Friday, February 17, 2012

What I learnt today

I LOVE learning stuff. And I've learnt a lot recently, which makes me happy.

A month ago I was inspired by Google's Matt Cutts who advocates trying something new for thirty days.  My 'something' was An App a Day.

I didn't make it through the thirty days (thank you to the clients who've given me plenty of work to keep me out of mischief!), but I did learn tonnes.  In fact, it feels like a tiny pebble rolling has started an avalanche - so many exciting avenues of discovery, so little time!

Documenting all my new ideas is not my strong point, but here goes.

I've been thinking of moving Babbling Wren onto a more single-minded platform dedicated to data viz, and thinking about how that site will look, feel and function is a lot of fun.  I get geekily excited when I see sites like Fuzzimo and Rivers End which have some beautifully textured, interactive elements.  I want my site to appeal to the senses too.  With that in mind, I've been looking at effects which evoke old worn, noisy, rough, scuffed surfaces.  Things which remind you of the textures of your childhood, or how it feels to pick up a paintbrush or a needle and thread.

Appliqu├ęd letters seemed like a good place to start.  So today I developed my fledgling Illustrator skills thanks to a couple of Vectips tutorials.


The nice thing about this is that I can save the style in Illustrator and apply it to any text, with any typeface.  Clever, no?