November 2012 Archives
If you’re embarking on a responsive redesign, you might like to download Jeremy Alford’s Responsive Web Design Sketch Sheets, a simple, but effective tool for thinking through layouts for various devices. Nice.
With over 400,000 copies sold, you more than likely have a copy of iA Writer. If you don’t, do yourself a favour and pick one up today, half price.
Got a problem with tangled cables? Great Balls of Wire!
Looking for some, “sexy icons,” for a project? Better still, “free sexy icons.” Other Icons has you covered. Available in EPS, AI, PSD and PNG format they’re fully scalable and very nice indeed. Any icon set that numbers a penny farthing amongst its number is fine by us.
We’re delighted to have been invited to deliver a workshop at Inspire Conference, joining a great line up that includes: Simon Collison, Tim Brown, Chris Shiflett and Jeffrey Zeldman, to name just a handful.
Our workshop – The Craft of Web Typography – offers an action-packed day of typographic inspiration, expertise, and hands-on learning. We’ll explore the benefits that rich web typography can offer in a rapidly changing landscape, where multi-device design, dazzling retina screens and responsive web design have become a reality.
Creating typographically rich and inspiring designs has never been easier. In this workshop we’ll introduce some fundamentals of typography, drawn from a long tradition, and explore the new visual language that rich web type offers.
Armed with this fundamental knowledge and an abundance of typographic tools – not to mention the Standardistas’ ‘Bag of Awesome™’ – we show the aspiring typographer the tricks of the trade through a series of hands-on typographic exercises.
By the end of an intensive, but enjoyable day, participants will have acquired a wealth of typographic knowledge on which to build, ensuring that they leave inspired and ready to apply their new-found skills to create beautifully crafted web type experiences.
We very much hope to see you in Leiden; if you’re in attendance, do come and say, “Hello!” Better still, join us on our workshop for what, we promise, will be an action-packed day.
As anyone that has ever attended one of our workshops will attest, regardless of location in the world, we always - always - bring a typewriter with us. (A typewriter, after all, should form the backbone of any self-respecting designer’s toolbox.)
We were devastated to discover, therefore, that Brother – which has manufactured 5.9 million typewriters since its factory in Wrexham opened in 1985 – has produced its last typewriter at the north Wales factory. Generously Brother have donated the last typewriter to roll off their production line to the Science Museum in London.
A spokesman for the London Science Musuem stated that the piece represented the end of a technology which had been, “important to so many lives.” Our lives included.
We’d like to tip our hats to one Mr Edward Bryan, a worker at the factory since 1989, for being granted the honour of assembling the UK’s last typewriter. Set aside two and a half minutes and watch the last typewriter in the UK being constructed.
As the BBC put it: “It’s a stop for QWERTYUIOP.”
If you like House Industries’ Worthe Numerals, you’ll love their Worthe Prints (just in time for Christmas). We particularly like the Worthe Analog Randomizer in white. Hand printed by David Dodde and available in an open edition, it’s a snip at just $50.
Worthe Numerals, designed by the fine folks at House Industries, are designed to be large, attract attention, and — when needed — drop a shadow. As they put it: “Worthe Numerals brighten the daily drumbeat of numerical gloom.”
Who are we to disagree? Their weighty exuberance are guaranteed to lift the most dreary of designs, adding a little flavour, like a fine spice can lift a dish. On the design process, the House Industries team write thus:
Worthe Numerals come out of a time-tested development cycle where House Industries employees ask: “What if this could be just a little more….”
After pushing traditional didot forms to the limit, these digits were originally applied to a set of wood blocks. But, who says replenishable Michigan-grown basswood should have all the fun? So we added everything one needs to stylishly set their current currency and credit default swap hedges, while also being able to set the appropriate fractional take from their blog’s micropayment structure.
If numbers are on the design agenda, take a look, they’re guaranteed to brighten your day.
Paper Browser is a browser, only it’s paper. Designed by the folks at Rain, a web design agency based in Manila, Paper Browser templates are free to download in a variety of configurations or, should your habit demand a little more, as customisable notebooks. Handy.
If you’re looking for a classic speech dialog, CSS Arrow Please has you covered. Position your arrows at the top, right, bottom or left, pick your size, color, border width and border color and, in a snap, it’ll have your CSS at the ready. Nice work Mr Højberg!
In a development that not only speaks volumes about the US patent system, but is patently absurd, Apple now owns the page turn. The sheer volume of interaction patterns that Apple, and others, are securing should be of concern to anyone working in interaction design.
As Nick Bilton, writing for Bits in The New York Times puts it:
Yes, that’s right. Apple now owns the page turn. You know, as when you turn a page with your hand. An ‘interface’ that has been around for hundreds of years in physical form. I swear I’ve seen similar animation in Disney or Warner Brothers cartoons.
(This is where readers are probably checking the URL of this article to make sure it’s The New York Times and not The Onion.)
