The blog suffering of a pixel fucker

Vlad tchompalov UOW Asztv Ba0 unsplash

Oh, I would so love to be able to do it: blogging. Because blogging works. Apparently. Oh, I would so love to put everything on paper that goes on in my head. But maybe it's just not enough. Or not good enough. Could be, too. In any case, it's not good enough to put into words.

For my head does not think in words. I think in images. In shapes. In fonts. And I can't turn that into a beautifully written blog. I struggle with that, because it is (if the marketing gurus are to be believed) incredibly important that blogs appear on my company's website. (If only Pinterest boards were just as important!)

Because, although I don't work alone, I AM my business. I am the linchpin. I set the course and the quality we deliver. And I'm not always easy about that.

Not at all, even. I am, as my wife so sweetly puts it, a pixel fucker. (I apologize for the language, I didn't make it up.) Just as I can suffer physically when a guitar is not tuned properly, I also suffer when the design is not quite right. So we don't have to talk about not quite right at all.

When I make a design, I think about every line, point, text block, button, color, (of course) every font and especially the big picture. Such a design grows and is fine-tuned until it has the weight and tranquility that makes it perfect for me. It is consistent, it is balanced, it has a strong foundation and, very importantly, it has survived the night.

Because a design can look so delicious at 11 o'clock at night, you can't be sure it's any good until you look at it again the next morning with fresh eyes. Is it still as good as ever? Then it is good enough to continue.

But a design is then "only" a picture. It is the dreamed end product, but it is not yet alive, it is not yet a website or application. For that, it must be converted into HMTL/CSS. This translation should be a formality, but a lot of good designs fail in this process. Whether the line is exactly there, or just a few pixels to the left, sometimes seems unimportant to the translator. And that's where it goes wrong. Pixel-precise translation of a design into HTML/CSS is a profession in itself.

A profession to which I attach great importance. Because my design only comes to life when it has become a website, app or application. Until then it's a beautiful picture to hang on your wall, but that's not what it's for. Because we are not artists, we are craftsmen: we make beautiful products that have to be used. Products that people will enjoy working with.

And if that requires you to be a pixel fucker who thinks in images rather than words ... well, then please do.

Martijn La Feber