Saturday, December 31, 2011


I can't believe it's over already -- 2011 seems to have flown by. I've never lost sight of what a privilege it is to have a readership, especially one so supportive of projects I'm working on. This year, my big project was the Bahá’í eBook cover idea, which was a success in its own right, and got taken to another level with my partnership with Bahá’í eBooks Publications -- the premier internet location for Bahá’í eBooks. The release of the eBook covers also prompted me to finally redesign and launch my website, I'm excited to continue my partnership with Bahá’í eBooks Publications into 2012, as well as continue working on some exciting projects that are currently underway. Thank you all for your support!

As always, here are some stats, courtesy of Google Analytics:

Readers from 22 countries visited the site, including the United States, Brazil, Israel, Australia, Russia, Bangladesh, Mexico, and India.

Of the 8 recorded OSs, more people visited on Macs than any other, followed by Windows, iPad, iPhone, and Android.

Of the 10 recorded browsers, more people viewed the blog on Safari, followed by Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer.

The Top 5 Posts of 2011 (by total views) were:

1. Steve Jobs
2. Bahá'i eBook Covers Project: Launching Today!
3. Remembrance
4. Steve Apple Word Tribute
5. Announcement: Bahá'í eBooks Publications Partnership!

Thanks for a great 2011, and here's to an even better 2012!

P.S. Here are my end-of-year posts from 2008 and 2010, for nostalgia's sake.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Announcement: Bahá'í eBooks Publications Partnership!

I am delighted to finally announce that I have partnered with Bahá'í eBooks Publications to bring my eBook covers to their collection. I have been using their books as the basis for my personal Bahá'í eBook collection since I discovered them several months ago, as their formatting and layout is the best I have seen for electronic reading. Their attention to detail and technical skill in beautifully presenting the sacred texts makes it a pleasure to read their editions, and I'm honored to be working with them to bring my cover project to a larger audience.

My covers will still be freely downloadable from my website, where you can download them at full resolution and apply them to your own digital copies. I highly encourage you to check out Bahá'í eBooks Publications's work, however -- their eBooks are free, beautifully made, and they have a vast selection of texts from Bahá’u’lláh, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Shoghi Effendi, The Báb, The Universal House of Justice, and more.

We're starting by releasing three books with my covers, and will be expanding to more in the near future. The three (newly-updated!) editions with my covers are The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, The Kitáb-i-Íqán, and The Secret of Divine Civilization. Enjoy!

The official announcement from their website is copied below; you can also check out their tweets (first and second) and Facebook posts.

December 19, 2011 
We have entered into a collaboration with designer Iman Rastegari to bring you a set of unified covers for the Sacred Writings. We will be offering a choice of covers for certain books – Iman’s covers will allow you to create a unified set of book covers for your electronic bookshelves. When we have options for books covers, a number will appear beside the book so that you know that the only difference between the books is the cover.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Weird Al's Kinetically Typographical Inspiration

Over the past week, I've been thinking a lot about kinetic typography, and some projects I want to experiment with (more on that in future posts). In the meantime, I thought I'd share the video that kicked off my interest in this animation technique, Weird Al's music video for "Stop Forwarding That Crap To Me", the finale of his most recent album, Alpocalypse. It's one of the best examples of the medium I've seen -- if you have others that you like, please share in the comments!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Steve Apple Word Tribute

I made this while I was waiting for my laundry to dry (no, really), and wanted to share. It took some tinkering, especially to get the words where I wanted them, and with relatively even distribution, but I like the way it turned out.

I got the source image from here, and used WordFoto to make it.

Thursday, October 06, 2011


There has been an outpouring of grief, reflection, and remembrance over the last 24 hours, as people around the world wrestle with the news that Steve Jobs has passed away. I wanted to collect a variety of pieces that have stood out; feel free to share your own in the comments.

A few quotes:

"Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world." - Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook
"Steve Jobs was our da Vinci." - @GuyEndoreKaiser
‎"Three Apples changed the world: The first seduced Eve. The second fell on Newton. And the third one was offered to the world half bitten by him." - trending on Twitter, source unknown.
"Steve's iLife is over, but now he's looking down at us from the iCloud." - former Apple employee, on Facebook 
"If there isn't a heaven, Steve Jobs will invent one." -  @SoniaTaitz

xkcd posted a rare Thursday cartoon. The alt-text reads: "There's always the hope that if you sit and watch for long enough, the beachball will vanish and the thing it interrupted will return."

My friend Jeremy Latour made this, based on the famous Think Different ad:

My friend Jamal Coleman sent me this photo link:

He also shared this poignant comic, by Scott Johnson:

MacRumors posted a great collection of statements and photographs chronicling the reaction to the news. You can read the full post here, including this photo they published from outside 1 Infinite Loop, Apple headquarters in Cupertino, CA. Flags at half-staff.

