Punk/Money

For the past two weeks, in what the world can only hope will become a recurring theme, the inimitable Dan Sinker has been a guest host on the design-focused podcast Let’s Make Mistakes, one of the few podcasts that I listen to religiously (and one of the few that’s really worth a damn at all.) While it’s been a treat to listen to Dan ramble on at length about goats and the crushing disappointment of @horse_ebooks, the episodes inevitably get to a point where I’m screaming inside my head for Dan to bring up how much the topic at hand relates to punk rock. And without fail, Dan delivers. Continue reading

New work: rebranding We Have Signal

In early 2008, my good friends Matt and J Whitson approached me to design a logo and on-air graphics for a television show they were creating for Alabama Public Television. The show would be called We Have Signal, and it would be a 30-minute live music show chronicling the bands that came through Birmingham to play at Bottletree Cafe. As odd as it sounded at the time, these would be bands of the Whitsons’ own choosing–punk bands, noise bands, and whatever other eclectic sounds that enthused them–and with virtually no oversight from the top brass. All on public television. In Alabama.

And oddly, they got away with it. Continue reading

The road ahead

I’m unsure of the exact date, but one of the days in September of 1999 was my first day at a little basement web shop called Infomedia. Today, nearly 14 years later, is my last.

It’s hard to conceive of that much time elapsing while sitting in one place, but I’m grateful to have seen the company that I met those years ago grow into what it is today. Continue reading

12 for ‘12: a year of music to work by

The world is full of year-end lists, and at the end of every year I discover a lot of great music from them. I’m now of the age where I wouldn’t consider myself as being on the pulse of anything besides esoteric Finnish rock and modern composers whose primary instrument is distortion, so I don’t feel qualified to summarize the importance of this year’s musical output. Instead, I’d like to offer the records that have been the soundtrack to the work I’ve produced in 2012. Continue reading

On the meaning of ‘design’

To clients, one of the most confusing aspects of the job we do as web designers lies in communicating the meaning of that pesky word “design.” It’s the kind of word that you can have whole conversations about and have both parties walk away with entirely different assumptions about what was discussed. For we designers, it basically means the totality of our work–often spanning reasearch, user identification, content strategy, sitemapping, wireframing, prototyping, and yes, finally, a visual representation of it all. To most clients, it just means “art”, as in “just throw some money at it and a gorgeous finished website will pop out the other end.”

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The death of desktop

I’ve been making websites for desktop computers for 13 years now. And It crossed my mind recently that, based on a little rough math, I’ve created well over 500 unique designs. In hindsight, they weren’t always pretty. But much of that was because web design was still in its infancy when I started–no web fonts, no css, and no jquery, just a bunch of awful tables and spacer gifs. Life was honestly pretty rough if you had any expectation of creating great design for the web environment. Continue reading