Articles in Design

The Web Type Revolution

by Jonathan Longnecker in Design

The Web Leaders Hate Typography →

The choice of a typeface, the care given to kerning and to readability – all sends a powerful signal. When your business card is nothing but Arial on a piece of cardboard, youâve just told people how they ought to think about you⦠precisely the opposite of what you were trying to do when you made the card in the first place.

I love that Seth Godin is bringing this sort of awareness to people who never thought about it before. And thankfully we’re smack in the middle of a type revolution on the web. It’s only going to get better from here.

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Get Rid of Pesky Zip Files After Unzipping in OS X

by Jonathan Longnecker in Design, Apple

Remove zip file after unzipping

Quick Tip: Remove Zip Files in Mac OS X After Unzipping →

Mac OS X’s built-in Archive Utility is a handy tool that lets you easily expand ZIP files downloaded to your computer. However, the zip files by default stay behind, leaving your Downloads folder cluttered. Luckily, there’s a way to modify the preferences and have the downloaded zip files sent to your Trash.

This has always bugged me, and I’m glad to finally have those zip files magically disappear after unzipping. Sometimes it’s the little things, you know? Thanks, Tony!

via Chris Coyier

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Kicktastic - A New Project to Tell You Our Secrets

by Jonathan Longnecker in Design, Business

Kicktastic. We've made 50% more money this year than last year. Want to know our secret

We’re excited to announce a new project – Kicktastic!

Here’s the deal: We’re making 50% more money this year and we want to let you guys (and girls) in on what we’re doing differently. It will of course be done in typical 47m fashion with loads of style and fun, but we need to know if you’re interested.

If you are, please take a minute, go to and sign up to be notified when it’s ready!

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What’s Up With the Twitter for Mac Icon?

by Jonathan Longnecker in Design

Would the real Twitter for Mac Icon Please Stand Up?

Here’s the thing. I really try not to gripe about things like an application icon. If it’s horrible you can always go make one yourself, right? But the Twitter for Mac icon saga warrants some kind of discussion.

In case you didn’t know, Twitter for Mac is actually sort of Tweetie for Mac 2. The difference being that Twitter hired the creator, Loren Brichter and so version 2 was aptly re-named. In fact, the original Tweetie for Mac was so good that many people kept using it long after it went months without updates and no promise of a new version.

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A Look Back at 2010 for FortySeven Media

by Jonathan Longnecker in Design, Business, Personal

It’s time for the semi-regular year end post from FortySeven Media! 2010 was a nutty year filled with lots of traveling, some great client projects and some even better personal projects. Let’s get started, shall we?

Speaking, Conferencing and Traveling

While we got our first taste of web conferences back in 2009, 2010 took it to a whole other level.



First off was LessConf in Atlanta. With speakers like Jason and David from 37 Signals, Cameron Moll, Chris Wanstrath from GitHub, Dan Martell, Clay Hebert and Peldi Guilizoni of Balsamiq we were energized and encouraged to keep making kick-awesome stuff.



Next was EECI2010 the US Edition in San Francisco. I got to speak at this one and we were reunited with a bunch of our old friends from the Leiden conference back in 2009. The city was fantastic and we even got to meet a few of our long-distance clients while we were there!

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FortySeven Media Camden Military Redesign Featured in .net Magazine

by Jonathan Longnecker in Design

.net develop/discover/design

A few months back we were fortunate to get an email from the fine folks at .net magazine asking us if we’d like to write an article for their upcoming issue. Why of course we would!

Well, its finally out now and you can read all about our makeover process for Camden Military. We talk about the design process, photography shoots, the backend setup in ExpressionEngine, Wufoo form integration and the benefits they’re already seeing in traffic and conversions. Pretty exciting stuff!

.net FortySeven Media article - Camden Military Re-design.

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Designing the Kick Awesome Show Site: HTML5, CSS3, Fontface & Responsive Layouts

by Jonathan Longnecker in Design, Kick Awesome Show

Kick Awesome Show

Funny story. Nate and I started the Kick Awesome Show mainly to pull the suck out of Mondays. I mentioned I was frustrated with spending the entire morning answering emails that came in over the weekend (seriously, enjoy your time off, people!) and not ever getting much done in the afternoon. We’d been talking about ways to post to the blog more regularly and somehow we came up with spending Monday afternoons shooting a web show. We tried it and we’ve been amazed to see something we started for fun become watched by so many of you so quickly.

After just a few episodes we realized it was time to move it to it’s own site. Fortunately this gave us an opportunity to invest in some serious HTML5, CSS3, Typekit and Responsive design. And a bit of iPad magic, too. Read on to find out more.

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Tips for Freelancer Websites - Making Your Site Awesome

by Jonathan Longnecker in Design

Tips for Freelancer Websites

Once you’ve laid the groundwork for your freelancing website, it’s time to make it produce some income! Read on for a few tips on how to make it awesome.

Be Personal

I can’t count the number of times I’ve come across a designer’s site and couldn’t find any information about them. No picture, no bio. Maybe a twitter account with some non descript avatar. Your clients want to know if you’re a real person - even better what you’re actually like. If you hate twinkies but love smooth jazz don’t be afraid to say it. Be yourself and be honest. No client will feel comfortable contacting you for work if they don’t feel like they know you.

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Tips for Freelancer Websites - The Groundwork

by Jonathan Longnecker in Design, Business

Tips for Freelancer Websites

We have a lot of designers email us and ask for advice. One common thread lately seems to be “How do I get my freelancing career going?” Well, thanks to the Internet there’s lots of ways! First let’s talk about your website. Are you getting traffic? What happens when users get there? Do you even know? If you’re having trouble making your website work for you then read ahead:

A Solid HTML Foundation

Obviously, if you want people to actually find and use your portfolio site it’s got to be built properly. Since most of you reading this build websites for a living I’m assuming you’ve already done this. If not - basically use divs, headers, paragraphs and lists appropriately. Let the search engines know what kind of content each piece is.

