My friends at Fusion have just launched the inaugural episode of their new podcast, Creatiplicity. Creatiplicity is hosted by Chris Bowler and Shawn Blanc and focuses on “the intersection of simplicity and the creative process.”
I’ve been adding a lot of work to the portfolio over the last few days, made up of most of the work I’ve been doing this year. I’m honoured to have worked on projects with great clients like Fraser Speirs, Hello Kelly, and Patrick Rhone, as well as a couple of projects for Grooveshark.
If you have a design project you think I could help with, feel free to get in touch.
I loved Camera+ from the moment I laid eyes on it. No small part of that was due to the choice of typeface for the interface. Rather than going with the standard Helvetica found on most iPhone apps, Camera+ took a decidedly different approach with the use of Bree. Most often used as a display typeface, Bree brings a sense of class and personality to Camera+ that many other apps on the iPhone lack. You could check out Fonts in Use for photos, but you should really just buy the app to see it up close and personal.
Designer Daniel Mall has just launched his new site, 5 years in the making. Daniel has created a very unique site design which uses CSS3 to a powerful effect. Every page on this site has its own unique layout, which I can’t imagine was easy to come up with.
Back in March of this year, I had the incredible opportunity to participate in the London Fringe 62-hour Film Contest where a team of incredible actors, directors, and producers wrote, shot, edited, and finished a film in less than 62 hours. Our film, “Frantic,” placed first place in the contest.
Last week the production team released the gag reel from the shoot, and it is hilarious. There’s a little bit of swearing in there (mostly me dropping the F-bomb every chance I could), but if that kind of thing doesn’t bother you too much then I definitely encourage you to check this out.
Things have been quiet ‘round these parts as of late, and I promise that will change soon. However, I wanted to pop my head out just for a minute to share a project I’m incredibly proud to have had the opportunity to work on that just launched this evening.
Back in April, Grooveshark asked me to design a promotional web-app for Corona which would allow users to create party playlists which their friends could add songs to via text or Twitter. It was a challenging project that really stretched me as a designer. I got to work with an amazing programmer named Chris Villalobos, who took time away from working with scientists all day to work with me and Grooveshark to get this project off the ground.
I’m incredibly happy with how it turned out. If you plan on having a party this summer, check out DJ to Getaway to help put together that perfect party playlist.
I mentioned it on my personal blog, but realized I should probably mention this here as well; my friend Patrick Rhone has released his first book called “Keeping It Straight: You, Me & Everything Else” and it’s really, really good. I had the pleasure of designing the website promoting the book and am very proud of how it turned out.
Be sure to check out this book. I think you’ll really like it.
If it hasn’t been clearly communicated as of yet, I have a bit of a man-crush on James Shelley. I’m so glad that other people are starting to succumb to Shelley-fever (tip: the best way to fight the symptoms of Shelley-fever is a great big serving of Pad Thai).
James was recently interviewed on the Work Awesome podcast, and has a lot of great things to say about things like the Attention Economy, the value of having something to say over having people to say things to, how Omnifocus isn’t omnipresent in James’ life, and how life is about balance, including the balance between decaf and normal coffee.
One thing I love about the Fusion Ad network is that it is always innovating. The latest innovation to come from Fusion HQ is the monthly Featured Advertiser. This spot is being offered only to current Fusion advertisers and is hand-selected by the Fusion team for its relevance to the network. Each Featured Advertisement also includes comments from Fusion publishers who actually use the product.
The first Featured Advertiser is Harvest, a time tracking and invoicing solution used by the likes of Matthew Smith of Squared Eye and Christian Ross, curator of Note & Point (not to mention Chris Bowler at Fusion).
Just wanted to let everyone know that I’m giving up my career as a freelance designer to pursue my dream of becoming an astronaut. Check out my announcement video from the moon!
This is my favourite kind of app. A simple solution to a common problem (at least for me) that is elegant, beautiful, and easy.
When he’s not aligning text in the shape of mythical creatures, Cameron Daigle writes some very insightful articles about designing for the web. I found his article on fixed-positioning in Mobile Safari to be quite enlightening. I remember the first time I visited a site that I knew featured a fixed-positioned box, and I remember being confused at first as to why Mobile Safari didn’t position it correctly. This article makes the reasoning crystal clear.
My friend Zach Havens is one of the most talented musicians I know. A prodigy pianist, he also writes a dang catchy song. When I heard he was shooting his first music video I was excited to see what type of shenanigans he would get up to, and I wasn’t disappointed. Zach’s debut music video for his single “Safe to Say” hits that perfect balance between a little bit creepy and a whole lot adorable.
