The interview was conducted by Nick Sherman at TypeLab on June 13, 2015. The website is part of Typographics TypeLab and is a demonstration of what can be done with web typography within 24 hours.
Remember: the future will come whether you design for it or not. If your company charges $300,000 for a website that won’t work on next week’s most popular device, your company won’t be able to stay competitive in this business. It might not even be able to stay in the business, period. After all, clients who pay for sites that break too soon will look elsewhere next time—leaving your company perpetually hunting for new clients in a downward spiral of narrowing margins and diminishing expectations.
Your company’s survival is tied to the ability of the products it makes to work in situations you haven’t imagined, and on devices that don’t yet exist. This has alwaysbeen the challenge of web design. It’s one A List Apart has taken seriously since we began publishing, and our archives are filled with advice and ideas you can boil down and present to your bosses.
Source: No Good Can Come of Bad Code
I’VE BEEN BUSY this month:
- Updated! Writing the Book on Web Design, Jeffrey Zeldman interview, Communication Arts Insights, March 24, 2015. “This is the beauty of a design career: you have the opportunity to create what you feel is missing from the world.”
- Zen and the Art of Wearable Markup, by Jeffrey Zeldman, The Pastry Box Project, March 21, 2015. Should my pants understand HTML? (My first Pastry Box piece!)
- You, Inc: Going from Developer to Web agency (interview with Jeffrey Zeldman), by Jeff Pflueger, Pantheon, March 20, 2015. Career tips.
- Interview: Jeffrey Zeldman, PSD To WordPress, March 20, 2015. Cartoons, music, and web design.
- Automan, The Dan Benjamin Show, March 19, 2015. Dan and I discuss the death of Internet Explorer.
- Designing the Web with Jeffrey Zeldman, The Web Ahead, March 18, 2015. Jen Simmons conducts a remarkable, in-depth interview on web design history, the state of web design and development, the future of our medium, and our masochistic love affair with Big Brother.
- Jeffrey Zeldman on What He Wants All Designers to Know, Founder Dating, March 4, 2015. I’m an entrepreneur, and you can, too!
- Jesus and the Uber Driver by Jeffrey Zeldman, Medium, March 3, 2015. The panic and the passion. (My first Medium piece!)
And March is only half over.
AN EVENT APART Chicago—a photo set on Flickr. Pictures of the city and the conference for people who make websites.
Notes from An Event Apart Chicago 2013—Luke Wroblewski’s note-taking is legendary. Here are his notes on seven of the ten presentations at this year’s An Event Apart Chicago.
#aeachi—conference comments on Twitter.
Chicago (Foursquare)—some of my favorite places in the city.
An Event Apart Chicago—sessions, schedule, and speaker bios for the conference that just ended.
AEA Chicago 2013 on Lanyrd—three days of design, code, and content on the social sharing platform for conferences.
A handful of seats are available for the final event of the year, An Event Apart San Francisco at the Palace Hotel, December 9–11, 2013. Be there or be square.
#ZEL01, MY FIRST CURATED gift for Quarterly subscribers, has dropped. It contains a book of classic Blue Note jazz LP record cover designs, a jazz LP record (each recipient gets a different one), a framed Mondrian print inspired by that artist’s first encounter with jazz, and a letter from me telling the story behind the gift box.
ZEL01 is all about constraints, a topic close to my heart. When I began designing websites, we had four fonts, one language (HTML), and 16 colors to play with. It wasn’t much … only enough to make magic.
The gifts in ZEL01 exemplify the magic of constraint, reflected through the lens of jazz: from Reid Miles’s two-font, one-spot-color album cover designs for Blue Note records—classics we still turn to for inspiration, more than 50 years after their release—to Piet Mondrian’s jazz- and street-grid-inspired “Broadway Boogie Woogie,” spun from right angles and primary colors.
Thanks to Nora Johnson and her staff at Quarterly for indulging my curatorial whims, and to you early subscribers for believing. I hope you like the package. Another gift comes soon.
There are still four weeks left to subscribe to ZEL02 and future gift packages.
“New office mascot: @zeldman rocking a bear costume” by Phillip Reyland. Photographed at A Space Apart, NYC.
Bear suit courtesy of Shopify. No animals were harmed. Happy Twenty-Thirteen, everybody.
THEY’RE SLEEPING in New York. They’re sleeping all over the world. Even here in Leiden, The Netherlands, they’re still mumbling and drooling in their beds. But not me. I’m awake and packing for my return home to NYC after three glorious days here in this ancient university town, where I was privileged to speak at the first Inspire conference. And all you got were these lousy photos.
- Holland 2012 Inspire – my Leiden and conference photos on Flickr
- Ready to Inspire – conference about web design, type and code
- Follow inspireconf on Twitter
- My Leiden – a Foursquare list
- City of Leiden homepage
- Leiden on Wikipedia
Related: Design Problem
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.