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     Whichever kind of site you need - content, commercial or any permutation in between - I start just as I would before beginning an ad campaign. You and I sit down and make out a work plan. Unless we do this first step properly, everything that follows could be considerably less effective than it should be. Even next to useless. Once we both know where we're coming from, I develop a strategy for approval. Then the creative processes begin. I come up with a proposition or positioning distinctive enough to make you stand out from your competitors. Next I execute. (For more about the process I've developed, see A Better Way.)
     Below you can read about some of the sites I've been responsible for going right back to the turn of the century. You'll also note my client list has shorted fairly dramatically in recent years. However, while I no longer actively pursue new business, I still enjoy the attendent challenges associated with creating compelling, relevant websites that don't look like everyone else's.
     If that's the sort of site you have in mind, you might be interested in what my previous clients had to say when their sites were first posted. I believe their sentiments still reflect the kind of work that continues to be second nature to me.


The three principals needed a site to support a determined campaign to sell licences for breakthrough technology in the United States. Because the asking price for their SpectraKote™ process was in excess of US$1 million, the benefits to different market segments had to be very clearly spelt out (in U.S. spellings). This was one instance where I had to help develop a marketing strategy before I could even begin to think about the site design and content.

Alan McInnes

Alan McInnes, founder of SpectraTechnology
“We had a world-first technology which needed to be explained to industrial and political leaders, environmentalists and energy conservationists, in Australia and around the world. In time we realized that a website could provide an easily accessed platform that punched home the Spectra message.
   “We also realized that we didn't merely need someone who could build us a website. We needed someone with the expertise to digest and understand all the technical and engineering aspects of this most diverse technology and who could couch that understanding in such a way as to catch the imagination of people all over the globe. A website that would also express the excitement of a fresh technology which could help lead us out of the current energy maze.
   “We were led to Gary Graf and, as you can see from the success of our site, we are very glad we were.”

Comments from Previous Clients

Woolcott Research

Ian Woolcott, founder - Woolcott Research Pty Ltd, The Rocks
“Having known Gary from his previous incarnation as a copywriter, I felt certain he would produce something special when asked to update our website. As advertised, he sat down with us and probed. And probed.
   “So well did he get to know us, he was able to crystallise our attributes in ways we had not articulated before. Much like the cobbler with unshod kids, we have been more concerned with discovering the strengths of our clients' goods and services than our own. In any event, I unhesitatingly recommend websites.that. connect to anyone seeking a thoroughly researched, well-considered, persuasively written site.”

Pittwater Animal Hospital

Dr Bryn Lynar, Pittwater Animal Hospital
“Despite my initial reservations about going online, your production has exceeded all my expectations and resulted in a site which is informative, entertaining and easy to use. I really appreciated your attention to detail in the text, graphics and photographs, resulting in page after page of well laid-out and accurately researched facts. The text is very easy to read and, because of the enormous amount of research you did, will no doubt impress anybody who visits.
   “The site is far superior to the majority of veterinary sites on the Web, and I think it is an outstanding advertisement for my practice. Gary, although I may not have fully appreciated all your clever technical tricks, I really have appreciated your patience and continual good humour throughout the job, in spite of my often slow responses to your e-mails and frequent work distractions. Thank you for a great site.”

LifeStyle Financial Services

Gareth Hall, founding partner - LifeStyle Financial Services Pty Limited, Chatswood
“When Gary started on this project, I was particularly pleased by how thoroughly he sought to understand our company and the various services and products we offer our clients.
   “He promised that not only would our site be different from others, it would be better. The other planners and I agree he has certainly delivered. Our new website goes way beyond what we'd hoped for. As well as presenting LifeStyle very favourably to the outside world, it reduces our administration workload by offering some electronic services to our clients. It helps us to present a more professional and up-to-date image.”

Narrabeen Family Medical

Dr Nicholas Bernard, owner/manager/director
“Gary, whom I've known as a patient for 16 years, uses the sobriquet 'wordsmith' to describe what he does. Just why was made clear to me when I engaged him to design my website. To gather the information needed for the text, he went back to this practice's roots, examining our business from the ground up. While exhausting, this proved a very useful exercise.
   “His digging allowed him to describe my business and the work our doctors and nurses do succinctly and clearly, and his long experience as a copywriter meant he was was able to accurately convey the essence of our practice.
   “His design, which continues the colour themes of the building design and our logo treatment, is both eye-catching and easy to navigate. And his photographs certainly do our new facilities justice.
   “I have shown my website to colleagues, who feel that it sets a new benchmark for a medical practice.”