Patrick Rhone shares his amazing story of how he chose his name. It’s an inspiring look into one man’s search for identity, and how he followed in the footsteps of his ancestors by defining his own identity.
In this presentation, Keith Lang walks viewers through some of the science behind what humans perceive as a pleasing aesthetic. Keith gives scientific reasoning for why certain shapes are more pleasing to look at than others, how colour can affect the detail we see in an image, graphic, or film, and how animators “cheat” to create a more natural-looking aesthetic in the work they create. Really thoughtful and helpful resource for those who wish to communicate visually.
via Lukas Mathis.
Jonathan Christopher talks about the importance of the estimation process of a project, and how it effects not just the project but the entire relationship you build with your client. The article came out one month before I took my freelancing career full-time, and was fundamental to how I approach project estimations now. Coming across it again this past weekend was a good reminder to continue thinking through how I approach managing a project.
Robin Sloan, an economics major, compares the economic idea of stock and flow with the work we create. In economics “[t]here are two kinds of quantities in the world. Stock is a static value: money in the bank, or trees in the forest. Flow is a rate of change: fifteen dollars an hour, or three-thousand toothpicks a day.”
The same is true of web content. Twitter is flow. Instagram is flow. These are the constant updates that “remind people that you exist.”
Stock is the work that is lasting. It’s durable. It is the work that people will come back to days, months, even years after you’ve created it.
Stock and flow are both important. As Robin writes:
But I’m not saying you should ignore flow! No: this is no time to hole up and work in isolation, emerging after long months or years with your perfectly-polished opus. Everybody will go: huh? Who are you? And even if they don’t—even if your exquisitely-carved marble statue of Boba Fett is the talk of the tumblrs for two whole days—if you don’t have flow to plug your new fans into, you’re suffering a huge (here it is!) opportunity cost. You’ll have to find them all again next time you emerge from your cave.
We’ve gotten really great at producing flow, and that’s great. I am personally working on creating more stock, but am reminded that I can’t forsake flow to do so.
I posted about it earlier on Twitter, but if you haven’t checked out the 365bundle from 365psd.com, you’re missing out. In less than two days they’ve raised over $4400 for Japan, and have provided designers around the world with some amazing design resources from great designers like Rogie King, Kyle Steed and Cameron Moll.
The absolute last thing I need on my iPhone is another camera app. I’ve already purchased and/or downloaded Hipstamatic, Instagram, Camera+, and a video app called 8mm. However, one of my absolute favourite things is a simple idea that is executed to perfection, and that is exactly what Everyday for iPhone is.
Based on Noah Kalina’s “Noah K. Everyday” project and made in collaboration by William Wilkinson, Oliver White, Adam Lisagor and Noah Kalina, Everyday for iPhone simply helps you take a self portrait every day, and lets you create a video similar to what Noah made. The app is beautifully designed and functions exactly as you would expect. I’m looking forward to giving it a shot through the year to see how my look changes from day to day.
I’m so proud to announce that the film I had a hand in making for the London Fringe 62 Hour Film Contest — Frantic — came in first place out of 20 movie submissions. Our story of a stolen 5” floppy disk and the race to decode what was on it was beautifully told by Sunny Day Jazz Productions and RedCat Film. I had the honour of sharing the screen with fantastic actors Gerrick Winston, Andrew Jiggins, Kayla Rock, Tammy Chrest and Craig White. I had such a blast working on this film, and can’t wait to do it again sometime soon!
As the winner of the contest we have the honour of having our film featured on the London Free Press website (flash required).
Earlier today on Twitter, I pondered the idea of a task management system that was built not on a schedule or collection of tags, but rather on my location. I’ve often struggled to remember to drop something off at the post office, or pop by the convenience store on my way home, or pick up my suits at the dry cleaners. Countless times I’ve gotten home from running errands in the city, only to realize I’d forgotten to do something important at a place I’d driven by.
Enter Task Ave, a location-aware task management app for iPhone that allows you to enter tasks and tag that task with a particular location, so that when you are near that location it can remind you of that thing you need to do. Need to remember the milk? Why set a timer for that hoping it will go off when you’re close to a grocery store when you can trigger that reminder when you are at the grocery store?
