Automob WordPress Design

This is a wordpress theme design I recently made in Photoshop. I was having an inspired day and simply had to do some design work. I really wanted to work with a grain pattern on a darker themed website, and try to lean away from some of the full width containers that I have on a lot of my designs.

After getting some sketching done and working with a few options for the grid I got to photoshopping and wound up with this design. I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. Keeping wordpress in mind, I started to think the design would be great for a wordpress theme.

For now this is going to sit in my portfolio folder, but once I’m done with some other projects I’m on, this piece will definitely be in line for wordpress theme development and I have to say I’m quite excited about it.

New Website Launched

It’s been a while since I posted on this site. Since I got better, I took a look at my site here and realized I wanted to give a fresh new look to my site, one that was more up to date. With that in mind I decided to build a new design for boylecreations. Now that all this is taken care of I can start posting articles here as well, and represent myself the way I’ve always wanted. I’ll be starting a new marketing campaign soon to promote boylecreations and designrelay as well as coming out with a lot more new content as well as working on some custom wordpress themes for sale. I hope everyone enjoys the new look of things and I’m really excited to be writing again!

Design blog

I’ve recently decided that I wanted to seperate my personal blog from a more informational and design related one. I’ve wanted to get into working with screencasts and tutorials to provide information for my clients and anyone out there who may find as much use from it as I do from many of the other blogs out there. For the time being, this blog will be carrying more personal information, (though some work related may still come in).

This Site used to be DesignRelay but I did not renew the domain has since been moved to become part of this site and is currently under development. Check back soon for updates!


Go Green Web Design


Just the other day I joined up in an art competition at the Center for New Media in Kalamazoo. The idea was that designers would collaborate with other designers to come up with a three piece campaign that helped promote renewable energy instead of offshore drilling. Obviously inspired by the recent disaster with the BP oil spill, I teamed up with local designers Amy O’donnell and Andy Peninger to create our campaign.

Rather then focus on one type of energy over another we kind of bent the rules a bit and attempted a campaign that was more towards promoting people to come visit a website where all the information was collected. We made up a fictional company called ESAmerica (Environmtal Support of America) and I designed a website for them and worked on a logo for them with Andy Peninger. Amy went on to work on a Propaganda poster that showed an awesome image about who was to blame on the matter of the oil spill. Andy then went on to create a billboard with some strong typography that said “Spill Your Thoughts”.

All in all it was a lot of fun, but we were all on really tight schedules with work so we didn’t get to do as much preparation as we’d like.

On the other hand though, we DID get Honorable Mention and a pretty high score overall afterwards. So while we didn’t really win any cash for our efforts, getting the honorable mention was really cool. Someone obviously liked our work so we’re going to have it displayed with all the rest at the Center for New Media in downtown Kalamazoo at the next local Art Hop.

As for the website design I made for ESAmerica, you can take a look here or in my portfolio page. I’m looking into doing a 3 part tutorial later on how I brainstormed, planned, designed it and how to turn it into a wordpress theme for personal use later. But thats for another day. Enjoy!

iOS and the new iPhone 4

I just got done watching the WWDC keynote where Steve Jobs officially announced iOS 4 and the new iPhone. I’ve got to say I’m pretty impressed. I know most of us have seen some of the leaked information on Gizmodo a while ago, but I don’t believe it really compares to what we saw at the world wide developer conference. Jobs really only had time to go over a small portion of the new features but he hit a lot of really nice ones. The new iOS operating system for the iPhone is a real leap compared to the old versions.

The ability to multitask and create folders together I thought was one of the bigger highlights of the Operating system. Primarily because we’ve been aching for multitask support since the iPhone was originally released. Jobs claims that multitasking wasn’t a good idea until it was handled right and also claims that apple is going to do it the best. From what I’ve seen so far it looks good but until I actually have one in my hand I wont know for sure.

Facetime is another feature which was released and is quite impressive. Video calling now being a reality is absolutely stellar release. Unfortunately Facetime only works from iPhone to iPhone and despite the fact that the charts say that the iPhone still shares an impressive portion of the market. Unless your friends have iPhones too, it will be an unused feature. Although Facetime with clients would be really good. Similar to skype but it would make interfacing with customers a lot easier.

