The time which I dedicate to reading is predominantly based in front of a screen nowadays. Of the few physical books I make time to read, they are predominantly reference books related to learning a language. The funny thing is that this doesn't seem to stop me from entering book shops on a pretty frequent basis.

When travelling through the capital, I can't walk by a Foyles or Waterstones without at least a strong impulsion to go inside (and god help me if I'm passing Marylebone High Street). Whilst the focused calm found in most of these outlets makes for a much needed respite from the busy streets, this isn't the reason I'm drawn in.

It's the book covers.


There is nothing quite like drifting through the store from island to island, slowly taking in cover after cover. The sheer variety of the designs is always mesmerising and I'll almost always find something which awakens some creative spark deep within. The limited canvas space is a compelling example of the catalystic qualities of artistic restraints - something I am keen to understand and explore further in the future.

It was with great joy therefore that I recently discovered the wonderful bookcoverarchive.com. As they succinctly put it, this site is for 'the appreciation and categorisation of excellence in book cover design.' I promptly bookmarked the site under the 'regular design inspiration' folder.

Chris Coiyer has been inspiring us recently with articles about type lock ups and the influence of print layouts in CSS. I have been keen to roll up my sleeves and have a go, but couldn't find a place start. But this overload of book cover was the perfect opportunity. Even better, my recent efforts to learn Flexbox have primed me with just the tools needed to take on such as task.

And so I have begun what will hopefully be a semi regular project in which I attempt to build a series of book covers with HTML & CSS. I think of them affectionately as flex-books.

Below is an example, and you can see the collection so far here.

See the Pen After America by Jonathan Garner (@jonathangarner) on CodePen.

365 photo project

tree at night

While seeing in the first week of the year in the beautiful south west of Ireland, I managed to make the time to get re-aquianted with my camera. Purchased nearly a year ago, I haven't got anywhere near as much use out of it as I had hoped. So, during the last week while cataloguing my photos from the last year and creating a flickr account, i took the plunge and decided to start a project for the new year. Nothing revolutionary, just a photo a day for a year. I have many friends who have done similar things recently, and I'm always amazed by the rapid progess I see in them just from having a regular discipline.

Rules to myself are to take at least one new photo each day, and where possible to upload them that same day.

You can follow along here.

Photos from Ireland


Fresh back from the Beara peninsula on the southwest coast of Ireland with a new batch of photos

See them online on flickr

Time to learn Flex-box

I have seen an increasing number of fantastic looking sites putting flexbox through it paces recently, each in unique ways. The great thing is there is also an equal number of really useful resources surfacing to help us fully master this new spec, which is ready to use in (almost) all browsers today.

Now, it seems, is the time to learn Flexbox.

Here are a few resources I have really benefitted from: