No Graphic Images in a Graphic Heavy Design

CSS 3 LogoThe development process of this website is taking longer than I had originally thought, I do not consider myself a PHP developer. In fact, I only know how to manage websites that use PHP, not program them. Fortunately WordPress offers plenty of reading material on the subject in their codex, which in turn delays the entire process. This is okay, I accept the challenge and want to learn.

The first design I’m creating is simple looking,  I’m not going to open any of my design software. Instead I’m going to challenge myself, try something different, with the exception of blog posts every “graphic” on this site will be marked-up with CSS. Which isn’t as difficult as it may seem, considering the majority of these graphics are just simple shapes with shadows and outlines using CSS3, but we’ll see what happens. Red Team Design did an awesome job at rendering the HTML 5 super logo with CSS, so bigger things are possible. Of course there will be drawbacks in creating my website this way, browser compatibility, and code heavy, but I will do my best at creating an accessible, “bulletproof” design. If a solution exist, I will implement it.

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Starting With Thematic

thematic

Thematic by Ian Stewart

Thematic by Ian Stewart
Is a bare bones WordPress theme used to aid designers in the development process. It also will give some website functionality to you before I start developing.

Inorder to maintain functionality on this website, every update will need to be tested. The easiest way to do this would be to test locally with MAMP. MAMP stands for “Mac, Apache, MySQL, PHP”, it is a free program for Mac OS X and can be downloaded at MAMP’s website. You can also find a great tutorial on how to install WordPress on MAMP over at Web Designer Wall.

So with MAMP installed and my local server configured, the next step is to hit the sketchbook and get some ideas rolling. Questions like, “What is the purpose of this website?”, “Who is my target audience?”, “What are the features that I want to include?” and more need to be answered. A detailed list, along with pictures will all be presented in the upcoming days.

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About Me

My name is Alex,
Currently I reside in the Philadelphia area, but during the progression of this website I will be moving to New York City. I’ve spent the better half of my life behind the screen, teaching myself everything about Front-End Web Design and Development.

My interest in web design started in middle school. I had stumbled upon a free web page builder called Geocities.com and quickly became fluent with its drag and drop interface. It didn’t take me long to realize that the entire process of online creation was what I enjoyed, it would be my career.

Geocities.com was a good start, but the pages I built didn’t work properly on different computers. This made me furious, the time I spent piecing together a pixel perfect website was a waste. I needed to seek out another way of completing this task, but wanted to keep the simplicity that Geocities.com offered. My solution was Macromedia Dreamweaver and Adobe Photoshop all combined with the “Slice Tool”. Now I was able to completely enhance my websites without ever learning a single line of markup. I had spent a couple years creating pages this way. Big mistake, I finally came to a realization during high school that my method was incorrect. The sheer disappointment and time I had wasted was enough for me to quit and pursue Graphic Design.

So I attended The University of the Arts for Graphic Design. At the end of the year I was given a project, I had to creatively present my portfolio for review. Unlike my colleagues, I had decided to do this online. The project fully rekindled my interest in web design except I knew I had to approach it differently. With a sketchbook, Adobe CS, and BBEdit, I went to work. The markup wasn’t daunting like before, in fact I embraced the challenge. The final product was a fully designed and hand coded presentation of my work. I used HTML, CSS, Javascript and Flash to convey a fully functional, interactive web experience. I had a new affinity for web technology despite my reluctance to learn the languages in the past. Soon after I had discovered that The University of the Arts could not offer the guidance I sought. The decision was difficult, but I decided to leave and pursue a less formal education in the current trends of Web Design and Development.

So here I am, my plans are to move to New York City and continue working on websites. The idea behind alexwhitworth.com is simple, it is a WordPress blog that will chronicle the creation of itself, and my experiences. This website will never be finished, it will grow as I grow. The reason I decided to take this approach is to learn, and share. This will be my first time attempting a project like this, so lets see what happens.

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