Category Archives: Acclaim

My Brother is a Monster

MY MOTHER played piano and cello. My father draws, paints, and sculpts; plays trumpet and guitar; and led an advanced R&D lab in the 1970s, developing robotics and rocket parts. You know what I do, but I also play keyboards and other instruments, studied music theory, and composed and produced music in my own studio before failing up into my present career. We Zeldmans go our own way, bring our own juice, and leave a trail of tears and gold. But my brother Pete Zeldman is the real talent in the family.

My brother Pete spontaneously composes and performs music of such rhythmic complexity that Edgard Varèse and Frank Zappa would be proud. Even with an advanced music degree, you’d have a tough time following the music analytically. But you don’t have to, because it grooves. That’s the crazy surprise of it. My brother plays 17 in the time of 16 in the time of 15 in the time of 14, with cross rhythms in simultaneous 3/4 and 7/8, and you could dance to it. Admittedly, you couldn’t pogo, but it doesn’t pretend to be punk. Musically it is probably the exact opposite of punk, but spiritually it is punk because it is pure affirmation.

My brother made two CDs before releasing his new video, Enigma, this week. I listen to these CDs a lot. Although I’ve watched my brother develop his unique rhythmic musical theories over the past 20 years, I don’t attempt to “follow” the music in any analytical fashion while listening. I just let it wash over me. So can you.

New art is rarely understood. New music is rarely what the people want. They threw tomatoes at Debussy and Stravinsky, and now their compositions are gentle backgrounds for dentist’s offices. White people laughed at rock and roll and their children danced to it. Those rockers laughed at hip hop and their kids dance to it. My brother’s music is like that. It is something new. It’s not going to be a movement because it takes a certain kind of twisted genius to conceive of and play it. But you might like it. And if you’re a drummer, you probably need to hear it.

I am proud of my brother and delighted to share his genius with you. Samples from his new video are available at pete-zeldman.com. His CDs are also available.

Insites: The Book Honors Web Design, Designers

“INSITES: THE BOOK is a beautiful, limited edition, 256-page book presented in a numbered, foil-blocked presentation box. This very special publication features no code snippets and no design tips; instead, 20 deeply personal conversations with the biggest names in the web community.

“Over the course of six months, we travelled the US and the UK to meet with Tina Roth Eisenberg, Jason Santa Maria, Cameron Moll, Ethan Marcotte, Alex Hunter, Brendan Dawes, Simon Collison, Dan Rubin, Andy McGloughlin, Kevin Rose and Daniel Burka, Josh Brewer, Ron Richards, Trent Walton, Ian Coyle, Mandy Brown, Sarah Parmenter, Jim Coudal, Jeffrey Zeldman, Tim Van Damme, and Jon Hicks.

“We delved into their personal journeys, big wins, and lessons learned, along with the kind of tales you’ll never hear on a conference stage. Each and every person we spoke to has an amazing story to tell — a story we can all relate to, because even the biggest successes have the smallest, most humble of beginnings.” — Insites: The Book


I am honored to be among those interviewed in this beautiful publication.


Insites: The Book is published by Viewport Industries in association with MailChimp.

Mike Monteiro’s “Design Is A Job” is finally available to buy or preview.

CO-FOUNDER of Mule Design and raconteur Mike Monteiro wants to help you do your job better. From contracts to selling design, from working with clients to working with each other, his brief book Design Is A Job is packed with knowledge you need to know. This is one of the most in-demand titles we at A Book Apart have yet published, and the long, long wait for its release (and yours) is finally over!

— Enjoy an exclusive Preview of Design Is A Job in Issue No. 348 of A List Apart, for people who make websites.

Buy Design Is A Job directly from the makers at A Book Apart.

Also of interest:

Post-Induction Party Pix by Annie Ray | SXSWi 2012

SXSW Interactive 2012, Hall of Fame, Post-Induction Party

I THREW A PARTY on the last night of SXSW Interactive 2012 to celebrate my induction in the Hall of Fame. Photos © Annie Ray, annieray.net. The entire photo gallery is available for your viewing pleasure at http://cog.gd/3m0.

Also at Flickr and on Facebook.