An internal Gyroscope was shown as well which is going to wonders for gaming. I can’t really go into detail too much if you haven’t seen the demo that Jobs performed on stage. That can be viewed at the apple site here

Some of the other features that were mentioned of course was the new model and its retina display of 960 x 640 resolution and a 5 megapixel camera, new apple advertising to make developers more money and just a whole slew of improvements. I suggest you watch the keynote yourself or you can just take a hop to Gizmodo and get the full lowdown.

I know I’ll be upgrading, how about you guys? Thoughts?

Vexel Art Designs and Tutorials

Just the other night I was going browsing on the net looking for some inspiration and I came across a design style called Vexel Artwork. I had heard of this before but I kind of passed it over last time due to a lack of time. I took a closer look at what it really was this time and saw some really inspiring showcases.

According to wikipedia:

Vexel is a neologism for an entirely pixel-based form of raster art that imitates the visual appearance of vector graphics technique (i.e. sharp-edged lines and areas of flat colour or smooth gradient fills). The word itself is a portmanteau derived from a combination of “vector” and “pixel.”

Well, long story short I wound up at a few sites looking for some good examples and tutorials of Vexel Artwork and wound up at a few sites which can be found here:

Smashing Magazine

Design was here

psd tuts

Designr Fix

Some really great roundups here. I’m definitely going to incorporate some of these techniques in my next poster or magazine design. They can take a lot of time to build but the outcome is REALLY worth it.


Starkers and Starkers HTML5 WP Themes

I had recently finished developing a website with Thematic, which at some points were arguably easier then some other frameworks. But what I really noticed after I started working with Starkers was that I really liked the control that it gave me. To really understand thematic, I had to go to the thematic forums to understand how it was built to solve certain problems. It’s definitely a great framework but I really enjoyed working with Starkers for that control.

Well recently I decided that I wanted to start making the move to HTML5 and started looking for a wordpress theme using HTML5 to get started. This eventually lead me to Starkers HTML5 which is basically the same as Starkers, except that its markup is using HTML5 elements and already has the files necessary to get it functional in other browsers.

Divs have been replaced with section, article, footer, header, hgroup and more. It was a really nice find and so far its been a lot of help getting into the groove of developing wordpress themes in HTML5.

WordPress Thematic Framework and jQuery Fixes

So recently I’ve been developing with the Thematic Framework for wordpress. I wanted to get to know some of the more popular frameworks out there and see if it could speed up my development time. Well, I’m not completely certain it decreased my development time yet, but I know for sure that I learned a lot. It really showed me just how powerful action hooks and functions.php is. I did a large percentage of the work by using action hooks and filters. Eventually I went on to writing page specific information and creating separate files for each page, so I was able to get out of using the action hooks for everything. However when I started working with jQuery to get some extra functionality out of the site, I ran into a lot of situations where elements just weren’t responding.

After doing a little research I discovered that the $ sign was causing a lot of problems because there was a jQuery conflict somewhere. I still haven’t found it yet, and at one point I wanted to use a plugin that was written only with Mootools. Again more problems. Even after calling jQuery.noConflict() I still wasn’t able to resolve the issue. The fix I used would seem kind of monotonous to some, but I actually went into the files that were being used and replaced $ with jQuery. All $ really is, is shorthand for jQuery from what I’ve read.

Well rather then go and do it all individually I actually ran a find and replace all on $ to jQuery and reloaded the files. Chances are that if you already are working with jQuery then you already know about jQuery.noConflict() and what $ does. However, if you haven’t maybe this will be of some use. It definitely was useful for me.

NW Soccer League

This was originally a design that I made when I was volunteering as a Web Designer for the Arcadia Commons West project in Kalamazoo, Mi.  We didn’t wind up using this design but I’ve had it shelved away in some old folders and decided to take another look at it and convert it to something more useful. I was using some images from SXC.HU that had a sort of community feel to them and one of them reminded me of Soccer. Long story short, I transformed the design into this wordpress design for a fictional soccer league. All work was done with Photoshop with wordpress in mind. When I get around to coding it I’ll probably work outside of Thematic this time and work with HTML5 since the functionality isn’t incredibly demanding.