A remarkable present for my 40th birthday.
The first season of the Clearleft podcast concluded this week, and in what feels like a rare event these days, I need to have a little rant about what I heard.
Only one thing determines the quality of software.
For all their claims of changing the world, it would seem designers have not only failed to address its more pressing problems, but exaggerated many of its existing ones.
Slack has a new logo, and everyone hates it.
If design is the application of ethics, then anyone designing digital products should see their role in a new light after reading this book.
Another identity from the offices of Pentagram that elicits a feeling somewhere between despair and indifference.
An appreciation for identity programmes that seek to refine rather than reinvent.
Three aspects of my personality have proven pertinent.
Why do some designers choose to work for ‘evil’ corporations — and what happens to them when they get there?
The final part of my three-part essay based on the talk I gave at Smashing Conference. I look at how we might build components and consider their wider composition.
In this second part of my three-part essay based on the talk I gave at Smashing Conference, I propose a model for thinking about design systems.
In the first part of a three-part essay about design systems, I review two approaches for the creation of something equally as complex: a city.
I run my finger along the seam between interface patterns and design systems, exploring how a visual design language can underpin and inform a web style guide, with judicious use of CSS preprocessing. Like a good Christmas jumper, sometimes you need to get creative with the rules.
There’s a lot of them around. Here are some more.
Having lived in my current flat for just over two years, I’m determined for this to be the year I finally make it feel like a home.
For the last year I’ve been working at the Guardian under the leadership of a creative director.
Last Thursday I was in Belfast for Break Conference, the spiritual successor to Build.
As a unique human endeavour, imbued with all the complexities of our species, it is about discovering the most appropriate solution within a fog of differing constraints, opinions and desires. The compromise therefore, lies somewhere between the world we wish for, and the one we currently inhabit.
With the British government now able to count itself among the few countries sporting a coherent identity programme, a follow up to my 2009 post on the subject.
Whereas the world’s foremost architects, graphic artists, typographers, iconographers and illustrators are asked to create their best work to celebrate each Olympic Games, still we wait for the Olympic movement to give equal consideration to the design of its websites.
The tail end of this year has been rather hectic. If moving house and changing jobs weren’t enough to be getting on with, I was also busy redesigning 24 ways.
Since Mikey joined us in February, the number of designers working at Clearleft is at an all time high. As the company grows, we want to maintain the same level of knowledge sharing and collaboration that happened more spontaneously with a smaller team.
When every device begs to be connected, it has become easier — almost necessary — to accept the adaptable nature of the web. Responsive web design is an emerging best practice, and our layouts are becoming more flexible. But often, innovation is focused on technical implementations while the visual aesthetic remains ignored. To put it another way, we’re embracing “responsive” but neglecting the second part: “design.” Now is the time to seek out an aesthetic that is truer to the medium.
Earlier this month, Team Clearleft headed up to London for a day of design related exhibitions: Bauhaus: Art as Life at the Barbican and (after a ride across the city on a ‘Boris Bike’) British Design 1948-2012 and Heatherwick Studio: Designing the Extraordinary at the V&A.
Andrew Mitchell, the International Development secretary, has unveiled a new logo that will appear on overseas aid provided by his department; be it grain packets, schools or water pumps.
With a worsening financial crisis and continued destruction of the world’s natural resources, there are undoubtedly more important things to worry about than Twitter’s slightly tweaked bird logo. Yet here we are.
Rather than showcase British interactive design talent, the biggest cultural event of our generation has been represented online by an uninspired mess that flies the flag for the status quo.
With three years of iPhone ownership I’ve become accustomed to the design and behaviour of iOS, yet at the same time ignorant of other smartphone platforms. Thanks to Clearleft’s new mobile testing environment, I can now spend a week or so with different operating systems to get a feel for how they differ. First up; Windows Phone 7.
Facebook’s continuing hoovering up of top design talent has been worrying me for some months. The shopping spree continued earlier this month with the acquisition of Push Pop Press, a promising start-up building an innovative digital publishing platform.
Following the latest trends is fun but can also encourage laziness; you should think about design in terms of a particular brief rather than the particular fashion of the day. Yet it can be useful to focus on underlying trends: how we work, how we communicate with clients and how we’re now starting to appreciate the web as a medium in its own right.
I’ve been thinking about redesigning this website for the last six months, but haven’t been able to find a strategy for making these changes happen. To keep this project on course, I’ve defined a set of design principles.
Clearly communicating the fundamental aspects of your design at the different stages of a project can help you better communicate with clients, developers and your peers, ensuring your vision doesn’t get lost in the transformation from static comp to dynamic ever changing website.
There is often talk of there being no landmark design on the web, but I suggest it won’t be long before BBC News is considered one of the greatest design icons online today.
With Dave Gray speaking at this year’s UX London, Andy asked if he would then visit Brighton and run a sketching workshop for everyone at Clearleft.
I’m a huge supporter of the BBC, yet for many years I was unimpressed with much of it’s online output, where inconsistent design and poor implementation reflected badly upon one of our country’s greatest institutions.
My love of detail is often reaffirmed by my noticing the almost inconsiderable tweaks in the designed environment around me.
The humble URL has been on my mind a lot recently.
With an escalating national debt, the talk at this months party conferences is of cuts to public spending and smaller, more efficient government. I believe one clear way of achieving this would be to introduce a single unified brand across government.
The appointment of Fabio Capello has brought about a more stylish and confident England. Now they have a kit to match.
In a recent conversation with a client, he asked why I got into design. Its something I’ve been meaning to write about for sometime, so I’ll try to publish my answer here.
Influenced by the launch of Britain’s first new television station in almost 20 years, Channel 4, television design in the eighties saw experimentation with computer originated graphics. The graphic style during the nineties was also influenced by the launch of new channels — this time hundreds. The advent of multi-channel television meant the traditional terrestrial broadcasters, who for years had little competition, quickly needed to re-invent themselves, and branding played a key role.
The development of graphic design on the Internet, the problems associated with designing for this medium and some of the solutions.
The launch of television in 1936 saw the birth of a medium that could be easily exploited and enhanced by graphic design. However the early story of graphic design in television was one of limited resources and under investment.