Timeout with Rich Thornett

Who are you? Let us know where you hail from and what you do.

Rich-front-streetI’m Rich Thornett, co-founder of Dribbble. I do a little of everything at Dribbble these days - product design, code reviews, coding (when I’m lucky), hiring, support, and trash removal to name a few. For better or for worse (don’t ask my team which), I have a hand in almost everything that goes on over here. It can be exhausting, but product ownership is my thing and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I live in Salem, Massachusetts with my wonderful, witty wife, where we spend most of our time corralling our children who are lost-in-bonkers. In my my spare time, I like to run and pun and spend far too much time playing and reading about basketball.

What are you working on?

It feels like I’m working on 14 different things at the moment. (And all moments.) Most recently, I’ve invested a lot of time improving our support, hiring, and working toward a new version of the Dribbble API. There are also bigger efforts for Teams and something we call Playbook that are just getting underway.

Choose a favorite shot of yours. Tell us why it’s a favorite.

D2

I’m not sure I have a favorite shot, but I’ll go with Mo’ Better Views. (Internally we called this D2, short for Dribbble 2. My git branch name was rt-d2 and, yes, I’m proud of that. PUN INTENDED!)

It’s a preview of filters that we added to some of our primary pages to enable more fine-grained shot browsing. It was one of those big, visible changes to the site that always scare the hell out of me. On release, you hope you don’t break anything and wait with bated breath to see how folks react on Twitter about the redesign. It involved a lot of thought, refactoring and fine-tuning of queries, as we were touching hallowed pages that had been around for some time. But primarily, I picked it because it was big first step toward a more flexible browsing experience that we’re after. I love big features that pave ground and stake territory toward a better future Dribbble.

Tell us about your setup. What tools did you use to create the shot (e.g. hardware, software, pens, paper, blowtorch)?

My setup is very simple - I use a 15” MacBook Pro. I never use an external monitor. It prevents me from moving around easily (I go from desk to sofa and back regularly, as well as often wandering over to show Dan what I’m working on.

The tools I rely on are GitHub, Sublime Text 2, Chrome, nvALT and Snappy. We use lots of open source to build Dribbble, but Ruby, Rails, and PostgreSQL are the core of our operation.

Choose a favorite shot from another player. Tell us why you dig it.

Since I’ve been on the Dribbble scene for a while, I tend to look at shots in the context of Dribbble history as well as their own merits. (There are just too many good shots to pick from if I don’t.)

In 2010, we ran a Veer Rebound Playoff. That was our first sponsored Playoff and it showed us that we could do advertising on the site in a way that was genuinely fun and interesting for members. We didn’t have any paid offerings at the time, so the revenue from that event was oxygen for us as bootstrappers. (We’re so grateful for folks like Veer, Media Temple, Campaign Monitor, MailChimp and others who kept us afloat in the early days by advertising with us. Thank you!)

The absurdly talented Dave Mottram was selected by Veer as the winner for And the bbband played on… (below). (Dave is amazing and, yes, I’m trying to get an extra shot in here. :)

Shot_1286507817

For my favorite shot, I’m choosing Ticket Stub by Ryan Putnam.

Shot_1286435597

Ryan’s entry received the most likes from the community and became the most-liked shot in Dribbble history at the time. Personally, I love the orange and blue, the vintage look of the ticket, and the way he worked the ‘bbb’ theme of the contest and Dribbble’s basketball motif into the shot.

Ryan would go on to win the Squarespace Rebound Playoff in 2012 and has been prolific in sharing his amazing work on Dribbble, which he now does as a member of the Dropbox design team. I feel honored that the history of his incredible work is linked in some small way to that of our company.

How did you get to Dribbble?

The better question is probably how Dribbble got to me. Dan and I both live in Salem and happened to meet and become friends when we both had kids around the same time. He let me share his office on days that I worked from home and our shop talk eventually turned to doing a side project together. He wanted to call the site we were building Dribbble (as in, leaking your work) and make it purple. One of those things actually happened.

To our surprise, our little side project drew more interest that we ever dreamed. As time went by, we scrambled each month to get some banner advertisers and eventually had just enough revenue for me to take a chance and quit my job to become Dribbble’s first full-time employee. As I write this, I realize I’ve now been self-employed for over 4 years. This was always a dream of mine and it actually happened. Thanks, Dribbble! #sniff

Find Rich at Dribbble, on Twitter, and at Thornett.com.

Timeout with Dan Cederholm

Timeouts are lightning-quick interviews, questions to help you get to know the players holding court at Dribbble. This week and next, to celebrate our fifth, we will sit in the Timeout seat. First up: Dan.

Who are you? Let us know where you hail from and what you do.