It wanted us to believe that, “Stories are better in Color,” but just under two years after launching, amidst much fanfare, Color is shuttering its doors. A terse notice at the top of its site reads:
Alert: We hope you’ve enjoyed sharing your stories via real-time video. Regretfully, the app will no longer be available after 12/31/2012.
The Color story is nothing short of a startup trainwreck. Having secured a $41 million investment round, lead by Sequoia Capital, the company launched with both an unclear purpose and a poor onboarding experience which resulted in confusion around what Color actually facilitated. Nearly two years and several reinventions later the company is finally shutting down and returning what assets remain to shareholders.
Proof that if you don’t deeply understand your product story, no one else will. As we pointed out on Color’s launch, first impressions count, and it seems as if the company never managed to break free of those first impressions. Ouch.
With just a handful of hours to go until the Open Book Exam, we’d like to take a moment to thank our sponsors. We’ve been overwhelmed with the response to the Open Book Exam over the last three years and the generosity of our friends who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to support our event.
Two years ago, when we first wrote: “The Standardistas’ Open Book Exam promises to be one of the most exciting events in this year’s geek calendar,” we were of course guilty of a little hyperbole. However, the feedback we received after the last two years’ events and the support we have received as we prepare for this year’s event have been nothing short of overwhelming.
We worried that we’d struggle to match our last two years of prizes in volume and value. We needn’t have worried. We’re sure you’ll agree - looking at the extensive prize list below, which is much, much longer than any other year - that there’s a lot of schwag up for grabs and, again, we’d like to thank everyone who has so generously supported us.
The Prize Fund currently stands as follows:
- 01 × Build 2013 Conference Pass for the Last Geek Standing
- 01 × Year Subscription to The Manual (3 Issues)
- 03 × Issues of Offscreen Magazine #3
- 03 × Pauline Clancy Language Prints
- 01 × Jonathan Hall, Signwritten Design Quotes Print
- 01 × Industry Conference Ticket
- 01 × New Adventures Ticket
- 01 × From the Front Conference Ticket
- 01 × Kerning.it Conference Ticket
- 02 × Copies of ‘Foundation HTML5 with CSS3’ Courtesy of Apress
- 02 × Copies of ‘CSS3 Solutions’ Courtesy of Apress
- 02 × Copies of ‘The Essential Guide to HTML5 and CSS3 Web Design’ Courtesy of Apress
- 02 × Copies of ‘Practical HTML5 Projects’ Courtesy of Apress
- 02 × Copies of Antony Kennedy and Inayaili de Leon’s ‘Pro CSS for High Traffic Websites’ Courtesy of Apress
- 04 × Copies of Andy Budd’s CSS Mastery (2nd Edition) Courtesy of Apress
- 02 × Copies ‘HTML and CSS Web Standards Solutions: A Web Standardistas’ Approach’ Courtesy of Apress
- 02 × Bundles of Awesome (Clear for iPhone, Clear for Mac, RapidWeaver, LittleSnapper, Analog and Courier) from the generous gents at Realmac Software
- 01 × Copy of the BÖIKZMÖIND Book and DVD Courtesy of Gavin Strange
- 02 × Droplet Series 2 Vinyl Toys Courtesy of Gavin Strange
- 03 × Copies of Jeremy Keith’s HTML5 for Web Designers Courtesy of A Book Apart
- 03 × Copies of Dan Cederholm’s CSS3 for Web Designers Courtesy of A Book Apart
- 03 × Copies of Erin Kissane’s The Elements of Content Strategy Courtesy of A Book Apart
- 03 × Copies of Ethan Marcotte’s Responsive Web Design Courtesy of A Book Apart
- 03 × Copies of Aarron Walter’s Designing for Emotion Courtesy of A Book Apart
- 03 × Copies of Luke Wroblewski’s Mobile First Courtesy of A Book Apart
- 03 × Copies of Mike Monteiro’s Design Is a Job Courtesy of A Book Apart
- 03 × Copies of Karen McGrane’s Content Strategy for Mobile Courtesy of A Book Apart
- 02 × Copies of Insites: The Book courtesy of Viewport Industries
- 05 × Digital Copies of Insites: The Book courtesy of Viewport Industries
- 03 × Copies of 8 Faces
- 03 × Copies of Assorted Support Web Standards Schwag Courtesy of Messrs Zeldman and Rainsford
- 01 × ‘Ready to Use’ Fully Managed Cpanel Xen VPS Server (50GB HDD, 2GB RAM, Cpanel License, Remote Backup License and 100GB Remote Backup Account) for 12 Months Courtesy of Big Wet Fish
- 02 × 1GB VPS Servers for 12 Months With Linux Distro of Your Choice Courtesy of Big Wet Fish
- 64 × Coupon Codes Giving 50% Off Any Shared Hosting Package for 12 Months Courtesy of Big Wet Fish
- 02 × Kerning Me Softly T Shirts Courtesy of Robbie Manson
- 08 × Limited Edition, Custom Printed Open Book Exam T Shirts Courtesy of Belong
- 03 × Markdown and Jekyll Video Training Packages Courtesy of Mijingo
- 01 × Copy of Eva-Lotta Lamm’s Sketchnotes Book (2011 Edition)
- 01 × Copy of Eva-Lotta Lamm’s Sketchnotes Book (2009/2010 Edition)
- 01 × Limited Edition, Bespoke Sketchnoting Sketchbook Courtesy of Eva-Lotta Lamm
- 03 × Gridset T Shirt and Pixel Ruler Bundles
- 02 × A1 Screenprints Courtesy of the fffunction Fellas
- 01 × Inspire Conference Ticket
- 01 x Metre of Beer Courtesy of Inspire Conference
- 01 × Bespoke Print by Mr Paddy Donnelly
- 01 × One Year Onotate License
- 01 × Limited Edition Box of Beer Courtesy of the Ecliptic Labs Folks
- 04 × Lino Icon Sets Courtesy of Fine Goods
- 04 × Overlay Sets Courtesy of Fine Goods
- 10 × Social Media Icon Sets Courtesy of Fine Goods
We’re looking forward to seeing you all later at The Black Box after tonight’s ‘An Evening With Kickstarter’ event for what will, we’re sure, prove another enjoyable, informative and challenging evening of Open Book Exam entertainment.
