Blog

Why I use a print program for web design
June 5, 2008

A recent post over on 37 Signals on why they skip Photoshop and head straight for the HTML and CSS portion of a design and a post by John Hicks on why he doesn't had me thinking about my own design methods.

Polly want a fractal?
May 20, 2008

I thought I'd try something different with one of my latest fractals, Old Polly. In addition to trying out a new type of design, I made a movie of how it was made. This was more of an experiment than anything but I thought others might be interested in seeing the process I go through.

Cubescape
May 13, 2008

Cubescape, the latest experiment by Cameron Adams is a fun and fascinating art project that allows people to create sculptures out of cubes. Considering my own obsession with cubes, I instantly fell in love with it and made a Level 2 Menger Sponge. Not only is it great fun to build with cubes and see what others build, but he turned it into a social experience by tracking popular sculptures with titles, credits, and animations of each being built.

Keep an eye on your markup
May 9, 2008

"How did that gap get there? Why aren't those lining up properly? Why is my browser crashing?" Sound familiar? Check your markup. How many hours have you spent sifting through code, only to find that little display quirk was caused by a missing </div> or </span> tag? Rest assured, if something looks wonky, it's probably the markup.

Metra tickets galore
May 6, 2008

Thanks to the great folks at Metra, the design gallery has nearly doubled to 89 tickets. They were kind enough to send me unused tickets for 1999, 2001, 2002, and 2004.

Metra ticket: May 2008
May 1, 2008

Happy May, everyone. A new month means another new Metra ticket design. Tori was the 12th-grade winner in the Metra Safety Poster Contest, telling passengers to "Stay Behind the Yellow Line."

Fractal art tips: unassuming formulas
April 13, 2008

Fractal art isn't easy but it is great fun. During the last seven years, I've discovered many useful techniques for creating it and it's high time I start sharing them. The most common question I get asked after "What are fractals?" is "How do you do that?" Hopefully I can start sheding some light on that.

CSS variables on the horizon
April 9, 2008

Apple and Disruptive Innovations submitted a proposal today for CSS variables and I'm excited to see this first step taken. Having the ability to define variables in CSS is something I and just about every other designer have wanted for quite some time.

CSS Naked Day 2008
April 9, 2008

Like many sites around the world, I'm stripping the site for the third annual CSS Naked Day. It's a tribute to Web designers and Web standards. Without either, I wouldn't have a job!

Metra ticket design: April 2008
April 2, 2008

Happy April, everyone. A new month means another new Metra ticket design, this time from Jacqueline—fifth grade winner in the Metra Safety Poster contest. While I like the message, "Lead by Example," I'm not too thrilled about how Metra used it.

Drop caps in the wild
March 1, 2008

Anyone who's created drop caps on Web sites knows they can be challenging to say the least. Every browser displays them their own way, requiring a variety of CSS hacks or conditional comments to give them some semblance of what was originally designed. The other day, I came across an obscure variation of the :first-letter inheritance bug present in IE that had me really scratching my head.

Metra ticket design: March 2008
March 1, 2008

Happy March, everyone. A new month means a new Metra ticket design. March's design comes from seventh grade winner in the Metra Safety Poster contest, Alexis Dee from Central Park Elementary School. It encourages others to lead by example at all ages.

Helvetica is bad for your body
February 3, 2008

Every time I come across a site designed to use Helvetica for body text, I wish I never installed it.

Metra ticket design: February 2008
January 30, 2008

It looks like all the designs for 2008 might be from the Metra Safety Poster contest that I mentioned in my post about the January 2008 ticket.

C82 v9 launches
January 26, 2008

New year…new design. I'm pleased to finally release the newest design for this site. The previous design has been feeling dated for a while now and it wasn't quite accomplishing what I wanted.

Metra ticket design: January 2008
December 23, 2007

A winner from the second annual Metra Safety Poster Contest kicks off the new year with a simple, yet effective reminder to stay safe around trains: Life doesn't rewind.

Metra ticket designs
December 2, 2007

As any commuter knows, it's the small things that make commuting bearable—sometimes even enjoyable. Here in Chicago, its the monthly Metra ticket designs that add a little fun to my commute each month. While largely unnoticed by most riders, they they add a pinch of variety to an otherwise monotonous trip.

Excel's undo madness
April 20, 2007

If you've used Microsoft Excel, you've probably experienced its frustrating "undo" function. It's the only program I know that still can't get it right.

You are not your own worst tester
April 17, 2007

When creating an application or a Web site, a rule of thumb is that you should not be the tester in your own usability test. I mostly agree with this, but when you are short on time, budget, and testers, testing yourself can prove to be just as useful.

Valencia, Spain fractal exhibits
February 2, 2007

Is anyone going to be in Valencia, Spain between now and mid March? The City of the Arts and the Sciences is hosting two fractal exhibits. I'm pleased to say that three of my images are being shown but that aside, there are some truly amazing pieces on display.

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