Welcome to’s May 2004 redesign, code-named “The Spring of our Hope.”

Look and feel

Our world is fractured by hatred and killing, but it is also blessed with love, compassion, and understanding. With this redesign—because it is Spring, because I adore my wife and we have a child on the way—I wanted to invoke the hope we carry in our hearts. Hence soft, springtime colors and gentle contrasts. Not to deny the horror, but to assert that love, beauty, and kindness are also real and are as important as they ever were.

Put into words, it sounds pretentious. And it might be. But I designed from my heart. My goal was to create a place where I felt safe and optimistic, and maybe you will, too. If this layout has a soundtrack, it is “God Only Knows,” by the Beach Boys. So.


One new structural idea is here: I’ve integrated A List Apart and Happy Cog into the sidebar rather than treating them as linked banners. The idea being that ALA, Happy Cog, and are three parts of a whole.

Other than that, there is barely any structure to speak of.

It is a matter of craft but no genius to organize web content that serves an organizational or business goal. But it is difficult if not impossible to properly organize diffuse personal content, because such content serves no particular purpose.

If is a periodical about web design, then where do “Lawrence Welk, Post-modernist” or “Pardon My Icons” fit into such a periodical’s narrative hierarchy or user-driven flow? They don’t fit anywhere, really. So I file them under “Classics.”

If I were my own client, and if was intended to sell or inform, I would delete everything but The Daily Report. Happily, remains messy and sprawling—like Los Angeles, or like life.


The logo and themeline are set in Clarendon; the navigational menu, in Franklin Gothic. Happy Cog uses the same two typefaces. See? Parts of a whole.


This site is authored in structural XHTML; its presentational layer is controlled with Cascading Style Sheets. Some CSS layout techniques used here I invented; some are inspired by the work of others. You are welcome to view source and adapt any ideas you like for your own projects, so long as you bring your own creativity to bear. Don’t just copy and paste; what fun is that?

Update 14 May 2004

Everything that didn’t work in IE5/Mac now does work in that browser.

See CSS banners “fixed” (14 May), which covers the CSS rollovers, and Bug Fix (12 May), which discusses a whitespace bug in IE5/Mac and the simple (non-hack) solution.

The insatiably curious may view source on this page to read the comments that used to appear here.

The little head in the footer

Zeldman cartoon icon illustration by Stuart Robertson.

Thanks, big boy

Thanks and praise to Dan Benjamin, who spent precious weekend hours helping me check the redesign across browsers and platforms.

3 May 2004 2 pm, New York City; updated 14 May 2004