Nick’s Corner #001 – The Living Room

Editor’s Note: Nick’s Corner is a look into the inner workings, creative processes, and extra passions of the crew at 530medialab. For what is a lab without experiments?


Let’s be honest with ourselves for just a moment.

We live in a society where Web Designers, Web Developers, Coders, Graphic Designers, Media Professionals, Social Media Gurus, Digital Marketers, Growth Hackers, “Storytellers,” and other “Creatives” are a dime a dozen.

With websites like fiverr, upwork, and even Craigslist available for the un-savvy business owner to find someone to throw together a Facebook Campaign, create a badass logo, or even build you a WordPress site for only $200 it has become more and more difficult to separate the good from the bad. 

What effectively sets apart a home-grown agency from others is the effort, the quality, and above all else the passion for aesthetic.


In this post I wanted to share a little bit of insight into some of the cool projects that we’ve worked on to help tell the story, and convey the feeling of 530medialab’s Brand, more than a business card ever could.

The Living Room

To kick off 2019, we set out to redesign the 530medialab website with a dark, 1960’s space race-esque vibe.

I wanted to make a video that truly encapsulates the time, the place and the feeling of the void.

With that said, I may have overdone it a bit – we couldn’t quite figure out what to do with the end result; other than this blog post.



  1. I had the scene in my head and knew exactly what I wanted
  2. I just needed to figure out what materials I was going to use.
  3. I set out to 3D print all of the furniture
  4. Very quickly found that scaling everything just right was tedious, and too time-consuming to allow for error.
  5. I ended up opting to just print the astronaut helmet and television and see if I could source the rest.


The Prints:


  1. The television was designed to hold a Raspberry Pi, along with a 3.2” touch screen display.
  2. Using Raspbian and VLC media player, we could play some of the 530medialab space propaganda videos with ease.
  3. This is something that could have been added in post, but for this particular project, I felt that it wouldn’t bring the life-like quality I was after.
  4. After the TV and helmet were finished printing, I painted both of them using an airbrush/model paint.
  5. For the finer details like the dial and the brim of the helmet, I used a thin paintbrush and acrylics.
  6. Using black foam board, I began to construct the walls, floor, and ceiling of the living room.


With the original plans to print all of the furniture gone out the window, I needed to figure out how to get furniture that not only matched the vibe but was also scaled to size properly.

I thought about using the furniture available from the American Girl doll line but quickly found that it was far outside of budget for this project and also a tad too large making it throw off the perspective.

I ended up finding a complete set meant for a smaller, country-themed dollhouse for a total of $20 (after a promo code) made by a company called “Mayberry Street Miniatures.

A steal compared to the $100+ that American Girl wanted for just a single couch.

I did a little more digging and found that they also offered things like a small Tiffany lamp and stand-alone window frames so I snagged both.

Since the window frame was just raw wood, it required some painting but after a quick blast of brown, it was good to go.

To get the Tiffany lamp to light up, I used a 2 cell LiPo battery, which can be found at any local RC hobby shop.


To create the wood floor, I bought some paneling from The Home Depot and cut it down to size.

After setting up everything that I had, the living room still didn’t seem filled out enough so I searched to see if Mayberry carried miniature rugs.

They did…

But didn’t have exactly what I was looking for.

I ended up finding a mouse pad on Amazon that was designed to look like an old, Oriental rug.

It still wasn’t quite enough so I found a 2.5” picture frame and printed the 530 “JOIN US” poster and hot glued it on the wall to the right of the television.

Now that the scene was completed, it was time to start some filming.

I wanted it to be dark and stormy so to accomplish that, I used an external camera flash to simulate lightning through the window.

This required getting another foam board to place just outside of the window so the light bounced back inside and reflected on the furniture.

After some quick color correction in Adobe Premiere, it was good to go.

The audio needed to be crafted to fit the environment specifically so I used multiple sound layers, some of which were:

  • – Street sounds of New York
  • Rain and thunder
  • Audio from the propaganda video
  • Audio of a NY city subway station

These were all placed on separate tracks to control the level and stereo panning of each.


Final Product:


Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this as much as I had fun making it. 

-Nicholas McCarthy


530medialab Competes (Poorly) In The First Annual American Advertising Federation Dodgeball Tournament

Orange County, California is filled with many different types of Digital Agencies. A quick search on Google for “marketing agency orange county ca” returns About 903 results in (0.50 seconds). There are Creative Agencies that focus on the Automotive space, Website Development Agencies that are experts in the Medical Field, SEO Agencies that deal mostly in Real Estate, and Experiential Agencies that help Local Businesses with Events and Activations.

