A responsive redesign of Daring Fireball

Daring Fireball Redesign

It might come as a surprise, but I don’t read a lot of design blogs. In fact, the one site I visit most is Daring Fireball, a blog devoted primarily to the discussion of Apple (with a side helping of Stanley Kubrick trivia). His ability to piece together stories and articles is always enjoyable, and though he tends to keep his posts relatively short his more verbose posts are always insightful and cut through the bullshit. That all said there’s one big problem I have with Daring Fireball: it’s not responsive.

In 2014, responsive design seems like a must. Gruber himself states that 41.62% of his traffic comes from iOS yet he has no tablet or mobile optimized views for his site. For a site that talks a lot about technology and the web, doesn’t this seem obvious like an obvious move? So I decided to pull a “no one asked you to” redesign to see if I could improve the reading experience of Daring Fireball on tablets and mobile.

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Bobby Solomon

January 29, 2014 / By

Squarespace Logo offends designers, rationality goes out window

Squarespace Logo

Earlier today Squarespace launched a new feature to their site called Squarespace Logo, a WYSWIG editor that allows people to create their own logos. Within minutes my Twitter stream (of mostly designers) was a flood of snark and anger, some claiming that the company had “badly fucked up” and that it “perpetuates design as throwaway“. Of course, as designers, everyone had to start using the logo maker to make “Fuck you Squarespace” logos, because that’s constructive. Deep breaths everyone, deep breaths.

Historically, most forms of art have some sort of “disruption”. Digital cameras turned everyone into a photographer, Photoshop turned everyone into a designer, and now Squarespace is stealing the food from your children’s mouths. Here’s what’s really happening. They’ve created a tool that let’s non-designers and people who don’t know designers create a simple mark for their business. This is a tool for people who don’t have the money to hire people like us to make them fancy logos. Hell, maybe they don’t even have the fancy taste level we designers have. And that’s ok.

A big part of being a designer is being confident in your skills and knowing that people will hire you for those skills. If you feel like a computer program can do the same level of work that you’re currently doing maybe that’s a signal to brush up on those skills? I think this tweet by Derek Huber sums things up rather nicely, “They may have the tools, but that doesn’t give them taste that we, as designers, sharpen and hone”. Well said.

Let’s keep on doing what we’re damn good at.

Bobby Solomon

January 22, 2014 / By

EMOJI IRL.LOL. – Emojis brought to life

EMOJI IRL.LOL.

Categorize this under seriously funny. Someone on the Internet has decided to take emojis and turn them into beautifully shot, real-life objects, collecting them into one Tumblr appropriately titled EMOJI IRL.LOL. As silly as this may be, the photos are really perfectly shot and the dedication to accuracy is spot-on. Internet, I love you.

EMOJIS MEAN EVERYTHING AND THEY MEAN NOTHING AT THE SAME TIME. THEY’RE COMPLETELY PERSONAL AND COMPLETELY UNIVERSAL. THEY’RE REALLY QUITE STUPID. AND THEY’RE THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO OUR GENERATION. THEY DESERVE TO BE OBSERVED AND WORSHIPPED INDIVIDUALLY. BY FINDING, POSING AND SCULPTING EMOJIS IN REAL LIFE I’VE CREATED A SET OF SHRINES TO THE INDIVIDUAL CHARACTERS. BECAUSE SOMEBODY HAD TO DO IT.

You can see more examples under the cut.

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Bobby Solomon

January 9, 2014 / By

Fonta by Kayac design studio creates a handwritten collaborative web font

Fonta-Japanese-typography-website-1

Fonta is a website that encourages anyone to digitally write one of the 6941 characters on the site. On the landing page are numerous tiles with characters on them. Some tiles have faint grey outlines as guides for characters yet to be written, others have been written over by different users. Fonta’s driving vision is that a complete publicly generated font will eventually be created with the accumulated handwritten characters from different users. The font can be installed on your personal computer and used as a web font, but as of now there are only 1486 of the possible characters written. Also, as the site is in Japanese created by the design studio Kayac, the majority of the characters are of the Japanese alphabets (Hiragana and Katakana) and kanji, adopted Chinese characters. The English alphabet, numbers and some glyphs are also included.

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Charis Poon

December 4, 2013 / By

WhatFont, or How to Be A Type Nut on the Web

whatfont 3

If you’re like me, fonts can drive you bananas on the internet. Not in a “oh look how bad that font is” way, but in a “what a nice font, I wonder what it is” way. Sure, bad type happens. But when you see that great font being used, the inability to identify it can feel so close yet so far.

Thankfully, I’ve come across a solution. It comes in the form of a Google Chrome extension called WhatFont. If you aren’t familiar with Chrome extensions, that’s okay – many aren’t. Like your iPhone or Android device, the Chrome browser has a marketplace for third-party software that runs inside Chrome. Games and apps, of course, are there. But extensions are small functions that you add to the browser; oftentimes in the form of a button that goes up near your bookmarks.

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September 17, 2013 / By

National Geographic Turns Their Massive Archive Into A Tumblr

National Geographic Photo Archive

Last week, Bobby tweeted: “‘Remember when images didn’t move?’ – Our grandchildren.” It’s exciting to imagine such a future; one where your grandkids’ friend would reply “What?!” with bewildered astonishment that people ever lived without moving images being the norm. So what does that mean for the billions of still images lying around? Who knows. But before theirs get too dusty, National Geographic is releasing a small trove of previously unpublished still images on a Tumblr simply called Found.

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Alex Dent

June 24, 2013 / By

‘The Build’, an interactive film featuring motorcycle builders

'The Build', an interactive film featuring motorcycle builders

'The Build', an interactive film featuring motorcycle builders

The fine folks at Instrument, hands down one of the best digital creative agencies, have released a new experimental projects which pairs a short film with contemporary web technologies. Titled The Build, the film follows the lives of three motorcycle builders – Casey, Thor, and James – as they discuss their lives and passions.

'The Build', an interactive film featuring motorcycle builders

This film is everything I truly love about Portland. First, it’s about makers, people who really do get their hands dirty and are passionate about what they build. Truen Pence, Instrument’s resident filmmaker, does an incredible job of capturing each of these guys as they ride around town or in the woods of Oregon. And from tech side it’s great that Instrument is pushing HTML5 video and WebGL to do some interesting projects. It makes me excited for the possibilities of film on the web and how the two could mesh together even more to create some truly unique experiences (see also: Carly’s Cafe which Andi wrote about).

You can watch The Build by clicking here.

Bobby Solomon

April 19, 2013 / By

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