Monday, August 5th, 2019
Friday, July 12th, 2019
Some unconventional wisdom from David C Baker that I’d like to revisit every once in a while: “Why Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) Arrangements May Not Be Ideal”. He concludes: “If I’ve confused you with all this, just concentrate on this one point: retainers and MRR relationships scream hourly work, and you shouldn’t be doing hourly work.” But at least for me at Engaging, the opposite is true: I’ve always billed hourly anyway, and some MRR arrangements I’ve made more recently have freed us from thinking in terms of hours (even though I’m still habitually keeping a log of hours worked).
Tuesday, May 14th, 2019
Monday, May 13th, 2019
We must be facing this: David Gelertner on giving up Darwin. Like Smith’s invisible hand and even Newton’s laws of physics, these glorious, newly-algorithmic cosmologies — the precursors to our wonder-world of bitty digitalism — aren’t the full explanation.
Thursday, March 21st, 2019
James Bond: 50 Years of Main Title Design at Art of the Title. It’s by Ben Radatz, a partner at MK12 and co-director of Quantum of Solace‘s.
Sunday, March 17th, 2019
Mathieu Triay on his Marvin Visions, a reinterpretation of the 1969 font Marvin by Michael Chave.
Friday, March 15th, 2019
Thursday, January 17th, 2019
Jonathan Hoefler explores something that typeface designers have long known but that researchers have only now corroborated: horizontal lines appear thicker than vertical ones.
Thursday, November 1st, 2018
Important to consider: despite choice fatigue, users do benefit from some symbolic choices, this piece argues.
Wednesday, September 26th, 2018
More incredibleness: sefaria.org, a beautiful bountiful platform of the Jewish texts. What an accomplishment.
Sunday, September 23rd, 2018
John Gruber’s Daringfireball reviews — no, essays — on The iPhones XS and Apple Watch Series 4 are a pleasure worthy of their subject matter. They feel informed, informal, thoughtful. “Series 4 is to Apple Watch what iPhone 4 was to iPhone,” Gruber writes. “The model that takes the original design to a new level.”
Saturday, September 22nd, 2018
How did I not know about ribbonfarm all these years; truly I’ve been living under a rock for ages. Thoughtful, concise, erudite, relevant: Tendrils of Mess in our Brains by Sarah Perry.
Wednesday, September 12th, 2018
Premieres for the Rams doc by Gary Hustwit (of Helvetica) are being held all around America. The only cities where it’s sold out are: NY, LA and SF.
Saturday, September 8th, 2018
Never mind it being yet another acronym, this method humanizes selecting colors for the web: On Switching from HEX & RGB to HSL by CoDrops explainer extraordinaire Sara Soueidan.
Tuesday, August 21st, 2018
Impressive mobile usability thought leader Josh Clark shares the tools he uses, from pen to Piwik (now Matomo).
Monday, August 20th, 2018
Thursday, July 12th, 2018
Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018
Great fun illustrated article on the aesthetics of Trumpism by Nick Hilton.
This next product, emblazoned with the number 45, looks more like a golfer’s baseball cap than a trucker’s … that styling — №45 in fancy serif font — would be perfectly at home on the label of a $100 bottle of scotch. Someone wearing this cap would not be immediately outing themselves as a ‘deplorable’ (as was, to a large extent, the appeal of the MAGA hat). It’s a flashback to a moment when the Trump brand was all about luxury hotels and links courses. No wonder it’s on sale.
Hilton also wrote a piece on Trump-based magazine covers.
Saturday, May 5th, 2018
I keep referring back to this article by Kyle Chayka — beautifully and ironically illustrated by Daniel Hertzberg — and in a nice homologue I keep forgetting the term it coins, airspace:
It’s the realm of coffee shops, bars, startup offices, and co-live / work spaces that share the same hallmarks everywhere you go: a profusion of symbols of comfort and quality, at least to a certain connoisseurial mindset. Minimalist furniture. Craft beer and avocado toast. Reclaimed wood. Industrial lighting. Cortados. Fast internet. The homogeneity of these spaces means that traveling between them is frictionless, a value that Silicon Valley prizes.
The title says it’s sterile but is it? The word never appears within the article. Isn’t airspace more a vocabulary? Here in Brighton there are nasty pastiches of it (Tortilla: Real Californian Burritos and Tacos), lovely expressions (Gails Bakery) and sophisticated extensions (Smallbatch Coffee).
Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018
“Jon [Favreau] said, ‘Look into his eyes. If you look into his eyes you will know. Is he being asked a question or is he asking the question?’” On the making of Iron Man’s HUD.
Wednesday, April 4th, 2018
Since I’m returning to it for some refreshment, time to add the link: “How to Use Clashing Fonts” by Jonathan Hoefler. “It’s often the dialogue between typefaces that most effectively communicates how information is meant to be understood.”
Sunday, March 25th, 2018
Craig Mod’s interview with Offscreen Magazine. “In my life, America is three locations: New York City, the Bay Area, and Asheville in North Carolina.” This writer/designer, who first impressed me with his review of the Apple Watch, lives in a small coastal town in Japan — some sort of digital-hipster James Bond. Things are very considered.
Tuesday, March 20th, 2018
Ward Nicholson summarizes the current state of play regarding web typography. He mentions my two go-to Adobe plugins, BalanceText and Dropcap, both of which will eventually be part of CSS.
