Jason Santa Maria: All Feeds https://v4.jasonsantamaria.com/ en Copyright 2011 Tue, 07 Jun 2011 13:12:26 GMT Responsive Web Design http://mint.jasonsantamaria.com/feeder/?FeederAction=clicked&feed=All+Feeds&seed=http%3A%2F%2Fv4.jasonsantamaria.com%2Farticles%2Fresponsive-web-design%2F&seed_title=Responsive+Web+Design https://v4.jasonsantamaria.com/articles/responsive-web-design/ Responsive Web Design, by Ethan Marcotte. From A Book Apart

This book could very well change the way you make and think about creating websites.

We’ve covered some of the most important topics facing web design right now, like HTML5, CSS3, and Content Strategy. Now Ethan Marcotte ties things together with his book, Responsive Web Design, presenting methods to deliver the same quality design to visitors, no matter how big their screen is.

At once, pleasantly self-deprecating, and seriously humorous, Ethan takes you by the hand and walks you through how to make this happen. You could seriously read this book and turn around to make your site responsive in an evening.

Ethan tackles the big stuff: CSS techniques and design principles, including fluid grids, flexible images, and media queries. And he does it with a grace that’s empowering. It will take some of that grace after reading it to not turn your nose up at your coworkers who are still doing it wrong.

This book continues on our mission of brightening up your bookshelf, sporting a handsome sunny cover. Plus, the ePub edition has lots of videos instead of boring old pictures, though the videos are still only supported in iBooks for iOS.

The A Book Apart Library so far.

Coming Soon

We have some great titles coming up throughout the rest of this year, including: Designing for Emotion by Aarron Walter, Mobile First by Luke Wroblewski, and On Web Typography by yours truly. For now, dig into Responsive Web Design today!

Books, Design, Press, Web, Photo, Titling Gothic, White, Yellow Tue, 07 Jun 2011 13:12 GMT
The Elements of Content Strategy http://mint.jasonsantamaria.com/feeder/?FeederAction=clicked&feed=All+Feeds&seed=http%3A%2F%2Fv4.jasonsantamaria.com%2Farticles%2Fthe-elements-of-content-strategy%2F&seed_title=The+Elements+of+Content+Strategy https://v4.jasonsantamaria.com/articles/the-elements-of-content-strategy/ The Elements of Content Strategy, by Erin Kissane. From A Book Apart

If you think your site’s content doesn’t matter, then you are sorely mistaken.

Granted, the argument for content strategy has always mystified me. Not because I think we can do without content strategy, we can’t, but I’m amazed that we still have to make the argument.

Folks care very much about appearances; what their websites look like means the world to them. But why don’t they care just as much about what their sites are saying? So many websites feel like dumping grounds for every last scrap of possible content, with little regard that we’re actually proposing someone should read what’s being said, let alone care about it. Like a gentleman in a finely crafted suit who wants to burp you the alphabet, even if your website looks nice, no one will stick around to hear what you have to say if you don’t craft something compelling.

We still have to make the argument for content strategy, now more than ever. Erin Kissane is not just the perfect person to tell us how, she’s still in the trenches doing it everyday, but now she’s written a treatise on just how it gets done, The Elements of Content Strategy. And I imagine Erin’s book will sit faithfully in service on my desk for a long time to come, heavily thumbed, dog-eared, and loved.

Erin has long been one of my favorite writers, I love her voice, humor, and her style; all at once snarky and supportive. I often find myself laughing while reading, only to realize when I’m done that she’s made me rethink what I thought I knew so well, and whoa I just learned something to boot.

Plain and simple, this book gives you the ammo to make the argument, and you’ll be smarter for it by the end, regardless what discipline you identify with. This may be one of the most potent brief books you’ll read. And it may also make you better looking, but hell, I think you look great just the way you are.

On Deck

As our library grows, so does our family. Each book adds to the collective resource we’re building. And each book will strive to bring new ideas and insight to what we do everyday.

That stack above is, well, actually a stack now and not just a couple books, but will be growing a bit more this year. Some upcoming books for 2011 include, Responsive Web Design by Ethan Marcotte, Designing for Emotion by Aarron Walter, Mobile First by Luke Wroblewski, and even a book on web typography by yours truly that’s slowly starting to take shape. For now, do yourself a favor and grab The Elements of Content Strategy.