I think this type of app is amazing, and shows the power of a truly “smart” phone. The next frontier in mobile computing, as John Gruber has already touched on before, is Near-Field Communication. Imagine stepping into your car, and it recognizing your mobile device and turning on, or going into the office and having your phone automatically set itself to silent mode. Starbucks recently implemented mobile payments, but decided against NFC because it wasn’t popular enough yet. I think given just a bit more time, we could be seeing a lot of incredible things being created that truly revolutionize what mobile computing is all about.
If you’ve taken a look at the themes available from UpThemes, but for whatever reason couldn’t decide on a single theme, then this deal is for you. For the next 6 days, you can buy every UpTheme for only $49. Total. That’s 90% off. That includes the Charity Theme I designed for UpThemes last year, the Twitter Search Plugin, Events Pro Calendar, and more. You really can’t find a better deal on WordPress themes right now.
I caught wind of this project by Paul Octavious via Kyle Steed. While the site doesn’t give a lot of information, it’s pretty clear that Paul has found a spot close to his heart, and has chosen to document what goes on there from time to time. I love that the whole series focuses on one location, such a beautiful constraint.
I’ve fallen desperately behind in my Project365 series, but I think I may try to make up for it in March by doing something similar to what Paul has done here.
Social networking — the real kind — happens when I realize that
winning does not require that somebody else has to lose;
getting ahead does not mean that others must be left behind;
and my success does not require that another fails.
The ever-talented Kyle Steed has released his 52 Profiles poster, commemorating the 52 Profiles project he took on during 2010. I believe in looking for ways to support friends and independent producers, and Kyle is one of several friends I try to support as much as I can.
I hate making a big deal of it, but I’m older today. Here are some of my thoughts from the last 26 years on this planet.
Mike Almond of Resolution IM, one of the most talented web agencies in London, Ontario, has written a great piece on speeding up your website. Add to that the very fun and interactive page design by Andrew Proctor, and this is one article about speeding up your website that you can’t miss. Seriously, change the browser window size a bit, then read right to the very end of the article. Pure gold.
There are few people I’ve met online that I respect more than Shawn Blanc. For the past several years Shawn has been a source of inspiration, encouragement, and at times guidance that I have valued greatly. Today I woke up to the wonderful news that Shawn was going to begin working on ShawnBlanc.net full-time starting April 1 (I really hope this isn’t the lead-up to an April fools joke). As part of the announcement, Shawn also launched his ShawnBlanc.net Membership, which for the price of a coffee a month allows members the opportunity for exclusive content and the opportunity to share with others in the ShawnBlanc.net community.
Congratulations, Shawn, on a job well started. Here’s to the new adventure!
“Be undeniably good. When people ask me how do you make it in show business or whatever, what I always tell them and nobody ever takes note of it ‘cause it’s not the answer they wanted to hear — what they want to hear is here’s how you get an agent, here’s how you write a script, here’s how you do this — but I always say, ‘Be so good they can’t ignore you.’ If somebody’s thinking, ‘How can I be really good?’, people are going to come to you. It’s much easier doing it that way than going to cocktail parties.”
– Steve Martin (via Peter Vidani)
Many of us have read Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers,” where he suggests that those who are truly masters of their craft have put in 10,000+ hours into cultivating that skill. Nathan Ford agrees, but adds on a few extra bits of advice for those wanting to become true experts in what they know and at what they do.
As a side note, Nathan’s new site design is beautiful. Be sure to stretch and shrink your browser window to see his masterful responsive web design, or take a look at it on your iPhone.
Love this interview with Shawn, where he talks about how he got into blogging, his inspiration for his work both on and offline, and touches on something I think affects everyone who does creative work: sometimes you need to just let go and put the work out there.
Friend and constant inspiration Jorge Quinteros is an avid photographer. So avid that he has designed a t-shirt that celebrates his creative love. Jorge is taking pre-orders for his new “Frame & Click” t-shirts from February 11-25.
Oh, and in case you were curious, my birthday is February 25. XL ;)
I know I’ve talked about him a lot lately, but Kevin Van Lierop has been doing some amazing work lately. His most recent contribution to the community is his “The History of Computing” photo series. Taken at the Unlab, the series captures computers ranging from the Commodore 64 through the iPhone 4.
I came across this site via 37signals, who credited one of the featured artists in a video they produced. Basically, what the site does is publish 6 music publications a year featuring songs by artists of varying genres and backgrounds. The site features a beautifully developed HTML5 audio player, with stories and photography accompanying each of the tracks. To listen to the songs on the site is absolutely free, though for a mere $29 a month you can download the songs in either mp3 or FLAC formats.