Many publications focus on reviews and comparisons, or bring you as much news as quickly as possible. The Magazine will not serve those roles. Instead, it takes a measured approach to the big picture: rather than telling readers everything that happens in technology, The Magazine delivers meaningful editorial and big-picture articles.
What’s interesting about The Magazine is that the formula — well written, simply formatted content — seem to go down really well with the punters. Now in its second issue, The Magazine is going from strength to strength. It’s success proves that people are willing to pay for good content, but also, that putting the content centre stage, eschewing the traditional heavily graphical ‘magazine approach’ was a gamble that paid off.
It might sound funny, but maybe it’s as simple as people preferring not to download several gigabytes before they can read an article?
Nearly a month ago, something interesting happened on the web. A bunch of tech companies, Opera, Adobe, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla and Nokia got together to create a platform for “authoritative open web standards documentation”. Curated by the W3C, Web Platform has an ambitious and worthy goal. According to the press release from Opera:
The Web Platform Docs addresses the problem of finding a single source of accurate, quality information on all the latest HTML5, CSS3 and other standards features across the multitude of available web-based resources.
Initially taking the form of a wiki, but with aspirations to grow, the project is showing great aspirations. The inaugural blog post states:
WebPlatform.org will have accurate, up-to-date, comprehensive references and tutorials for every part of client-side development and design, with quirks and bugs revealed and explained. It will have in-depth indicators of browser support and interoperability, with links to tests for specific features. It will feature discussions and script libraries for cutting-edge features at various states of implementation or standardization, with the opportunity to give feedback into the process before the features are locked down. It will have features to let you experiment with and share code snippets, examples, and solutions. It will have an API to access the structured information for easy reuse. It will have resources for teachers to help them train their students with critical skills. It will have information you just can’t get anywhere else, and it will have it all in one place.
Considering that the state of documentation relating to web development has been fragmented and suffering from the lack of quality control that makes the web both charming and frustrating, collecting this information under an umbrella is an exemplary goal, one that we urge you all to wholeheartedly support.
Seb Lester recently released some beautiful works of art, as detailed over on I love typography. Firstly, some astonishing pieces of calligraphic art, printed on Metallic Gold ink on black Plike art paper:
‘The Voice of all the Gods’ is a quote from Shakespeare’s ‘Loves Labours Lost.’ The first time I read the passage in which this phrase occurs I couldn’t get it out of my head for weeks. The words are extraordinarily rich, and I wanted my visual interpretation to reflect this.
Secondly, Mr. Lester released ‘Slate 1’ and ‘Slate 2’, Bespoke Roman monumental capitals carved into stone:
I designed bespoke Roman monumental capital letters. I then commissioned a very talented and respected letter carver to carve rude words into the finest Welsh slate
Never have the words “Arse” and “Bollocks” looked so magnificent.
The juxtaposition of the delightful Shakespearean quotes, meticulously calligraphed, with the bold, rude, roman monumental lettering carved into slate is not covered in depth by the designer, who instead offers another, more important nugget of wisdom:
It has become apparent to me that doing calligraphy makes you a better type designer, and doing type design makes you a better calligrapher. That was a beautiful revelation to me and one that I hope I will continue to benefit from.
This is a sentiment that we feel needs echoed. Stay within your comfort zone and you will never grow, as a designer, or as a person.
Curated by Chambers Judd, “a digital design and development agency based in London which helps people make good things for the internet,” Hover States gathers new and interesting examples of movement in interaction design. Not only are the examples it gathers inspiring, but the execution of the site itself is top notch. Lovely work.