Redesigning my site in the open

I haven’t updated my personal website since late 2017 – probably the longest period ever between two redesigns. It’s held up well for over 4 years, but it’s time for a refresh. I have several motivations for this latest effort. First, I’m writing more so I’d like a blog-first design, something that can be a permanent home for my thoughts on the internet for decades to come. Second, I’m itching to write more code lately, and Jekyll is a pretty low friction way of getting back into. Lastly, I’ve been toying around with the idea of building a Notion-driven Jekyll competitor, so I figured that before embarking on that, I’d make at least a serious attempt at building something on Jekyll to see where it performs well and where it falls short.

Something else that I’d like to experiment with is designing this site directly in code. I’ve done this on some smaller projects before, but never tried it on anything of this level, so it should be fun. I have a general idea of where I’d like to go with the design, but am planning on figuring most of it out as I go. As a result, I expect this site to be pretty janky while it is under construction.

First up, getting rid of Minima in order to roll my own theme. Things are gonna look pretty barebones to start with, but I’m exciting to get something out there. After a few hours of noodling around, I got myself set up with a pretty basic site from scratch – it’s barely designed at all, but at least the typography no longer hurts my eyes. I went with Colfax and a bit of IBM Plex, the former because it was a typeface I had already paid for, and the latter for dates and, at least aspirationally, code snippets. I’d like to buy something more fun from Future Fonts later, but I’ve got to figure out the baseline for the rest of the site before letting myself fall down the type rabbit hole.

Incidentally, I really appreciate foundries like Process that issue licenses allowing for usage on multiple domains. It’s nice to have a small roster of fonts that can be easily used on small projects. Typekit used to serve this purpose for me, but I’ve grown to hate the subscription fee lately. I’d much rather pay the maker of the product directly and own the license.

Next time, I’d like to put up a work section covering the projects I’ve done. Might also look into an image layout so that I can stick a couple of pictures up on my about page.

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