Blogging since 2004

Blogging since 2004 SINCE 2004 GING BLOG

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Layout Love. How and why I built it

I wanted a simple set of layout modules I could call on for design projects, so I developed my own. I call them Layout Love and rather than keep them to myself, I”m offering them to everyone to use which I hope will encourage people to make layouts which are more interesting.

Filed in Design

Contract Killer, open-source contract

Updated: If you’re writing a contract between you and your customers it doesn’t have to conform to the seemingly standard format of jargon and complicated legalese. You can be creative.

Filed in Contracts

Announcing Transcending CSS Revisited

I wrote my first book, Transcending CSS: The Fine Art of Web design, way back in 2006. It became a success and since then I’ve had countless people tell me it was influential in their careers. Transcending CSS Revisited is available to read online for free, with a new foreword by Rachel Andrew.

Filed in Books

52 weeks of Inspired Design Decisions

A weekly series of 52 website designs, influenced by inspiring art directors and graphic designers. Learn about the background to each design, the techniques and technologies used to implement it, and how it might inspire more compelling, creative design for the web.

Filed in Design

The story behind Art Direction for the Web

It took much, much longer to produce, and is itself much, much longer than I’d planned, but my fourth book, Art Direction for the Web was published by my friends at Smashing Magazine. Here’s the story behind how it happened.

Filed in Books

(Data) Protection Racket

General Data Protection Regulation templates can cost hundreds of Pounds, so I thought I’d turn my hand to writing a GDPR data protection and privacy policy. In the spirit of my Contract Killer, I called this one “(Data) Protection Racket.” It’s yours to adapt and use for free.

Filed in Contracts

New posts

Time to update your theme-color meta tag for Safari

There’s been a meta tag for specifying a theme-color for UI elements on websites for a while. If you’ve used it, now’s time to change that element along with the upcoming version of Safari.

A book for your inspiration collection: Wim Crouwel

To help get web design out of its rut, I think people should broaden their knowledge of all areas of design. So, I’m sharing my collection and recommend this book about the work of Dutch designer Wim Crouwel.

A book for your inspiration collection: Robert Massin

My bookcase holds my growing collection of books about editorial and graphic design and studying them has completely changed how I approach design. To help get web design out of its rut, I think people should broaden their knowledge of these areas of design. So, I’m sharing my collection as it grows.

The Peacock

Sue gets up earlier than I do. Every morning she leaves me in bed, walks down the stairs and towards our kitchen, and opens curtains along the way without thinking. That morning, a beautiful bright blue and green peacock stared back at her through our dining room window.

A quick note about AirTag key-rings

I bought a four-pack of Apple’s new AirTags, two for me and one each for the family. To make them more useful, I needed ways to attach them to my keys and backpack. I think AirTags themselves are reasonably priced, but Apple’s own-brand accessories definitely aren’t.

Layout Love: Take the guesswork out of layout by using ratios

One of my biggest problems with grids included with frameworks is that they offer little or no help in deciding proportional relationships between elements. Ratios can be an enormous help in determining these relationships, but they’re rarely written about in relation to web design. I want to change that.

Layout Love. How and why I built it

I’m not a framework user. I’ve never once used Bootstrap and I didn’t use 960gs or Blueprint before that. I can understand the benefits of using a framework or off-the-shelf templates, but they weren’t ever for me. Still, I wanted a simple set of layout modules I could call on for design projects, so I developed my own. I call them Layout Love.

The Alternative CSS principle

Let’s face it, unless you develop a complex product—and even if you do—you probably don’t need half the humungous hunk of CSS you bung at a browser. In fact, it’s possible you only need one default and one alternative style for every element.

We’re looking for a product designer to join Nozomi Networks

For 35 weeks every year—three weeks per month—I work with Nozomi Networks guiding the creative direction and experience design of their cyber security products. The team is growing, so we’re looking for a product designer to join us.

Layout Love: Modular grids for visually appealing layouts

As I’ve said plenty of times before, a well-chosen grid can do much, much more than align content. Our choice of grid can influence how we approach a design and it can change how we think about layout. That’s especially true of modular grids.

A slippery slope towards Tailwind?

Sam Sycamore tweeted a utility class for breaking an element out of its container to fill the full width of a page. It prompted me to think about how and when to use utility classes.

Layout Love: How a 3+4 compound grid can improve on 12-columns

Compound grids offer exciting and often unconventional layout possibilities. Most importantly, they also encourage us to think differently about the choices we make when we’re designing layouts. If you’re familiar with the grid made ubiquitous by Bootstrap, a 3+4 compound grid is a great place to start learning about compound grids.

A quick note about using filters to change link colours

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been specifying different colours for hyperlinks and their :hover pseudo-classes. Recently, I’ve been experimenting with CSS filters and found they make development much easier.

Thrilled to work on Worrysome

Although I don’t get to do it as often as I’d like, I enjoy working with startups. So, I was thrilled to be asked to work on a website design for Worrysome, a new business which aims to take the worry out of worrying.

Extra life for my Game Boy

Rooting around in boxes in our storage unit, I came across the Nintendo Game Boy I bought new in 1990. The plastic covering the green LCD was missing, but it was otherwise intact. The box even contained a few game cartridges. I popped it in my pocket and took it home.

Ekster MagSafe wallet review

Ekster sent me their iPhone 12 MagSafe wallet for review. The short version? I like it. But, I probably wouldn’t buy it.

Stuffed with layout options: Using a 4+5 compound grid

A generation of product and website designers has grown up with 12 or 16 column grids from Bootstrap-style frameworks. In those frameworks, columns are used mostly for aligning content. In my new design for Stuff & Nonsense, I wanted to go beyond that and use a compound grid to influence the entire design.

Andy Clarke portrait

About Andy

I’m Andy Clarke, a well-known website designer and writer on art direction and design for products and websites. I help businesses to deliver engaging customer experiences and unique designs. Read more about my work, browse my blog, or follow me on Instagram and Twitter.

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Inspired designs

A weekly series of 52 website designs, influenced by the most inspiring art directors and graphic designers of the twentieth century.

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