Archive for December, 2009

Jack of all Trades…

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

Jack of all Trades, Master of… All?

Lately, I’ve been putting together a list of all the different aspects of the Web. What do you need to get a website out there, and to have people use it (and like it)?
There’s a surprising amount:

  • System Administration
  • Front-End Design
  • Front-End Development
  • Back-End Development
  • Information Architecture
  • User Experience Engineering
  • Accessibility
  • Typography
  • Search-Engine Optimization
  • Social Media
  • Security
  • Business
  • Perhaps more?

It’s my goal to learn it all. Not just the basics, but full-blown expertise. It’s said that one needs to spend 40,000 hours on something in order to master it. I know it’s more complex than that, but it sounds like a good rule of thumb. That would be almost fourteen years, at eight hours a day. If I work on it for sixteen hours a day, I could reduce that to less than seven.

I’ve seen what’s out there, and I know I have a long way to go, but I can feel my future in my grasp.


Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

A few months ago, someone mentioned that they looked at a Wendy’s ad and wondered why they used Verdana (or some other typeface; I can’t remember). The idea of someone identifying a typeface and attaching cultural significance to it astounded me, and set in motion a terrifying journey to the heart of Type.
I carry around with me a selection of specimens from every major typeface I can get my hands on. I’ve spent hours, in the past two or three months, looking at the curves and details in each letter.

One thing I’m missing, though, is cultural significance. What does it mean that they used this or that typeface? Someone might use Arial on signage because they can’t afford Helvetica; meanwhile, Verdana is a web font, and looks best on a screen—it’s not to be used on large, printed material.

I’ve only got what I could absorb through osmosis, for now, but there are resources online. I’ve been reading Typedia, which holds a great deal of information. It’s a fairly new site, but more fontastic information is being submitted every day.