Books, Design, Press, Web, Blue, Photo, Titling Gothic, White Tue, 08 Mar 2011 13:08 GMT
Gold Medal http://mint.jasonsantamaria.com/feeder/?FeederAction=clicked&feed=All+Feeds&seed=http%3A%2F%2Fv4.jasonsantamaria.com%2Fdailyphoto%2Fgold-medal%2F&seed_title=Gold+Medal https://v4.jasonsantamaria.com/dailyphoto/gold-medal/

Tue, 07 Dec 2010 17:16 GMT
Keystone http://mint.jasonsantamaria.com/feeder/?FeederAction=clicked&feed=All+Feeds&seed=http%3A%2F%2Fv4.jasonsantamaria.com%2Fdailyphoto%2Fkeystone%2F&seed_title=Keystone https://v4.jasonsantamaria.com/dailyphoto/keystone/

Wed, 17 Nov 2010 17:02 GMT
CSS3 for Web Designers http://mint.jasonsantamaria.com/feeder/?FeederAction=clicked&feed=All+Feeds&seed=http%3A%2F%2Fv4.jasonsantamaria.com%2Farticles%2Fcss3-for-web-designers%2F&seed_title=CSS3+for+Web+Designers https://v4.jasonsantamaria.com/articles/css3-for-web-designers/ CSS3 for Web Designers, by Dan Cederholm. From A Book Apart

We’re back at it with a brand new A Book Apart from web design mastermind, Dan Cederholm: CSS3 for Web Designers.

What’s more, no waiting for pre-orders this time around, you can grab the book right now, in both paperback or ebook formats. The books are just finishing up at the printer and should ship out on Monday, the ebooks are available this very moment.

What’s it about?

CSS3 opens up many possibilities we’ve had to bend over backwards to achieve in the past. Have you been waiting to get your feet wet with CSS3? Or trying to figure out what you can use right now? This is precisely what Dan’s book is about:

From advanced selectors to generated content to the triumphant return of web fonts, and from gradients, shadows, and rounded corners to full-blown animations, CSS3 is a universe of creative possibilities. No one can better guide you through these galaxies than world-renowned designer, author, and CSS superstar Dan Cederholm. Learn what works, how it works, and how to work around browsers where it doesn’t work.

It’s a stunning and insightful read. Just like Jeremy’s book on HTML5, Dan gives us a brief view on where CSS3 is right now, shows us how to get a jump on the latest techniques, and real world contingencies for everything else.

Plus, if you get the ebook editions, you are also treated to videos for some of the examples (the videos are only supported in iBooks, other e-readers get images).

The design of the book is largely unchanged from the first time around, and I love that so much. We’re still completely enamored with Xavier Dupré’s typefaces Yoga and Yoga Sans; they’ve proven quite sturdy in practice. Over time, these books will fill out a library of complementary titles, and look quite dashing when placed together on a bookshelf.

What’s next?

Upcoming books include The Elements of Content Strategy by Erin Kissane in January, Responsive Web Design by Ethan Marcotte next spring, as well as books from Aarron Walter and Luke Wroblewski. And I’m slated to write a book about web typography for next year.

For now, do yourself a favor and check out Dan’s book, CSS3 for Web Designers. You can read an excerpt from the book in today’s issue of A List Apart, and if you haven’t picked up Jeremy’s HTML5 book, you can get both books together at a discount! Wowee!

Books, Design, Press, Web, Green, Photo, Titling Gothic, White Tue, 16 Nov 2010 12:27 GMT
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Wed, 10 Nov 2010 16:24 GMT
Shock http://mint.jasonsantamaria.com/feeder/?FeederAction=clicked&feed=All+Feeds&seed=http%3A%2F%2Fv4.jasonsantamaria.com%2Fdailyphoto%2Fshock%2F&seed_title=Shock https://v4.jasonsantamaria.com/dailyphoto/shock/

Mon, 08 Nov 2010 17:33 GMT
Crease http://mint.jasonsantamaria.com/feeder/?FeederAction=clicked&feed=All+Feeds&seed=http%3A%2F%2Fv4.jasonsantamaria.com%2Fdailyphoto%2Fcrease%2F&seed_title=Crease https://v4.jasonsantamaria.com/dailyphoto/crease/

Thu, 04 Nov 2010 15:20 GMT
Shit Show http://mint.jasonsantamaria.com/feeder/?FeederAction=clicked&feed=All+Feeds&seed=http%3A%2F%2Fv4.jasonsantamaria.com%2Fdailyphoto%2Fshit-show%2F&seed_title=Shit+Show https://v4.jasonsantamaria.com/dailyphoto/shit-show/

Why is this design so impenetrable? Shameful.

