New Charge Tee, New Shop

Charge TeeWe’ve printed up a new version of the popular Charge Tee. This time around, it’s a rusted battery on a Navy Blue, 100% cotton shirt from American Apparel. It’s also the first item in our newly relaunched shop.simplebits.com.

The fine folks at AcmePrints have been printing SimpleBits tees for us for years, and they’re now handling the order fulfillment as well. This will allow us to concentrate on more important stuff, like offering more designs, rather than packing and shipping shirts (even though we enjoyed that).

The shop itself runs on the excellent bigcartel, a simple, hosted shopping cart for independent merchants. We love it, and Meagan was even singing its praises while doing the CSS customization, which all means good things.

Stay tuned for more of the original Charge Tees, and some other new designs as we grow the shop a bit more.

Handcrafted CSS: The Workshop

Now that we’ve announced the book, we can also announce another exciting thing: Handcrafted CSS: A Day of Markup & Style will be a unique, one-day workshop presented by Ethan Marcotte and myself on September 14, 2009 at the Hawthorne Hotel here in Salem, Massachusetts.

You’ll get a copy of the book (the Video Edition, including the DVD), and we’ll present the content live, throughout four takeway-packed sessions, followed by Q&A. Breakfast, lunch and two snack breaks are also provided. And we’ll cap off the day with an after party at an awesome location to be determined.

The Hawthorne Hotel is located in downtown Salem, just 16 miles north of Boston. It’s also just a 10-minute walk from the MBTA Commuter Rail station which connects Salem to Boston in about 25 minutes.

This will be a unique opportunity to buy a book, then have the authors work through it live, with a chance to ask questions along the way. It’s sure to be a fun day — and we’re pretty damned excited about it.

Early-bird and student tickets are now available at a discounted price of $399 per person. Act quick! There’s limited seating for 100 fine people like you.

Oh, and interested in sponsoring the event? We’d love to hear from you.

Announcing: Handcrafted CSS

I wrote another book. It’s called Handcrafted CSS: More Bulletproof Web Design, and it’ll be published by New Riders next month.

I had help this time. The unstoppable Ethan Marcotte contributed an absolute gem of a chapter on the fluid grid. And I think it’s worth the cover price for the pages he authored alone. You might remember Ethan’s recent article on the subject over at A List Apart, and his chapter builds quite a bit on that, while tying it back into the book’s case study. And fellow beverage aficionado and bon vivant, Brian Warren, handled the technical editing.

Handcrafted CSS websiteThe book is largely a culmination of the talks I’ve been giving around the world over the last year or so. In some ways, it’s a continuation of Bulletproof Web Design, in that it was convenient to be able to jump right into examples and the core of what I wanted to write about. There are a lot of CSS books out there, and the last thing I wanted to do was just write another general overview.

So this one gets specific rather quickly. And the timing seemed right. The browser landscape is changing rapidly. Browsers are implementing new and evolving standards faster. It’s an exciting time to be designing for the web. Firefox 3.5 has just been released, and with it came a goodie bag of CSS3 properties that can now be utilized between Mozilla and Webkit-based browsers (as well as Opera). I’m using the term “progressive enrichment” to describe advanced CSS and CSS3 properties that work in forward-thinking browsers today. And that’s a heavy focus of the book.

A single case study for the fictional “Tugboat Coffee Company” was used as a common thread throughout the entire book, where progressive enrichment, reevaluating past methods and best practices and flexible, bulletproof concepts are stressed. Part of being a craftsman of the web is paying attention to the details that matter most, and the book is an attempt to share a collection of those details using current methods.

In addition to the book, I also recorded a DVD. A video crew from Peachpit came and set up here at the BitCave in Salem, and the result is Handcrafted CSS: Bulletproof Essentials. It covers concepts from my previous book and the new one, while relating all of it to the Tugboat design. There was also a ukulele hanging around the office and I managed to put it to good use as a background score. The video acts as a unique bridge between the two books, and either comes bundled in a Video Edition of Handcrafted CSS or by itself.

More info can be found at the book + DVD’s companion website and Twitter account, where Ethan and I will be announcing another exciting aspect of this project in the next day or so. Stay tuned.

Web Standards Solutions, Special Edition

It’s been a long five years since it was orginally published, but last month month a new Web Standards Solutions, Special Edition was released by Friends of ED.
book coverLate last year, I gave the manuscript a little freshening up, mostly reviewing things in the crop of browsers that have been released since the initial version. I’ll stress that this was not a large overhaul of the book (hence Special Edition rather than Second Edition), so if you’ve already read the original, or own it, you’re better off spending your dime on another book.
But while it wasn’t a giant update, it was nice to give it some extra attention, and pass it through through tech editing, copy editing, compositing and proofreading cycles once again. In the end, I’m really happy it just made the book that much more solid for folks that haven’t read it—and hopefully still a good introduction for those getting started with semantic markup and CSS.
In other book news, I’ve been toiling away on something brand new, and look forward to sharing much more about that very soon.

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