For a while now I’ve owned the domain philbowell.me, I bought it while it was cheap and to make sure no one else got hold of it and thus cause confusion with the domain of this blog. I’ve wondered what to do with it for most of that time, briefly it acted as a micro-blog but I merged that with this site a few months back. This evening while doing a bit of introverting I picked up my iPad (where I designed it and set the basic html structure), then my MacBook (where I implemented the CSS) and ended up with a new web page. A small about me should anyone stumble upon it. The only thing I’ve yet to do is optimise it for an iPhone sized display but it’s working pretty well on an iPad sized screen and upwards.
Microsoft have introduced the Surface Studio which looks incredible. As a designer this has instantly appealed to me. When I was a teenager studying for my GCSEs and A-Levels I had a large drawing table in my bedroom, I used it as my desk to do all my design coursework since at the time it was all mostly done by hand. When I watched this video I was instantly taken back to that time, this looks like the drawing table of today. It looks like the iMac Apple could make if they applied some of their iPad vision to the world of desktop computing.
I have this problem when it comes to my blog. The more I start to post to it, the more I want to tinker. The more active I am on the site, the more I notice little things I don’t like and want to fix. The more I post to it, the more I want all my internet posting to originate on it. It’s like an illness.
It’s something I’ve always struggled with, and I confess it’s a side to blogging that I enjoy. The trouble is, the more I tinker the less I post. The more I craft the design, the less time I spend writing.
It’s a battle, although one I’m sure I do not face alone. It’s not just the battle of a blogger, it’s a battle of a designer. Most of the tinkering I do is design related, little details and quirks in my theme which I notice but very few others will. I also know from experience, that I will get to the point where I’ve caught the little tweaks I need to and they will be fixed. Then it’s just a case of resisting the bigger things I’d like to do. Or at least knocking off the major ones first, like finding a way to post photos here and on Instagram, displaying them in a way I’m happy with. The key though, is to keep the posts flowing. Keep to my challenge of posting everyday, and getting through the tinkering stage until I get to the point where I’m just posting each day and all my published content originates here.
Or is it just a pipe dream? Should I just keep posting and ignore the little bits that nag?
But I know I can’t just ignore the nagging. I’m a designer, I like details and its in my nature to keep refining bits until they’re gone. To keep crafting until they as close to perfect as can be, it’s just important to keep the perspective, to keep in mind that perfect doesn’t exist. It’s about getting things to good enough whilst keeping on posting each day and building momentum so that the writing takes over the tinkering and becomes a creative outlet in its own right.
I always enjoy reading a good process or behind the scenes post. So it’s little surprise that I’m linking to this one from Jeff Sheldon of Ugmonk fame. Jeff has done a write up of the modern kitchen remodel he and his wife have just finished.
I love seeing the homes of people who have an, at least in my opinion, impeccable eye for design and Jeff certainly falls in to that category. Look closely and you’ll see a glimpse of a future product, a coffee related one which will go straight in to my shopping basket!
Interesting comments from Joshua Ginter in the MacBook.
Having commented the other day that I was close to going for the iMac when I last upgraded my Mac, had the MacBook Pro been in the same format as the new MacBook and just as powerful as the Pro, I would likely have gone with a space grey one. Although my design tastes would be influencing me a lot in that decision, I think it’s a stunning design.
These NASA Visions of the Future posters are great. I meant to share them with you at the weekend but was caught up in preparing for my sermon on Sunday. Anyway, it’s so great to see companies do fun stuff like this to build engagement and interest in what they are doing. Best of all, the full res versions are available for you to print and hang on your wall.
I really like the openness and insight into a rebrand of Radpad including the thought process and some of the thinking behind the decisions they made. I wish more companies and designers, and I include myself in this, were more open about these things.
I’m a big fan of all the Jeff Sheldon of Ugmonk fame does, in fact Ugmonk is one of the things/brands that inspires me the most. This is fascinating insight into all the stages he went through in designing and releasing the 7th Anniversay set.
After a brief break last week, I was on a mini-holiday, The Week in links is back with it’s 26th edition. This weeks take a look at how we work and think, how the design of the web is pushed a bit more. And then some furter thoughts on Apple Watch, headphones, cameras, and the often speculated Apple Car.
