Graphic design and the web

There seem to be several conversations about graphic design and the web (and apps) these days. The argument is usually “good ol’ simple html” vs. “sleek yet bloated pages”.

I come from the design camp.

When I started working in the late ’80s it was the early days of desk top publishing. Apple had just introduced the Macintosh and most of all the first Laser Writer. Suddenly everybody with a Mac could use 14 font families. And many were using all 14 of them. On the same page.

But then real designers started using this amazing technology, and for a few years we all had fun.

Then the web came about, and we were forced give everything up.

The advantages of the web were so huge that we just had to live with very limited design capabilities. Only a handful of fonts. Layouts impossible to experience in the same way across different browsers and operating systems. Crazily nested tables to try to get a bit of information where we wanted on a page. It was ugly, but it was beautiful.

15 years later we are experiencing again the possibility of doing beautiful design, this time on the web.

I think that we are again in an “all fonts on the same page” period. It’s exhilarating, and it will take a little while before real design will start happening again.

And it will be beautiful.


I’m not incredibly concerned about some apps sucking out my address book. After all I do have some degree of control on that.

Yet I am a bit annoyed about my own address being posted all over the place by thousands of people and their apps.

In other words: I can stop using Path today (I won’t), but my address will continue to be posted to hundreds of different sites every day without any control. The moment you give any piece of information to somebody with a smartphone, that piece of information is no longer private. End of story.

Video, now and then.

Warning: this is one of those “amazing what you can do with technology these days” kind of post.

When I was a teenager I used to hang around in a friend’s shop selling video equipment. This is where I used a video camera for the first time. It was something like this:

It was the most incredible piece of technology! It had a tiny black and white monitor, and you could see the world in this little TV, in real-time. It’s probably impossible to understand today how exciting it was back then.

After shooting there was editing. Not all consumer VCR could edit videos, most could not. At the shop we had one called “Hitachi VT-8” (why do I even remember this?), which was an extremely advanced tool which allowed to edit video material.

…25 years pass by…

I’m working from home these days, and a couple of hours ago I went downstairs for a coffee. While the coffee was brewing I watched out of the window, the Bora wind blowing in my garden, and with my phone, I shot and edited this.