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Blogging since 2004 SINCE 2004 GING BLOG

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A memo to product and website designers

With modern CSS properties including Grid, Flexbox, Multi-column, and Shapes, designers have countless opportunities to make diverse, and engaging designs. Sadly, many of us haven’t had the memo which gives us permission to make more interesting work, so I decided to write that memo.

Filed in Posts

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.

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(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

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.

52 weeks of Inspired Design Decisions #38 — Saul Bass

Throughout 2020, I’ve committed to designing 52 designs for a series of Inspired Design Decisions. This is week 38 and my design this week was again inspired by Saul Bass.

In a career which spanned over 40 years, Saul Bass not only designed some of America’s most iconic logos, but also designed title sequences and film posters for some of Hollywood’s best filmmakers, including Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and Martin Scorsese. For Hitchcock, Bass created innovative title sequences for films including North by Northwest, Psycho, and Vertigo. The opening sequence of Mad Men—one of my favourite TV shows—pays homage to Bass who died in 1996 aged 75.

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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