous website, and the two entities have worked together for about 10 years.

“They’re really good,” Harrington said. “They stop and listen, and they try to understand where we’re coming from. Being a library, we’re a little different. … (They) had a learning curve with understanding some of the things we want to do on our Web page. We’re also pretty progressive in some of the things we do, or we try to be, and they’ve worked real well with that.”

The library is able to control more of its website all the time, Harrington said.

“We are always learning,” she said. “They’re willing to give us as much or as little control as we want or need. … They’re good, and they will do everything they can to understand where you are coming from. It has been a very good working relationship.”

Red Pixel Studios has worked on everything from helping clients make pitches to advising dress codes to improving their Facebook presence.

“We have a lot of customers that don’t know what to do, or we look at their Facebook presence and this doesn’t fit their branding, or they just throw up a bad photo,” Jason Kyle said. “We kind of help them in that respect.”

Though Red Pixel Studios’ focus is on its clients, the company hopes to create and license more products in the future.

“I think expansion of our business will have to do with product lines that we’re doing,” he said. “Should we grow our business, it will be in that capacity.”

Beth Noffsinger, 691-7307, [email protected]