Shield & Fortress

The blog for Phil Bowell, Designer at 18TWO Design

Tag: web

Timely – the Time Tracking App to End Time Tracking

Really interesting approach to time tracking and scheduling.

Shortlisted

I discovered that a website I designed has been shortlisted at The Christian New Media Awards!

the website I designed for Cambray Baptist Church in Cheltenham has been shortlisted for an award in the Most Engaging Large Church Website category! Very exciting news!

Great way to end a Tuesday and start a Wednesday!

Work: Cambray Baptist Church Website

One of the biggest jobs I was commissioned to do when I first went self-employed went live just before Easter. I’m really pleased with how it turned out and the reception from the church and others who have seen it has been great.

Skyfall iPad Site

I love the interaction and design on this iPad site for Skyfall.

The Social Page

Your website is your home on the web. And in a web where we’re increasingly fractured between social networks, having that sort of “home base” on the web seems increasingly important.

A nice clean and simple solution from Ian Hines as he seeks to solve the problem he so succinctly set out in the quote above. It looks great, although the last two items aren’t necessarily what I would’ve chosen for their relevant actions.

The Story of the New Microsoft.com — Rainypixels

A fascinating read of the story behind how the new Microsoft.com came to be. A blend of both inspiration and pith.

NFC From MOO">NFC From MOO

Very nice idea from the guys at Moo who continue to push the printed business card. People say the business card is dying out, but I’m not so sure it ever will, especially with ideas like this on the way.

The Web Aesthetic

To put it another way, we’re embracing “responsive” but neglecting the second part: “design.” We’re replacing fixed-width divs with fluid ones. As we undergo a period of reassessment, both of our practice and of our tools, now is the right time to seek out an aesthetic that is truer to the medium.

I, like many, love the notion behind responsive web design but one thing I’ve noticed is that more often than not sites start to look the same. With a little more, well maybe a lot more, consideration we can start to produce designs that are appropriate to their medium (aka screen/bandwidth available) rather than just shrinking or collapsing sections of a web page.

“Responsive Line Breaks,” an Article by Dan Mall">Responsive Line Breaks,” an Article by Dan Mall

A great trick for keeping typography in responsive design without widows and orphans.

Multi-Device Layout Patterns

Interesting look at the patterns behind responsive web design. According to this I used the easiest approach, it works for this site so I’m not too fussed.

Retina Web Clip Icons and Reeder for iPad by Shawn Blanc

I’ve been meaning to link to this for a while. Since the iPad 3 arrived it’s time to update the images for your Apple touch icons and Reeder.app

Geckoboard

Geckoboard is a Realtime Business Status Board. Basically like the Panic Status board but for your business and hosted for you.

I like the look of this so much I want to start a business just so I have a reason to use it.

(Via Shawn Blanc.)

Are Web Fonts Ready for Prime Time?

Excellent article from Pat about the appropriateness of using @font-face to load new fonts on websites.

Being a Mac user it’s easy to forget not everyone has the same clean rendering of fonts as I do, and Pat brings a great reminder that I can’t just go with what I see. Essentially he raises a great point. Just because we can use any font we’d like, doesn’t mean we should.

My First Conference (Part Two)

I’ve been trying to work a seemingly random collection of thoughts into a follow up post about New Adventures conference. It’s not really happened so I’ve chosen to just throw them out there to anyone who is interested.

Overall I enjoyed the day, it was fun, informative and pushed me out of my comfort zone, teaching me things about design and myself that are valuable and I am processing in order to improve.

Most enjoyable was Brendan’s talk. He was the most entertaining in delivery and engaged the audience excellently. His passion for design is infectious, but something I felt myself identifying with straight away. I don’t obsess over using the right pencil, but my friends can attest that I do obsess over other seemingly pointless items.

Most disappointing was Veerle Pieter’s talk about inspiration. I really enjoy Veerle’s blog, and so was looking forward to hearing her talk but, for me, it had too much example and not enough insight. I was hoping for some processes which people could adopt or adapt to make their own and use as triggers in the creative process. I know we all work differently, but hearing how someone goes about finding inspiration when all they are hitting is brick wall after brick wall can be inspiring in itself. Veerle also seemed to contradict some of the talks from the morning, with a theme of doing something a certain way because you like it rather than for a particular reason. Whilst design is subjective and sometimes we go with our gut, there’s usually reason for doing it beyond “I like it”.

Most thought provoking was Dan Rubin’s talk on maturing the industry by developing a language that has meaning and that everyone can understand. Having moved to a new job around 3 months ago and having had the opportunity to work on a couple of web jobs, this struck a cord. The things I mean when I refer to something and the things they mean when my new colleagues refer to something are easily confused on these jobs, however, when it comes to a print job everyone knows exactly what the other person means.

Elliot’s talk, Andy Clarke’s, Jon Tan’s and Mark Boulton’s were also some of the most informative, interesting and thought provoking talks that left me feeling inspired and motivated. Good stuff that I have already noticed is informing the way I work.

New Adventures was a really good day, which I thoroughly enjoyed, hopefully I’ll get to a few more in the future and I’m certainly hoping that I can make it to New Adventures 2.

My First Conference (Part One)

This week I’m heading to my first design conference in the form of New Adventures in my home town1. In the past I’ve always looked in on conferences from the outside, so when I heard about naconf I figured it was time to take the leap.

As someone who works primarily in print but has a real fascination with the web I’m hoping to learn a lot and figure out where my layout skills can cross over to the screen. I’ve heard it said many a time that print designers shouldn’t switch to the web, but equally I’ve seen many high profile designers achieve great things in both formats.

I’m most looking forward to hearing some of the best in the business share some valuable insights into the various topics. In particular I’m looking forward to hearing Veerle Pieters share some thoughts on triggering inspiration and how we can break through the block we all suffer from time to time. One of the things I find hardest when I’m designing for the web is inspiration. When you use the web so regularly it’s very easy to let yourself fall in to a pattern of “this goes here, that there…” and before you know it you have a very insipid run of the mill website. I’m hoping I may pick up a few techniques to help me use my experience in designing for print be the inspiration for designing for the web.2

Since it’s my first conference I know I won’t be able to soak everything up all in one go, but I’m going armed with a brand new Moleskine and I’m hoping the notes I make will compliment the slides when they are released. The whole day will be a learning experience, but the learning doesn’t just stop once I’ve left the venue. It continues in the follow up and, most importantly, in my efforts to put what’s been said into practise.

Beyond the talks, I’m looking forward to hopefully meeting a few of the people I’ve come across on the web. Be it via blogs, twitter or some other means it’d be great to meet some new faces in the industry. So if you read this, or follow me on Twitter do come and say Hi!

  1. Well 25 minutes outside of the city is technically my home town, but I was born in Nottingham so close enough. []
  2. I was going to go on here highlighting all the things I’m looking forward to, but, as I began writing I realised I’d be highlighting all the talks in the schedule. It seems, unsurprisingly, that they all compliment one another nicely. []

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