Whole Brain Creativity – Shawn Blanc with a really interesting take on how we think. Each of us has our own strengths in the work we do and it really is in our interests to seek to work with those who complement that with strengths in other areas.
Online Reading is Becoming More like Print—Why We Think That’s a Great Idea | AIGA Eye on Design – I really like the sentiment behind this piece. I’d love to see more considered article based design take place on the web. Coming from a print background but with a fascination of working on the web finding the right balance between the two mediums seems to be something we are constantly being challenged with. It’s interestingly timed given the recent comments about how the web is starting to look the same.
When we let the success and failure of others superficially guide design decisions, we skip over the context and uniqueness of what makes our products different. Design becomes a game of catch-up. Not an intelligent pursuit of finding unique formulas that help the organization stand out on its own.
This is one of those articles that as I read it I found myself nodding along to more and more. It’s easy in a world of short deadlines and on demand solutions to default to what we know works, or at least what appears to work when we’re approaching a new job. But what’s most important in these situations, is that this kind of behvaiour/design does a disservice to our clients.
I’ve lost count of the number of times over recent years that we speak about being professional designer, or designers growing up to be on the level of lawyers and accountants. Experts who know what they’re doing and, in many cases, have earned that respect. The trouble is, that the web doesn’t always portray that, and the glimpses of the web in this piece certainly seem to be back that up.
Each client and each job is unique, treat them that way. There is no one size fits all when it comes to design.
This weeks edition of The Week in Links covers a rande of topics. There’s the usual dose of Apple things, some thoughts from Shawn Blanc on focus and creativity, an obituary to one of the greatest type designers of all time, a moving video from Israel and a moving story from the Welsh valleys.
With the edition also falling on Father’s Day it would be remiss not to mention my Dad. So just a quick note to him to say thanks for being my Dad, you support me, you help me and you guide me and as well as being my Dad you’re also a great friend. Have a beer on me tonight!
This weeks edition of The Week in Links is an eclectic mix. The history of Japanese business culture, workspaces, Ethiopia, Apple Watch and a look into designing a typeface to represent a nation to the world.
This weeks edition of The Week in Links is packed with some great reads and a stunning video. It covers notebooks, Antarctica, workspaces, focus, learning and a stunning piece of branding. Grab a coffee, beer or glass of wine and sit back and enjoy.
Writing, future uses of new technology, design processes, an interview with a design legend and Apple Watch. The range of subjects covered in this weeks edition of The Week in Links, has a bit more variety in it than previous weeks. Sit back and enjoy.
When I first saw the new branding for ITV I didn’t like it, or more accurately I didn’t like the type. I did like the implementation and the way that the colours matched the imagery the logo sat on, but the lowercase t felt stretched. I’ve now seen it on tv, and reading through the thinking behind it understand it as documented in this post, I’m starting change my mind a little.
Doing some research this afternoon, looking at the bare essential elements needed to communicate a message, I stubbled across this really interesting study into well known brands. Fascinating to see how strong a lot of the brands are when you remove the extra decoration usually found on packaging. Makes you wonder why they add all the extra cruft.
Anyone would think I’m a bit of a glutton for punishment. Most people spend their weekends relaxing, I seem to spend mine thinking about work, my blog and side projects that I want to start. This weekend I finally finished one of those little side projects which I’ve worked on in my spare time. A little update to the design of this site to replace the last version which was only ever intended as a bit of a stop gap, even though it was up for the best part of a year.
The design will be familiar to most of you, who’ve been before. It’s largely an update to the typography of the site, which now uses Adelle Sans for the headlines and Adelle for the body copy. I’ve also finally added a proper about page, archives page and a site search which were lacking from the previous version.
Part of the desire to update the look of the site came from me wanting to be able to share more original content. I wanted to be able to post some photos, and use that as a spring board to begin using my camera more regularly.
I also took the opportunity to learn how to implement some of the responsive design techniques I’ve been reading about and to see how it worked with images. I’m pretty pleased with the result and the reading experience on the iPhone and iPad.
There may be a few little tweaks here and there over the next couple of weeks, when is a bog owner never tweaking the design of the site? But for now, I’m pretty happy with it.