I know, I know — I’m long overdue for a blog post. Outside of the monthly contributions I’ve been making over at The Pastry Box Project, I’ve been holding off on updating my personal blog.
As many of you know, I left my agency job and became a full-time freelancer back in March. Since then, I’ve been working on a few exciting projects, one of which being this new (and improved!) website which I’m finally able to show you!
The Design Process
I started the concept for the new design sometime last summer, picking at it here and there over the months, but it evolved quite a bit from my initial sketches. I always knew I’d have a little illustration of myself riding my Vespa somewhere on the site, but to keep the overall branding from looking too cartoon-ish, I opted to move it to my about page and try something else instead.
On the homepage now sits large illustrations of my wonderful and unique home here in Newfoundland — much more fitting! I roughed out the banners and page mockups in Illustrator before heading to the browser — Dan Mall’s “deciding in the browser” was definitely a technique I used in this process.
Under the Hood
As for the technical side of things, it’s fully responsive, making good use of Filament Group’s SouthStreet tools, including Respond.js for older browser media query support, and Picturefill.js that mimics the proposed
picture element for responsive images. For now, Picturefill is only present in the work display section to serve up a higher-quality image for wider screens, but I eventually plan to introduce a few art direction uses, too.
Instead of Typekit, I’m now self-hosting my fonts (it’s Proxima Nova, natch), and I’m using SVG wherever possible with PNG fallbacks through Modernizr. The new site runs on the ExpressionEngine CMS, as before. Most of the redesign keeps my previous markup, so the majority of the new layout comes from my CSS — a huge time-saver!
As always, I’m still tweaking and editing and improving things, but for now, it’s live. I had a blast making it, and hope you guys like it, too!
Note: I forgot to thank some wonderful people for helping me with a few things, and credit’s due where credit’s due: Simon Collison for being my second set of eyes and also helping me nail down a few layout bugs, Mat Marquis for help with my responsive navigation and time script, and Ataul Munim for checking my widest media queries on his obnoxiously large monitor!