Pardon My Linkage

For more about this year’s SXSW Interactive, my induction in the Hall of Fame, and “Go Forth & Make Awesomeness,” my session with Leslie Jensen-Inman, see:

Behind The Music: The Jeffrey Zeldman Dolls

Jeffrey was looking for us to do a more tailored, short run of the doll we had initially designed of him-215 to be exact. They were to be given away as gifts at the Hall of Fame after party being held at South by Southwest (right about now is where you can hear our jaws drop to the floor).

Here was the opportunity to put handmade work into the hands of 215 web designers and industry gurus at one of the largest interactive design conferences in the world-South by Southwest. Are we interested? Hells, please! So, after hashing out the details and specifics we set into work on the very complicated and detailed project. Below are just a few of the pictures we took documenting the process…

Of Austin Fame and Marches | Dolls for Friends.

The Impossible Year | Jeffrey Zeldman with Mini-Zeldman Doll Polaroid…

The Impossible Year | Jeffrey Zeldman with Mini-Zeldman Doll Polaroid...

JOHN MORRISON:

Jeffrey Zeldman with Mini-Zeldman Doll

Polaroid SLR 680SE / Impossible PX-680 Color Shade

Jeffrey became the first person inducted into the SXSW Interactive Hall of Fame. Afterwards there was a party with mini-Zeldman dolls.

The Impossible Year | Jeffrey Zeldman with Mini-Zeldman Doll Polaroid…

A List Apart: a change is gonna come, I can feel it

TODAY, TWO invaluable contributors to A List Apart move on, and a new member joins our ranks:

Aaron Gustafson (@aarongustafson), author of Adaptive Web Design (the clearest, most beautiful explanation of progressive enhancement I’ve ever read) and nearly a dozen brilliant A List Apart articles, has been a technical editor at A List Apart for six exciting and formative years.

Daniel Mall (@danielmall) has written three great ALA articles and served as A List Apart technical editor almost as long as Aaron.

Both gentlemen have had a profound and lasting impact on the nature and quality of A List Apart’s content. With the publication of today’s ALA issue, both gentlemen move on.

Aaron is the founder of Web Standards Sherpa (“journeying towards best web practices”) and Easy Designs LLC; co-founder of Retreats 4 Geeks; and manager of The Web Standards Project.

Dan is a former interactive designer for Happy Cog’s Philadelphia studio, former design director at Big Spaceship in Brooklyn, co-founder of Typedia and swfIR, and singer/keyboard player for contemporary-Christian band Four24. I can’t tell you what he is doing next — he has sworn me to secrecy — but trust me, it will be awesome.

Over a long career marked by extraordinary collaborators, Aaron and Dan are two of the smartest, and most talented people I’ve had the pleasure to work with. They are also friends. This isn’t goodbye, fellas.

JOINING US today as technical editor is Mat Marquis (@wilto). He marks his entrance into A List Apart’s world via this morning’s stunning article, Responsive Images: How They Almost Worked and What We Need.

Mat is a designer-slash-developer working at Filament Group in Boston. Mat is a member of the jQuery Mobile team, an active member of the open source community, and enjoys a complicated relationship with the now-defunct HTML5 “dialog” tag.

Welcome, Wilto!

SXSW love me long time

SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST Interactive (“SXSWi” or simply “South by” to its friends) has somewhat brazenly announced that I will be the first inductee in its new Hall of Fame. The induction will take place during the 2012 Interactive Awards presentation in March of next year. There will be flowers and virgins. Well, flowers.

SXSW Interactive features five days of compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology. Founded in 1995—the same year I started this website—the Austin, TX-based interactive festival attracts tens of thousands annually.

I hope this announcement will not negatively affect attendance.

A Design Apart: Q&A with Jeffrey Zeldman | On Redesigns and the Inseparable Link Between Design and Content

REDESIGNS REQUIRE STRATEGY, otherwise they are merely reskinning. We don’t do reskinning. We do strategic redesigns that help the people who use your website achieve their goals. Strategic redesign starts with research. The notion that a design is ‘dull’ and needs to be ‘freshened up’ by a ‘burst of creative inspiration’ reveals a lack of understanding of, and disrespect for, design.

via A Design Apart: Q&A with Jeffrey Zeldman | Sparksheet.