DcHowdy, I’m Dan Cederholm, co-founder of Dribbble, designer, cautious adventure seeker, clawhammer banjo afficionado and lover of Muppets. I drive a Subaru and I’m a dad in real life. I’m likely eating a burrito right now. I hail from Salem, Massachusetts.

What are you working on?

Aside from HR duties and the general ebb and flow of running a small business, I’m also working on something we’re calling Playbook. It’ll be a simple, customizeable grid of your best work, powered by your Dribbble profile. I’m quite excited about it, and it’s been fun designing and coding something from the ground up, having less legacy than we’re usually dealing with on the main app. One of my favorite aspects of Dribbble is giving talented folks a platform for more visibility to connect with others, get hired, be a part of a great, supportive community, make friends, etc. And Playbook will be a nice extension of that ongoing goal of ours.

Choose a favorite shot of yours. Tell us why it’s a favorite.

Electric

I’ll go with Electric Service Co. from two years ago. It reminds me of a time when I actually had time to make fun, seemingly useless things. And that it’s OK to create things just for the sake of creating something. Inspired from my walk from home to the office and the manhole covers stepped over along the way. I’d still love to print a variation of it on a T-shirt. Then again, I’d love to print most anything on a T-shirt. I dig the shot because it embodies a lot of what I love about designing things: real-life inspiration, a great typeface, warm colors, and simple forms. Plus, you can’t go wrong with a lightning bolt.

Tell us about your setup. What tools did you use to create the shot (e.g. hardware, software, pens, paper, blowtorch)?

I suppose it started with the iPhone camera, taking a photo of the manhole cover. I do all my vector work in Photoshop. I’m sure it’d be more efficient to use Illustrator, but for whatever reason I never learned it and have come to enjoy PS’s smaller toolset. Constraints and all that. For texture I probably used one of Liam McKay's excellent packs.

image

Photo by Daniel Byrne for net magazine

For the past several years, I’ve been working exclusively on a 15” MacBook Pro. No external monitor, mouse or keyboard. It means working from comfy couches wherever and whenever, which is key when you’re raising two young kids. We have desks here at Dribbble HQ, but they’re rarely used.

Choose a favorite shot from another player. Tell us why you dig it.

Picture_6

Bull by Curtis Jinkins. Like many of you, I’m a big fan of Curtis’s work, and bought this print immediately after he posted the shot three years ago. It’s been happily hanging in my living room ever since. Curtis is a master of texture and simple shapes and custom lettering and other feats, and it’s been a joy following his work on Dribbble.

Find Dan at Dribbble, on Twitter, and at simplebits.com.

Weekly Replay

July 7, 2014

Since Last Week

  1. Dribbble is 5!
  2. It's not rocket science..
  3. Lifepak

It’s our birthday on Wednesday! Thanks for all the Rebounds (172!!!) - keep ‘em coming! And don’t forget to include your charity in the comments. We’ll announce the winners on Thursday.

Thanks to Meg Robichaud for stopping by to share some scoop in last week’s Timeout. (Meg’s It’s not rocket science and Lifepak above center and left.) This week and next we’ll be Timeouting with us! Starts tomorrow. Don’t miss us.

Deckstarter Kickstarter

On Sale Now!

I’ll Flyer Away

Worlddd Cupdate

  • imageFrom Indicius: Semi-finals are here! The two matches left are China vs Sweden and Portugal vs Croatia. Who will win and pass throught to the Finals? Go to Worlddd Cup HQ to join the action.

User Friendly

Branded

  • image Alla tiders hemtjanst (company offering elderly care) by Rita Konik

Process

I’m the Map!

We Like Firecrackers.

Coaches’ Picks

Meetup Wrap-up

Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, June 18

image

From organizers Blake Stevenson and Brian Potstra: “On June 18, we (Boltmade) were proud to host Kitchener-Waterloo’s first Dribbble meetup. Widely seen as an engineering-dominate region, it was great to see so many designers and other creative-types show up for a night of mingling and casual shop talk.

"Kitchener’s own Andrew Kolb was kind enough to donate a few of his gorgeous prints which were given away in a draw at the end of the night. Kik Messenger of Waterloo generously provided drinks for the event, as well as a mountain of Kik swag. Thanks!”

More Kitchener/Boltmade/Dribbble Meetups to follow!

Atlanta, Georgia, June 27

image

Organizers Giovanni Hobbins (co-founder and designer at Campus Bubble) and Liz Lara (UX designer and illustrator) hosted Dribbblers in Atlanta for Ping-pong, beer, pizza, and great conversation. Campus Bubble helps universities with student engagement, and they were happy to provide the space for local designers to engage. Stay tuned to Replay and on Twitter (@campusbubble) for details on the next Campus Bubble Dribbble (say that 10 times fast) Meetup. Historical note: This is our first Meetup Wrap-up GIF!