Tue, 02 Nov 2010 15:45 GMT
The Candy Parenthesis http://mint.jasonsantamaria.com/feeder/?FeederAction=clicked&feed=All+Feeds&seed=http%3A%2F%2Fv4.jasonsantamaria.com%2Farticles%2Fthe-candy-parenthesis%2F&seed_title=The+Candy+Parenthesis https://v4.jasonsantamaria.com/articles/the-candy-parenthesis/ by Robin Sloan

I don’t like candy.

Sure, I had my Halloween hoard like any kid, and I’ve snagged a Snickers in line at the supermarket plenty of times. But really, I don’t like this stuff. It brings me no joy—and in fact, I think it symbolizes a lot of the problems with our food system today. Luckily, I think candy is a historical accident, not a food group. And I think its days are numbered.

Here’s an analogy. In media, there’s an idea called the Gutenberg Parenthesis. The argument is that the age of books has been an exceptional episode in human history. Before Gutenberg, there was this huge oral tradition stretching back millennia; today, with TV and the internet, a new kind of oral tradition stretches out before us. The point is: something that seems as basic and old-fashioned as a book might in fact be a strange and fleeting exception.

I think candy is a strange and fleeting exception.

When I say “candy” I don’t just mean “sweet stuff.” Sweet stuff means macaroons, sweet stuff means laddu, sweet stuff means—oh yes—it means Honeycrisp. When I say “candy” I’m talking about modern candy, Halloween candy, candy in cardboard boxes and rainbow wrappers. I’m talking about sweet stuff that was made months ago and miles away.

It would be one thing if modern candy really was the nectar of the gods. Then you might justify it; you might say, well, yes, this is a strange substance, made from strange ingredients in a strange far-off factory, but wow, it’s worth it.

But ew, I just don’t think that’s the case. Think about the dry, dusty moonscape of the Three Musketeers; the plasticene turd of the Tootsie Roll; the terror of the Milk Dud. Yes, think hard about the Milk Dud. Think about that viscous synthetic choco-glue adhering to your back-most molars.

The trick is on us: none of this is actually any good.

Over time, our food system is going to get smart again—well, either that or we’ll go extinct, and I’m an optimist; I’m betting on mankind, not Milk Duds. So here’s what’s going to happen: we’ll get wise, and the candy-industrial complex will go away. We’ll leave the boxes and wrappers behind and forget we ever knew words like “Necco wafer” and “Shock Tart.” And then—not a moment too soon—the close of the Candy Parenthesis will have come.

Here—have an apple.


Candygrams are odes to candy by guest authors during the month of October.

Robin Sloan

Robin Sloan is a writer and media inventor in San Francisco. He also works on media partnerships at Twitter.

Candygram, Guest, Random, Black, Chaparral, White, Yellow Fri, 29 Oct 2010 16:52 GMT
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Thu, 28 Oct 2010 15:08 GMT
All For Me http://mint.jasonsantamaria.com/feeder/?FeederAction=clicked&feed=All+Feeds&seed=http%3A%2F%2Fv4.jasonsantamaria.com%2Farticles%2Fall-for-me%2F&seed_title=All+For+Me https://v4.jasonsantamaria.com/articles/all-for-me/

When I was five, my grandfather kept a stash of 3 Musketeers bars on top of his fridge. Not just a handful, but an actual display box like the ones in the check-out aisle at the grocery. He bought them because they were my favorites; they lived on the fridge because they were contraband. I wasn’t supposed to have sugar. Honey and blackstrap molasses from a co-op grocery that smelled like carob-flavored mummy, sure, but not the refined stuff then subject to a hippie-driven moral panic. My other grandparents also sneaked around my parents’ sugar blockade, but Papa’s contravention was by the far the most extravagant: a store box! And all for me.

Once I gained a degree of autonomy, my parents’ plan seemed to backfire. I bought head-sized Hershey bars, rainbows of gummy worms, crackly plastic bags of truck-stop caramels. I lacquered candy to make earrings in junior high and discovered in college how quickly new friends appear when you carry an open box of Ring-Pops through a roomful of people in raver pants.

Turns out it was all more Rumspringa than conversion. The year I left college, my teeth got sugar-sensitive, so I stopped eating candy to focus on my caffeine addiction. Along the way, I lost the taste for anything sweeter than the occasional slice of cake. A few months ago, though, ravenous and lured by the flicker of after-hours vending machine light, I had my first 3 Musketeers bar in years, and it was awful: cloying and waxy and stale. But that sound—the sound of teeth slicing through marshmallowy aerated nougat—knocked me right back to Papa’s kitchen and the moment I discovered that subversion tastes really, really good.


Candygrams are odes to candy by guest authors during the month of October.

