posted on in design, EE

Stookstudio is live

An early version comp

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 Vanderwee├źn. 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.

So there you have it! If you like it, drop me a tweet or drop me a line. Thanks for stopping by.

posted on in design, jquery

Textplates 07

Textplates 07 entry

Even though I use ExpressionEngine almost exclusively for the websites I build I do keep an eye on the evolution of other systems such as Wordpress and Textpattern. I recently read the excellent Textpattern Solutions book and when I stumbled upon the annual Textplates design contest I decided to port the old, dark version of this blog to Textpattern.

It was a fun exercise and a good excuse to dig a little deeper into Textpattern. There are some similarities to EE and although some things are handled quite differently all in all it was a rather smooth experience. I dubbed the design P&T, submitted it and, lo and behold, it’s been accepted as an official entry into the competition.

This current excuse for a blog stays on EE though and will get a makeover in the month to come to have it blend in more with the rest of my portfolio site which is due somewhere in July-August. For now I’m working on a few new things and enjoying dogsitting this fella.

Update: no Textplate joy I’m afraid, although the template I liked best did win the contest. Better luck next year?

posted on in design, EE

Showcased at W3C

w3c site screenshot

This week was a good one, because the new website I'm just finishing for Retina Dance Company was deemed worthy of an editor's pick over at W3C sites.
I build all my sites with web standards and accessibilty in mind (without getting too hung up on it) so it's nice if someone recognizes the effort you put into your work.

Retina's new website also received a rave review from article19, a website that covers modern dance in Britain. Apparently, the fact that Retina's website has RSS feeds caused one of the editors "to pass out".
Funny people, those Brits!

My own portfolio site is far from finished so for now I'm using my page at W3C Sites as an alternative.