Finally

A few pages of the site displayed at various breakpoints.

It’s been almost a full year since I’ve started working on this website, my website. This is the longest I’ve worked on a project and I can now tell I’d do a pretty terrible client.

This site went through a lot of version and rewrites (most of which are really terrible) to finally become what you see now. Looking back, it’s crazy how much I’ve grown as a person and as a designer since I started working on it.

Branding

While designing the site, I came up with this simple, clean and versatile identity that will be used in my other marketing elements. I knew I had to use Tungsten from Hoefler & Frere-Jones for my logo, I’ve loved this typeface forever. The choice of Ratio for the body text came in much later in the process. I knew I wanted a highly legible and versatile font that had personality and could be used on the web. After trying a bunch of options in Typecast, I completely fell in love with Ratio’s curves and quirkiness. When I started messing with the colors, I gravitated towards the rich blue from the start, because I love blue.

Focus on reading

The inital idea for the homepage

I’m really inspired by print and editorial design these days, and I set a goal for this website not just to be readable, but to be fun to read. The images bleeding to the edge and the “pull quotes” are good examples of thing that I brought on to the web from the print world.

On a more technical note

The site is powered by the awesome Statamic. Because it’s a “flat-file” CMS, I can just install Dropbox on my VPS server and my local and production versions are always in sync. And, as a side-effect, I get free backups of all my stuff. I’m also using SASS (the SCSS flavour) which has been a real time-saver.

So… Is it done now?

Well, not quite. Arshile Gorky, a famous abstract painter had a great philosophy on “finishing” a piece of work:

I don’t like that word ‘finish’. When something is finished, that means it’s dead, doesn’t it? I believe in everlastingness. I never finish a painting – I just stop working on it for a while. I like painting because it’s something I never come to the end of.

You can spend infinite time working on something and it’s never going to be perfect. I’d rather have something out there & ask people for feedback.

I still have a few things to tweak, but I’m more than happy with what I have now. I’ll take the time to expand on specific parts of the design and implementation details in future posts, but I’d really appreciate if you shared your opinion (or asked questions) about the site in this Branch discussion.


A massive thank you to Bruno Grande who patiently walked me through setting up my first VPS and put up with my extreme lack of knowledge. He also gave me really good advice, so go give him a follow and check out his blog, you won’t regret it.