April 2011 Archives
Galen Gruman reviews the Blackberry Playbook, describing it as, “a useless device whose development is unfinished.” Refusing to pull any punches, Gruman hammers the final nail into the coffin with this line:
Instead of a world-class performer, we got the homeless guy who plays air guitar in front of the mall.
Solarized is a sixteen color palette (eight monotones, eight accent colors) designed for use with terminal and gui applications.
The project page, overflowing with exuberant detail, sees Mr Schoonover outlining the extensive research and fastidious execution that has gone in to the creation of the exquisite colour palettes.
Now available for an Editor, IDE or Terminal Emulator near you.
You’ve probably encountered the excellent HTML5 Boilerplate, developed by Paul Irish et al. — a base HTML/CSS/JS set of template files which makes the deployment of your HTML5 website quick and painless.
‘320 and Up’ starts with a tiny screen stylesheet that contains only reset, colour and typography styles. Media Queries then load assets and layout styles progressively and only as they’re needed. Think of this as responsible responsive design.
320 and Up is built on the ethos outlined by Jeremy Keith in his terrific article One Web, arguing that serving the same pages to mobile devices and desktops, “to the best ability of their device” is the best way forward. Rather than creating separate, mobile optimised websites, we should aim to serve the same content to all devices, but to do so responsibly.
320 and Up will provide an excellent starting point in this noble endeavour.
Courtesy of Barcelona-based designer Octavio Pardo, Blackwood is a weighty fat face, “inspired by the wood fonts of the beginning of the 18th century,” and the resurgence in exuberant fat face display faces. It’s beautifully heavy.
Utilising magical unicorns and rainbows (and a little sprinkling of magic dust from Twitter’s Josh Brewer and Mark Christian), FFFFALLBACK is a bookmarklet that makes it easy to find the perfect fallback fonts enabling bulletproof web typography. As Messrs Brewer and Christian put it:
Web fonts are here, sparking an exciting new era in web design. FFFFALLBACK makes it easy to find the perfect fallback fonts, so that your designs degrade gracefully.
Inspired by Brewer’s Typekit ‘Type Study’ on Choosing Fallback Fonts (which is well worth reading) FFFFALLBACK enables you to quickly and easily, “Bulletproof your font-stacks and rejoice!”
Thank you gentlemen for a wonderful tool indeed.
You want a native you can roll around with, and get funky dirty, on Windows.
You want Funky, Dirty, Native HTML5.
Damn straight you do.
From the laboratory of Simurai (Interactive Designer at Refunk by day and CSS3 Explorer by night) comes the Cursor Monster, “a little CSS3 and JS toy,” to play around with. For the best experience, “Please feed the Cursor Monster.”
In praise of the chrome logos and lettering affixed to vintage automobiles and electric appliances – those unsung metal emblems and badges that are overlooked, forgotten, damaged, lost to time or the dump.
We were delighted to see Typeplace featured earlier today on Quipsologies. The premise behind the iPhone app is simple and put best by its developer, Barry Hassan (who – in the interests of full disclosure - is one of our final year interactive design students):
Typeplace is a new way to discover, share and favour noteworthy pieces of typography we come across daily and a way of sharing their location. With Typeplace, you can uncover the tiny details in other obsessors’ lives, let fellow typenerds experience yours and bag some cool schwag for doing so along the way.
Think of it as part typographic scrapbook (with built in geotagging), part social network for typography aficionados and part game. (If you like type and you have friends, you’ll like Typeplace.)
The app’s been getting some fantastic coverage from a number of noteworthy typographers - not least Jon Tan, Brian Hoff and Rob Clark - and has also been featured at Design You Trust, who liken it to an Instagram for type.
Get a copy now and support an upcoming graduate who we think is well worth watching.
Khoi Vinh offers, “a sketch,” of his thoughts on The Daily:
The Daily is a near perfect realisation of exactly the idea that occurs to print editors every single time they get their hands on digital media for the first time, regardless of what the underlying technology might be: “Let’s make it just like what we know so well in print.” As a result I found it sadly lifeless and lacking in urgency. What a waste of US$30 million.
If GUIs on screen float your boat (don’t they float everyone’s?), Access Main Computer File will be right up your street.
Speaking of Build, Jack Henderson (age six) has re-imagined this year’s Build brand as a part of his Jack Draws Anything project. The premise is simple, “Jack will draw anything you like to raise funds for The Sick Kids Friends Foundation, all you need to do is ask, and make a donation.
As Jack puts it:
I’m doing this because my little brother, Noah, went to The Sick Kids Hospital. I am going to give my money to The Sick Kids Friends Foundation. I want to give them
£100 £500 £1,000£10,000 cause they looked after me, Toby and especially Noah. You ask me for a picture, then please give me some donation money, then I will draw the picture and put it on my website as soon as I can. Thank you.
Jack has surpassed his £10,000 target and is no longer taking requests for drawings, but you can still support him with a donation.
Jack writes in the web site’s footer: “Don’t steal my pictures or else I’ll become a lawyer when I grow up.” Brilliant.
(Disclosure: We know Jack’s Dad (now known as ‘Jack’s Dad’, formerly known as ‘Ed’).)
