Beginning with a Thank You
There would be no way to launch this blog without a sincere thank you to the designer of this website, Brady J. Frey. As my supervisor, friend, and former co-conspirator he’s taught me much about the design industry through the years. Although I have a solid grasp on fundamental-to-intermediate CSS, this site is far too advanced for someone who’s only made a few sorties into design and typography. What you see here is the result of a master designer’s collaboration with a devotee of the printed word.
Months ago, when Brady was needling me about not having a website to curate, I began to send him links to some of the incredible small press book designs that I would aspire to make — were I a designer. This led to the beginning of what you see now: a home page that looks (and functions) like the table of contents from a book, the bold fonts and colors above the articles, the unique vertical sidebar, and the two-columned magazine feel. And of course there’s a mutual obsession with typography: as a hobbyist, I have The Elements of Typographic Style on the bookshelf, and keep The Elements of Typographic Style as Applied to the Web bookmarked as the seminal work on electronic type. As a designer, Brady knows these cover-to-cover (so to speak). This site uses the beautiful, open source font League Gothic.
So before I wax poetic, I’d like to say thanks to Brady, and I hope anyone reading this site appreciates the effort that was put into creating doughahn.net. It’ll be a pleasure to write prose that is as elegant as the design!
A Preface for a New Year
When I was in grad school, the blogging trend was detonating across the internet — I belonged to the camp that believed most bloggers egotistical at best and irascible at worst. But its been a few years since graduation, and with old friends scattered from coast to coast (and everywhere in-between), I’ve come to recognize the value of sharing industry information, documenting life changes, and (I say this with trepidation) having a little fun.
Since grad school I’ve been obsessed with the inter-disciplinary thinkers of the 19th century: Coleridge was attending Michael Faraday’s lectures at the Royal Institution; Wordsworth penned incisive thoughts on science and poetry in his introduction to Lyrical Ballads; the chemist Humphry Davy published some tidy blank verse as well as a strange, mystic work at the end of his life; and Herschel leveraged his background as a musician to scan (and memorize) the entire night sky like a single piece of sheet music. Right now I’m reading Erasmus Darwin’s The Botanic Garden.
In a way, then, the totality what I write here will be a practice in the “Romantic Essay” — a pastiche of anything I find interesting or exciting. There will be thoughts on literature, professional content writing and strategy, web design, the Chicago Cubs, and news from my life … beginning with the documentation of my move from Chicago to San Francisco, which will be an adventure in and of itself.