The Blog

Back Vast: The Crystal Caverns on Kickstarter

My brother-in-law Patrick Leder just launched (and already successfully funded) a new tabletop boardgame Kickstarter. Designed by him and David Somerville with art by Kyle Ferrin, Vast: The Crystal Caverns is the ultimate asymmetric cave-crawling adventure where you become the brave Knight, Goblin horde, massive Dragon, or malevolent Cave. I’ve been helping with design and layout and also put together the Kickstarter video, featuring Kyle’s amazing art.

Check it out! And back, if you’re so inclined.

Exploring off canvas nav menus with Bootstrap

I’ve been stuck in the weeds figuring out navigation patterns for a major project at work, so I thought I’d quickly share some examples I’ve been referencing. The site Adventures in Responsive Navigation has been a godsend, along with the navigation patterns in Brad Frost’s This Is Responsive.

Off Canvas Menu Resources

Off Canvas Examples

Mega Menu Resources

Additional Resources

Some link highlights from this year’s SXSW

I saw lots of great (and some not so great) panels once again this year in Austin at SXSW. These are their stories.

Interactive Long Scroll Features

Pitchfork mentioned that working on these interactive features has improved the design of their festival sites and made other projects work better

Prototyping Tools
Photoshop Extract

Hot New Apps

Style Guides / Style Frameworks

Some Session Highlights

Weird Internet Art
(It’s recommended you play this with the volume muted while listening to this instead.)

SXSW Keynotes
This year’s aren’t up yet, but they will be eventually and you can watch last year’s here:

Bruce Sterling’s 2013 closing keynote remains a landmark for me:

Recommended permissions setting for WordPress in MAMP PRO

After unsuccessful googling for how to resolve the issue of WordPress asking for FTP credentials on local installations, I finally arrived at a set of working permissions for MAMP Pro in OSX.

WordPress recommends CHMOD / file permissions of 755 for directories and 644 for files, but what I didn’t know of the top of my head was how that correlates to MAMP’s settings. I figured that out, but WordPress still wasn’t updating correctly. Then, I found this WordPress support thread where people said electronicink’s solution worked for them. Following Yosetmite, OSX/macOS File Sharing Permissions no longer give an FTP sharing option. Back to the drawing board! The missing key was who the Owner and Group should be. www! Duh. I’d likely changed it to myself and admin in my failed attempts at manually granting access through Finder’s Get Info feature.

Anyway, here’s the combination that finally worked for me. This dialog is accessed in the Hosts tab of MAMP PRO by clicking the people icon next to the folder icon where you choose “Document root.”

Screenshot from MAMP Pro 4.4 on macOS 10.13.4, but permissions and user groups are the same across MAMP and OS versions.

Adobe releases Creative Cloud 2014 + everything new is new(ly broken) again!

17 updates available for Creative Cloud Yesterday, following Adobe’s announcement of Creative Cloud 2014, I excitedly tried to update 17 apps at once on my work computer.

In my haste, I forgot to first close out of the programs I spend most of my day in: InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, and Dreamweaver. And sometimes Fireworks. Poor Fireworks. That, naturally, led to this fellow popping up:

Please close the following applications to continue: Photoshop

I closed Photoshop and all the other programs and tried clicking retry. It. Kept. Popping. Up. Then Creative Cloud crashed. Uh-oh! After relaunching, the Apps tab of Creative Cloud said “Download Error” with a giant triangle exclamation point warning sign with a button I could click to try reloading applications. That button did not work. There was a link telling me to contact support. Since Creative Cloud had just launched, support was down. Joy. After taking twitter, user @phostershop suggested I try the Adobe Cleaner Tool.

I uninstalled Photoshop, After Effects (the app the update process choked on), InDesign, Illustrator and ran the cleaner tool, selecting ALL applications (I wouldn’t recommend this, though it did free up 20 gigabytes of hard drive space… and remove all of my Adobe apps). After several restarts, I was still having no luck. Luckily Adobe Support had returned in the meantime, so I got on chat to talk to a support tech.

The tech had me open the Finder, click on the GO menu > go to folder, and type “~/Library” (my user folder). I then navigated to Application Support/Adobe and renamed ‘AAMUpdater’ and ‘OOBE’ to ‘AAMUpdaterold’ and ‘OOBEold.’

Then in Finder he had me click on the GO menu > go to folder, and type “/Library.” Then I had to navigate to Application Support/Adobe and rename ‘AAMUpdater’ to ‘AAMUpdaterold.’

I then relaunched the Creative Cloud app which unfortunately froze. After restarting my computer for the umpteenth time… success! The Apps tab had returned to functioning. It lists apps I still have installed as able to install. I’m worried if I click the install button my computer will explode, so I am holding off for now.


Also, I recently started having an issue where after turning my computer on, Creative Cloud would tell me “administration rights are required to complete Adobe add ons.” A google search lead me to this Adobe Support Community post. After changing the permissions for the folders as directed and restarting the message went away, which is great because now I can use Photoshop again where the TIFF options menu now looks like this for some reason:

Photoshop CC (2014) TiFF Options Menu

Today’s Lineup is out now!

Today’s Lineup, the little league team management iOS app for iPad & iPhone that I’ve been working on since late last summer, is now available for download on the App Store.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out the introduction video below:

The Bond Group is hiring!

My firm is looking for a designer with feet both in the web and print worlds.

A candidate in this role will work on a range of projects from brand development to responsive design web sites and the creation of mobile apps. The candidate should have a refined sense of design with an understanding of marketing trends in both web and print.

Requirements in the digital world

  • Ability to create concepts and produce user interface design, understand information architecture to build site maps, wireframes and prototypes.
  • Knowledge and experience in HTML5, CSS2/3, jQuery or comparable JavaScript framework cross-browser/cross-platform compatible and mobile-friendly environments.
  • Experience with WordPress theme development and plugin customization
  • Ability to create custom templates for email marketing campaigns and e-newsletters leveraging web-based platforms.

Requirements in the print world
Expertise in Adobe Creative Suite 5.5, InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator; knowledge of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Powerpoint.

See the full details at Behance.

Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet

My brother-in-law and I are trying to raise funds for a great card game he developed for his and my sister’s wedding last October. Support us on Kickstarter!

Introducing… BodyShuffle!

For the past few months I’ve been working on a fun little photo editing app side project, and now I’m happy to announce that BodyShuffle! is available for download in the Apple App Store.

I worked on all the in app graphics and helped refined some of the user interaction flow. Development was provided by a third party service.

Check it out, it’s free until October 15th!

Chicago IRL #4 has gone to print!

After several long months of planning, Kickstarting, gathering submissions, designing, and proofing, the fourth issue of Chicago IRL has gone to print.