Meetups

Thanks to our global Meetup co-sponsor Shopify.

  • Portland, Oregon, USA
    TONIGHT! PDX Lettering Collective Potluck*, Monday, July 7, 6:30 p.m., Irving Park, NE Fremont Street. Cool exercises and games to get your drawing letters. Potluck - bring one delicious thing to share. RSVP.
  • Bloomington Dribbble MeetupBloomington, Indiana, USA
    Wednesday, July 9, 6 p.m., Cowork Btown, 406 S. Walnut St. Shot talks, drinks and more. RSVP.
  • Brisbane Aust, Dribbble MeetupBrisbane, Australia
    Friday, July 11, 5:45 p.m., location TBD. RSVP.
  • Dhaka, Bangladesh
    Friday, July 11, 6:30 p.m., location TBD. RVSP.
  • Seoul, South Korea
    Friday, July 11, 7 p.m., location TBD. RSVP.
  • Palantir Dribbble MeetupPalo Alto, California, USA
    Wednesday, July 16, Palantir HQ, 542 High Street, 7 p.m. RSVP at dribbble.palantir.com.
  • De Pere, Wisconsin, USA
    Wednesday, July 16, 7 p.m., location TBD. RVSP.
  • Lansing, Michigan, USA
    Wednesday, July 16, 7:30 p.m., location TBD. RSVP.
  • Dribbble Meetup Montevideo, Uruguay
    Thursday, July 17, 7:30 p.m., Barbacana Kustom Pub & Speedshop, Joaquin Requena 1118 esquina Maldonado. RSVP.
  • Singapore
    Tuesday, July 22, 7 p.m., Neo Singapore, 53 Craig Road. Sponsored by Neo Singapore and buUuk. RSVP.
  • Bekasi, Indonesia
    Wednesday, July 23, 6 p.m., Starbucks, Grand Galaxy Park. RSVP.
  • Dribbble is 5!Salem, Massachusetts
    5th Birthday Party for Dribbble, Wednesday, July 30, Dribbble HQ, 16 Front Street, Suite 202. Details and RSVP information to follow.

    Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico
    Thursday, July 31, 8 p.m., location TBD. RSVP.

  • Boston, Massachusetts
    Dribbble at the National Poster Retrospecticus, Friday, August 1, 6 p.m., BU Art Gallery, 855 Commonwealth Avenue. Note: This is not a traditional Meetup; rather, we encourage Dribbblers to meetup at the NPR show. RSVP.
  • Cleveland, Ohio
    Dribbble at the National Poster Retrospecticus, Friday, August 9, 6 p.m., Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 1100 East 9th St. Note: This is not a traditional Meetup; rather, we encourage Dribbblers to meetup at the NPR show. Please note: attendees must pay museum admission. RSVP.
  • Dribbble Hangout - Istanbul Istanbul, Turkey
    Sunday, August 10, 3 p.m., Limonata Etiler, Etiler Mahallesi, Nispetiye Caddesi, No 96, Beşiktaş, İstanbul. RSVP.

Have a shot you’d like considered for Replay? Send the link to susanna@dribbble.com.

Timeout with Meg Robichaud

Timeouts are lightning-quick interviews, questions to help you get to know the players holding court at Dribbble. Thanks to Meg for being today’s interviewee.

Who are you? Let us know where you hail from and what you do.

Meg4Ha. Well. I’m Meghan Robichaud, hailing from a small town (Hampton) on the east coast of Canada. I moved to Vancouver about 5 years ago, haven’t looked back. I’m a freelance illustrator/designer — lately leaning to the illustrator side — so “draw” does a pretty good job of summarizing what I do.

What are you working on?

Well, I’m just wrapping up a collaboration project for Aveeno that I’m really excited about. It’s the first time I have worked so closely with animators. I am utterly fascinated by the process, and loving being at the bottom of the learning curve for a while. Barring that, I’ve got a few quick projects—coupla’ mascots, logos & the like. And of course, I’ve always got a Quick Sprout guide on the go.

Choose a favorite shot of yours. Tell us why it’s a favorite.

  1. It's not rocket science..
  2. Lifepak
  3. We're on our way, Ellie.

I think I would have to say any of the Quick Sprout illustrations (you’ll know them from the mint background) that are particularly intricate: It’s not rocket science (above left), Lifepak (above center), We’re on our way Ellie (above right), Spacestuff, 80085 … to name a few. I love those ones just because they really capture when I get carried away. I know my client doesn’t care about the tiny details; I know it appears fairly small in the project; I know I have about 20184012 other things to get done today. I literally couldn’t stop. It’s too much fun.