The one thing all of these Orange County Marketing Agencies have in common with each other is that they hate losing out on accounts that should have gone to them and would love the opportunity to get back at those Agencies of Record. This year The First Annual American Advertising Federation Dodgeball Tournament gave those scorned Agencies the opportunity to take out all of their pent up frustrations out on some fellow Devs, Creatives, and Account Managers.

530medialab decided to enter into the Tournament with a balanced team; comprised of some Creative, Marketing, and Development Team Members.

Before we actually got out there and hit the field, we decided to hold a couple of Dodgeball Practices at 530 Headquarters.

530medialab Practice

530medialab Practice

After a couple of weeks of Friday 530 Dodgeball Practices it was time for the big day. The First Annual American Advertising Federation Dodgeball Tournament was being held near Downtown Santa Ana on a Friday evening. Before we stepped on the field, the 530 Crew needed to calm our nerves a bit.

530medialab Barcade Pregame

The 530medialab Dodgeball Team stopped in at Mission Control, a Barcade located in the McFadden Public Market, for a little Pre-game.

After a few pints, pinball, and pointers on the best way to dodge a ball the 530 Team stumbled over to The First Annual American Advertising Federation Dodgeball Tournament. Here are a few pictures of the Crew, overconfidently smiling, before they got absolutely demolished.

530medialab Dodgeball Team 2019

530medialab Dodgeball Team Stretching

There was a total of 20 Teams representing Agencies from all throughout Orange County. Each team was guaranteed at the very least 3 games in the Tournament, with an elimination and playoff round.

530medialab Dodgeball Team

530medialab Dodgeball Team

530medialab came out swinging and really held their own for the first few matches. With great play from a large percentage of the 530medialab Dodgeball Team, and great effort from the rest, they were able to complete the required 3 games without serious injury.

530medialb Dodgeball Team

530medialb Dodgeball Team

The 530medialab Dodgeball Team Came Away With A Perfect Record:

0 – 3


7 Must-Attend Ecommerce Conferences in 2019 [Part 1]

Year after year there is nothing that gives an eCommerce Business Owner, Employee, or Marketing Agency Partner a better opportunity for networking, discovering new products, and learning about the latest technologies, trends and strategies than an eCommerce Conference.

Good News! 2019 is full of them.

Everywhere from Atlanta and Fort Lauderdale, to Vegas and L.A. there are ballrooms and convention halls ready to help those interested in eCommerce learn, grow and expand their knowledge in the next coming months.

530medialab is a huge fan of these eCommerce Conferences and we have compiled a list to help you plan for 2019.

The 7 Best Ecommerce Conferences in 2019

1. eTail West

When: February 19-22, 2019
Where: Palm Springs, California
Featuring Speakers From: Kohl’s, Zazzle, Stitch Fix, DSW, Nordstrom

With more than 3,000 attendees and speakers from a bunch of the nation’s hottest retailers, eTail is one of the premier networking events for those in the eCommerce Industry.

Brochure reads, “With disruptive content, unique session formats and a focus on retail tech, eTail is designed to help you achieve omnichannel excellence and drive profits.

Session topics include globalization, customer acquisition, conversion optimization, AI, customer engagement, social media, digital marketing and more.

2. Traffic & Conversion Summit

When: February 25-27, 2019
Where: San Diego, CA
Featured Speakers: J.J. Virgin, Frank Kern, Jeff Walker

If you want more sales from your website, digital advertising or social media efforts, the Traffic and Conversion Summit is a great place to start. Last year’s event saw more than 5,000 attendees from 53 countries.
One of the largest conferences in the country, so expect it to be equally as well attended this year.

3. ShopTalk

When: March 3-6, 2019
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada
Featuring Speakers From: Nordstrom, Crate and Barrel,Barney’s, DHL, Pinterest, eBay, Walmart

It’s been dubbed “Retail’s Best Show” and ShopTalk is a must-attend for any retailer or merchant — online or not. More than 8,000 people from 3,000 companies are expected to attend this four-day event, which takes place at the Venetian in Vegas. Topics covered will include checkout and payment experiences, fulfillment, logistics, company culture and more. Did we also mention that it is in Vegas??

4. eCommerce Innovation Summit

When: March 20-21, 2019
Where: San Francisco, CA
Featuring Speakers From: Gap, Macy’s, Ebay, Le Tote, Conde Nast

The Innovation Summit is targeted to eCommerce decision makers with the goal of “optimizing your eCommerce strategy.” For those making the decisions (both financial & strategic) for America’s biggest online businesses this is a MUST. Topics include SEO, payments, branding, data science, content marketing, AI, and a bunch more.

5. The Social Shake-up

When: May 7-9, 2018
Where: Atlanta, Georgia
Featuring Speakers From: TOMS, Facebook, IBM, LEGO, Twitter

If you are looking to leverage social media a bit better or you want to turn more social followers into customers, then The Social Shake-up might be for you. Some of the topics to be covered: SEO, crisis management, Instagram marketing, analytics, Twitter branding, social storytelling and brand evangelism. There’s your typical awards ceremony, networking events, and associated webinars — all down in Hotlanta.

