Designer, Writer and Speaker
I’ve always appreciated others’ colophons, they afford an opportunity to explore the methods and tools others use and they also serve as a useful addendum to acknowledge the contributions of the different individuals involved in a project.
I hope this page proves useful and that it casts a little light onto the inner workings of this site.
I have a workflow that I’ve honed over many, many years. Although my publishing tools have inevitably changed as the web has evolved, my core content tools – built around John Gruber’s Markdown – have remained the same.
My writing – whether it’s here, for a magazine or a book – always starts life in BBEdit. It’s been my sole text editor for well over a decade and I can’t see myself using anything else.
I use Bear and Simplenote for capturing scratch ideas: I use Bear for ideas that eventually evolve into longform writing; and I use Simplenote for capturing notes. If you’re looking for tools that sync across devices, both fit the bill nicely.
For imagery, I primarily use Photoshop, which I’ve been using since Version 1.0. However, I am slowly but surely gravitating towards Sketch as my workflow has evolved.
I use Transmit for SFTP access to my servers. I was a dyed in the wool user of Interarchy, however, its painfully slow update cycle when Peter Lewis sold the product in 2007, forced me to rethink.
Panic’s work on Transmit is exemplary and their attention to the details is delightful. In addition to Transmit macOS, I also use Transmit iOS to update content on the fly. I was sad when I heard that Panic would be ceasing development of their iOS client due to issues with the product’s revenue streams.
I was using GitHub Pages and Jekyll for Tiny Books, but I found the workflow cumbersome. I’m delighted to be learning Craft, which I’ll be using for this site.
I have to single out Ryan Irelan – creator of CraftQuest – for his very generous support providing me with access to his excellent tutorials. If you’re new to Craft, I would absolutely recommend Ryan’s tutorials, he’s a fantastic teacher and his content is impeccably produced.
This site will – eventually – use Elena (a serif, for body copy) and Colfax (a sans serif, for titling). Both are courtesy of the excellent Process Type Foundry. If you’re looking for workhorse typefaces that are versatile and beautifully designed, look no further, Process has you covered.
Designed by Nicole Dotin, and released in 2011, Elena is intended: “For text that’s meant to be read.” It’s a beautifully crafted and versatile typeface, and a typographic workhorse I’d highly recommend. I’ve used it for multiple projects.
A refined oval sans serif of 20th century origins and 21st century sensibilities, Colfax – designed by Eric Olson – fuses subtle geometry with typographic utility. It’s the perfect, rational foil to Elena. Available in six weights with accompanying italics, it is, like Elena, a workhorse.
Last, but by no means least, I am indebted to the team that helped me put this site together. I couldn’t have built this site alone and I’m very appreciative of the help I received.
Although my first book focused on designing with web standards, I have to admit as I’ve become older, I’ve found it a struggle to design and build everything. I’m happy to hold up my hands and ask for help when I need it and my team’s been phenomenal.
My studiomates – Tim Potter and Gaby Muldoon at Little Thunder – are focusing on the visual design and build. And Sarah Richards (formerly of GOV.UK) has very kindly offered to advise me on my content. I am so lucky to have such talented friends assisting me.
It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the support of my family in this endeavour. Creating the content for this site, designing it and managing it has been a mammoth undertaking. I’d like to thank Cara, Ross and Caitlín, for supporting me whilst I was working on everything.
I disappeared to Donegal for days (sometimes weeks, occasionally months) at a time while I was working on everything, and Cara, Ross and Caitlín indulged me in that, for which I’m incredibly grateful.