Tell us about your setup. What tools did you use to create the shot (e.g. hardware, software, pens, paper, blowtorch)?

My desk looks a lot fancier than what I actually use. I’ve got an old MBP hooked up to a cinema display & my new MBPr hooked up to a Wacom tablet. You would think with all that screen space I’d have the spaces all rigged, every Adobe program with its own designated spot on the screens …

Nope. I pretty much exclusively use the big screen for music. It’s just the trusty MBPr, Wacom Intuos5 and Adobe Illustrator.

Choose a favorite shot from another player. Tell us why you dig it.

  1. Vancouver_map_color_option__2
  2. Meteor
  3. Board de Dash

Oof. What a question. Can I just pick all of Scotty Reifsnyder’s shots? [Vancouver Map Color Option 2 above left.]

I think I’m going to go with Meteor by Nina Geometrieva (above center). I mean the colours and the shapes are stunning, and of course, it’s space: awesome. The reason it’s my favourite shot is because I spot people with it as their phone or desktop wallpaper all the time, and it’s like this awesome little badge: “Yeah I know you got that on Dribbble. Wanna stop whatever we’re doing and talk about Dribbble?”

Honorary mention: Board de Dash by Justin Mezzel (above right). The colours, and the lighting and the shapes … Goddamn. But I can’t pick it because we’re friends and that’s biased.

Find Meg at Dribbble, on Twitter, and at meg-draws.com.

Weekly Replay

June 30, 2014

Since Last Week

  1. Picture-2
  2. Dribbble is 5!
  3. Jazz Funeral

Happy Birthday to Us! July 9 marks the first-ever shot, Dan's Working on the new shop (above left). To celebrate, we’re hosting a Playoff on the theme of 5. (Playoff shot above center.) Go play to win great prizes plus $1,000 for the charity of your choice. Winners chosen by the Dribbble Team. The 10 most popular Rebounds will win a $25 coupon code for the Equipment Shop.

*Those of you who have already Rebounded - make sure you included your charity in the comments section.

We ran our first Moonlighting article last week. The occasional series will feature designers who spend a significant amount of time on other professional pursuits. Specifically, we’ll be looking at how that other job informs design work. First up: Designer/Funeral Director/Mayor/Firefighter/Father Mel Pennington (shot Jazz Funeral above right). Think you fit the bill? Email susanna@dribbble.com.

National Poster Retrospecticus Meetupticus

National-poster-retrospecticus-jp-boneyard-jpb

A while back, a group of you in Sacramento piggybacked on an art museum gathering. The event wasn’t aimed at Dribbblers, but the art museum offered Dribbblers an event discount and provided a different backdrop for the usual design conversation. We liked that idea and so are teaming up with the National Poster Retrospecticus to present a series of non-Meetup Meetups. The NPR is a traveling show of more than 300 hand-printed event posters from over 100 of the most prominent poster designers in the USA, including a number of Dribbblers. While there won’t be an official Meetup (nopizzanobeer), we encourage you to attend the shows and seek each other out. We’ll send swag and Dribbble name tags to help you identify each other, and the show organizer, John Boilard (AKA JP Boneyard), will be offering a 10 percent discount on NPR merchandise (e.g. T-shirts, branded tour posters) to all Dribbblers in attendance. (Most events are free.) Keep an eye on our Meetups section in Replay for upcoming shows, and keep an eye on the NPR’s Twitter feed and Facebook page for more specifics.

User Friendly

  • image Brightalyze by James McDonald; Brightalyze is a platform for web app development.
  • image Eventim.de ticketing site, redesigned last year (posted to Dribbble last week) by Dann Petty

Worlddd Cup 2014

  • imageFrom Indicius: Round 16 is no laughing matter. You’re either in or you’re out and there are no second chances! The first four winners were Sweden, Colombia, Croatia & Uruguay. They will be facing each other in the Quarter Finals. China & Iran are currently winning today, but you have time to score goals! Next: Argentina vs Honduras & Russia vs Portugal — who will move on to the Quarter Finals? Go to worldddcup.com and have a say in who wins!

I Want to Ride My Bicycle.

Variations on the Theme of Turtle

Yosemite

  • image Part of a for-client project revolving around US National Parks by Hardly Code’s Rick Murphy

Best Resume Ever.

  • image Resum-Ale by Brennan Gleason. Each box contains his resume. Each bottle features a piece designed by Brennan. Each bottle contains blonde ale brewed by Brennan.

Launched

  • image Royal tumblr theme (free!), posted by Pawel Kadysz and released by Pixel Drive in celebration of their new website and blog.
  • image The Ernest Hemingway Collection website, posted by Jeremy Mansfield, creative director and UX design lead at Brand Aid Design Co. The Hemingway Collection offers “Hemingway inspired lifestyle products & services.”

