My New Site is Up

It's about time.

Web Design | November 13, 2014

These things really only have about a two-year lifespan…

So this is my new site- welcome! Now that I think about it, the version it replaced (version 3.0) was quite elderly for a website - pushing 3.5 years of age without any major revisions. The site was a bit too dark (a symptom of a rather opressed creative period it seemed), the projects were rusted relics of a bygone era, and the damned thing wasn't screen-size responsive. Obviously, the time had come to do some changing. So in the late spring of 2014, I set about to the task.

the old logo

The Logo

I started where I always do on a new website- with the identity, and thus, my logo. The old one was a holdover from my college days and was looking a little vomit-inducing outdated. While on the thought-path to make it less suck-tastic, I had some basic ideas but one rather concrete premise- it had to be green. I'm more than a bit in love with the color green- in almost all its hues - and I have been ever since I can remember. I buy everything in green if I can - preferably lime. Plates, towels, shag carpet rugs, athletic shoes, phone cases - you name it - all green. I'm like a preppy college sorority girl who bedecks her entire dorm room floor to ceiling with the color pink... except I'm a grown man with a kid, a career, and no shame. Is that sad? Hell no.

early logo iterations

Sure, I could go on about my passion for green-ness, but we've got lives to live here, so I'll forge ahead. I also wanted the logo to have an organic, almost hand-drawn feel... so I drew it by hand. (Organically?) After many iterations, I settled on one that combined a watercolor-esque layered splat with a derivation of my abbreviated signature. Drawn, scanned, traced in Adobe Illustrator, colored, done. Simple right? It took me way longer than I'd like to admit.

the new logo

wireframes and mockups

The Website

This project was a bit unique in that I did the design and markup simultaneously. I usually spend a great deal of time sketching wireframes, then taking them into Photoshop for design. But this one was bit different and I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because it was my own site and there was no nail-biting, walk-to-the-gallows approval process awaiting the quivering, helpless mockup jpegs- most of which are ritualistically culled and buried during the course of normal projects. Anyways, the design/markup was actually more fulfilling on this one, as I had COMPLETE AND UTTER CREATIVE CONTROL (to be read in the voice of Sauron). And yes, I coded it myself. If you design for web, you should know how to code. There, I said it.

I generally despise most CMSs, as they don't provide me with enough creative legroom to make a site look and work the way I want. Also, a lot of CMS-based websites just have that canned appearance to them- the sort of boxey, unrefined look that you can recognize at first glance. Any attempts to remedy this necessitate you wading knee-deep in someone else's code. Gross. So I installed Foundation from the ominously-named Zurb company, and hand-coded everything from that base.

For the filter interaction on the Project page I used Isotope.js. It's wonderful. Thanks are due to Ultimate CSS Gradients for the colorful gradients on the top of the project pages, and to TinyPNG for dropping the file size on my overweight imagery. AND YES, I freaking used Google fonts. Why? Because I'm cheap. And I just really love the font Raleway. Yes, I'm aware that some of their fonts don't display perfectly on all browsers (Google is in the process of fixing this, last I checked.) Yes, I use Adobe Typekit at work. Jeez.

The Finish Line

Generally speaking, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Ok, I'm really happy. It was beyond time that my personal porfolio reflected the work I've done and experience I've gained in the 5 or so years of my professional career thus far. That being said, there is plenty of room for improvement and add-ons. I'd like to eventually incorporate a discussion component into the blog section here, and I may end up changing some of the imagery on the site as time passes, not to mention add new projects. Until I get that chat system up and running, feel free to send me an email or hit me up on social media to let me know how awesome or terrible you think my work is. Or just say hi- I'd still appreciate it. Thanks for reading!

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