New year, New design

So it’s the end of 2007. Huzzah! The Seahawks are in the playoffs again. I’m working, if only temporarily, at the Seattle Times, and things are looking good.

My friend Jonathan sat down with me to work on a new budget to help me reach my financial goals, so starting Jan 1 I’ll have to start being more fiscally responsible. Eh.

In any case, it’s time to roll out a new design for the ol’ webpage.  Looks like I spoke too soon. Serious CSS errors have been found! I was looking over at wpdesigner’s website (I actually wrote a few articles for him a few months back) and I came across a nice new tutorial that he had put together. It’s called How to Code a WordPress Theme, and it is much better than his former tutorials.

I followed it all the way through during a sleepless night, and what you behold now is the results. Pretty snazzy, eh? I customized it quite a bit, although you can still see the remnants of his Wrath wordpress theme that he used in his tutorial.
new theme screenshot
As you can see from the screenshot, it actually started as a theme I wanted to design for our website Geek-vs-Life.com, but I ran into some difficulties along the way. It works great for my needs though. I’ll be continually tweaking it as I go along,  (It’s busted!) and eventually I guess I should release it, if Small Potato is cool with it. We’ll see.


Serious stinking css errors have delayed the emergence of my new theme. Drats!

Pioneers of Prime Time TV

My old roomate Thomas has an awesome acoustic band down in New Mexico that had an awful myspace page. So Thomas gave the the go-ahead to kick it’s butt, in good old-fashioned design style. Since I had just managed to do the same thing with my page, it was as easy as busting out the ole’ template and fixxin’ her up.

The tunes are good, and they put them all up for free to download, so check’em out!

Ded Bundee

I recently started working on an album cover a band called Ded Bundee, a band that is going to take over the world due to its awesomeness.

Here are the cover ideas so far. I’ve used my photography for raw material.

New Myspace Music Page

So, I’ve finally gotten my music page 95% completed. Laying those things out is a giant turd, I tell ya what. And remember, I am NOT a web programmer, so I’ve had learn all of it off of the sweat off my brow.

Anyway, check out the tunes, and let me know what you think.

My take on an In Rainbows cover

For those of us using iTunes’ coverflow, it’s a bummer that Radiohead didn’t provide any official (yet) cover art to go with the download. But the good news is that means we can all design our own official covers.

That’s what they’ve been doing over at Hick’s Design, so I had to chip in with my version to go along with everyone else’s. (Looks like Grant Hutchinson chipped in also. The world is a small place. I just emailed him this morning.)

NOT back at the Ebbtide

Well, apparently I spoke too soon. Right as I agreed to work on the Ebbtide again, but who do I get a call from? The Seattle Times.


So instead of the Ebbtide, which is an opportunity that I’m seriously going to be missing out on, I’m working temporarily for the region’s biggest daily newspaper. The job is for about two months long, but it’s a foot in the door for sure.

Basically what I’m doing is repackaging some of their stories for contest submissions such as the Pulitzer. For instance, what I’m working on right now is a series called “Miracle Machines” that ran for three issues last November. I have to take all of the text and all of the images and graphics and re-format them to fit into tabloid and letter size packages, which is no small feat considering that it’s all originally broadside size.

It’s pretty cool. I have my own desk, my own Seattletimes.com email address, my own phone, etc. I’m right there in the midst of all of the Features designers, which is a great perspective to see what goes on at a big paper like the Times.

It’s too bad that I can’t do both, but as it is I’m already stretching my time way thin. I already have a regular job, so taking on two other part-time jobs alongside all of my other responsibilities would be the death of me.

Back at the Ebbtide

There have been two different Design Directors at the Ebbtide since I left that position two years ago. I never thought that I’d do it again, but apparently I’ve been tagged to do just that.

Unfortunately Bill, the DD starting this year, has scheduling issues that prevent him from getting the publication done on deadline. It’s too bad. It’s a great experience for anyone looking to get into editorial design.

But his loss is my gain. I get a second chance to re-design the paper, and this time I’m gonna make the most of it. When I designed it the last time, my prime directive was to make it into a literary and arts magazine in tabloid format. That’s exactly what I designed.

But when it came time for writing, our entire staff wanted a news newspaper; a directive that my design did not fit at all. Instead of re-designing again, like I should have, I tried to shoe-horn everything into my design.

Bad idea.

But now I get a chance to do it right, the way I should have to begin with.

Because I’m not “officially” hired as the DD of the Ebbtide, I can’t implement a wholesale re-design for the last paper of Fall Quarter. What if someone else gets hired *instead* of me? A redesign of one paper would suck, and it does the campus and the readers no good.

So what I’m doing is using this opportunity to bridge the gap. I’m not changing the masthead. I’m sticking, mostly, with the same headlines. The body copy will stay the same. Some other visual aspects will stay the same.

But 90% of what I’m doing now will be carried over to the new design. The standing heads. The formatting. Mostly the visual cues and hierarchy will be changed into my new design.

It’s a good opportunity to get some actual clip sheets this time for my portfolio.

Sorry Bill. But it’s my turn again.