Mark O'Donoghue, founder and managing director - Finlease (Australia) Pty Ltd, North Sydney
“My initial view on the website issue was simply that it was a necessary evil, and I doubted that we would see any real use or value from one. I can now quite happily admit that I was wrong.
   “Gary took the time to fully understand our business, and this has been reflected in the way he designed the site with our customers in mind. He's made it easy for them to find the information they need while at the same time making it clear 'what's in it for them'. It also very effectively captures the culture of Finlease and clearly shows how we go about business.”

Eye Surgeons Miranda

Dr Adrian Hunt, founder/principal
“When I started thinking about a website, I collected lots of ideas from other sites, brochures and booklets. After amassing a huge pile of disparate snippets of information, I realised I needed a better approach. I contacted Gary and was empowered to start making some decisions rather than just collating and rearranging other peoples ideas.
   “It was refreshing and also much easier to take the approach Gary employs. Gary has such persistence and enthusiasm. He went out of his way to research and understand my business. When everything else was building up on my plate, Gary continued towards the goal of completing the website.
   “I really appreciated his ability to offer opinion based on his advertising background. What the message was and how best to convey it rather than what Flash buttons we should use. With Gary the focus is on communication but at the same time he delivers a clean, beautiful and functional website.”

Buckin' Mex

Katrina Breen, owner-manager - Buckin' Mex Mexican Restaurant, Cairns, Qld.
“The site Gary has created for us is far grander than we had ever expected. We were impressed by how he incorporated our colour scheme and design elements into a truly original look. And his professional, warm and light-hearted writing is a very good reflection of the culture we are establishing for Buckin' Mex.
   “We also found it makes much more sense to employ someone with proven communication and marketing skills rather than people with simply technical and graphics backgrounds.
   “The fact that Gary happens to be a perfectionist was a wonderful bonus.”

Joe's Italian Restaurant

Joe Mauceri, owner-manager
“I wasn't too sure about having a website. When Gary mentioned it, I didn't even own a computer. But once we got started, he made it all really easy, explaining the process step by step as we went along.
   “He did everything. He spent hours learning about my background and the style of food we offer. He researched Sicily to write the Heritage page. He redesigned my logo. He took all the restaurant and food photographs. He even brought in colour brochures from paint companies so the colour scheme of the website exactly matched the one in the restaurant.
   “Also, I really appreciated how patient he was the whole time.”

Moggie & Doggie

Janice Bates, owner of Moggie & Doggie
“I chose Gary to do my website as I could see how much effort he went into researching each of his customer's businesses. I wanted someone who was passionate about his work and also had the background experience to produce a professional and informative site.
   “Throughout the development of my site Gary made sure that he was on the 'right track' and provided the results much quicker than I anticipated. His attention to detail and determination to get everything right made it a real pleasure in dealing with him, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend his services to anyone who is serious about having a well-thought-out, professional website with a difference.

Tu's Company Muay Thai

Tu Dam-o and Janice Bates, principals - Tu's Company Muay Thai, Brookvale
Janice: “Gary had done such a good job with my website, creating hundreds of new customers in the three years it had been up, that I didn't hesitate to recommend him to Tu.
   “Gary is truly dedicated in doing the best job he is capable of, and with his wealth of work experience it makes for fantastic results. He has an amazing knowledge base and is a great resource for any business. And to top it off, he does all this for a very reasonable price.”
Tu: “When I show to students on iPhone, they tell me it looks very good.”

Goalkeepers Squad Australia

Luca Giuliani, head trainer
“I have to say that at first I wanted to create a website for my school by myself, but thankfully I agreed to meet Gary to talk about what was entailed. I could see how much time and attention to details he puts into his work, and the results are very impressive! Even if the subject of the website (soccer goalkeeper training) was something that he barely knew the existence of, he asked so many specific questions that it made him understand quite clearly what my product is and who it is for. I also like how he uses a simple and direct language with bits of humour here and there.”

K.& K. McGrath

Kevin McGrath, principal - K. & K. McGrath Pty Ltd, Surry Hills
“Now that my site is virtually finished, I just want to express my thanks for the way you set it up for me.
   “After the debacle with the previous web-site team it was sensational to have you create such a well-planned and informative site, particularly given the extremely short turn-around.
   “I was impressed by the methodical way you extracted from me the pertinent information that reflected my business operation. The way you have collated all this information and creatively designed the look of the pathways to this information, is nothing short of excellent. Great work and many thanks.”

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