February 20, 2006

Do, Doing, Done

A few random bits, facts, meanderings, and other delusions from the sleep-deprived.

This past Friday we went to settlement on our house, and 101 signatures or initialings later, it was ours. The weekend was spent tearing up carpets and ripping up thousands upon thousands of staples. My hands are still twitching as I type this. We managed to funnel all of our anger in effigy towards the previous owner, a less than handy man who cut every corner he could find. Thankfully, all of our friends don’t seem to mind working for pizza and beer. There is still a lot to do before we can move next week, but we are now officially homeowners.

A new social bookmarking service called Ma.gnolia launched last week. Ma.gnolia enters into a crowded space, though has some great features to help set them apart, my favorite being the page cache for each bookmark you add. The attractive people at Happy Cog were asked to create the site: Tanya Rabourn (information architecture), Erin Kissane (brand direction), Greg Storey (interface design), Eric Meyer (CSS and markup), Jeffrey Zeldman (creative direction), and me (logo/brand design). As for my part, I’m not usually big on things replacing an “o” in a logo, but this one worked well enough to hold up. Logos really aren’t my strongest suit, but I thought the three rough logo options we presented the client with (one, two, and the third being the one that eventually got picked) all came out nicely. The site is pretty sexy and has some good community/group features as well. Make sure you check it out!

Traditional Design and New Technology

South By Southwest is just over two weeks away and I am shaking with excitement. I had such a blast last year between meeting everyone and raiding the free hotel breakfast each morning that I knew I would be coming back. Somehow this year I ended up on two panels. So they will at least have two tries to get my name right. My first panel is called “Traditional Design and New Technology” and is on Saturday, March 11th from 10:00am-11:00am. I will be joining some very attractive people including Mark Boulton, Khoi Vinh, Toni Greaves, and Liz Danzico. We will discuss traditional design and culture from the past and its place online.

My second panel is called “Holistic Web Design: Finding the Creative Balance in Multi-Disciplined Teams” and is on Sunday, March 12th from 5:00pm-6:00pm. I really lucked out and will once again be joining more attractive people like Garrett Dimon, Shaun Inman, Carl Sieber, and Eris Stassi. We will reveal our process as we redesign a site before your eyes. Ok, it won’t be a live redesign since we only have an hour, but we will show you what we did from start to finish.

Feel free to attend either, or better yet, both. Regardless, make sure you come say hi. I usually don’t scream too loud or punch too hard when I first meet people. That special treatment is reserved for old friends. The SXSW schedule just went online today, so plan accordingly.

Commentary (22):

1. Eric Meyer says… feb 20, 2006 | 10:34 am

Congratulations, homeowner! You now own a puzzle that will never be finished and to which you’ll never have all the pieces.

(And I definitely feel your pain about previous owners. Oh, how I feel it.)

See you in Austin.

2. dave texidor says… feb 20, 2006 | 11:49 am

Yes, but at least some of the puzzle comes with a tax deduction!

Congratulations and good luck!

3. Handy Handerson says… feb 20, 2006 | 12:13 pm

I am the “less than handy” previous owner and I take great offense to your words, Mr. Maria. If I hadn’t made the floors out of cardboard roof out of paper maché, you would not have gotten the deal you got. Just be happy I thoroughly snaked the toilets before I left… God knows how many heroin balloons I flushed down there.

4. Ian says… feb 20, 2006 | 12:30 pm

Dude, you ripped shit up and you didn’t call me. I’m hurt.

5. Bojan says… feb 20, 2006 | 12:37 pm

Congrats and good luck!

Ma.gnolia looks sexy indeed but I’m sticking with del.icio.us, at least for the time being as I seem to get through all my faves faster there.

BTW you’ve misspelled the URL of Storey’s site.

6. Jason Santa Maria says… feb 20, 2006 | 1:05 pm

Handy: I will eat your soul. *shakes fist*

Ian: Don’t feel bad Ian, we actually didn’t ask anyone, they all volunteered. We are paiting this weekend if you are bored… :D

Bojan: link fixed!