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The Kick Awesome Show: Episode 1

by Jonathan Longnecker in Design, ExpressionEngine, Kick Awesome Show, Music

Welcome to The Kick Awesome Show! That’s right, Nate and I have decided we need to hang out more, so why not in front of a camera? We’re going to attempt to talk about cool and interesting things every week so go hit that subscribe button now.

Being that this is our first shot the format’s still up in the air a bit. But that’s ok, we know you’ll tell us what you love and don’t love in the comments.

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CSS3 Buttons with Icons

by Jonathan Longnecker in Design, Tutorials

css3 buttons

During the process of coding a web app we’ve been working on for a client, I decided that was time to go CSS3 with their buttons. After using the accessible CSS button technique for a while, it still felt really complicated and maintaining all those images was a pain if you had different sized buttons throughout your site.

So I started coding them up and realized that all the examples I had run across didn’t have icons! “That’s weird,” I thought. So I tried adding a background image and quickly understood why. In CSS3, the gradient background uses the background-image tag. So throwing an icon kills your gradient background.

Psst…If you’re really impatient you can see the demo here. Otherwise read on…

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EECI2010 Presentation Notes - The Power of ExpressionEngine’s Dynamic Templates

by Jonathan Longnecker in Design


Greetings from San Francisco! Nate and I are having a great time meeting up with old friends and making new ones at this year’s ExpressionEngine and CodeIgnitor conference.

I had the pleasure of doing a MasterClass on “The Power of EE’s Dynamic Templates” yesterday and wanted to get the slides up for everyone to check out. It was 4 hours long, so there’s quite a few smile. Several people asked for the slides with the code so I wanted to get them up as soon as possible.

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It’s Conference Time!

by Nate Croft in Design, Business, ExpressionEngine

Hey Everyone! How’s it’s going? It’s been a while since we’ve posted as things have been silly crazy awesome busy, but we wanted to let you know about some of the super sweet conferences we are speaking at and/or just going to. Check the video:

Links to things in the video:

We are very excited to be speaking/attending these events and we would absolutely love to meet you there. Let us know in the comments if you’ll be coming to any of these events and we’ll keep an eye out for you!

LessConf: The Conference From The Future! | May 21st - 22nd EECI 2010: ExpressionEngine & CodeIgniter Conference. | May 31st - June 2nd Front End Design Conference | July 23

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Five Days of DesignHope

by Jonathan Longnecker in Design, Business, Design Hope, ExpressionEngine

5 days of DesignHope

I’ll just come out and say it. DesignHope has taken way too long. What started as a great idea with support from some of the coolest companies out there turned into a long drawn out process that still isn’t finished. Scott, we’re sorry, man. I hope you haven’t minded being the guinea pig. We still have big plans for DesignHope, but obviously we need to get some structural details worked out.

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Visual Recipes Design Process

by Jonathan Longnecker in Design

After a long wait; we’re excited to be able to show you a really cool project we worked on several months ago. Visual Recipes is a site with a great idea: Take pictures for each step of your process when making a delicious dish and post it online. Great for visual learners (like myself) and great for the users who get to share their recipes.

The site already got quite a bit of traffic, but it’s age was starting to show. They were ready to overhaul it inside and out as well as add some new features.

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Three Years and Thank You’s

by Nate Croft in Design

I have often heard people say, “She’s got a case of the Mondays.” Meaning of course that that person might be a touch grumpy because the work week has come around again. Today, I find myself with a case of “The Thank You’s.”

I woke up this morning nearly in a panic because I wanted to make sure that one of our client’s new campaigns launched successfully. I exchanged a few emails and made sure things were running smoothly, which they were. And as I settled into my morning routine, I thought about all the things I needed to do and which clients needed what. About this point I realized that today was February 1st.

To every client, every friend, every blog reader, and Twitter follower, Thank You!

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Photoshop Tools In Real Life

by Nate Croft in Design

I have used Photoshop for years. I mean, a long flippin’ time. While I am always learning something new, I’ve grown quite familiar with it’s tools and feel comfortable working with it. As such, I’ve found myself wanting to use PS’s tools in the world around me to fix something. Then I laugh at myself and say something like, “Man, you’ve been at the computer too much lately” and go about my business.

This thought stuck with me and I’ve decided to take a look at a few of the main tools just for fun. While we can’t carry a mouse around with us command clicking away on this or that, we can take the ideas with us.

Selection Tool

imageI like to think of this as my attention span, a “This is what I’m working on!” sort of thing. I’m not working on anything else, just this. Every effort goes here. This is very important when creating lightsabers for squirrels.

Keep Reading Find & Share Great Music with Other Designers

by Jonathan Longnecker in Design, Business, Music, Personal

First off, let me say that we’re psyched to finally be able to share this project with you. We believe that side projects don’t work unless you’re passionate about them. Well, guess what? We love music and we love design. They go hand in hand, really. So we decided that there should be a place where designers can find new music recommended by other designers: DesignersMusic

Go play with it now or read on below for details!

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What Happens When We Try to Make a Video

by Nate Croft in Design, Music

One of our super cool secret projects is very, very close to launching so we decided we would make a short video promoting it. The problem is that we can’t keep our lines straight for more than two seconds, especially me (Nate). I am pretty sure I screwed up every single line I had. We thought it would be fun for all of you to see the stuff that doesn’t make the video.

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