How many times in a career is a client going to
show up with a quote from William Blake and ask if you can build
a little site for his hand-printed books? Nothing in my repertoire
could do justice to Eric's passion, humor and craft, so we surfed
all his competitors' sites and went off in the opposite direction.
Way back, when the web began, we all designed
and coded like this, pixel by pixel, so I knew how to control
placement without adding layers of intimidating stylesheets. The
point was not that Eric become dependent on me to add new volumes
to his book list.
I particularly like the way the site feels like
an extension of Eric's work. A lithographer sweats over alignment,
as I did to keep that logo in the left corner from jumping as
you clicked through the pages. And, of course, the way we lifted
stray images from his prints to add depth as backgrounds.
Eric's from Iceland and his grandmother was a
noted Icelandic poet. His parents were dyed-in-the-wool San Francisco
Socialists of the 30s and his wife is a soc professor. Oh, this
man was born with stories. Then he compressed them into poems
and solo sketches in order to fit them into a union carpenter's
life of early hours and strenuous days. One he wrote about the
thrill of standing on the rafters of a new skyscraper at airplane
heights with the wind in his ears makes you teeter at ground level.
Dig around -- the site's much deeper than it looks.
He's not on the web to hammer at you to buy his
or his clients' books. I don't do hammering. (Should I break here
into a story of the summer my dad enlisted me to help nail floorboards
to the joists of a new home? I'm zipping along the fantasy living
room and when I jump off the foundation, thinking I am the coolest
girl in the world, my dad says, Annie, bend down and check your
work from the bottom. That's his style -- not to point out your
mistakes but to expect you to see them for yourself. Every one
of those stupid nails was bouncing sunlight back at me. He made
me rip them out. My whole afternoon. ) I don't do scrapping, I
don't do rubber-stamping, and I don't do the same website over
a hundred times in different colors. I just wanna have fun.