We’re delighted to announce that, as usual, we’ll be playing an active role in this year’s Build Conference, supporting the inimitable Mr Gordon Paper, in our ongoing quest to position Belfast on the world stage as a centre of excellence for web design.
In addition to a presentation on the main stage, alongside a who’s who of our industry – Josh Brewer of Twitter and 52 Weeks of UX; Simon Collison, of New Adventures in Web Design; Ethan ‘Responsive Design’ Marcotte; Wilson Miner, Head of Design at Rdio; Craig Mod, co-founding editor and engineer behind The TPUTH and writer on the future of publishing; and Jason Santa Maria, founder of Typedia and Creative Director of Typekit – we’re also working on a number of fringe events, which are free to conference pass holders.
This year’s ‘An Evening With…’ events include everyone’s favourite hard core typographer extraordinaire Erik Spiekermann and Scott McCloud, author of Understanding Comics (which should be required reading for any aspiring web designer).
We’re also delighted to announce that we’ll again be running The Standardistas’ Open Book Exam which, like last year, promises to be one of the most exciting events in this year’s geek calendar and will, as before, promise prizes galore.
We’re looking forward to catching up with friends, old and new, in Belfast in November and we hope to see you there.
Tickets go on sale on Friday, 8 April and - like the past two years - are likely to sell out fast, you should sign up to be notified, so you can pick one up the moment they go on sale. The 2011 web site is a thing of beauty, crafted by Kyle Meyer and Stuart Johnston and is worth a roundtrip alone, just for the lovely Harry Potter style HTML5 video portraits. Great work.
Should you have missed the tweets and notes 1, 2 it might have slipped your notice that Mr Chris Mills – The Gentleman of Web Standards – will be speaking this evening (6.30 pm, Wednesday, 6 April 2011) in Belfast as part of our ongoing series of guest lectures delivered under the ‘Stanfdardistas + Build Presents…’ banner.
Mr Mills is not only the creator and driving force behind the Opera Web Standards Curriculum and all-round web standards advocate at Opera Software, but also served as the Development Editor of Andy Clarke’s Hardboiled Web Design (a book we highly recommend).
The presentation is free, sure to be action-packed and, what’s more you’ll be able to enjoy a post-presentation beverage with the man himself after the main event. You should get a ticket now, before they go. We hope to see you there.
OCTOCATS! [Sic] Collect ‘em all.
As Fonts In Use celebrates its first 100 Days, we’d like to wish them a Happy 100th. Showcasing ‘Type at Work in the Real World’, the site is an independent project courtesy of Sam Berlow, Stephen Coles and Nick Sherman, a trio of type aficionados who know their sans from their serifs.
If you haven’t already, bookmark it now, you’ll be happy you did.
If you find yourself continually asking, “What font…?” in the rich web typography landscape we now inhabit, Chengyin Liu’s WhatFont Bookmarklet is just for you. As he puts it:
What’s the easiest way to find out the fonts used in a web page?
Sure, for developers, Firebug or Webkit Inspector are easy enough to use. However, for others, this should not be necessary. Hence I wrote this bookmarklet, with which you can easily get font information about the text you’re hovering on.
Simply install and explore. Thank you Mr Liu.
Hello new Twitter home page.
Welcome back FontFont, now sporting a finely crafted new look (which - surprisingly - is the site’s first redesign in more than a decade). Reflecting on the new design - which places the fonts first and foremost - Erik Spiekermann (father of the FontFont library) states:
This is more than a new site. We’re putting the brand back on its feet. See as many fonts as immediately as possible. Colour only when necessary. No ornaments, no dross, no dribble.”
We weren’t mistaken when we wrote: “Knowing FontFont it will be finely crafted and full of FontFont goodness.” Great work indeed.
We linked to The Rules of a Gentleman last year 2, but given that Chris Mills will be referring to it in his Web Standards Gentlemen presentation in Belfast next week it feels right to link to it again.
Speaking of which, you really should attend Mr Mills’ talk. It’s free, sure to be action-packed and, what’s more you’ll be able to enjoy a post-presentation beverage with the man himself after the main event.
In addition to being the Development Editor of Andy Clarke’s ‘Hardboiled Web Design’, creator of the Opera Web Standards Curriculum and all-round web standards advocate, Chris is a gentleman and a scholar and, we’re very much looking forward to welcoming him to Belfast next week. You should get a ticket now, before they go. See you there.
Austin Kleon is a writer and artist living in Austin, Texas. In addition to being the writer (eraser?) of Newspaper Blackout (which has been described as “classified document haiku”), he has also written the excellent and insight-filled How to Steal Like an Artist (And 9 Other Things Nobody Told Me) which you should read. Right now.
CXXVI Clothing Co. are, “dedicated to American made products with a matching aesthetic sense.” No surprise then to discover they’ve applied an equally aesthetic sensibility to the design of their very tasteful web site. (Cf. this, this and this.)
With a tear in their eye, the folks at FontFont bid farewell to the FontFont site of old. A new site is promised for Monday, until then they’re offering a little sneak preview of the new site. We’re looking forward to what’s unveiled on Monday, knowing FontFont it will be finely crafted and full of FontFont goodness.