7. gb says… feb 20, 2006 | 2:09 pm

Sadly, I won’t be able to make it out to SxSW this year (somehow, using my vacation time didn’t seem like a worthwhile option, and I doubt my boss would spring for sending me for work). I will, however, be venturing to the fantastic PA later this year (friend is getting married this summer) in the greater philly area. If I see a trembling, bearded italian guy beating up a transient wearing a shirt that reads “Previous Home Owner,” I’ll be sure to wave. Maybe scream “STAN!” out the window as a drive by…

(oh and ma.gnolia is lovely)

8. Buddy Lindsey says… feb 20, 2006 | 2:17 pm

ma.gnolia looks very interesting. Thanks for mentioning it.

What is interesting is that with the success of del.ici.us that others sites are heading the direction of subdomains as their main domains.

9. Jan Brašna says… feb 20, 2006 | 2:28 pm

I don’t see any housewarming party date around here, what’s up? :)

10. brian warren says… feb 20, 2006 | 3:19 pm

I, too, welcome you to homeownership. It’s an adventure like no other.

I’ve been admiring that logo for some time now. Killer work on it. It was definitely best of the three. See you at SXSW! Are you going to bowl on Monday night?

11. Todd Sieling says… feb 20, 2006 | 8:59 pm

Congratulations on the new home, Jason! It’s among the most frustrating and satisfying ventures in one’s life.
You may not feel that logos are your strong suit, but I can tell you that the reactions we’ve had from people to your work on Ma.gnolia have been very good. People turn the business card over and over, commenting on how nice it feels (their word), and one visitor to the site has told us they wanted to taste the logo :)

12. goodwitch says… feb 20, 2006 | 11:59 pm

Pout…I can’t come to your panel, it is at the same time as mine! I sure hope they podcast you so I can catch up on your brilliance later!

13. Jared says… feb 21, 2006 | 10:04 am

Congrats on the homeownership-ness! Making a house a home is always rewarding, albeit a previous owner’s “bright idea” can be occassionally frustrating (sticking a single plank of wood through wall to act as shelf in both the kitchen and the bedroom comes to mind).

14. Jason Beaird says… feb 21, 2006 | 10:22 am

Congrats on the new house! I actually spent last Saturday pondering the puzzle that was the previous swich/outlet wiring for our master bedroom, so I feel your pain as well on the previous homeowner anger. Unfortunately our previous homeowner lives behind us, so we can’t curse his name at the top of our lungs…bummer.

If you have popcorn ceilings that you want to get rid of, be sure to check out our tutorial. It’s the single most commented post on my site…even before it got linked by lifehacker. Just don’t leave any rediculous questions in the comments, k?

15. P.J. Onori says… feb 21, 2006 | 1:13 pm

Man, that has to be a great feeling. Let me reiterate the congratulations!

16. bearskinrug says… feb 21, 2006 | 2:06 pm

You’d probably be less sleep-deprived if you closed your eyelids fully when you slept.

17. Jason Santa Maria says… feb 21, 2006 | 2:45 pm
You’d probably be less sleep-deprived if you closed your eyelids fully when you slept.

I only sleep with my eyes open because I have to watch out for you, Kevin. I know one day I’ll catch you trying to steal all my clothes so that you can pretend to be me.

18. bearskinrug says… feb 21, 2006 | 4:42 pm

I wouldn’t need clothes to pretend I’m you; according to your arrest record, you don’t even WEAR clothes.

19. Anton says… feb 24, 2006 | 12:47 pm

I’ll be there!
Hope to get a chance to say “hi”, if I see you!

20. Jeremy says… feb 27, 2006 | 12:31 pm

Lovely job on the logo Jason. It is refreshing to see such nice typography in a logo treatment.

21. Franny says… mar 2, 2006 | 6:42 pm


Congrats on the new house (upkeep nightmares aside!) - you’re going to love being a homeowner. Enjoy Austin!!!


22. Jody says… mar 4, 2006 | 3:29 pm


I love the Ma.gnolia logo. It’s so tasty I want to eat it up! It certainly inspired Greg Storey to create an excellent design.