Facebook SDK for iOS

I’d love to spend more time learning about the new SDK Facebook just released for iOS. Unfortunately I have no projects that require it and I’ve got too much in the pipeline as it is. Necessity is the mother of invention and I lack any.

So if I have any friends out there with free time would you poke around and report back? I’d suggest my sister who newly equipped with MacBook Pro has lots of poking around time. Except she refuses my every attempt to convince her to learn html…

Anyway new software.

Cleaner, Better, Faster, Stronger

It’s that time of year again for me. Website facelift. Usually every 9 months I get bored with my theme and go looking for something that feels a little more today. Then I take about 3 months to actually get it done.

I was interested in my previous theme for its “portfolio” qualities. However I’ve realized that isn’t the kind of website I want or need. I also don’t need a magazine style theme just a good old-fashioned blog theme. I chose this one for its clean and simple focus on the blog. Tumbler style themes were something I gave a good hard look, but in the end I thought that just wasn’t for me.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be updating my web site/portfolio page. I’ve got a lot of good stuff to add.

Weekend in Indianapolis

This past weekend I took a quick trip to Indianapolis with some friends to play in a Magic: the Gathering Tournament. I haven’t been out of Pittsburgh since the holidays so it was a nice break from my day-to-day.

Thoughts about Indy

I’ve only been there once before and then I didn’t venture too fare outside of the hotel/convention center area. This time our hotel was on the opposite side of downtown from the event space. So I got to walk downtown a lot, it was great. Someone once told me that they don’t feel they know a city until they can walk it. So true.

To me downtown Indianapolis felt like a mix of long New York blocks and squeaky clean D.C. There are tons of chain restaurants including my new favorite the Ram. A brew pub with fantastic burgers. I just wanted to camp out at this restaurant.

Coincidentally the Big 10 end of season tournament was happening in Indy the same weekend. It was funny to run into the basketball players and cheerleaders in our hotel. Usually I’m all over the sporting events of the moment but since we were playing magic the two interests are polar opposites. I don’t even know who won the basketball event. I could go on in great detail about the deck that won the grand prix I was playing in, but I’ll spare you those gory details.

New Music, Interesting conversations about beards and other randoms

What road trip is complete without discovering some new music. New to me is LCD Soundsystem and Toro y moi. I’ve been playing them back to back on Spotify.

The best part of the trip was hands down entertaining conversations; inventing crazy magic cards that would never actually get made, to beard growing philosophy, to philosophic thoughts on why it’s good not to objectify women in fantasy art. The group I traveled with is a very eclectic mix of white boys. Some Pittsburgh born and raised and others from outside the state we make up a good group that can make a six hour drive not take so long.

Didn’t Tweet Once

It’s true. I did upload some Instagram photos and Facebook. I guess I’m just sparing all my followers from magical times.

Bloomfield Sandwich Shop

Late last year I had the opportunity to redesign the menu for The Bloomfield Sandwich Shop. I love menu projects because I can take a lot of information and get really personal with the typography. This redesign was no different because I offered to do the project after Ros (or better known as Momma Ros) exclaimed that she couldn’t read the prices on the previous menu. My brother Carl claims that I took on the menu because I eat there all the time and wanted to look at a menu with proper (or my own) design. All are really true.

I’m really pleased with how it came out and I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from Ros and other employees. Despite what it looks like there is a lot of information and I was really worried that I would have to compromise my initial objective of making the prices clearly readable. Normally in a menu design I de-emphasize the price. We were also adding all the pancake information to this menu design. Fortunately I was able to start from scratch and Ros wasn’t attached to any of the old photos or design elements on the previous menu. The only restraints were the size and shape of the paper.

Design Process

When I started to organize the typography I wasn’t sure if I wanted to bring the character of the diner into the menu or keep them separate. As I worked through a few options I generally liked the clean san serf feel better that everything else. Initially I thought I would use a serif to help with the legibility of the prices. I think the design itself took on a diner feeling of it’s own. Adding the boxes around different features helped to pull it all together and keep it well organized.

The Woodstock inspired graphic was the very last element to come together and honesty didn’t come to me until I was designing the name. I didn’t know how much room I would have left for the name and I thought I would use a photo of the building or something. I was browsing online looking  for some inspiration and I think just came to me. I’m glad it worked out because I think that image is a great representation of the vibe in the diner and connects the modern menu design to the decor of the dining room.

So if you haven’t had a chance to visit the diner please go – best pancakes, waffles, french toast in Pittsburgh.