Happy 25 Tim Burton’s Batman

Iconic

We Like to Take Pictures.

  • image Shuttertalk v2 by Artission
  • image Vintage Polaroid icons (free!) by Patricia Martinez, art director and creative conceptor
  • image User photo and video page by Vivek Ravin for “an ongoing project”

Coaches’ Picks

  • image Unused logo for Euphoria Salon by Luke Bott
  • image S is for Sunflower Seeds by Tommy Perez and his two-year-old daughter
  • image Play! illustration “about the Football (soccer) World Cup” by Antonio Rodrigues Jr., “part of a series of illustrations commissioned by a widely renowned sports company (particularly known for their shoes)”

Teams

Meetup Wrap-up

Dublin, Ireland, June 23

image

Dribbblin Dublin hung out at longtime fave Meetup spot Against the Grain. Thanks to organizers Donovan Hutchinson and Shane Moloney.

Creative Mornings Boston, June 27

image

Not a Meetup proper; rather, Dribbble teamed with Creative Mornings Boston for its June event, hosted by WeWork Fort Point and General Assembly Boston. Per Rich: “great talk, lots of good mingling time, beautiful space.”

image

Kirk Wallace spoke to the theme of “minimal.” Keith Frankel organizes the monthly event and Richie Stewart creates series promotions.

Meetups

Thanks to our global Meetup co-sponsor Shopify.

  • Madrid, Spain
    Friday, July 4, 5 p.m., Bar Cock, 16 Calle Reina. RSVP.
  • Portland, Oregon, USA
    PDX Lettering Collective Potluck, Monday, July 7, 6:30 p.m., Irving Park, NE Fremont Street. Cool exercises and games to get you drawing letters. Bring one delicious edible thing to share. RSVP.
  • Karachi, Pakistan
    Monday, July 7, 7 p.m., Regent Plaza. RSVP.
  • Bloomington Dribbble MeetupBloomington, Indiana, USA
    Wednesday, July 9, 6 p.m., Cowork Btown, 406 S. Walnut St. Shot talks, drinks and more. RSVP.
  • Montevideo, Uruguay
    Thursday, July 10, 7 p.m., location TBD. RVSP.
  • Brisbane Aust, Dribbble MeetupBrisbane, Australia
    Friday, July 11, 5:45 p.m., location TBD. RSVP.
  • Dhaka, Bangladesh
    Friday, July 11, 6:30 p.m., location TBD. RVSP.
  • Seoul, South Korea
    Friday, July 11, 7 p.m., location TBD. RSVP.
  • Palantir Dribbble MeetupPalo Alto, California, USA
    Wednesday, July 16, Palantir HQ, 542 High Street, 7 p.m. RSVP at dribbble.palantir.com.
  • De Pere, Wisconsin, USA
    Wednesday, July 16, 7 p.m., location TBD. RVSP.
  • Lansing, Michigan, USA
    Wednesday, July 16, 7:30 p.m., location TBD. RSVP.
  • Bekasi, Indonesia
    Wednesday, July 23, 6 p.m., Starbucks, Grand Galaxy Park. RSVP.
  • Salem, Massachusetts
    5th Birthday Party for Dribbble, Wednesday, July 30, Dribbble HQ, 16 Front Street, Suite 202. Details and RSVP information to follow.
  • Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico
    Thursday, July 31, 8 p.m., location TBD. RSVP.
  • Boston, Massachusetts
    National Poster Retrospecticus. Not a Meetup but a chance to meet up with other Dribbblers at the National Poster Retrospecticus’s Boston show. Dribbble swag too! Friday, August 1, 6 p.m., BU Art Gallery at the Stone Gallery, 855 Commonwealth Ave. RSVP.

Have a shot you’d like considered for Replay? Send the link to susanna@dribbble.com.

Dribbble is 5!

Happy Birthday to Us!
We’re Making a Fuss.
If You Win Our Playoff
We’ll Give You a Bus.

A giant pink bus with the Dribbble logo plastered across the side! That’s so not true. But it is our birthday, and there will be prizes.

Picture-2

The historic First Shot Ever: Working on the new shop by Dan Cederholm

On July 9, 2009, Dan posted the inaugural shot to Dribbble, sharing with our new community what he was working on. Since then, you’ve shared over 1 million shots of what you’re working on, from in-progress side-projects to rejected logos, from newly launched apps to lettering process shots.

We love to see what you’re working on. Beyond that, we love you. Cheesy? For sure. Also, true.

