May 22, 2021No Comments

Figma grid starter kit for Semplice

I’ve been using the Semplice theme for the last few years for this website. It’s intuitive and isn’t weighed down like most WordPress builders.

An unintuitive part of Semplice is the custom grid system. It's not clear how padding settings work, so it's difficult to predict how they will look. Until now :)

I create a Figma kit for Semplice with grid styles that match Semplice's grid system. This makes it easy for Figma / Semplice users to create accurate layouts.
My kit uses a double-grid system. The hairline guides are column breakpoints and the thick guides are gutters:

  • use gutter guides for content
  • use hairline guides for column background colors

You can find my kit in the Figma Community

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March 8, 2019No Comments

Typeface study: web font combos recommended by Stepto & Son

In the process of redesigning my site, I've been brushing up on my web typography skills. I've been following Matej Latin's Better Web Type email list, reading his book, and trying out interesting combos using Adobe Fonts based on what I've learned.

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March 23, 2018No Comments

Rave history: 20 year old, first Skills event flyers available in San Francisco

I designed rave flyers back in the day using the alias Elemental. I kept a small stack of almost everything I made, figuring I’d do something interesting with them in the future. Well the future is now, so I’ve figured out a simple way to share some history: I’m releasing original rave flyers on the anniversary of their event, starting with Skills #1.


The very first Skills party was March 21, 1998. The packed wall-to-wall event took place in the basement of Maritime Hall in San Francisco and included Tom Slik, Happy Kid Marty, Dyloot, Trent, Greg Sandler, J-Bot, Thomas Trouble, Vertigo, Mars, Mystre, and Congo, along with "free water & candy & fruit & toys”.

There’s a small stack of these original Skills flyers at Vinyl Dreams in San Francisco.

Feel free to grab one. Enjoy!

March 28, 20123 Comments

I fixed the file names for Google’s ICS Android Design Icons (free download)

(Update 9/2012) Good news! They're fixed! You don't need my pack anymore =)

Google recently introduced the Android Design site for 4.0 / ICS offering tips and resources for making apps that look and feel like native Google apps. One big benefit is that you can download design resources including stencils, vector art, and icons to make it faster and easier to create stuff.

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August 23, 20111 Comment

My latest project: HD Widgets for Honeycomb tablets

Mike and I are launching a new app this week: HD Widgets. This is our first paid app, following up on Cloudskipper, our free music player which has skyrocketed to over 425k installs in just three months.

HD Widgets follows our Mixwit formula: take something simple, make it attractive and fun, and make it easy for users to be able to customize and personalize it. The app includes a dozen widgets with a variety of clocks, backgrounds, layouts, and options. The UI of the app itself has a lot of slide-based navigation - the pages can be swiped, the menu, and all of the options - so it's fun and really intuitive to use.

There were a few challenges. First off was the design challenge of dealing with portrait/landscape layouts for both widgets and apps on a 10:9 screen. Another was figuring out how to build a platform to allow hundreds of widget designs and styles without flooding the OS widget menu. As such we needed dynamic widgets even though they require static layouts. We also had to deal with matching our look and feel to the new Honeycomb theme while still making the app intuitive ;-)

The next challenge for us is making it work on smaller screens: scaling down the app while still providing the same fun, swiping experience. We also have to deal with differences in the different OS versions. We avoided stuff like fragments, but there may be other differences we're yet to uncover.

Anyways, that's my intro. I'll try to put something together on Honeycomb UI/UX shortly. I'm crammed for time so it will either happen immediately or not until much later.

In the meantime, please download HD Widgets for your Honeycomb tablet and have fun with it.

Last and least, here's the logo/icon I made for the app using Illustrator and Swift3D:

March 31, 2009No Comments

Swift3D Plug-in for Photoshop

Electric Rain has upgraded their Swift3D plugin for Photoshop to streamline processes and take advantage of Adobe Configurator.

For those who may be having a huh? moment - Swift3D is an old school, powerful, noob-level 3D modeling and animation package for creating 3D for Flash. I've used Swift3D with great success in the past, but it's been a long time since I've done design/animation work.

Recently (in the past couple of years) they've integrated more with Papervision to export ready-to-go Collada models and it looks like the have a an express plugin for Flash (Windows only, meh). 

Nevertheless, definitely something to check out. The app is so easy to use it can fill in quickly for print & web graphics.


Link to product

(via John Nack @ Adobe)