Essays

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The nature of my work requires me to spend much time and effort learning new skills. Publishing technologies change quickly, and keeping up to date is an essential and intensive process. I also like to learn new esoteric subjects, because I have found apparently-unrelated knowledge invaluable in helping solve a tasks at hand.

During my research and experiments, I run across many interesting phenomena. I also encounter important abstract ideas that have a wider bearing on the field of publishing and communication, on what I do, and how I work with my own clients.

On occasion, I like to write essays to better clarify what I have learnt. These essays cover a wide variety of subjects – including typography, publishing technology, wider historical and social perspectives, and practical advice on how to be more productive. They are written purely for my own pleasure, and on no fixed schedule.

A few colleagues recommended that I start posting these essays online – so I’ve decided to follow their advice. Historical essays will also be posted when time and convenience allows. I hope that some of the below texts are useful, and I welcome any constructive feedback.

Masthead Graphic: A variety of metal type sorts for handset letterpress printing in a resorting tray.

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The Essays

Essays are posted here in reverse chronological order, with the newest essay listed first.

Graphic: A circled number ‘5’ metal sort set in 72 point Bauer Futura bold for handset letterpress printing in a tray of thin leads.

17 December 2012

HTML5 and the Future of the Web

The HTML5 specification has been declared feature-complete. This essay examines its origins, some of its new features, and its effects on the future of the internet.

Masthead Graphic: Close-up photograph of the Periodic Table of Elements, showing Ruthenium (44) through to Gold (79).

7 July 2014

On Originality in Design

Adobe’s element-based icon identity now well-entrenched. But it isn’t the first time that it’s been done. This essay examines the difficult subject of originality.