Stuff & Nonsense product and website design

Blogging and all that malarkey

CSS Specisithity

Originally published in 2005 and updated in 2024, CSS Specisithity explains how to master specificity using Star Wars metaphors. It’s been credited with helping web designers and developers understand what’s often considered a complex subject.

Filed in Education

The popular Contract Killer template

Clarify what’s expected on both sides to help build great relationships between you and your clients. Contract Killer is plain and simple and there’s no legal jargon. It’s customisable to suit your business and has been used on countless web projects since 2008.

Filed in Contracts

Layout Love

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 Tools

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

Updated: General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 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. This GDPR template is available to buy.

Filed in Contracts

Latest posts

My new personal website

I don’t know whether it’s been a reaction to post-Musk Twitter from the people I read and talk with on Mastodon, but there seems to be a renewed interest in personal websites and hosting one’s own content.

Re-coding Apple Black Friday dates

Most parts of Apple’s website are fabulously flexible. But today, I was browsing for Black Friday deals and found a fixed-width design element which I was determined to make flexible.

Tory leadership campaign catchphrases ranked

The spectacle of yet another Tory leadership campaign—this time to replace Boris Johnson—is in full swing. So, I thought it would be fun to rank the hopefuls’ campaign catchphrases. The results may shock you.

Lost and found

We stopped at a motorway services to buy baguettes for lunch yesterday, on our way down through France. I left my wallet behind and I didn’t notice until we were an hour further down the road.

Designing Zombie Hunt part one: Colour

Two weeks ago, I took a week—away from work on Nozomi Networks—and spent some time working on a redesign for Zombie Hunt. The team are franchising their successful business and needed a new design to attract customers and potential franchisees.

Work I’d like to do in 2022

I’m starting my fourth full year working mainly with Nozomi Networks. I love the people there, the work we’re doing is fascinating, and I enjoy the ability to develop designs over a longer period of time. But, I will have some time available for other projects and I want to use that time to make a difference.

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.

Design of the dead

Over the past month, I’ve been upgrading my Apple TV movie artwork from portrait to 16:9. Like the artwork for many older film series, Apple’s artwork for George A. Romero’s series of zombie films is more walking on sunshine than walking dead. So—like I did for other series in my collection—I decided to make my own artwork.

Where no design has gone before

I’ve been upgrading my Apple TV movie artwork from portrait to the latest 16:9 format recently. Like the artwork for many older film series, Apple’s artwork for the Star Trek films is less photon torpedo and more phaser set to stun. So, I decided to make my own artwork.

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.

Quick typography tips №2

Here’s a quick design tip for making headlines more interesting using text-decoration.

Design vs. Godzilla

Over the past few years, I’ve amassed quite a collection of Godzilla films, from the original 1954 Toho production to Legendary Pictures’ monsterverse Godzilla vs. Kong. When I was upgrading my Apple TV movie library from portrait to landscape, I decided to make my own artwork.

Design Another Day

When I was updrading my Apple TV movie library, I was very disappointed by the artwork Apple provided for my James Bond movie collection. So, I decided to make my own. I worked on several concepts and this was another version.

Live and Let Design

I’ve always been fastidious about how my Apple TV movie library looks. When the time came to change the artwork from portrait to landscape, I was disappointed by what Apple provided for my James Bond movie collection. So, I decided to make my own.

Text substitutions and aText

Dan Cederholm has been designing a stylish interrobang (‽) for his next new typeface and tweeted that he needs to learn how to type one. John Gruber replied with his suggestion using text replacement in MacOS. I use a similar solution using aText to make typing these unusual characters easier.

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About Andy

Hello. I’m Andy Clarke, an internationally recognised product and website designer and writer on art direction for products the web. I help product and website owners captivate customers by delivering distinctive digital designs.

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