Ghost – A Blogging Platform

Ghost Screeenshot

At Whitehouse & Company we believe in Open Source technology. We use WordPress for almost every website we design as it is a rock solid CMS which allows our clients to actually use their websites to interact with audiences, rather than create static experiences.

WordPress started, back in 2003 when we were still using the free blogging system Movable Type. Unfortunately in 2004 Movable type decided to tighten their licensing and start charging for use of their software and stop distributing a free version. This fundamental change made us jump ship and swim over to WordPress, which at that point was a huge switch in our process. We had never fooled around with PHP and having to learn, albeit superficially, a programming language was a huge undertaking for busy graphic designers. Movable Type later realized the error of their ways and created a free version for personal use, but by that point it was too late, we were addicted to the open source WordPress. Almost 10 years later we are still happy WordPress users and have donated, on behalf of ourselves and clients, hundreds of dollars to the application’s development.

However, WordPress is now arguably more CMS than blog software. For our client’s professional sites, this is a good thing, but when you compare WordPress to the ease of use of Tumblr for blogging, it falls short. It lacks the “get out of your way” mentality that Tumblr uses to spotlight content and spur conversation. WordPress is a wonderful website creation tool, but as a blogging system — it is a little overwhelming for a quick post. Tumblr, however, is not open source, nor can it be hosted on your own server and the content owned exclusively by you.

Ghost Kickstarter screenshot

In light of this, and in the interest of supporting options in the Open Source community, today we have backed the Kickstarter campaign for Ghost, a new platform for blogging. It looks both beautifully designed and elegant. Best of all, Ghost will be free (if fully funded) for anyone to try, use, experiment and most importantly — express themselves.

Give it a look, and if you agree with their mission, donate a few pounds… they’re English.

Update

Even in the short space of time from yesterday to today, the Kickstarter has rocketed from £7,000 when we funded it, to an impressive £45,000. So it looks like Ghost will be a successful reality for everyone. They are still raising money and if they raise enough they will add benefits to supporters. Go help them out if you haven’t already.

CoverFlow: Better Digital Music Navigation

Cover art

Remember the days when you’d long to listen to music by the album? You went over to your shelves and looked at the album artwork to find the music you wanted to listen to. With the invention of MP3s and digital music players, the concept of album covers as navigational aids got lost (along with shelves full of records). Suddenly looking for a song meant you had to know the artist, album, or song name. As a visual thinker, I can easily tell you what any album in my music collection looks like from memory, but have a real problem with knowing what album a given song is on.

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Creating a Solari Flip Clock for Free (kind of)

As a graphic designer living in New York on a limited budget, I am constantly looking into catalogs and magazines, and drooling over the well designed objects I might someday afford. The Aalto vases, the Eames lounge chairs with ottomans, the Akari Noguchi paper lamps — all these items ignite my interest, but their prices bring up every designers biggest dilemma, design or Dinner?

Solari Cifra 3 table clock

One such object is the famous Solari Cifra 3 table clock. Manufactured by Solari in 1965 and designed by the flip (or flap depending on your preference) clock master Gino Valle, the Cifra 3 is often referred to as the “museum clock” as it was sold exclusively by MoMA. Gino Valle was an accomplished designer in his own right designing numerous flip clocks for Airport terminals, most notably his Monumental flip clock at TWA terminal.

Unfortunately, the Cifra 3’s, while still produced, sell for well over $200, which is a little out of my budget. Solution — make your mac (or PC) into a Solari Cifra 3 clock for free in approximately 2 minutes with an elegant little screen saver from 9031.com

Fliqlo Screen Saver

The screensaver turns your idling computer into a wonderful timepiece. The only thing this clock doesn’t do, which is a real pity, is make a flapping sound as time passes. The Cifra 3 makes a small “flap” with each passing minute and a large “chunk” every hour as every flipper turns over simultaneously to display the new hour… although that might drive some folks crazy.

For more design hacks visit Twart Design’s Design w/o Reach for some low tech answers to high design.

Lezioni Design biography – translated
Artnet Biography of Gino Valle
Solari’s Story
Design Addict’s profile on the Cifra 3