CHDirector.com

Chuck…just wanted to write quickly to tell you how impressed I am with your website! Bravo to you…and heaven knows we need all your techniques! —Chuck's client

ADA-Artists.com

Michael is not just a visual artist, but an artist in every sense of the word. He is an actor, photographer, entertainer, painter, graphic designer, singer, comedian, poet, and skilled debater (sometimes irritatingly so!)…

A sketch

Well, I’ve finally made a little bit of progress. At this point the site now looks like a basic sketch of what it will look like when I’m finished.

There are still plenty of design decisions to be made, and I think actually that thinking about it in the light of day, the coding of the home page is kind of wonky, nonetheless, I’m getting there. I’ve got a real concept, and I’m running with it.

Why is this process so difficult and long when I design client sites in a couple of weeks at times? No idea. It’s just the way I work, I guess. Wish me luck ever getting it finished!

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No progress whatsoever

Well, is it a good thing that I’ve been busy? Of course it is. But it has meant that I have had absolutely no time to devote to this project, which is frustrating. For some reason, being a designer seems to mean that everyone else’s design gets done before my own. I suppose a part of that is that I’m a little intimidated by doing work for myself. It always feels like it has to be absolutely spectacular.

I’ve toyed recently with the idea of putting up a template here, just so it won’t look so boring, but then, that kind of defeats the purpose of this project. I just need to find some time.

In the meantime, I thought I would post links to a few of the things I’ve been working on.

One of the fun projects that I just launched is the website for stage director, Chuck Hudson. I’m very proud of the site. Chuck asked me to create a site that was, above all, a gallery of his work in the theatre, but he also has a lot of great information about his private coaching and master classes to show. It was a great challenge, and some of the solutions that I came up with are going to be very helpful in future projects.

You can see it at “chdirector.com”:http://chdirector.com.

I’ll post more projects here soon.

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A little typography

09-0407_1717I decided step one should be to at least give the site a small amount of structure and typographic niceness. It’s probably all going to change, but at least it’s readable now.

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Even less design, but more structure

What kind of designer tries to remove *all* the design from his website?

The kind who’s also a developer. My goal here is to get as close to zero as I can with the design of the site, and then begin building it in the way that I want from the ground up.

But, I realized after the initial post here that I was actually still making some assumptions about the basic design, and I want to get rid of even those. However, in the meantime, I also found out about the Carrington CMS theme framework, and more than any other framework I’ve seen so far, this one seemed a very logical extension of WordPress’s existing theming structure. Plus, they have developed a version for developers which removes all the markup, leaving me with a wonderful structure, but no design.

Perfect.

So, after also applying a complete CSS reset, this site now looks as plain as it can possibly look. A complete blank slate, but thanks to Carrington, a blank slate with infinite potential.

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The big experiment

“Why does your site look like this?!”

…I hear you yell. Well, here’s the deal. The old site at “hatheadstudios.net”:http://hatheadstudios.net/old-site/site.html was getting old. Really old. And outdated.

And boring.

But, I never get a chance to create a new site, because I’m always working on client projects. So, I decided to give myself a hard, panic-driven deadline of *right now*, which is probably the only way that a new site is going to get made.

I’ve got some great ideas, and the end result should be a site which is much more useful and easier for me to update. I’d like for you all to be able to see my latest web design work, of which I’m really proud, and my latest photography projects, which are also pretty fun.

And I’m going to do the whole thing from scratch. Like baking a pie starting from soil. OK, not exactly from soil, but at least from flour–none of these pre-baked crusts for me. If this metaphor seems a little abstruse to you, here’s what I mean: I’m going to create my new site as a custom WordPress template. This is the way I do many of my clients’ sites, and it’s a great way to make a website which can be kept relevant. A lot of time creating WordPress themes involves starting from a theme some other developer has created and sculpting it into a different shape by modifying its images, stylesheets, php functions and template files. (more…)

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