john dilworth archives

Why Stylesheet Abstraction Matters (just realized that I didn’t post a link to the previous quote by Chris Eppstein) – interesting information for those who design and develop with CSS.

posted by john on Tuesday, Sep 22, 2009

CSS is the weakest link in the web developers toolbox. The problem goes deeper than CSS’s lack of variables. Unlike the “function” in programming, CSS has no fundamental building block.”
Chris Eppstein, the author of Compass writes up a solid argument for the need of abstraction in stylesheets. I’ve been toying around with Compass and the Sass language over the past few weeks and things look very promising.

posted by john on Monday, Sep 21, 2009 · 5 comments

“The content that sits inside of our design framework is often the final arbiter of success, yet we sometimes diminish its importance and separate ourselves from it. The more we separate our design activities from content development, the greater the risk of design failure.”
Christopher Detzi writes about The Content Conundrum, a very nice and well thought out article covering a problem every web designer must face

posted by john on Thursday, Aug 06, 2009

iQ font - When driving becomes writing.

I know for certain there are a few guys here at work who wish their day were a bit more like this.

posted by john on Monday, Jul 20, 2009 · 4 comments

The Human Centered Design Toolkit was created by IDEO and the Gates foundation as a free open-source toolkit to assist organizations providing services for communities in need.

posted by john on Wednesday, Jul 15, 2009

“Think of it as FFFFound for all things type, typography, lettering, & signage.”
The new site from John Boardley ( ) looks like it will be a good one. Go check it out:

posted by john on Wednesday, Apr 15, 2009

BumpTop releases for Windows.

posted by john on Thursday, Apr 09, 2009

“I won’t miss a design philosophy that lives or dies strictly by the sword of data.”
Stop Design Stops Google

posted by john on Friday, Mar 20, 2009 · 2 comments

The Dexo UX design conference survey might help you get an idea of what that conference you plan on attending will be about. I can’t verify the accuracy of the data, but it looks like it has potential to be an interesting and potentially helpful resource.

posted by john on Thursday, Mar 19, 2009 · 0 comments

“No good book or good thing of any kind shows it best face at first. No, the most common quality in a true work of art that has excellence and depth, is that at first sight it produces a certain disappointment.”
Thomas Carlyle (1795 – 1881)

posted by john on Thursday, Mar 19, 2009

northtemple journal of design  ~  March Issue

Make It Beautiful

If we can all agree that we like things that are beautiful, we should also agree that we should try to make things beautiful. But what does that even mean?

posted by john on Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 · 8 comments

An interesting post from PK at BibliOdyssey with pictures from Stammbücher or “Friend’s Books.” An interesting custom from the 17th century where a person would carry a book with them containing sentimental inscriptions, quotes, and memories from one’s friends. PK calls it: Facebook in the 1750’s

posted by john on Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 · 1 comment

The Crisis of Credit by Johnathon Jarvis describes the source of our economic situation with a great use of audio, animation, and a clever voice over script.

posted by john on Thursday, Feb 26, 2009

The article skimmer interface from NTY is a great example of an alternative way to browse a newspaper. All I’ve ever done is “skim” the newspaper, so this seems like the NYT edition for me. (via Daring Fireball)

posted by john on Monday, Feb 16, 2009

Pepe’s poster entry for our Annual Design Review which takes place tomorrow.

posted by john on Thursday, Feb 12, 2009 · 4 comments

Andy puts together another article on the gestalt design principles. In this one, he takes on similarity, proposing that while similar, all types of similarity are not equal.

posted by john on Monday, Jan 26, 2009

The Art Law Blog may provide some interesting background reading to help understand the legal complexities of copyright infringement, along with precedent, case studies, and current issues.

posted by john on Friday, Jan 23, 2009

Issues of Copyright Infringement and Shepard Fairey’s Obama Poster

A few days ago, Cameron posted an interesting quote and poster about stealing inspiration from anywhere you can find it.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out for Shepard Fairey, the street artist whose fantastic Russian constructivist inspired poster design became the iconic symbol of Obam’s historic 2008 candidacy for president. Fairey admits that he found the source image on a Google image search, but never revealed or received permission to use the image. It looks like the source image has been found , and it is a copyrighted Associated Press photo taken by Mannie Garcia where Obama was having lunch with actor George Clooney.

Who knows how this will play out, perhaps the AP will grant him retroactive permissions, or there may be copyright infringement issues and money at stake (especially considering how Fairey may have profited considerably off this image).

At first this might not seem like a big deal, everyone’s done a Google images search for some inspiration. It is however, the responsibility of the artist to credit and obtain permission when the source is identifiable and potential legal issues may ensue.

Don’t stop looking for inspiration, but don ‘t steal, it’s not hard to ask permission and even easier to give credit where credit is due.

Here’s a few links for reference:

I came across this set of articles through a twitter post by Patrick King

Update: I missed this the first time—the photographer’s web site now states that he was contacted by the Fairey’s gallery a few days ago (Jan 21, 2009) who acknowledged that the photo was the basis for the poster design.

posted by john on Friday, Jan 23, 2009 · 9 comments

Apparently, there’s a National Design Policy Initiative. They’ve released a few documents this month, one is a compilation of 10 design policy proposal called Redesigning America’s Future, and the other is their 2009 Summit report. At first glance this looks really interesting.

posted by john on Thursday, Jan 22, 2009 · 0 comments

If the Friend magazine isn’t your cup of tea, take some time to browse through this great gallery of vintage sci-fi novel cover designs.

posted by john on Friday, Jan 16, 2009 · 2 comments