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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What happens when you don’t give up?

by Nate Croft in Business

imageHello everyone! You might have noticed that it has been a little quiet around here the past few months. Despite the fact that I have alerts telling me “Post To the FortySeven Media Weblog!” every Tuesday around lunch time, I have not managed to compose even one post in ages due to a crazy amount of projects we have running. I reflected on this for a moment just now and I realized something. When you don’t give up on your dream, you will most likely succeed. But the even bigger thought that’s riding in the sidecar of this mental motorcycle is this: Are you prepared for the day when your dream starts to become reality?

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Get the Fear Out

by Jonathan Longnecker in Business, Personal

scaredy cat

Our doorbell rang at 10:00 last night. Ashley and I looked at each other. “That’s weird, who in the world would be at our door this late?” I said. We’re not the type to have people over at all hours of the night. Since most of our friends have kids now, everyone packs up at 8 or so to get home before the tantrums begin. But either way, no one shows up on our doorstep this time of night.

I went to the front door and flipped on the outside lights to see our neighbor standing there. We just moved and she’s been very friendly, telling us all that goes on in the neighborhood.

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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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DesignHope - We Need Your Help for the Final Push

by Jonathan Longnecker in Design Hope

We’re happy to report that the majority of the code and design is done for the Underdog Solutions site! We’ll give you a link to check it out soon, but in the meantime we need help with what to put in the sidebars of the secondary pages. Here’s the ideas we have so far:

  • Product Callout
  • Twitter status
  • Recent Blog Entries
  • Hire/Contact
  • Quote or Review once we get some more
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Being a Good Neighbor

by Jonathan Longnecker in Business, Personal

I’ll admit it. I’m not really a social person. We’ve lived in our neighborhood almost 6 years and I can count the number of times we’ve talked to our neighbors on my hand. And by talk I mean had a full conversation. So yeah, not a lot.

Several weeks ago we put our house on the market. Too many kids, not enough rooms; you know the drill. We’ve outgrown this place, unfortunately. And in preparation to sell it, we needed to finish replacing all the doors and trim we had started a couple of years ago. Since my gifts are in handcrafting pixels, my wife’s dad came to the rescue, taking a week off from work and plowing through our huge list of repairs, updates and so on.

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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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Use ImageSizer to Scale Lightbox Gallery Images in ExpressionEngine

by Jonathan Longnecker in Tutorials, ExpressionEngine

I still remember the day I found the ImageSizer plugin from Lumis. “Holy crap, I can upload any file and this thing will crop it and resize it on the fly in multiple places throughout my whole ExpressionEngine site?” To say I was psyched would be an understatement.

We often use ImageSizer in conjunction with the FF Matrix FieldFrame field type to let users add as many images as they want with captions. Then we pull at the first one and give a link to view the rest in a lightbox gallery. Works great! Until my clients started putting images in themselves.

Oh no! The lightbox is too big for the window.

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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.

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DesignersMusic.com: 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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Challenging the Status Quo

by Jonathan Longnecker in Personal

Felt like a poem of sorts today. Enjoy:

Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Don’t subdue that voice in your head that keeps telling you to ask “why” and “how” and “if.”

We’re the disrupters, the button pushers and the strange ones who don’t take “It’s always been this way” for an answer. Because maybe â just maybe, there’s a better way.

And if we don’t keep pushing to find that better way, who will?

Don’t give up. Don’t give in. And don’t ever stop challenging the status quo.

Inspired by Seth Godin’s “Why Ask Why” article.

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More Dirty Spy Rock! - The Problem Solver

by Nate Croft in Music

Jump into your Aston Martin and don’t forget the cuff link grenades because there’s more huge riffs and mumbly rad rhythms headed your way! See yourself walking calmly through a hail storm of enemy fire while unleashing your own semi-automatic barrage of cooly menacing munitions only to stop, raise an eyebrow, and then shoot the sniper out of the window behind you without looking. Oh yeah, it’s that kind of a song.

What are you waiting for? Get your Dirty Spy Rock! Download “The Problem Solver”.

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Design Hope - Homepage Design

by Nate Croft in Design, Design Hope


Now that we’ve finally have a logo, it’s time to get to the fun part, the design! Scott had given us a solid direction for the look and feel. He wanted a clean, simple design that showcased a current app and also provided a few more options for people to jump into the different content areas of the site. We went with a mono color scheme in order to really showcase the app and make the different headers and content launch points stand out more readily.

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Keep Trying to Get Better

by Jonathan Longnecker in Business, Personal

I would guess that 90% of the people you meet deal with the same problems they’ve dealt with their whole life. Maybe they’re workaholics (lifting my own hand). Maybe they have anger issues. Maybe they’re lazy or maybe they lack self esteem.

We all have personality traits and tendencies that we’re not proud of, but that’s no excuse to accept them.

The first step is admitting you have a problem, right? Or maybe in this case becoming aware that you need to change something. Depending on what the problem is, this can be a huge step.

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Dirty Spy Rock! - Free Music

by Nate Croft in Music, Personal

One night, as I sat in the office/studio, I was overcome with the desire to write a song. A spy song. I grabbed my guitar and began to pound out the sneakiest riffs and rhythms I could muster. Yes, yes, this would do.

If I were a spy this music would play every time I was chasing a car around the winding Swiss mountain roads, or single handedly besting the brutish thugs of my arch nemesis.

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