Sunday, March 4th, 2018
Monday, February 26th, 2018
Monday, February 12th, 2018
Good gumption. Frank Chimero expresses many thoughts I’ve had on the depressing explosion of complexity in web development. I particularly agree about being able to View Source, which is one important reason I don’t use CSS pre-processors: I want people to be able to read the CSS as I coded it, whether to know what to copy or what not to copy.
Friday, January 26th, 2018
A deep dive into iPhone X’s notches by interaction designer Brad Ellis. [via Daringfireball]
Wednesday, January 10th, 2018
Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products
In what seems a common pattern, Jony Ive started early, eschewing the liberal education of say Oxbridge, instead selecting the most renowned college in the field in which he was already winning prizes: industrial design. And this great achiever of our times grew up under the happy and mighty influence of his father, an educator who rose to prominence due to character and a drive to bring design literacy to British education.
The bulk of this book about Ive constitutes one of the stronger, more detailed histories we have of Apple itself, told mainly from the perspective of the IDg, the internal design group he leads. We learn for instance that in order to meet Steve Jobs’ deadline for creating the iMac — the first product upon Jobs’ return and which revived the company — they needed to streamline the product process by making the files of the design software interoperable with those of the manufacturing software.
Someone says Ive is even less replaceable at Apple than Jobs. This isn’t quite fair because Jobs worked to make himself replaceable. Let’s hope Ive does as well.
Saturday, December 30th, 2017
Engagingly written albeit disappointingly somewhat thin, the useful angle here is how Apple differs from conventional wisdom.
Secrecy, even internally, is paramount; it helps alleviate internal politics and keep people focused. There is little internal promotion, taking seriously the Peter Principle. Unlike the rest of Silicon Valley, perks are minimal; working at Apple is the perk.
A product of its time (2012) and of the author’s lack of access, the book is marred at the end by pessimistic obsession with Apple’s viability post-Jobs, but is nonetheless ultimately worth reading because it does convey an impression of what Apple is like.
Thursday, December 7th, 2017
Friday, October 13th, 2017
This is a video of a talk by Pamela Jerome on restoring the metalwork on both Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater and Guggenheim Museum together with a transcript. What an honor, to have worked on both masterpieces.
Monday, July 17th, 2017
I appreciate this nicely laid out summary of wisdom reminders for the working life by Studio Lovelock, This Much We Know.
Wednesday, June 28th, 2017
What an internet treasure. Standard Ebooks is — according to their web site — “a volunteer driven, not-for-profit project that produces lovingly formatted, open source, and free public domain ebooks.” These are some beautiful, consistently-designed ebooks. The epub version works a charm in iBooks.
Tuesday, May 16th, 2017
Thursday, March 16th, 2017
Thursday, June 2nd, 2016
Nicely presented on Vimeo, Jen Simmons of The Web Ahead podcast gives a 1-hour talk on web design at a 2016 An Event Apart conference entitled Modern Layouts: Getting Out of Our Ruts. Lots of nice slides of magazine layouts, where she suggests web designers should be returning for inspiration.
Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016
Thursday, February 18th, 2016
Anyone who goes to [Beethoven’s] Ninth Symphony then sits down and designs a wallpaper pattern is either a confidence trickster or a degenerate.
Adolf Loos, Ornament and Crime
Saturday, January 30th, 2016
Regarding these great pithy quotes typographically set by London-based graphic designer Kyle Robertson, they all look very different but most use the same font: Archer!
Thursday, January 28th, 2016
Looking for a way in to a responsive refresh, and because Engaging has a paid-up account at cloud.typography.com, I switched the main font at my personal site adamkhan.net from Georgia to Archer. However, this AIGA article, “Is Archer’s Use on Target?”, points to the font’s role in our larger socio-economic situation, and that I’m about 7 years behind the curve. There are also the Archer Alert and Archer Beat blogs. Turns out it’s everywhere, from US postal stamps to One Direction albums. Nonetheless I feel slightly redeemed by the conclusion at “The Devil Uses Archer”.
Friday, January 8th, 2016
Goodbye, grids, I at least hardly knew ye. Ethan Marcotte, coiner of the very term responsive design, argues that a web design today should “algorithmically generate a responsive layout that best reflects the importance of the information within it.”. Yes! Another choice quote: “The breakpoints we introduce to our responsive designs aren’t tied to the shape of a device’s screen. Instead, our media queries defend the integrity of the content we’re designing.”
Thursday, December 31st, 2015
Interesting, easy-to-understand breakdown of colors used in iOS app icons in 2015. Reds are most popular, then blues. By Hwee-Boon Yar. [via MacStories]
Tuesday, December 8th, 2015
Tuesday, April 14th, 2015
I’m not sure that I agree with the author’s criticism of the Apple Watch screen, and unlike him I like how small the thing is, but his comparison—that Apple Watch leather is to leather as the pink chicken sludge of chicken nuggets is to chicken is insightful and in retrospect obvious. Article is complete with apt photo illustrations. [via Daring Fireball]
Wednesday, March 11th, 2015
Oh I’m enjoying tab toggling between 38mm Space Grey Aluminium Case with Black Sport Band and 38mm Space Black Case with Space Black Stainless Steel Link Bracelet.
Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
Saturday, June 21st, 2014
Lots of good thought and results in Vincent Kartheiser’s (Mad Men) tiny Hollywood home.
Monday, May 26th, 2014
Simplistic, kind of repetitive, engrossing, not too much I didn’t already know I don’t think, but necessary reading. Nice last paragraph even if redundant last chapter.
Tuesday, May 20th, 2014