Be Good Not Bad by Brian Warren

Recent pages from the journal

20 February 2013

Journaling & Tinkering

Last summer, after reading Manton’s post about journals, I decided to start journaling. It’s been a very healthy practice for me, and often when I have something memorable, I’ll jot it down for my journal, rather than let it drift away.

It’s helped me discover a few things about myself and where life has taken me over the past few months. Here’s an excerpt from a recent entry.

I’m worried a little bit that I’ve given myself over to the idea that I’m too busy to try new things. I remember in the past that when I worked more hours, and despite having kids, I would find time to write more, do more, tinker more.

Add to that, this older post from Daniel Jalkut where he reminds us as well as himself that even though our gut reaction when it comes to new stuff is to say no, what we need to do is find ways to say yes to the things that move us in the direction we want to go.

So I’m working on a few new things, and I’m excited to show more soon. Oh and we have a baby boy due next month, so I’m sure I’ll have something to talk about.

18 June 2012

Another Favorite: Six Point Brewery

Sixpoint Brewery

I remember the first time I had a good beer from a can. It was 2004, and I went by myself to a David Bazan show at the Bluebird in Denver, Colorado. For just $2.50 you could get a can of Old Chubb from Oskar Blues Brewing Company. I slowly sipped the Old Chubb, quitely listening to Bazan’s lyrics meander around the room. That started a still-to-this-day love affair with everything Oskar Blues had to offer.

Oskar Blues went on to evangelize good beer in cans to breweries across the nation. When I visited the brewery several years ago, I met Dale (of Dale’s Pale Ale), and he handed me an Old Chubb, straight off the canning line (it didn’t even have the lid yet). At the time, another brewery from Hawaii was there, getting tips on how to run a canning line of their own. A couple years later, New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins started canning their Fat Tire, having consulted with Oskar Blues along the way. These days, it’s easy to find plenty of craft beer sold in cans, and breweries who do it are enjoying the benefits of cheaper shipping, longer shelf life, and more delicious beer as a result.

Sixpoint brewery from Brooklyn, NY, is just such a brewery. These guys make an absolutely amazing product, and they ship it in some of the finest looking cans I’ve seen to date. Their design aesthetic is spot on for the type of beer they are making. On top of that, they don’t put their cans in plastic rings, they ship them in boxes with more opportunity to showcase their excellent aesthetic.

Sixpoint’s attention to detail both in the fine quality of the beer and the remarkable design work they’re doing has secured these guys as one of my top favorite breweries.

For example, check out the short film Sixpoint made for Resin, their impeccably well-balanced double IPA. Watch out, it might make you thirsty.

Want to learn more about Sixpoint? Head over to their website and take a gander. Of course, to truly appreciate this brewery, I have to recommend finding a can of Resin, or any one of their other interesting and delicious offerings, such as Diesel, Sweet Action, or Bengali Tiger. Let me know if you do.

9 March 2012


Somewhere over the midwest (I think)

From my recent Basecamp post to the Happy Cog team:

Wow, this is harder to write than I thought it would be.

By now many of you know that this June, I’ll be packing up the family moving to Seattle, Washington. This was not an easy decision for us to make as a family. After all, I love my job at Happy Cog. It’s been the most fun, challenging, and exciting job I’ve ever had. But our kids are growing, and we’d love for them to do that near some of their extended family. Neither they, nor their grandparents, are getting any younger, so now is the time.

Seattle’s a lovely city, and with the abundance of family we have there, it’s a good fit for us. I’ll be working with the small, extremely bright team at Onehub, in the role of Lead Designer, right in the heart of Pioneer Square in Seattle.

I’m not leaving today, I’m still around for three months, so I look forward to many happy hours, and there’s lots of good work to do before June.

What followed was one of the most heartwarming Basecamp comment threads filled with animated GIFs I’ve ever read. I actually got choked up.

This next chapter of life is about to happen. It’s bittersweet, exciting, and a bit terrifying. I’ll miss Philadelphia. Its people, food, and personality won me over in spades. Now I’m looking forward to making my mark on Seattle, too.

This will be crazy and fun. It always is.

18 January 2012

New Whiskey Finds

Fine Whiskeys I’ve been enjoying some unusual and delicious whiskeys lately. From the left:

MacAllan Fine Oak 15

This is the spry younger brother of the 30-year-old Fine Oak that my father and I tasted in Seattle. He sent me the fifteen as a late Christmas present.

Hogshead Whiskey — Edgefield Distillery

Distilled by the lively, talented, and prolific McMenamins Family, just outside of Portland, Oregon. Hogshead is a delicious, exceedingly smooth whiskey that has some hints of spice and butterscotch. Anna and I picked this up at the Kennedy School while on vacation over the holidays.

Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey

Thanks to my good friend Derek Balmer for sending this one my way. Brekenridge dares to try to unseat my all-time favorite hometown brand, Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey. Derek ran across Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey during the dark days of the Stranahan’s drought of 2010. He did me a kindness in sending me a bottle for Christmas and wow, it’s fantastic.

22 December 2011

7th Edition

A few months ago I had the pleasure of contributing a chapter to the latest edition of Peachpit’s HTML5 & CSS3 Visual QuickStart Guide, to be released December 27, 2011. It is a true honor and I had a lot of fun working on it. My chapter is all about one of my favorite topics of late: Web Fonts. An extra special bit of fun about this project was I was able to recruit fellow Butter Labeler Scott Boms to write a chapter about CSS3 enhancements.

Book Cover

Design within constraints is good. It gives us limits to our work and challenges us to stretch in good ways. One chief constraint in our writing is that we were contributing to the seventh edition of this book. We had make sure that what we wrote fit in with six editions written over the course of fifteen years. Throughout those years, the book was used often as a textbook for teaching HTML and CSS, thanks to its approachable nature and step-by-step instructions. Any new content had to mesh nicely with this way of learning. This got tricky explaining @font-face properties, line-by-line, but I had fun doing it. If you know me, it doesn’t take much for me to get exciting talking about web typography. This was as much an exercise in reigning myself in as it was in articulating how stuff like web font stacks work.

The other constraint we had was time. Both Scott and I had mere weeks to write our chapters. Additionally, I was right in the middle of preparing for two speaking engagements. This Fall, if you saw me tweeting in the middle of the night about writing and scolding Microsoft Word for crashing, now you know what I was up to.

Nonetheless, this was an awesome experience, and I dare say Scott and I might find the opportunity to collaborate on a book project again soon.

HTML5 & CSS3 Visual QuickStart Guide will be released December 27th, 2011. If you are interested, I highly recommend picking up a copy, perhaps from Amazon or from one of those fancy stores you walk into and buy things in person.

A huge measure of thanks goes out to Cliff, Robyn, and the rest of the editors at Peachpit. Also, I want to thank Elizabeth Castro for writing the first several editions, and Bruce Hyslop for taking the reigns on this one.

20 December 2011

EECI and AIGA Recap

It’s been a very busy fall. I meant to jot down a few quick blog posts here and there but it just didn’t happen. This will have to do as a speedy recap:


I spoke at EECI in October, and that was super fun. I got to meet and catch up with lots of people, many of whom I hadn’t seen in years. It was a blast. My talk went very well and I got some great feedback. The title ended up being “Happy Clients”, and I posted the slides on Speaker Deck, and the folks there were extremely kind in listing it in their Featured Presentations.


In November, I, along with my Happy Cog cohorts Chris Cashdollar, Dave DeRuchie, and Kevin Hoffman, all hopped on a train to Central Pennsylvania to speak at an AIGA event there. We were presenting as a part of a series of talks AIGA Central PA is hosting about process. Instead of walking through our process in a linear fashion, we focused our talk around the various pain points one might experience during in the normal course of a project. We collected lots of feedback and questions from the audience as they walked into the talk, which gave us a chance to bring them into the presentation a bit and ask questions along the way.

There were tons of great questions and lots of discussion afterwards. We had a great time and AIGA Central PA were wonderful hosts. I posted our slides for that talk as well, so check those out on Speaker Deck, too.

18 October 2011

Next Stop: EECI Brooklyn

Black and White of the Brooklyn Bridge

In a few short hours I board a train for New York, where I’ll be speaking at, and attending, EECI in Brooklyn.

I’ve never hung out in Brooklyn, so I’m looking forward to spending a couple days there. I’m also excited because I’ll be speaking at the conference about building client-friendly experiences in ExpressionEngine.

At Happy Cog everybody has lots of interaction with our clients. We don’t hide behind account people or project managers. Everybody is heavily involved. This works great for me, and I’m sure it’s partly influenced by my former life of being a business owner (I also come from a long line of entrepreneurs). This is why I become extremely invested in how my client is experiencing using what we build. And that’s why I picked this topic for my talk at EECI. We want our clients to be happy, and we want them to feel like we got their back. So come friday, I’ll spend some time talking about that. Can’t wait.

25 May 2011

Speaking at Typecon 2011

Typecon 2011 I have the honor of joining my Butter Label cohorts, Luke and Scott in speaking at Typecon this year. The lineup of speakers is incredible, yet somehow, there we are among these fine folks.

Our plan is to talk about web fonts from our perspective as web designers. If you saw that lineup list you can imagine that many who attend Typecon are type designers, foundries and the like. This makes for an awesome opportunity for us to communicate directly with those at the forefront of type design and lettering, to discuss how type on the web affects us, and perhaps share some ideas about where the world of type on the web is headed.

I’m so extremely excited about this opportunity. If you are in New Orleans for Typecon I sure hope we can hang out and learn about this stuff together!

to help provide some direction on where the world of type on the web is headed so we can help each other get there.