Blame Michael Boyink. After he relaunched his site in december 2009 and freely admitted getting some outside help for the design, I felt a kind of relief in a way and compelled to get some outside help myself. My little freelance business stookstudio had been without a decent website since it started well over 3 years ago. I've been blessed with being busy since day 1 but it also meant I had little time to spare to roll out something for myself.
Enter Benedikte Vanderweeën. I met her briefly at last year's EECI convention in Leiden and I really liked some of the work I saw from her. She was an absolute joy to work with: she listened to my ramblings, looked at my Littlesnapper clippings (pieces from sites, print work, even LP sleeves) and went to work. I had some pretty specific demands (rgba colours, a few specific fonts, a minimal design), and it's great to work with a designer who also knows how to code and knows where the pitfalls are. I felt we should start with the case study pages and she absolutely nailed those on the second try, the rest grew from there. It was great to see it all come together, and she was very receptive to my requests for the odd tweak here and there. In short, she's a consummate pro. I'd work with her again anytime.
I took my sweet time developing it, because I really wanted to do it justice, but you can tweak a site forever so I'm launching today. The site's running EE2.0 with a minimal set of add-ons (Freeform, FF Matrix), although lots more are installed (this is a sandbox after all). Coded in HTML5, with a sprinkling of CSS3. Fonts by Typekit, FF Meta Web Pro for body text, Bonveno CF for other things (for IE this becomes Anisette). IE6 users get a stripped down stylesheet with a little humorous message telling them to at least consider upgrading their browser.
I'm aware the @font-face type rendering is better on a Mac (then again, what isn't?) and there are some issues with FOUT in some browsers, but if you can't push the envelope a bit on your own site then where can you? I haven't checked yet in IE7, but in IE8 it looks as good as it's going to get. The rss feed is
still missing live and I probably won't be adding comments.