A Year of Stet.Build

A year ago today, while fighting my own demons from a professional disappointment earlier in the year, my mind was searching for a project to put my energy behind. I’d sleepwalked through evening and was feeling a little deflated. After grabbing a shower, I put my head on my pillow and like a bolt of lightning the idea was in my head. Formed. Galvanised.

I looked excitedly at my wife. Fast asleep. I quickly rushed back to my room and started scribbling the very first ideas in fear that when I wake up the next morning it would be gone. There was literally no chance of that happening. The force was strong with this one.

Over the next month I would be using a wall to throw as many ideas as possible on there. The crux of it all would be a vehicle to allow me to do all the things that I loved to do and that I’d spent the better part of my adult life doing. That is engineering, graphic design and illustration.

I began sharing the starts of this journey at the start of 2019 over at Stet.Build. The first output being my monthly newsletter In Abeyance. It’s been an amazingly productive year to go from that initial idea to something a little more tangible.

Cobra Kai is back! Easily one of my favourite fun shows of last year. If you were a product of the 80s and the Karate Kid, this is so well done.

If you’re looking for elegant analytics for your site, suggest you take a look at Fathom. They’ve got a pretty clear data policy and you can set it up for as little as $5/month using Digital Ocean. In some ways reminds of me Mint.

Every electric car apart from Tesla’s offerings and the occasional BMW prototype has left me cold. The Honda e Prototype car puts a smile on my face, in a Fiat 500 kind of way.

Every once in a while I’m reminded of how cool the internet can be. I’ve been trying to sort out tooltips for the graphs in my newsletter. The system I settled on, Chartist, has this ability but the existing plugin is clearly broken. Thankfully user LukBukkit’s JS-FU is strong. He’s updated the plugin and works as intended. Found him on Twitter so was able to thank him for the work in updating the plugin and making things better for the rest of us. Now we just need Gion to update links to the website.

Soo glad JJ’s back in the saddle for the last Star Wars movie. The teaser trailer has left me completely dizzy with excitement. My only complaint is he didn’t direct the second one. Hopefully Zane will be into SW by then.

It’s been several years since we came out to the Ripe Market. Good day out for the family.

Super impressed with how straight forward it is to add good looking charts using Chartist.js I’ve updated the charts for the latest issue of In Abeyance.

🏖 And now it’s Ryan’s turn.

🏖 Zane’s beaching it up today.

I’ve only ever bought a single box of Blackwings, specifically the 344s. Today I rectified that and got some iconic Blackwing 602. I then happened to notice the Midori MD books on my way to pay. If you’ve not tried either, you’re missing out. Big time.

Coding for a newsletter is an exercise in frustration. The number of variables (that are completely out of your control) is mind boggling and rooted in ancient web technology. I’ve not stopped tolling my eyes since around Saturday.

Now that I’ve finally sorted out the Stet.Build website (it was the easiest to resolve), I can turn my attention to aligning the newsletter as well. Think I’m going to go with Foundation for Emails. Looks comprehensive and well documented. Recommended for all Buttondown users.

Ok heard Kings of Leon in the background at the restaurant today and remembered how much I liked these guys. The fact that I’ve not listened to any of their last 3 albums is a travesty.

Finally got a chance to finish a comic. It’s been way too long since I got into something this satisfying. Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy’s The Wake is a great read. Visually however it was a complete tour de force. Murphy’s work truely shone.

Finally got the latest issue of In Abeyance out. Issue 003 is all about Hyperloop. This was a really fun topic to write about, so much so that I’ve had to break it into two parts.

I’m totally onboard the new Joker trailer. My only comment is the color of the suit. I understand it’s incredibly hard to top the cannonical Heath Ledger version of that purple suit, but something feels off about this one. Maybe in the movie it’ll be better?

Here’s the cover to issue 003 of my newsletter In Abeyance (comes out tomorrow). This will be my first 2 parter and centers around Hyperloop. If you’ve not subscribed yet, now’s an excellent time to rectify that easily avoidable error.

Last post about typefaces (at least for today). From one of my favourite type foundaries, TipoType (out of Uruguay no less) have a new slab serif, Aila. It’s on special offer for the same price I paid for their excellent typeface Libertad (which I use on this site). Be sure to check the pdf.

I stand corrected. Source Serif Pro does have old style figures & ligatures. Frank also says he’s got an update coming soon for Google fonts. Great news all around for a great typeface.

On a related note to my previous post, Source Serif Pro now also comes with italics. Only came out 7 months ago but I’d completely missed that announcement. 4 years in the making. Still hasn’t been updated on Google fonts and doesn’t seem to have old style numerals - once you see numbers in this way, you can’t unsee them presented differently.

Update — I stand corrected. Source Serif Pro does have old style figures & ligatures. Frank also says he’s got an update coming soon for Google fonts.

I’ve recently updated my websites, kaa.bz and stet.build with some proper typographic love and attention. Two things spring to mind. The first is that a professional typeface (read the last paragraph of that link) will totally elevate a design. The second is how far browsers have come with their support for all manner of great typographic features.

The Qatar National Museum has finally opened to the public. On a personal level, I’ve devoted 5295 hours to this project (I just checked) and will have more to say about it soon.

It’s all about type this weekend. Really diving into the weeds here.