Truth as I know it: this design would not be what it is — nor would I be the designer I am nor care as much about what I do — without the inspiration, critiques, guidance, mentorship, contributions, camaraderie, encouragement, and support of certain people with whom I have crossed paths in my lifetime.
The previous version of this site, designed five years ago, went stale to me a year or two after I created it. After enjoying the spotlight for a few years after the launch of Stopdesign, I slowly faded back, where I continued to watch from the sidelines and admire the work of talented peers around me. Current and recent designs from the hands of Dan, Jason, Jina, Jon, Khoi, Mark, and Shaun have all influenced and inspired this version of Stopdesign in one form or another. Be it a palette, a grid, a type treatment, or a date format… Each of these designers sweat the details, and it shows in their craft. I’m humbled to have met and exchanged ideas with each one of these people in person.
I sometimes think of him as my alter ego, but I could never be him. Malarkey gets his own paragraph, because he is to web design what all four of The Beatles were to Rock and Roll. He is cool and hip and original and compendious at once. His personality, design sensibilities, and instincts around code make him a threat I’d rather be working with than against. His thoughts on HTML5 and standard naming conventions have been taken to task on this new site, with the exceptions of a few abbreviations and shortcuts for which I opted along the way.
- Eric Spiekermann, for FF Meta and Stop Stealing Sheep (the first book I ever read about typography). I’ve beaten Meta to death, and it still looks good no matter where I use it. For the many who have asked over the years, the Stopdesign logo is my own bastardization of Eric’s pure, immortal version of Meta.
- Paul Rand, for his infinite wisdom and bitch-slapping avoidance of mediocrity in design.
- Jeffrey Zeldman for being the Godfather of Webstandards, and Eric Meyer for being the Jedi Master of CSS.
- Arthur Counts (junior high and high school art teacher, the one that saw potential talent in me when I was 11 years old; yes, Art Counts is really his name), Eugene Harris and Michelle Shoemaker (college art professors who helped me discover Design, the perfect mix for me of art and logic), Tracy Mitsunaga & Dennis Dimos (first creative director and design director I worked for, and my first professional mentors), Barbara Kuhr & Jonathan Louie (creative and design directors at Wired, and the ones who prevented me from giving up and leaving San Francisco when I thought I couldn’t sustain a career there).
Lastly, and most importantly, I am indebted to my wife, Cam. Her love and encouragement have pulled me though tough times and lots of self-doubt over the past few years. She’s my biggest fan, and my most helpful 2am critic. She also brought our first child into this world — an event that forever will inspire me and ground my sense of priorities in life. Finally, she’s also the one to thank for allowing me to work on this site after our daughter was put to bed each night, and through every long weekend for the past month.
I owe you all.