Ships, Scrawls And A Really Big Snail

Hey Internets! Here’s a roundup of the past four weeks in Ricky Trickartt’s Sunshine World. Clearly, the big event this month was the big snail. He’s so jazzy, I’ve decided to name him Cosby. Oh yeah. [Update, Nov. 2018: As I modify this post to fix some broken links, it seems now that using ‘Cosby’ in a positive light is no longer a very good idea at all]

The two biggest hits this month were the Pie Chart and Meats by Dr. Dre. The latter was an idea that has been rolling around my noggin since this fabled Apple acquisition arose in the news – my drawing turned out much better than I was expecting, and was immediately well received too. Wonderful.

The biggest disappointment, on the other hand, is Xscape The Lampshade. Every time I walk past a poster for Michael Jackson’s new album, I think it looks like he’s wearing an elizabethan collar (AKA lampshade), like a guilty dog, and that’s what this picture is about. Maybe my drawing was just so bad people thought it was Liza Minnelli, so they didn’t get the reference. It’s an easy mistake to make. I thought this would be a bit better digested than it was, but perhaps it’s just a quiet testament to how oddly my mind moves.

My personal favourite is the Science Boat this month. I loved the story in the news that Britain is ordering a new boat for science – particularly how it simply says SCIENCE on its flanks in big, bland, bold Helvetica in the renderings. It contrasts with the other recent news about Japan’s ‘science’ boats they’re using for whaling. Nasty business. Anyway, my drawing of the science boat seemed to somehow hit that sweet-spot of cuteness, and that makes me happy.

Don’t forget that if you want to follow along with my daily postings but aren’t into the whole Instagram thing, then I am also keeping up with putting them on Flickr (just like old times!) and Tumblr. Alright!

The loosely triennial redesign rings ever true


As noted before, every three years or so I get an itch to redesign my portfolio website. Almost like clockwork, I was hit with the itch at the beginning of the year, but this time it wasn’t the appearance of the site, nor so much the content of my portfolio, but the way the site worked that was bothering me.

It’s Buzzword Time

There’s a new principal in web design called responsive design. The idea is that instead of maintaining different versions of a website for different devices, the design of the site should respond to the size of the device by rearranging its content in a more user-friendly way.

To be kind to myself, the problem with my old site is it was a little bit ahead of its time. I had designed it to be responsive to different sized desktop computers, but simultaneously managed to make a terrible experience for any portrait-oriented devices.

I went the wrong way about trying to fix it too, by attempting to create a mobile version that I never even properly finished, let alone kept up-to-date. It wasn’t until I got an iPad that I realised how badly this worked – if you tried looking at my site in portrait, all you got was three quarters of a picture and nothing else usful. Oops!


So I did finally get around to fixing it, and it is now properly responsive, albeit in my own abstract way. Everything is the same site whatever device you’re using to browse my portfolio, and things collapse together elegantly like they should. I pretty much had to start from scratch to make it happen, but that was a gift in itself because I’ve also managed to make the site a lot more energy efficient in the process by slimming its codebase down by about 30% too.

Of course, starting from scratch did give me the opportunity to review my portfolio. As I mentioned above, I was happy with a lot of it, but I did take the time to add a few newer things too. The biggest update is to the SCED area – I’ve now broken it out into some of my favourite things from each annual season, including its latest Post-it iteration.

Like so much of my iterative design work, it’s small changes that few would notice, but I feel a whole lot better for having implemented them!

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