Working on fashion and lifestyle sites 10 years has given me great opportunities to utilise my degree training as an Illustrator. It’s something I often feel that I am forgotten for, but wherever I can I find a chance to add a little bit of this creativity. Whether it’s voluntary working on posters for my local theatre, adding an exciting background to a product still, designing icons or making a sale banner that stands out.
As a developer, I’ve always found it to be an advantage working right from the start of concept through designing to development. Knowing and thinking about how something is going to be built is a satisfying thing. Every design I make I’m thinking about how I’ll build it, who I making it for and where I can make structures more flexible and creative. Whether I’m going to build it myself or a colleague I’ve always tried to make wireframes that work in practice.
In recent years advancements in CSS have made layouts even more flexible. Not too long ago differences on mobile and desktop concepts often meant two separate builds depending on the design. This was cumbersome and counterproductive to making an entirely responsive framework. In this new age, we are met with more challenges than ever so rather than thinking about which device to target we should be thinking how do I want my content to fit irrelevant of the device size.
Responsive email design has been a part of my job before much of the industry adopted it. Some brands have completely scrapped the need for a desktop option. Occasionally live text is used, but the majority of emails are sliced images which switch between desktop and mobile. Occasionally animation is used for the top of emails.
As a longtime user of WordPress, I’ve designed and developed many websites on the platform. After using other people’s themes and discovering the many limitations of using them I decided to teach myself how to develop the PHP side. I drafted up a list of functions I wanted to learn and collected research to help me achieve these functions. Over the space of a year in my spare time, I created 14 WordPress themes. These also helped me to increase my knowledge of HTML and CSS.
Unfortunately maintaining 14 themes was quite a tall order. I, therefore, decided to temporarily close my shop and concentrate on a new theme that will promote simplicity, functionality and flexibility. Working on the new theme Is teaching me new CSS and jquery techniques, therefore always increasing my knowledge of feeding into my full-time work.