Jeffrey Zeldman Presents The Daily Report

The return of Essentials

We’ve carved a few minutes out of our schedule to resurrect this site’s Essentials page. While nothing here is truly essential to anyone, some posts are more valuable than others. The Essentials page provides basic yet effective access to entries a few readers may value.

The beauty of periodicals like The Daily Report is that they are continually fresh. The downside is that they are ephemeral. A week after reading something you found interesting, you might not be able to easily or immediately locate it again.

Search helps, but goes only so far, as many entries share common keywords. (Try searching on CSS, design, or accessibility, for instance.)

The “Previous Reports” button at the bottom of every page lets you drive backwards through previous entries, but it is hardly a shortcut to a particular item from weeks past that you forgot to bookmark.

Hence, the Essentials page.

You access it by following a contextual link at the bottom of The Daily Report. There is no nav bar button for it because one more nav button would be one too many, and clutter does not promote clarity. (Similarly, on A List Apart, there is no nav bar link to the Authors directory. You get to it by clicking any author’s name.) Some links demand to live in primary navigation; others make more sense in secondary navigation; still others work best as contextual links. Or so we currently believe.

Found photo, probably 1950s, model unknown, photographer unknown.

The title treatment continues the theme established by the December 2003 redesign but uses one of the first images we ever put online. It is taken from a found photo we purchased in 1990 at New York’s 26th Street Flea Market. The model, photographer, and date are unknown. (Other photos used in the December 2003 redesign are from Veer and iStockphoto.)

Soon we hope to have put together a page for remaindered sidebar links (currently available under the header, “For Your Pleasure”). A modest handful of links will continue to appear in the sidebar; the rest will be archived on a page that, like Essentials, is accessed via a discreet contextual link.

Bit of Nostalgia for the Old Folks

NOTE: We have not re-read these two pages. If we did, we would probably disagree with some of the things they say. Undoubtedly at least one angry blogger will ignore the preceding disclaimer, link to one of these old pages, and launch a dour tirade against some outdated, minor, half-facetious point made therein. Bon apetit.

Highlights from recent Daily Reports

Don’t design on spec
No matter how juicy the potential project, it is never a good idea to produce designs on spec.
Design: Chip Kidd
A mid-career retrospective on the excellent and influential graphic designer.
Creativity: Alfred Hitchcock
Best Hitch bio ever.

There is more

More highlights may be found in our Essentials Department.