Over five years, Dribbble has expanded to represent a breadth of skills and depth of talent we couldn’t imagine in the early days. But more importantly to us, as Dribbble grew from its original small village of designers, many of whom knew each other off screen, into a virtual design city with varied neighborhoods, you all continued to support each other’s work and our work. As diversity and numbers have increased, so too have opportunities for finding niches, whether they be professional (letterers, UI folk, comic book cover illustrators, app launchers) or geographic. (From San Francisco to Singapore, more than 3,000 Dribbblers have attended Meetups already this year.)

To be sappy, this is what community is about. This is what Rich and Dan set out to create five years ago. When we look around at all of you today, this is what we celebrate.

For those of you wiping a tear from your eye, we feel you. For those of you thinking “yada yada yada get to the prizes,” here you go!

The “5” Playoff

image

Today we’re kicking off a Playoff challenge with the theme of “5.” Rebound our shot for a chance to win money for charity and a plethora of superb prizes for yourself.

Grand Prize

Top 10 Most-Liked Shots

Nitty Gritty

  • The Grand Prize winner will be chosen by Team Dribbble, not by popular vote.
  • Please note your proposed charity in the comments section of your shot.
  • Contest begins NOW!
  • Contest ends at 12 p.m. EST on July 9. Winners will be announced shortly thereafter.

In addition to this Playoff, we’ll be celebrating with a series of Timeouts from each of our six employees and with a Meetup birthday party at Dribbble HQ in Salem, Mass. Details to follow.

Thank You

… to our prize donors Dropbox, Fonts.com and Monotype, Scout Books, Threadless, and Wacom,

… to our Global Meetup Sponsor, Shopify,

… to our organizers around the world for helping us bring so many Dribbblers together in person this year,

… and to you for supporting Dribbble.

Moonlighting

Moonlighting is a new occasional series about designers who spend a significant amount of professional time not designing. We’ll ask them to speak to the ways their non-design work informs their approach to design.

Mel Pennington: Funeral Director by Day, Designer by Night

imageThat headline up above doesn’t do Mel justice. True, he runs the family’s 100-year-old funeral home. And by “run” we mean the full deal, from embalming to event planning to greeting mourners. When he’s not living the real-life version of “Six Feet Under,” Mel designs. His mother taught in a school with a tricked-out computer lab, and Mel spent many childhood afternoons fiddling around in early-days Photoshop and teaching himself HTML. Today he designs in his spare time, most recently working on a funeral home website for a friend/client.

To be frank, we’re not sure how Mel has spare time. In addition to working as a funeral director and designing for local clients, Mel is also the mayor of Hartsville, South Carolina, a small inland city home to several lakes, numerous parks, a college, and the global HQ of Sonoco packaging. And he’s a firefighter. And father of three girls. And a Liberty Fellow, part of a leadership incubator affiliated with the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

This last activity led to recent soul searching, which turned Mel back towards his early passion for graphic design. He discovered Cameron Moll and via Cameron, Bill S Kenney and finally, Dribbble. Below, Mel discusses how his professional life informs his design work, and vice versa.

Jazz Funeral

Jazz Funeral, presentation for Mel’s current client

“Service seems to be the defining theme in my life. … Being a mayor and a funeral director means that nobody looks to you as a design professional. Dribbble has given me the platform I need to change people’s minds about what and who designers really are. … I work hard all the time, and in my spare time I work hard at design.

“… Most say that I never sleep. That I have strong opinions about how things look, how we create user experiences, and how I harp on the importance of details to create a final product. This holds true in city government and in the funeral profession. The details do matter. How it looks and feels is the only thing we really do.

“… I have a passion for mastering things and moving on to new ones. Design has been the only constant through all of these. In fact, I have a homemade screen printing vacuum press for Coroplast signs, two letterpress machines, and a host of furniture-making equipment in my shop as we speak. My life is so very complex, but so full of things that create what I call the ‘Liberal Arts Lifestyle.’

“Life is about being well-rounded. I truly believe that. So until Focus Lab needs a mayor, I’ll be planning funerals and running a city by day, and designing by night.”

Find Mel at Dribbble, on Twitter, and at melpennington.com.

Are you a designer by day who moonlights on the side? Or vice versa? Email susanna@dribbble.com.

Weekly Replay

June 23, 2014

Since Last Week

  1. Omaha Illustration for Hudl
  2. Midwest Made
  3. Mountain Dew

We went to Omaha. Or Omaha came to us. Or … just go read Spaced, featuring Omaha-based agency Grain & Mortar. They live in an old furniture factory in a space filled with old furniture and new furniture handmade by local artisans. (Above left: Omaha illustration for Hudl by Grain & Mortar’s Mike DeKay and Jesse Harding. Above center: Midwest Made for the company website by Mike and Miranda Bouck.) Go visit!