6. Imagine 2019

When: May 13-15, 2019
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada
Featuring Speakers From: Magento, Forrester, PayPal, Amazon, Pittsburgh Steelers

Hosted by 530medialab favorite Magento, it doesn’t get more ecommerce-focused than this. With more than 150 speakers and 100 unique sessions, it’s as comprehensive a eCommerce Conference as they come. Over 3,000 attendees from 50 different countries will have the opportunity to learn about mobile development, payments, email marketing, data insights and more. You can also get your Magento certification exams on site – super-plus.

7. B2B Online

When: May 14-16, 2019
Where: Chicago, Illinois
Featuring Speakers From: HP, Siemens, Dell

B2B Online is designed for executives in the manufacturing and distribution arms of online retail  — those in charge of marketing, eCommerce strategy and more. The conference aims to bring executives together “to develop the tools they need to power innovative, future-looking omni-channel experiences.”

This is by no means a definitive 2019 eCommerce conference list – PART 2 coming later this year – but these one’s stood out to us in their own ways. Considering the list of annual conferences is so immense, and many for the second half of the year have yet to be announced, we’ll be sure to update it as we see any new one’s listed.

Are You an eCommerce Brand Looking To Take Your Business Into Your Own Hands?

Do you sell products online?

530medilab Builds eCommerce Empires For Lifestyle Brands
Web Development
Digital Marketing
Creative Design


“We are recognized as a top E-Commerce Design & Development Company on DesignRush”


This is the first in a series of activities we here at 530 do to get a break from the grind, re-focus and find inspiration outdoors. This time we’ll touch on hiking, maybe next we’ll turn to kayaking or biking, who knows, we work a lot.

tiny flowers growing on Mt. Baldy just below summit


Mt Baldy Hike:

Ok, so you’ve done the Runyon Canyon thing, welcome to LA. Now put your shirt back on (bro) and take off those Crossfit socks – it’s time for something a bit more adventurous.

At the southern end of the San Gabriel range (those mountains you stare at while sitting on the freeway) is Mt. Baldy, a tall peak standing 10,000 feet above the city (Mount San Antonio officially). This formidable challenge is the highest point in Los Angeles County and is a great quick trip to get some time away from the hustle below. It’s a bit more than an hour to the trailhead at Manker Flats from basically anywhere in LA, the last bit being a moderately winding road. Although parking is plentiful, you will need an Adventure Pass for your car. If you don’t have one already, they are available for purchase at the ranger station on your way up.

heading up thru the forest on Ski Hut Trail


While there are many routes to the summit, we recommend ascending the shorter but steep “Ski Hut Trail” for its general aesthetic and physical challenge. You can return the way you came or complete the loop by descending the ominous sounding “Devil’s Backbone Trail.” This direction has a small traverse with big drops on both sides, but you also have the option to take a ski lift back if your knees have had enough downhill.

manzanita coming back to life in late spring


The hike itself climbs rapidly from thick forest thru the sparse alpine until you finally reach a lunar-like summit. Views extend past Downtown LA to the ocean westerly and into the vast Mojave to the east. As you hike you’ll start to feel the effects of the thin air and the last half mile slog up the summit plateau is brutal, but the discomfort quickly fades once standing on the summit triumphant (bring a victory beer). Be sure to get an early start to increase your chances of seeing wildlife and avoid the crowds. The hike will take you 3-6 hours depending on your fitness level and how many pics you take along the way.

summit with full snow coverage early last winter


While this is a very common trail, you can get yourself into trouble if you’re not prepared. Make sure you’ve done a bit of research on weather conditions for the day and have an understanding of the Ten Essentials. While the terrain isn’t especially dangerous and most people get away with running or light hiker shoes, winter conditions can be hazardous without proper mountaineering skills. Finally, make sure you plan ahead and bring enough water for a full-day hike, there is limited cell coverage and rescue is costly and possibly hours away.



Mt. Baldy Visitor Center
Manker Flats
National Weather Service
Ten Essentials
Trip Report
Leave No Trace


If you have been following our social media over the last year you may have seen the ongoing series hashtagged #PrintHoarding, where we showcase all the collected books, magazines, stickers and other printed materials that have inspired us (and overloaded our bookcases) for the last 20 years. Previously we have featured Lowdown Magazine – The skateboard, surf, graffiti, and lifestyle magazine out of Berlin and Hot Lava the short lived SoCal lifestyle magazine published by the Black Flys. For our very first website version of “Print Hoarding” we decided to bring out the big guns and dust off our massive collection from Ray Gun Publishing, including Ray Gun magazine and sister publications Bikini and huH.


