Posts about Loose talk

Andy Clarke is a well-known website designer and writer on art direction and design for products and websites. But there’s more to Andy than just his work. Andy also writes about films, music, and other aspects of popular culture including his passion for Planet of the Apes movies. He also touches on personal topics including mental health.

Five menu bar apps for your Mac

I received my Apple MacBook Pro 14" laptop (maxed out with M1 Max silicon, all the cores, and 32Gb RAM) just before Christmas. During the break, I asked on Twitter which apps people had bought most recently and—following those suggestions—here are five menu bar apps I installed on my new Mac.

Stuff & Nonsense Christmas gift guide 2021

This year has been a hard one for a lot of people—just like last year, and maybe next year too. To help you make a designer or developer you know smile, I’ve put together my Christmas gift guide 2021.

Design and development book sale

After rearranging my studio and reorganising my bookcases, I have a few design and development books for sale at bargain prices. They’re all in very good condition and would be a great gift for a new or junior web designer or developer.

My desktop audio set up

On several of the podcasts I listen to regularly, there’s been some discussion about the best speakers for a home office setup. So here’s my take.

My go bag 2021

When I started travelling regularly to Switzerland for work, I put together my go bag of accessories. What’s in the bag has changed over past few years, so here’s an update on what I’m packing.

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.

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.

Producing Transcending CSS Revisited

Earlier this year, New Riders gave me back the publishing rights to my first book, Transcending CSS: The Fine Art of Web Design. I’d originally intended to post a PDF of the original book online, but the terms of my contract meant that I couldn’t simply give away a copy of the book New Riders had produced. I needed a new plan.

Let’s Code ♠ Shirts ♠ Rock!

I love rock music and I also love writing HTML and CSS code, so what better way to bring my two loves together than a set of shirt designs which celebrate both? Code ♠ Shirts ♠ Rock designs are inspired by classic rock band logos. Wear them at home or at work, to a gig, or your next tech conference. They’re ideal gifts for the code loving rocker, or rock loving coder you know. The shop is now open.

On Tuesday I’m launching Code ♠ Shirts ♠ Rock tees

I love rock music and during the 1980s I saw AC/DC on their Back In Black tour, Girlschool, Iron Maiden (before Bruce Dickinson,) Judas Priest, Saxon, Thin Lizzy, and of course Motorhead with their classic line up of Lemmy, Fast Eddie and Philthy Phil. Motorhead were always my favourite, and when my son was old enough to have his own ear drums damaged, we went to see them together.

Putting together my go bag

These days, most of my travel is to my biggest clients in France and Switzerland, but there’s also travel to speak at the occasional conference, and the odd business trip. Every time I travel, I take with me the same set of cables and chargers.

The story behind Art Direction for the Web

It’s taken much, much longer to produce, and is itself much, much longer than I’d planned, but my fourth book, Art Direction for the Web, will, at last, be published on on Tuesday 26th March by my friends at Smashing Magazine. Here’s the story behind how it happened.

Chock full of design inspiration (part 3)

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been writing about the books on my studio bookcase, why I bought them and how they inspire me. (Catch up on parts one and two.) Here’s part three.

Chock-full of design inspiration (part 1)

Our shipment arrived home from Australia last week, and I had the chance to choose which of my design books and magazines to keep in my studio. After I posted a photograph of my updated shelves on Twitter, several people asked about the books I’ve collected, so over the next few weeks, I’m going to write about them.


When illustrator Josh Cleland and I were designing our “It’s the taste” home page header, we were of course paying homage to the classic PG Tips TV commercials from the 1970s. In particular, the ad that’s been my favourite, Mr. Shifter. Yesterday, Choppers, the last surviving chimpanzee from that 1971 commercial died.

Losing Lemmy

Sue and I were driving home last Sunday when I realised that on Tuesday this week we would’ve seen Motörhead live at the Manchester Apollo.

The inevitable price

This week at Smashing Conference in New York, I had the very great pleasure of meeting Chris Lilley. I recognised Chris’ name, but it took me a day to remember that he had been the chairman of the ‘Style and Formatting Properties Working Group’ at the W3C, a precursor to the CSS Working Group. Chris is a hugely important person in the history of the web.

15 years of Dao

It’s amazing to think that John Allsopp’s oft-quoted article, A Dao of Web Design was published fifteen years ago today. A List Apart asked me what John’s article means to me now, but rather than focus on Dao’s flexible design principles, I wanted to talk about a passage that never seems to get a mention.

Taglines and Truisms, and ten years of 24ways

Ten years ago, in 2005, my friend Drew MacLellan asked if I would contribute a short article to the then new 24ways, “advent calendar for web geeks” and “a daily dose of web design and development goodness” throughout December.

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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