Ch-ch-ch Changes!

Update: This post was about the previous version of this site, version 3.

I slapped a fresh coat on the old website. Well, new paint, siding, frame, foundation...who am I kidding? I just burned down the old one and built anew on its smoldering ashes.

This is the third incarnation of and just like the past two versions, I've had a damn good time working on this one. I've been able to take the time to work with so much amazing code that I've never really dug into before. This is the first full site I've built using the Zend Framework which has just made me realize how completely rad it is working with a rock-solid framework. It also makes me kick myself a little for not picking it up a long time ago. I'm integrating with a number of different third party APIs, this is also the first time I've built a site doing that. How freaking cool is working with well-written, well-documented APIs?

With the visual design, I've really tried to push it in a direction that I think is, "me". This was one of those designs that I could really see in my head before I opened Photoshop or even put one thing down on paper. The biggest inspiration came from the cover art for Charles Bukowski's Women. The whole time I was reading the book, I was constantly looking back at the cover. I don't know exactly what it is but it is just so damned cool. For this round, I started the design process the old fashioned way; I grabbed a six-pack, some colored pencils, a big-ass sketch book and then went to work.

Bukowski - Women
The cover of Charles Bukowski's "Women" was a main source of inspiration for the aesthetics.
tgaw2009 Sketch
Starting a design with paper and pencil allows for quick iteration and time to really nail down the overall vision.

I'm a big fan of organic textures and knew that I wanted to incorporate some into the design. When I sat down in Photoshop to start turning my sketch into a working design, I realized quickly that I was going to need some real-world help getting the organic look and feel that I was going for. When it's time for real-world textures I just start grabbing anything, and I mean anything, and throw it on the scanner. You never know what you might use that scan of an old broken toothbrush for. Just to be sure, scan it!

Thanks for reading