Coming from the popular music magazine Creem, Publisher Marvin Scott Jarrett premiered Ray Gun magazine in 1992 and ran through 2000. Although it had a fairly short run it had massive impact on alternative and indie music, graphic design and typography. Originally art directed by ’90s design hero David Carson and featuring original fonts and illustrations from the best in the business, Ray Gun had no rules or boundaries allowing for both an amazing and at times frustrating reading experience. Nevertheless, Ray Gun was a big deal for the 530 creative team by inspiring us to push our own creative boundaries and ways of communicating visually.


Pile of Ray Gun magazines

Cutting up and hiding article titles

Cutting up and hiding article titles was the norm for Ray Gun.

Ray Gun "Style" section

Ray Gun‘s “Style” section was the perfect marriage of high-concept fashion photography and graphic design.

Ray Gun Magazine spread

Ray Gun Big in Japan” issue

The infamous “Big in Japan” issue was printed back to front causing much chaos on American newsstands.

Ray Gun Prodigy spread

running graphics over text was very controversial

Believe it or not but back in the ’90s messing with the standard column widths and running graphics over text was very controversial.

No page numbers ever – you’re on your own.

No page numbers ever – you’re on your own.

This photo of Tricky taken from a video next to cut-up and photocopied text is everything ’90s design.


Launched as a “More edgy and radical alternative to Playboy”, Bikini magazine featured interviews with indie movie actors, comedians and action sports athletes, reviews of fast food restaurants and gonzo style reporting from a young unknown by the name of Johnny Knoxville.

’m not sure what was the better read, the monthly movie reviews from Dave Navarro and his brother (which never had much to do with the movie) or Arty Nelson’s glorious fast food reviews.

A pre “Jackass” Johnny Knoxville had a regular monthly feature – here the editors send him to Vegas to see if he can survive a week with no money.

Nekkid photo feature with ’90s dream girl Alyssa Milano.

huH was a square format music magazine published by Ray Gun Publishing but owned by Time Warner. Originally packaged with a VHS tape of music videos they switched format to include a CD of new music with every issue. huH was art directed by Vaughan Oliver from V23 studious (known for his design work with record label 4AD).

An introduction to this then unkown rapper – Busta Rhymes

If your geeking out on all this but the idea of dragging around boxes of old magazines covered in ’90s dust is unappealing, don’t worry, the editors were nice enough to take the best of everything Ray Gun and cram it into this visually stunning but totally unreadable book. #530recommends you pick up a copy.


It’s 4:30AM on Saturday May 30th and the 530medialab crew is headed to Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park for the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series Round 5. Filled up on coffee and Egg McMuffin’s we arrive at this muddy monstrosity of massive race team trailers, power tools, big trucks and fumes of high octane fuel.

From dawn to dusk our cameras were rolling to capture every moment of the intense performance lifestyle of the race teams and the fan-friendly interactions during the event.

The Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series #LOORRS is the premiere short course race series for four wheel off-road machines. Drivers such as; Bryce Menzies, Brian Deegan, Casey Currie, Robby Woods and Sheldon Creed to name a few, have built these incredible machines that put out a mere 900 horsepower and reach speeds of 100mph while jumping 150+ feet through the air.

Here at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park Round 5, the track is known for big air and slick clay conditions. With our trackside access we were able to capture the mayhem up close, very close; so close that our camera crew was getting roosted with clay as the trucks rounded turn one.

530medialab linked up with Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series to produce a short lifestyle video to bring a unique perspective to the sport and to highlight the action packed fan experience.



Edge Products was looking for an exciting way to bring their new Edge CTS2 product line to market, so the 530 Marketing Team decided to get a little dirty with a lifestyle video shoot at the Azusa Canyon Off-Road Park. We installed the Gas Evolution CTS2 in a 2008 Chevy Silverado 4×4 and thrashed through rocky bottom gullies and sandy trails.

The objective was to showcase the Evolution CTS2’s versatile functions that enhance a vehicle’s performance based on the driver’s needs. From the horsepower boosting Extreme mode to the gas saving Economy mode, we put this product to the test and had some fun doing it. The CTS2 product line shows considerable performance enhancing results while off-road and on the highway.

After scouting several locations we decided on Azusa Canyon because the OHV Area offers up to 150 acres of diverse off-road opportunities. Water crossings, rocks, dirt roads and sand hills are some of the seasonally challenging experiences you will find here.

Our video crew used GoPro cameras placed strategically upon the vehicle. These cameras offer amazing picture quality and versatile abilities to capture unique action shots.

From concept to completion, we spent hours storyboarding, location scouting, filming, editing and producing.

The end result is a lifestyle promotional video capturing the excitement and performance levels this product line will bring.