Archive for the ‘design’ Category


New Design, New Location

October 19, 2007

Another new page design for the blog on the new site is now up. I expect to be moved to this blog full-time in a day or so. Prepare to update your bookmarks and RSS readers, both of you.

The new look is, uh, really brown. I don’t expect this one to last too long, but at least I’ve gotten this layered-letters look out of my system for a while. Opinions? You know I love them. Give them here.

See the new site here:

Notice, please, that it’s wordstudio.

Music: Andrew Bird, “A Woman’s Life and Love”


One Possible Look

October 17, 2007

Having recently changed hosts for, other things are on the move in its wake. For one thing, I’ll now be hosting The Gist on my own site, with my own (precious, precious) MySQL databases. This means I won’t be hindered by the restrictions of the (still magnificent) free hosting at This also means it’s time to redesign all the sites of the Wordstudio family. re:Paper just got a new look. I spent most of this afternoon cutting and lifting the face of this blog, too. Only, not here.

Check out the rough sketch of the new blog over at the future home of the new blog:

(Note: That’s wordstudio, not wordpress.) Don’t update your bookmarks yet, though, because I’m not settled on that look yet (I’m not sure, but I think I may actually hate it) and might go through a dozen more changes before I settle on something.

Opinions are mandatory. What do you think of the new look?

Music: She Wants Revenge, “First, Love”


The Red Damn Baron

October 16, 2007

You know me. Any one biplane is usually enough to get me in front of a movie. With Lena Headey and a hundred biplanes (plus triplanes, plus zeppelins), the forthcoming German film, The Red Baron, is now engaged to be married to my money. (It’d have to be pretty bad to keep me from buying the DVD. I own Flyboys.)

Oh, and that logo? Indecipherable, perhaps — my wife thought it said “The Hed Barm” — but I love it anyway. If you’re still on the fence (traitor), look at this glorious effects reel from the film and listen to yourself say “wow.”

Music: Clem Snide, “Evil Vs. Good”


re:Paper Anew

October 13, 2007

Whew. After a rush to get it done in time for the fall festivals, I’ve finished the redesign of Sara’s website for re:Paper. (That, you’ll recall, is her hackbooking and photography operation.) The new site has its very own URL (, a newly modified WordPress theme, Etsy widgets, and everything. For the little time I had to spend on it, I think it turned out all right. (Though I still have a lingering commenting problem to sort out.)


Two Pretty Movie Things

August 24, 2007

Two especially well designed things have come out of Hollywood and lodged behind my eyes like little glass splinters this week. The first is the trailer for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. The film looks absolutely gorgeous, from compositions to colors to textures. And I expect that I will not like the title of any other film this year as much as I like this one.

The second is the poster for the new film by Tony Gilroy (who wrote those Bourne movies I like so much). Like we did on the poster for Syriana, we see that the star power of George Clooney is so great, and his ego so easy-going, that you can blur and obscure his face and still be affected by him. If this were a book called The Truth Can Be Adjusted, I’d buy it:


Which Do You Like Better?

July 30, 2007

This makes almost no sense, because I can’t tell you what this is for, but I’m curious which of the following two designs you like better. Unfortunately, this is for a side project which I can’t yet announce, so I can’t share too many of the design goals here. These are competing for a position at the top of a website. Only one of them will actually be used, though it’s not too late for me to start a new design based on feedback. So tell me what each one makes you think, or feel, or want to cut with knives.

The final would have a bit of text set on top of it.


Thinking Ahead to Mage: The Awakening

July 29, 2007

How much game-related talk is right for this venue? On the one hand, I want very much to write in greater depth about the games I’m working on and playing. On the other hand, I don’t precisely want to alienate people who tune out when we get to talking about dice pools, player agency, and ludology versus dramaturgy. Where’s the balance?

Right now, in the minutes between other projects, I’m writing down little notes that will soon become the Mage: The Awakening chronicle I’ll run at the office. A lot goes into preparing one of these chronicles, for me, from the general narrative terrain the game will cover (themes, atmosphere, the sorts of action that’ll happen “on stage” and the sort that won’t) to all of the choices that will inform or drive gameplay (like the sorts of character types that’ll be welcome and what sort of important decision points will be open to the players). I’ll generate pages and pages of ugly, geeky notes on this stuff, and often it ends up amounting to maybe just a handful of play sessions before real-world scheduling problems drive a chronicle into the ground.

Tonight, for example, I keep coming back to this question: “How much should my Mage chronicle resemble Ghostbusters?”