Spider Silk Design was officially founded in August, 1997. But its founder, Lynna Landstreet, had been doing graphic design, and other creative work with computers, for a long time before that. After graduating with an honours BFA in interdisciplinary fine arts from York University in 1990, she spent four years doing layout and design at Xtra magazine, and a year and a half peddling computers at a downtown Mac dealer before deciding to go back to school and do a Masters degree in environmental studies. After all, there had to be more to life than sitting in front of a computer making things look pretty, right?
Wrong. Everywhere she went, it seemed, she found herself doing exactly that. At the beginning of her very first graduate assistantship, her supervisor said You know a lot about computers, right?
OK, can you design a web site for this new research centre were starting?
When she signed up for a summer field experience placement with a wilderness protection organization, she expected to be doing research on sustainable forestry and conservation biology, but what did she end up doing? Designing posters and working on their web site.
And as she worked away at completing her Masters degree with a view towards eventually finding work somewhere in the environmental field, day after day, the newspapers were full of stories about how funding for the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Natural Resources was being slashed, non-profit organizations were starved for money and eliminating jobs all over the place, and even a Ph.D. was no guarantee of a job anymore. The writing, it seemed, was on the wall. So, during a summer when teaching assistantships, graduate assistantships, and paying employment of any kind were scarcer than the proverbial hens teeth, she took the plunge into self-employment sitting in front of a computer making things look pretty.
That was nearly 10 years ago, and today Spider Silk Design is one of the longest-standing web design companies in Toronto. We've gone from simple site design to developing e-commerce sites, custom PHP web applications, and much more, expanding our skills and resources over time as required by our clients' needs. We survived the slump in the web industry following the dot-com crash of the early 00's, when companies much larger than us were going under all around us, and now that the industry has fully recovered, we're busier than ever.
Now, you will notice that we have only referred to one person here thus far. Does that mean that we are violating Mark Twains famous adage that no one should refer to themselves in the first person plural except for pregnant women and people with tapeworms (neither of which we happen to be at the present moment to the best of our knowledge)?
To some degree, yes — but not entirely. While Spider Silk Design has for most of its history been predominantly a one-woman show, we have worked with a variety of talented collaborators over the years, and continue to be the centre of a web (so to speak) of freelance specialists we can call in on various projects as needed. This gives us the flexibility to be able to accommodate a wide variety of project demands and the ever-changing nature of the industry, while avoiding unnecessary overhead and bureaucracy.
Copyright 1997-2007 by Spider Silk Design