Doug Hahn



An Ars Poetica for

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 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.

You said...

  1. 1

    It was my pleasure Doug, you’ve helped me with everything from professional writing to being a great friend, it’s a the least I could do! Have fun with her, I look forwarding to great works of art:).

    Brady J. Frey

  2. 2

    Wonderful site! The Design really is amazingly simple and yet powerful enough to stand out! The only thing I don’t understand though is the ‘article number’, because it clearly should be 1 (instead of 98) for this page, as this is the prologue.


  3. 3

    That’s a good point Pascal – what I’m doing is actually calling the ID of the entry in wordpress automatically… more of a geek cred then value. You aren’t the only one whose brought it up, so I’ll make a Custom Field for Doug to update manually… numerical value to change in a few minutes…

    Brady J. Frey

  4. 4

    There you go, all fixed on the headers – I’ll be updating the individual pages shortly. Thanks for the positive feedback Pascal!

    Brady J. Frey

  5. 5

    Thanks for the feedback, Pascal. And oh — I see Brady fixed it before I could respond; looks great, Brady!

    Doug Hahn

Ideas to add?