Erin Kissane

Erin makes coffee, books, and content strategy in New York and Portland. She blogs in sloth-time at Incisive.nu.

Candygram, Guest, Random, Brown, Photo, Swingdancer Tue, 26 Oct 2010 16:05 GMT
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Tue, 26 Oct 2010 15:01 GMT
Sugar/Smack http://mint.jasonsantamaria.com/feeder/?FeederAction=clicked&feed=All+Feeds&seed=http%3A%2F%2Fv4.jasonsantamaria.com%2Farticles%2Fsugar-smack%2F&seed_title=Sugar%2FSmack https://v4.jasonsantamaria.com/articles/sugar-smack/

In the last few years, research has suggested that addiction involves many of the same brain pathways that govern learning and memory.

Harvard Mental Health Newsletter, July 2004

I’m one of those people who really doesn’t have many childhood memories to speak of. The years just blur together, bound by images, places, feelings. But the memories I do have—the clear ones—are about candy.

Four years old, birthday party. We played this game where you tie a Life Saver on the end of a string, put the other end in your mouth, and then chew the string upwards until you finally got to the Life Saver. Mine was cherry. I won. I wanted to play again. And again. And again.

Five years old, Air Force base housing. One day I stood and watched some uniformed worker fill up the vending machine in the concrete basement of our building. I put on my best “I am but a poor, neglected child” face, and it worked: he reluctantly handed me a bag of M&Ms. I grabbed it and took off running, then ate the entire bag while crouched behind a dumpster.

Six years old, family vacation. We stayed in a cabin on Gull Lake in Brainerd, Minnesota. Every day I got a quarter for candy at the resort store, and every day I bought the same thing: Sixlets. I’d bite off the end of the wrapper, then squeeze three or four of the candy-coated chocolate balls right into my mouth. Apparently, I also fished and tried water skiing for the first time. Or so I’m told.

Seven years old, living in Edmond, Oklahoma. My grandparents were coming to visit, and I knew three things: my grandfather liked candy, my mother had bought some, and she’d hidden it from me. Of course, I looked until I found it: black licorice jelly beans, neatly emptied into a green glass bowl. I hid a handful in my pocket and ate them while locked in the bathroom. Shortly thereafter, it occurred to me that perhaps they weren’t actual jelly beans, but something medicinal for my grandfather. Otherwise, why would my mother hide them so far back in the very top cupboard? I broke down and ran to my parents, certain I’d inadvertently poisoned myself. I hadn’t. They were just jelly beans.

You know, when someone talks about their “drug of choice,” I can’t relate to the “choice” part. Some things you’re just born with.


Candygrams are odes to candy by guest authors during the month of October.

Kristina Halvorson

Kristina Halvorson owns Brain Traffic and wrote Content Strategy for the Web. Are you going to eat that last piece of candy?

Candygram, Guest, Random, Blue, Grey, Photo, Proxima Nova, Red Fri, 22 Oct 2010 15:49 GMT
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Thu, 21 Oct 2010 15:34 GMT
Pixy Stix http://mint.jasonsantamaria.com/feeder/?FeederAction=clicked&feed=All+Feeds&seed=http%3A%2F%2Fv4.jasonsantamaria.com%2Farticles%2Fpixy-stix%2F&seed_title=Pixy+Stix https://v4.jasonsantamaria.com/articles/pixy-stix/

Our house edged a woods. We said the lady who lived there was a witch.

A path cut through the woods, from our dead-end suburban circle to a main street on which stood Anastasia’s, a 5&10 that sold Spider-man comics and Pixy Stix. We’re not talking Fruit Roll-ups. This was pure dyed sugar in a straw. You lay on the ground, bit open the bottom of the straw, and red or purple or green sugar poured into your mouth. When the straw was empty, you’d suck the wet paper end for the extras.

My few chores earned me 25 cents a week allowance. My brother, three years younger, also got 25 cents a week, because everything had to be equal. (My mother, doling out the spaghetti and meatballs: “Each two meatballs.”)

Every week my brother blew his 25 cents on candy for the whole neighborhood. A half-dozen friends accompanied him down the path through the woods, past the witch’s house, to Anastasia’s. Ten minutes later, they’d be back, finishing the last of my brother’s candy.

Most weeks I saved my 25 cents. My mother had instilled thrift; my father had not yet instilled earning.

I saved up, week after week, then splurged on Spider-man comics, Pixy Stix, and gifts for girls. I bought my mother a Yellow Pages dress—a paper mini-dress created from recycled Yellow Pages. It was a horrible thing but girls wore it on TV and I thought it would make my mom happy. I bought Leslie Lombardo a pen. I had worshipped Leslie for two years. She had dark hair, dark eyes, soft down on her arms. Christmas was coming, and while I was afraid to talk to Leslie, I thought a gift might show her how I felt.