Speaking of going, Dan and Rich are going to Creative Mornings Boston on Friday. They can’t wait to hear Kirk Wallace (Mountain Dew, above right) talk to the theme of Minimal.

Good Work

  • image Girls Inc. “inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold through life-changing programs and experiences that help girls navigate gender, economic, and social barriers.” Rebranded by Emma J. Baker.

Never Too Early

User Friendly

Animated

Branded

Made in the Shades

Launched

Worlddd Cup

Update from Indicius Germany and the US may be doing well in #WorldCup2014, but they’re getting kicked out of #WorldddCup. Goodbye to you and you and you, Auf Wiedersehen! Also, you may not have seen China in the #WorldCup2014, but they are definately a serious contender in the #WorldddCup. Beware, they’re playing to win!

Boss!

Accidental Medium

  • image Pink House Sessions Vol. 2 created by Brittany Parshall using watercolor, India ink, Photoshop, and (oops!) wine

Practice Makes Perfect

Where’s Dribbble? Tyumen, Russia!

We Like Badasses. Bad Asses? Ba Dasses?

Teams

Meetups

Thanks to our global Meetup co-sponsor Shopify.

  • London Dribbble Meetup - 26th JuneLondon, England
    Thursday, June 26, 6 p.m., The App Business, 20-24 Broadwick Street, Soho. RSVP.
  • Dublin, Ireland
    Thursday, June 26, 7 p.m., location TBD. RSVP.
  • KcmBoston, Massachusetts, USA
    Creative Mornings Boston, Friday, June 27, 8:30 - 10 a.m., WeWork Fort Point/General Assembly, 51 Melcher Street. Enjoy a nice warm breakfast, great networking, and a fantastic session led by world-class illustrator and Boston-based designer Kirk Wallace. Sponsored by Dribbble, The Danger Booth, WeWork, and General Assembly. RSVP.
  • image Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Friday, June 27, 7 p.m., Campus Bubble, 323 Edgewood Avenue. RSVP.
  • DdddddAmman, Jordan
    NOTE DATE CHANGE: Friday, July 11, 6 p.m., Fann Wa Chai فن وشاي, Kulliat Al Shareea. RSVP.
  • Portland, Oregon, USA
    PDX Lettering Collective Potluck, Monday, July 7, 6:30 p.m., Irving Park, NE Fremont Street. Cool exercises and games to get your drawing letters. Potluck - bring one delicious thing to share. RSVP.
  • Karachi, Pakistan
    Monday, July 7, 7 p.m., Regent Plaza. RSVP.
  • Bloomington, Indiana, USA
    Wednesday, July 9, 6 p.m., Cowork Btown, 406 S. Walnut St. Shot talks, headline speakers, drinks and more. RSVP.
  • Montevideo, Uruguay
    Thursday, July 10, 7 p.m., location TBD. RVSP.
  • Brisbane Aust, Dribbble MeetupBrisbane, Australia
    Friday, July 11, 5:45 p.m., location TBD. RSVP.
  • Dhaka, Bangladesh
    Friday, July 11, 6:30 p.m., location TBD. RVSP.
  • Seoul, South Korea
    Friday, July 11, 7 p.m., location TBD. RSVP.
  • Palantir Dribbble MeetupPalo Alto, California, USA
    Wednesday, July 16, Palantir HQ, 542 High Street, 7 p.m. RSVP at dribbble.palantir.com.
  • De Pere, Wisconsin, USA
    Wednesday, July 16, 7 p.m., location TBD. RVSP.
  • Lansing, Michigan, USA
    Wednesday, July 16, 7:30 p.m., location TBD. RSVP.
  • Bekasi, Indonesia
    Wednesday, July 23, 6 p.m., Starbucks, Grand Galaxy Park. RSVP.

Have a shot you’d like considered for Replay? Send the link to susanna@dribbble.com.

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Grain & Mortar

Mastercraft Building, 1111 North 13th Street Suite 141, Omaha, Nebraska

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The Mastercraft Building, home of Grain & Mortar

Look around Grain & Mortar's headquarters and see history: Rough-sawn lumber joists. A 12-foot-wide garage door. Concrete floors adorned only with a fading path painted to guide forklifts. The Omaha-based branding and design agency lives in the 14,000-square-foot, single-story Mastercraft Building, built in 1941 as a furniture factory and now host to a variety of creative businesses. The building’s past and present reflect a larger trend across North Downtown Omaha, that of 20th century industrial spaces transforming into 21st century creative hives.

