Illustration of the designer by Marcus Tegtmeier

I’m Justin McDowell and I specialize in design & revolt.

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Bauhaus in the Browser at Empire Conference

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Starting my talk at Empire Conference 2017. © 2017 Robbie Holmes (@robbiethegeek)

I had the great pleasure of speaking at Empire Conference in New York City this year. And I don’t say that lightly. Empire Conference was one of the smoothest, chillest conferences I’ve ever attended, which is pretty good considering the cliches about the East Coast.

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Picky Style: Illustration Borders

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For images like photos and illustrations that are more-or-less formatted as a box (i.e. most editorial and illustrative graphics on the web), I feel like there should be just a small bit of processing. It’s a little something to give the elements a sense of intention in the layout. I think of it like when you graduate from hanging posters on your walls to framing actual pieces of art. One of the easiest ways to create this kind of intention is with a border or drop shadow. To me, images without borders look like chaperons at a teen dance, floating in and out of the main action, but always feeling a bit out of place.

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Passing Away In Pixels

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I got suspicious when Lauren’s chat bubbles turned green. She used an iPhone, so when we kept in touch over text, it was via iMessage, which uses blue chat bubbles. When one of those bubbles turns green, that means it was sent over SMS, old school. There are a number of reasons this could happen, but seeing those green bubbles, coupled with a complete lack of response, and a noticeable absence spanning several months, I got suspicious.

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