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A Reason for the Tests

My apologies for the last two test posts. In redesigning and re-imagining my site I wanted to be more deliberate about posting links to things I find interesting. Sometimes I’ll comment in detail, but more often I’ll simply link to the site and tell you in one sentence why you should visit. This new format (my linked list) makes the title of my post the link to the website you should visit.

There are two ways you’ll be able to recognize this type of post. One, look over at the date. If there’s a little chain-link icon then you’ll know the title of my post is the link to the website I’m talking about. The other visual indicator is the star (★) at the end of my post. By clicking the star you’ll be taken to the permalink for my post. This is helpful is you’re trying to reblog, or post a link yourself to my post.

And lastly, the RSS feed has been updated to mimic what I’ve just described. If I post a linked list article, the title in your RSS feed should take you directly to the other website, while the star will bring you to my original post.

Hope that makes sense. If not, shoot me question. And if you find that it’s not working for you let me know.

My inspiration for this type of linked list comes from sites like Shawn Blanc and John Gruber.

A Nice Redesign

I really like Elliot’s latest redesign of his site. So clean and simple. I hope he keeps it for a while.

I’m ELLIOT JAY STOCKS and I’m a designer, illustrator, speaker, and author. I couldn’t stand my old site any longer, so I nuked it, and this little experiment is what arose in the aftermath. It’s (probably) not here to stay, but it’s designed to serve as a simple starting point that I’ll build upon in the months to come.

Magnola

I agree with Shawn. Go buy it.

Magnola

A Fresh Coat of Paint

I’ve spent the last several weeks agonizing over the redesign of my CommunityOne site. CommunityOne is a charity I established here in Cardiff in 2006. It was time for a fresh coat of paint. I also felt I needed to work on the branding a bit. I wanted something simple and clean, with fresh colors. I also wanted to experiment with new fonts, and using the new(ish) @font-face rule.

I decided to use the Inspire* theme from Woothemes as a base. I knew I wasn’t going to be using the theme’s slider, but I liked the overall look of the theme. I was able to get permission from an artist named Kol on deviantart to use his wallpaper “Grass Blades” as my background.

For the fonts I went with League Gothic in the logo and a few of the headings. I decided to use Museo Slab as the main body font and smaller headings. And there’s a little Bello that’s letterpressed into the header background. To use League Gothic and Museo Slab I decided to try out Typekit. It was really simple. I created a free account, added the two fonts to my kit, and was given the CSS and javascript to use.

I also decided to individualize the four services CommunityOne offers. These are now color based. This will help in distinguishing what we offer and with promotional efforts.

The CommunityOne Twitter feed is now tied to the site. And it now has an official RSS feed…both were lacking in the last design.

I’d love to here your feedback on the new look. I have a couple of minor things to add, but I feel good with the new result. And it should be noted, your mileage may vary if you view the site using Internet Explorer. Using IE7 the fonts will not look spot on, and there are a few issues with CSS background images. IE6 is not even worth mentioning. In my humble opinion, if you’re on a Windows based PC, go with Firefox or Safari.

*Affiliate Link

The Story of Bako

Every family has their funny stories, the kinds of stories that make each family unique. Most of time however, these funny stories are only funny to the members of the family. And so it is with my family and the story of “Bako, Bako, Bako!”.

As a child, my wife Julie, would participate in church Christmas programs. These simply consisted of children memorizing lines, and at the appropriate time, walking up to the mic and saying what they had memorized. Most of the time these kinds of things work out just fine, except for the occasional mis-step, which is usually repaired by the nice grey haired women helping out.

Julie went to church with a friend named John Britain Churchill. John was a year older than Julie. John and Julie had their lines memorized, along with all the other children, and when it became John’s turn he walked to the mic and instead of saying something to the effect of “Jesus was born in a manger and came to save the world” boldly stated “Bako, Bako, Bako!” Of course, this was not the line John was to quote. In fact, to this day no one even knows what it means. But we’ve adopted the line and have used it at will in our home. When one of our children asks a question we don’t know the answer to, or don’t want to answer, we simply respond “Bako, Bako, Bako”. When we’re asked what we’re doing for the day…Bako, Bako, Bako. When they want to know what’s for dinner…Bako, Bako, Bako. You get the idea.

When Julie and I planned a recent trip to Chicago I knew that I wanted to take advantage of getting a t-shirt made at the T-Shirt Deli. I also knew that I needed to work Bako, Bako, Bako into the design. And so, I give you the John Britain Churchill inspired “Bako, Bako, Bako” shirt.

In another post I’ll share with you the details of getting a shirt done at the T-Shirt Deli. Very cool place, very cool people, and a very cool process.

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Got Gu, Got Good Design

I’m not much of a sweets eater. If given the choice, I’d rather have a nice slice of pumpkin pie over a piece of chocolate anything. But, when you’re given chocolate as a gift you naturally accept it, eat it, and enjoy it. One of my Father’s Day gifts was a box of Gu Cocoa Chocolate Truffles. The truffles are great, but the packaging the truffles came in were better.

I love clean design. Our first experience with Gu was with their Gu-ey Chocolate Fondant Torte. I was immediately taken by the smooth black box the torte came in. Simple, clean, nice typography.

torte

The packaging for the chocolate truffles was no different. Clean, simple, same great typography, a splash of pink on the lid, and a cool design on the inside. Here are a few snaps of my Gu chocolate truffles.

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