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"Our space is the definition of the word ‘industrial,’" Kristin DeKay told Dribbble. Kristin heads up operations for the eight-person team. In addition to the aforementioned original details, Grain & Mortar’s office features also include two sets of clerestory windows (i.e. above-eye-level) and a boiler-room-turned kitchen boasting radiant heat. The light-heat combination often lures Kristin away from her desk for a work sprint. “When I have to write something that really needs my full attention, I always grab my laptop and go into the boiler room to focus. It’s always warm by the radiators and the natural light is wonderful.”

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The office also houses an impressive collection of vintage and handmade furniture. The crew rehabbed a mid-century coffee table, grabbed discarded pallet wood to reface the kitchen cabinets, and scored two beautiful filing cabinets from the basement of an old credit union. The company picnic table was designed in-house and built by friend Peter Cales. Same goes for the desks and conference room table. MTRL Design, which also occupies space in the Mastercraft Building, laser-engraved the company barstools.

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As far as encouraging employees to do more than marvel at their surroundings, the office fosters productivity with a collaboration-friendly floor plan, back-saving standing desks, and a separate area for when the need to relax becomes overwhelming.

The current HQ and the company’s previous Mastercraft space have seen the crew undertake identity and design work for clients as varied as Beep, a device connecting all your speakers and making them wireless; smart-shopping price-tracking application Nifti; and ReRuns R Fun, the nation’s largest nonprofit consignment sale.

Omaha Illustration for Hudl

Omaha illustration created for Hudl by Mike DeKay and Jesse Harding.

Currently Grain & Mortar is tackling local and national recruiting campaigns for Hudl, which creates video software and apps for coaches, athletes and recruiters. The company is growing so quickly that it needs 40 new employees, stat. “This project is interesting to us because we’re using design to merge two fields that don’t normally cross paths - sports and technology,” Kristin said. “It’s a fun challenge.”

The Team

To the right, a shot from each of Grain & Mortar’s Dribbblers. To the left, the designers expound on why their office space works.

We Are Honest Folks
“I enjoy that our studio is in a one-floor building, giving us the opportunity to connect with our fellow creative neighbors. I like having wide-open space for entertaining visitors and friends at the studio. There is a very homey feel about the space that helps everyone ease into creativity quickly and makes visitors and client feel welcome.”
Eric Downs, Creative Director, We Are Honest Folks
Barcamp Omaha 2012
“I like that we are using a space that was vacant just five years ago. I also like the high ceilings and skylights. Love concrete, steel, brick, wood environment, it helps me be creative with my craft. I also love that we have standing desks for easy collaboration with a separate chill-out area.”
Mike DeKay, Creative Director, Barcamp Omaha 2012
Midwest Made
“My favorite part of the studio is our glass garage door. There’s nothing like being able to open up the studio and let the sunshine and fresh air in to clear your mind and fill you with inspiration.”
Miranda Bouck, Designer/Developer, Midwest Made
“The open layout makes collaboration much easier. We can move back and forth between each other’s desks quickly and sharing ideas is frictionless. Plus, cubicles are specifically created to drain away your soul one dreary day at a time.” Caleb Nachtigall, Developer
Hudl_dribbble01
“The standing desks are probably my favorite and most effective part of the office for getting work done. I also love sitting with the garage door open on a nice day letting the breeze in.” Bryan Findell, Motion, Hudl
Bss_biker_wip
“I love the awesome, fully-equipped kitchen area. It is refreshing to come to work in a studio that feels more like home than anything else. I also love how everyone works together in the main part of the space. It feels very open and collaborative.” Matt Carlson, Designer, BSS Biker WIP (personal)

Find Grain & Mortar at Dribbble, on Twitter, and at grainandmortar.com. Thank you, Kristin DeKay, for all your help.

Dribbble + Creative Mornings Boston

Kcm

Creative Mornings + Dribbble = food and coffee and networking and a fantastic session led by illustrator and designer Kirk Wallace, who will speak to this month’s worldwide Creative Mornings theme, Minimal.

  1. Simple Golden Gate Bridge
  2. Personal avatar
  3. Payroll Icons

After pursuing a degree in computer science, Kirk realized he wanted to be a designer. Two years later, self educated and influenced by his love of punk rock and skateboarding, Kirk is a highly respected illustrator and creative director at Wagepoint Pay Services.

Kirk gained notoriety in 2013 when the story of a tattoo he created for his late father went viral. At next Friday’s breakfast, Kirk will share the story behind that story in his talk, Minimal Tattoo for Dad.

Simple tattoo

Please join us Friday, June 27, from 8:30 a.m. - 10 a.m. at WeWork Fort Point/General Assembly, 51 Melcher Street, Boston. RSVP at Creative Mornings’ Boston site. Sponsored by Creative Mornings, Dribbble, The Danger Booth, General Assembly, and WeWork. All interested attendees will receive a free three-day trial at WeWork Fort Point or South Station.

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