Where this gets really great is that Ramen Music promises that at least 75% of the revenue goes directly to the artists, and more if they can keep their own costs down. I fully plan to support this project not only financially, but also by submitting my own music once it’s available.
Designer and educator Frank Chimero is working on a book based on some of the thinking he’s been doing over the past two years called “The Shape of Design.” Frank is a designer and writer I have huge amounts of respect for, so supporting this endeavour is a no-brainer for me. If you need a little more convincing, I strongly suggest you start reading his blog and imagine how great a hard copy of his writing would be.
Last week I had the opportunity to take a trip to Palo Alto, CA. This is a video I shot documenting the trip there and back. The whole thing was shot on my iPhone 4 using the 8mm app. Music is “Go Do” by Jónsi.
A very cool short animated video by Alessandro Novelli, depicting the alphabet in typefaces starting with each letter. The video has an old feel to it, while the animations are incredibly fluid and modern. Great little piece.
The other day my friend Kevin was kind enough to take some portraits of myself. I needed some that would be professional but fun. Some of the photos have already found their way onto my website and business cards. One photo was even the basis of this fun little experiment.
If you’re in the London, Ontario area and need portraits taken that are a little out of the ordinary, or have an event which would benefit from having a fun method of documenting it, I highly recommend Kevin and his Mugshot Lounge. As he says on the site, “This ain’t your Grandma’s photobooth.”
To most people who knew her while she was alive, Vivian Maier was a nanny. She had a French accent, was a loner and was highly opinionated. Now, thanks to John Maloof, Vivian Maier may soon come to be seen as one of the world’s top street photographers. Having purchased a box of negatives that had intrigued him, John dug deeper to find that Vivian had produced over 100,000 negatives, most of which have never been seen by anyone but Vivian.
This short video looks at how this random but important discovery was made, where it has taken John and his friends so far, and where Vivian Maier could find herself, post-mortem, in the history books of photography.
It’s been asked “if you don’t toot your own horn, who will?” While I try not to spend too much time parading my achievements, sometimes it’s nice to acknowledge when someone acknowledges you. Today my new design was given the “Design of the Day” honours over at Design Delight, a showcase of beautifully designed websites. To be considered in the same class as previous winners of this award is humbling. Thank you.
A very straightforward web app from Noah Stokes, ggoals helps you set goals and mark when they’re completed. If you’re like me and don’t want a ton of features to distract you, this could be the perfect way to simply mark down your goals and track which ones you have completed.
Inspired by several photographers who have taken this challenge before me, I have committed myself this year to a photograph-a-day challenge. I will shoot and share a photograph for every day of the year. My goal with this project is two fold: 1) to better myself in the craft of photography, and 2) to help myself experience the world around me in a new way.
One of the most amazing short films I have ever seen. Set in a time before a story we all know, Heartless: The Story of the Tin Man tells the story of how Tin Man came to be; how his love for his maiden cost him his heart, and how the loss of his heart cost him his maiden. Along with the amazing film is the soundtrack by Nicholas Kirk, which you can download completely from the film’s site. The soundtrack’s theme, “Yours Alone,” is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard, and ranks up there with one of my other all-time favourites, “Falling Slowly” by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova from the movie Once.
This January marks the 1 year anniversary of my inclusion in the Fusion Ads network. I’m so proud to have the opportunity to not only display their ads on my blog, but to also have a hand in designing several of the ads on the network. When I first heard that Fusion was pooling together software and resources for designers and developers to sell as a bundle, I knew it would be amazing. I was not let down. $626 worth of software and resources for only $79. And, as if that wasn’t enough reason to check it out, be sure to head over simply to admire the amazing design and copy by Mr. Noah Stokes.
Kudos to Chris, Garrett, and Noah for putting all of this together.
As another example of a thoughtful, carefully constructed criticism, Sean Sperte’s recent critique of Taptivate’s Friends iPhone app is equal parts humble and honest. Sean is careful to be critical of the app itself, not the people behind it. This is the type of criticism that empowers the design community.
Speaking of UpThemes, the theme I designed for them is now available for purchase! I was honoured to be asked by Chris Wallace and the UpThemes team to produce a theme to add to their growing collection, and was proud to have the opportunity to create a theme that will hopefully benefit non-profit organizations all over the world. Be sure to check out the theme if you’re involved with or know of a non-profit in need of a website, or even if you are building a business site and are looking for a solid starting point to work from.