I bought the nicest Bic pen Anastasia’s sold. Put it in an envelope with her name on it and a drawing from me and slipped it into her desk. She never said a word to me about it. A few weeks later, Leslie’s friend confronted me. Leslie’s friend was a big boyish girl, who always smelled vaguely of urine, and who had humiliated me for all time by shoving me into a basketball net in the school gym. She told me, within earshot of Leslie, that Leslie had gotten my pen, and that Leslie hated me.

Never lacking for a quick comeback, I replied, “Oh, yeah? Well, I only got Leslie a gift to show her that I don’t like her.”

Later, alone in the janitor’s closet, I may have cried.

After that, I stuck with Pixy Stix. They all tasted the same, but red was my favorite.


Candygrams are odes to candy by guest authors during the month of October.

Jeffrey Zeldman

Zeldman creates websites, magazines, podcasts, and web design conferences, and writes and publishes books.

Candygram, Guest, Random, Good Dog, Green, Photo, Purple, Red, White Tue, 19 Oct 2010 22:17 GMT
Cauldron http://mint.jasonsantamaria.com/feeder/?FeederAction=clicked&feed=All+Feeds&seed=http%3A%2F%2Fv4.jasonsantamaria.com%2Fdailyphoto%2Fcauldron%2F&seed_title=Cauldron https://v4.jasonsantamaria.com/dailyphoto/cauldron/

Thu, 14 Oct 2010 16:17 GMT
Love Sick http://mint.jasonsantamaria.com/feeder/?FeederAction=clicked&feed=All+Feeds&seed=http%3A%2F%2Fv4.jasonsantamaria.com%2Farticles%2Flove-sick%2F&seed_title=Love+Sick https://v4.jasonsantamaria.com/articles/love-sick/ Love Sick

I dreamt of you again last night…

I can’t remember the specifics; maybe it was the one where Gene Wilder hands me a pool skimmer to gather rogue gummy bears from that chocolate river of his. Or maybe it was the one where I’m Alex in Flash Dancer, and when I pull the chain, I’m drenched by the powder of a thousand Pixie Stix. Whatever it was, I know it must have been good: I woke up in a puddle of drool and immediately reached for the bag of Skittles on my nightstand. Alas, it was empty.

The man in the white coat breaks the news: I’ll need another three fillings and a root canal. “Moderation,” he says. “I’m trying,” I protest. He must not know the tangy numbness of tongue and invincibility of spirit only achieved by ingesting a two-pound bag of Smarties in a single sitting. I’m sure he’s never swooshed a concoction of Coca-Cola and Circus Peanuts in his mouth until he became convinced he could break through walls with the charisma of the Kool-aid man. I have.

Our highs are incredible. Why must our lows be so inevitable, so intense? Five minutes in the mouth equals thirty swinging from the rafters; then SLAM against the wall; CRASH through the floorboards and THUD, THUD, THUD, fifty feet down. Shivering, I can barely make out a tiny light overhead. I sense I could reach it, but only if I fashion a ladder from these Twizzlers you’ve left for me.

Hard, fluffy, creamy, gummy, coated in a layer of dirt from the floor: I too willingly accept you in all your forms. I’m still traumatized by the Chocolate Room Fiasco of ’07, as are the small children I pushed over on my way to you. And lest we forget the Flinstone Vitamin debacle. Knocking back a whole bottle of tiny cartoon characters is all fun and games until it ends in Ipecac-induced vomiting. Self control? Never my strong suit. Pride? That went the way of my oral health.

Painful as it is, we both knew this day would come. The world of adulthood and vegetables has found me and taken me to a place you don’t belong. I must say adieu mon amour. Remember me fondly, Halloween and art school all-nighters. You’ll understand if I try not to remember you at all. Those thoughts will only take me back to the banks where Oompa Loompas romp, and from there, it’s a dangerously quick trip to my neighborhood bodega where a mere fifty cents buys my one-way ticket to back to you.

Illustration by Jessi Arrington


Candygrams are odes to candy by guest authors during the month of October.

Jessi Arrington

When not designing her heart out at WORKSHOP, Jessi documents her love of rainbows, flea markets and life at luckysoandso.com.

Candygram, Guest, Random, Brown, FF Speak, Illustration, Skolar, White Wed, 13 Oct 2010 19:28 GMT
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Wed, 13 Oct 2010 16:04 GMT
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Tue, 12 Oct 2010 16:15 GMT