Outside an Apple store in London. This is happening around the world, including at the Apple store fifteen minutes from my house. The photo is from the New York Times, which also posted this story about the outpouring of grief around the world and throughout the internet. In it, they mention "Twitter briefly buckled under the mass of Jobs-related messages, a veritable technology 21-gun salute."

Nightline broadcast a full-episode tribute last night, including an interview with Apple co-founder Steve "Woz" Wozniak. It was respectful, reflective, and reasonably comprehensive. You can watch it here:

ABC just posted this story of designer Jonathan Mark's re-imagining of the Apple logo, with Steve's silhouette as the "bite":

It seems appropriate to end with a quote from Steve Jobs himself. This is an excerpt from his Stanford commencement address in 2005, on the topic of death:

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Please share your own thoughts, tributes, and favorite findings around the web in the comments.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Steve Jobs

I'm still reeling from the news that Steve Jobs, visionary founder and CEO of Apple, passed away earlier this evening. As I tried to articulate and process my thoughts, I decided to try journaling a bit. I wanted to share a part of what I wrote:

Steve was Apple, but Apple is also Steve. Apple is not going to be the same without him -- and yet, it is. Steve's character, his vision, his style, are deep in Apple's DNA. The people who are a part of this company are so because they -- we -- were attracted to what Apple stood for, which was what he stood for. We carry on that legacy, which, in turn, keeps him alive. In a way. It's still not the same. But it means that this is not the end.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Disney + Lord of the Rings =

A friend just sent this my way -- a clever piece of editing work (some of the lip-syncing is quite good), bringing clips from various Disney movies together to the audio track of one of the original Fellowship of the Ring trailers. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Hurricane Irene Timelapse

I meant to post this back when I made it, but it slipped through the cracks. I took this through my window, looking out at the street. The video doesn't come close to conveying just how powerful the winds were, but you can see on the massive bunch of trees just how easily they're being blown around.

This was taken over the course of about 16 and a half minutes; 500 still frames played back at 24 frames per second. Taken with my Nikon D7000 on August 28, 2011, during Hurricane Irene hitting Massachusetts.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Bahá'i eBook Covers Project: Launching Today!

It's been a while since I last posted, as I've been busy working on a number of projects. I'm really excited to share one of them with you today!

The Opportunity

More and more people are downloading Bahá’í texts, to read on a variety of screens -- their computers, e-readers, tablets, smartphones, and more. Project Gutenberg and Bahá’í eBooks Publications are both great, free sources for these texts, as are widely-used eBookstores like Apple’s iBookstore. However, there did not exist a cohesive and unified set of cover art that could be used with these digital copies, that would be freely and easily available to anyone who wanted to use them on their devices. Searching online yielded low-quality photos and scans of print copies, or sets of eBooks that had mis-matched or generic cover art.

The Solution

I wanted to design covers that would satisfy specific needs:
  • Consistency: Clearly identifiable as a set, consistent design across all books. 
  • Quality: High enough resolution to look good on all smartphone, tablet, or computer screens.
  • Readability: Easy to read when full size, as well as small thumbnails lined up on a digital bookshelf.
  • Beautiful: While beauty is certainly in the eye of the user, designing with the elegance and sophistication deserved of Bahá’í sacred texts. 
  • Accessible: Free to download, openly formatted and easy to add to an existing eBook collection.
You can see the full collection of eBook covers, available for a free download as individual .jpg files, or together in one .zip file, at my newly-revamped website. There are also directions for how to use them, if you're not sure how to add custom covers to your existing eBook files. Feel free to share your feedback, and enjoy!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Hulu pulls an April Fools

Make sure to check out (not the app, the website) today for a great April Fool's Day joke! I particularly love the Guestbook and Netscape/IE links at the bottom.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

The best scientific article. Ever.

I think it does a great job of explaining itself. Enjoy it here!

Monday, February 14, 2011

More of VW's "The Force"

I didn't actually watch the Superbowl, but the one ad everyone kept telling me about was this Volkswagen "The Force" ad, featuring an awesomely adorable fusion of Star Wars, childhood fantasy, and the new Passat.

I also came across this "Behind the Scenes" video, which shows some alternate takes, and is arguably even better than the actual ad. Well played, Volkswagen. Well played.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

The Mac App Store has arrived

I've been playing with it for a little bit, and I've got to say -- I like it a whole lot more than I thought I would. The App Store paradigm works well for a computer (i.e. non-mobile) platform, and the Mac App Store is just as easy-to-use as its iOS counterparts. I'm excited to see just how quickly consumers will be attracted to the Mac platform because of the increased perception of available applications -- something that has been an issue (unfortunately undeserved) for OS X for a while now.

Also, an interesting change (though not entirely unexpected) -- "Mac OS X Software" in the system menu has now been changed to "App Store":

Now, we just need to get Quinn in there, and life will be that much more complete!