My friends at UpThemes have set up an incredible bundle to celebrate the holidays: get a theme bundle worth $250 for only $65. And if that wasn’t a good enough deal for you, click on the smallest present for a bit more of a discount.
Intrv.ws is quickly becoming a favourite website of mine. Granted, I may be a bit biased as I designed the site itself, but Ian has done an absolutely wonderful job with the content. The most recent addition is this great interview with Benjamin Brooks of The Brooks Review. An inspiring and insightful read.
Somehow, someway, in a span of 8 months my little that could, Simple Desks, has reached 2000 followers on Tumblr. The site has never been featured by Tumblr on its directory or in its weekly Tumblr highlight posts. It’s simply been through the kind sharing of people like Patrick Rhone, the people behind Mnmal.org and hundreds of other users. Thank you to everyone!
Ian Hines has written a thorough explanation of how to move your blog from Tumblr’s increasingly unreliable service to your own WordPress installation. The process isn’t easy, but neither is seeing your site go down almost 24 hours. I still love Tumblr, but can’t rely on it for anything other than personal projects.
When I made the move from Tumblr to ExpressionEngine I was a bit disappointed that EE wouldn’t allow me to have permalink URLs made up entirely of numbers. So, when an old Tumblr post would have a permalink such as “patdryburgh.com/post/208473379,” Grooveshark wouldn’t allow me to use “208473379” as the permalink URL to allow for a simple transition. My solution, then, was to rewrite all of the old Tumblr permalinks in my .htaccess file. However, that quickly became tedious and I gave up.
Enter Detour, a very simple-to-use EE Extension that allows you to set up redirects very quickly and easily. I now have several old posts that Google is still picking up with the old Tumblr-esque permalinks now pointing to the proper pages on my EE site. Even better, now that these redirects are set up as 301’s, Google will eventually update their index with the correct links. Best of all, the Detour extension is free.
An introductory look at why, when considering content management solutions for a client project, you should definitely consider ExpressionEngine. When designing my personal site I knew I wanted to take the opportunity to dig into EE, so that I could know it well enough to offer it as a solution to clients. Now that I’ve spent some time with it, I’m fairly confident that it will be the first solution I bring up for almost all projects in the future.
(via Noah Stokes)
Ben the Bodyguard is an iPhone app that is coming soon, which is geared towards protecting your information. While the premise seems somewhat boring, the website they’ve created to promote the app is anything but. Check it out, and scroll. (via DF)
Along with the launch came a very interesting announcement from Five Simple Steps:
This year’s 24 ways annual blog is going to be turned into a printed annual that will be shipped in the new year. In partnership with 24 ways, Five Simple Steps is taking the 24 articles from high profile web professionals and making something tangible and beautiful to read off-line, during the rest of the year. All the proceeds from sales will be given to UNICEF and their global charitable projects with children.
I designed these buttons a while ago for an old portfolio design that never saw the light of day. Decided that the best place for them would be Designmoo, a community for designers to share freebies with the world wide web.
Holy cow! I was just spending an evening perusing the Abduzeedo site, and when I came across the Sites of the Week list from a couple of weeks ago, was shocked to see that the WordPress theme I designed for ChurchThemer was featured. Very cool!
I have a profound appreciation for the work that Typekit and others are doing to bring variety of type to the web. However, one aspect that has caused some trepidation in using these services has been the process of sifting through the fonts in order to find the typeface most suitable for the job at hand.
The Great Typekit Table, which was put together by the fine people at Sleepover, lays out the best fonts provided by Typekit for typesetting long blocks of text. In order to make the list,
the font had to have lower case, uppercase, bold, italic, and bold italic; second, the font couldn’t be hand writing, script, or monospace.
A very helpful resource for finding a suitable typeface for your content.
Web developer Zander Martineau has put together a brilliantly helpful list of Coda Clips to help with HTML5 development in Coda. I’ve been frustrated as of late with Coda’s lack of HTML5 support (I know it’s coming, I’m just not very patient). These clips are incredibly helpful to keep development moving without having to type out every bit by hand.
This is a question that has probably been debated at length by the great people building web standards and browsers, and it’s very possible the real scope of the problem lays beyond my understanding. But, as a person building websites and observing technology evolve, I really have some trouble with this: will it make any sense to use pixels as a unit in a not so distant future?
Thibaut has written a wonderfully articulate and informative post regarding the use of pixels as a unit for measuring the size of type on digital displays.