For me, creativity and communication have always been intrinsically linked.
My creative work has always been an attempt to communicate in some fashion. To communicate something more meaningful is always the overriding goal, the primary focus, the foundation from which all creative ventures begin. Hence, I’ve never felt compelled to stick to one genre or to narrowly define creativity as a single pursuit (or for that matter, confined to a specific job description). I’ve been inspired by music, art, fashion, literature, photography, architecture and more throughout my life. To me it seems only natural that if one wants to inspire, to communicate, one cannot limit oneself to a single medium.
My design career started in the publication and editorial world through my journalism studies. I was a teenager when the Macintosh was first released and was lucky enough to get to play around with one almost immediately. A few years later at university, the College of Communication had just installed a new Apple computer lab and I found myself as one of the only people who knew how to use the Macs. Being at the transition point in this technology overhaul was exciting — we were still using electric typewriters and being trained on VAX terminals. It was clear that the computer was the future of journalism as well as so much more.
While “commercial art” was being transformed into “graphic design”, I worked at agencies learning editorial design principals — typesetting, widows, orphans, columns, pagination, drop caps, kerning, leading as well as getting a more traditional eye into design — grids, color, shape, form, balance, contrast and typography. Currently, my work is focused on the design and development of user interfaces and experiences.
I would describe my art as abstract photo collage and illustration using both traditional and digital methods. Most pieces start out with my camera as I shoot photos on either film or digital. I have five different cameras to choose from and with the advent of quality optics, now smartphones as well. Once developed and online, I review photos for a certain shape or color which is the starting point. The images are manipulated and combined digitally or by hand often going back and forth between the two processes.
Music has always played a big part in my life, from my childhood listening to my father’s albums with a giant set of headphones on to learning how to play and then performing. My first instrument was the saxophone (alto and tenor) and I started playing big band, swing and jazz. I like to joke that my timing has been off — I was playing big band and swing music in the late seventies as punk was starting. By the time I picked up a guitar, punk was dead while swing and big band were back in vogue.
When not writing, practicing or performing, music is the background, soundtrack and fuel for the rest of my life. I’m usually listening to punk, jazz, hardcore, lounge and more recently bossa nova.
Design: The design rests on a basic 12 column grid. The first column is reserved for the logo and serves to give the page a letterhead feel. It also tracks with the PDF design layout I use in other materials. I also wanted to incorporate more white space around projects and use overlapping and offsets for items.
Typography: The page title is set in UnifrakturMaguntia served via Google Fonts. This is the closest open source web font to the one used in my print branding, Fette Fraktur. Eventually, I’ll transition to the paid web version of Fette Fraktur.
Headings are set in Open Sans Condensed, again served via Google Fonts.
Body copy is set using Georgia or default serif when Georgia isn’t available. Using a web font for body copy is tricky both from speed and performance (FOUT) aspects. Lately, I’ve been defaulting the base font size to 20px and building the scale from there. It’s a reaction to too many sites with small type and hopefully increases legibility. I’ve also set a CSS max-width on this text column to create a line length for comfortable reading.
Graphics: The logo and social icons in the footer are served as inline SVGs and change color on hover via CSS. The angle pattern border on the image description boxes was a custom pattern based on these SVG patterns. It’s loaded as an SVG background image in the CSS.
Blog: The blog is it’s own beast and isn’t really updated. It uses WordPress using a custom child version of the Less theme. Typography is set to match the main website. The one update is the inclusion of a “subscribe” button so visitors can sign up to receive a monthly recap via email.
Future Plans: A few things I’d like to improve upon in the next release would be to better lint the page CSS and make the move to HTTP2 with an SSL and CDN.