What did the 0 say to the 8? Nice Belt

Never let reality get in the way of a perfectly good theory.

- Bill Jetzer

Back in the game!

I’m back in the game. My CSS skills are once again getting honed and I’m developing websites. A 6 month project (well really just 3 months or work and 3 months of employment/looking for employment) in developing the website for The Bartell Theatre is coming to a close. Another project in working with the Madison Theatre Guild is just beginning.

So what have I done with the Bartell website lately? Well, I’ve dropshadow-ed the hell out of it, with very good results… at least in my opinion. I am personally a fan of simple, b&w, flat design but this morphed into textured and layered. The header for example, has the logo center with dropshadow. The header itself is fixed and cast shadows on the page that scrolls underneath it. The posters/pics on the homepage have a subtle inset shadow on the sides. The photos on any whitewrapper are all dropshadow-ed up. The Search bar lifts of the page with a dropshadow transition when you click on it. The submit button? Yup, a transitioned dropshadow on the hover.

So what does this all mean? I’m going against my preferred design. Well, I don’t know exactly. I think the site looks good and polished (Side Note: For some reason, I’ve been reading “polish” as from Poland lately… I’m going to blame the Fisher King for this) but I don’t know if I’m going to be a true fan of it. Like OSX Yosemite, I think it’s a little too cartoonish… for lack of a better word.

I have also forced myself into a few corners in design consistency as well. Yellow is a terrible color for design consistency, but being the color of the Bartell logo, I used that as the driving force in the color pallette. For example, hover effects on the Tickets button. The background is suggested to always be dark and bokeh-ed and a yellow ticket button looks great. On white? Not so much. I went with white for the content of pages and events for many reasons without thinking about that damn ticket button being yellow. I get there and… ugh… well I’ll keep it. Now what to do with the hover effects. It’s a button, it must have a response to being hovered over. Yeah… issues.

Then links on white? I made them red… at least for now. The color pallette of yellow and black is now accented with red, which isn’t a bad thing, but I wish I could’ve had a better option. Don’t get me started on those hovers.

So next project? MTG.

I’ve got some great ideas with a little inspiration from RISD. I’ve learned a great deal from working on the Bartell website and I believe the quality will be up. Fortunately, I think I’ll be able to go more of the flat/textureless design with the MTG site.

Other news?

I found an absolute wonder of a site called butterick’s practical typography. It’s a little pretentious at times for my taste, but it provides some great insight into the standards of typography. I know very little on typography myself and I don’t anticipate ever being an expert, but I do appreciate great design and the content is very specific on how not to make mistakes with typography. Not to mention the site itself is absolutely fantastically designed. I will be lifting a few ideas on how to present web-based-books.

It is definitely worth a read and although I haven’t donated yet (he’s a lawyer and is probably doing just fine without a donation from me at the immediate moment), I do feel compelled to support this effort. It may not be today or tomorrow, but it will be soon that I vote with my $$s on the content I like to see on the net.

What else is news?

I broke my phone. This is the third iPhone 5/5C on this 2 year contract and I still have 6 months left. Phones should not have a 6 month expiration date.

First one was completely my fault. After a year of it not having a case, my iPhone 5 finally took a drop it could not survive. The screen went dark and unresponsive. As many slips and falls it had, I’m actually surprised it lasted as long as it did. The quality was really quite good on that phone.

Then, I got an insurance replacement of an iPhone 5C. As far as physical quality, it was as sturdy as I had expected. But shortly after installing an iOS 7 update, the phone got wacky. Wi-Fi and bluetooth went in and out. Time was always incorrect. So I went to the Apple store and they replaced it… with shit.

The third phone was a lemon. I should have said something when I first got it, but I figured it would last until January (end of contract) and I would immediately sell it. The screen had a give to it that suggested a layer of air. About a month ago after very little rough use in the first few months, the screen started popping up on the top part of the phone. Not much, but enough where you could push it in a few mm to where it should be. I actually suspect that’s the reason it broke. So I dropped it on carpet and it probably caught the corner with the lifted screen and ultimately shattered it. Fortunately, Insurance.

So now I have my 4th iPhone, and it appears to be of a quality considerably higher than the last phone I had. That plan to immediately sell it in January might not survive if this phone proves to be as well made as my previous iPhones.

I am hoping… now back to some CSS.