07 Oct
   Filed Under: Apple, IconResource   

I was sitting in an office as news started coming in yesterday that Steve Jobs had passed away. Shocked, I verified the news, paused speechless for a moment, shared it with my wife in astonishment, and worked on. I worked hard and finished designing a subset of an app that I would say is the best work I’ve done in my life.

I haven’t really been ‘with Apple’ for that long. I’d gotten my first Mac not too long before joining the Academy in late 2005. Before that, in high school I bought a 2003 iPod with the money I’d earned working as a dish washer in a Chinese restaurant. In my little rural school, only a handful of kids even knew what an MP3 file was, let alone an iPod.

I’d grown up with an innate dislike for Macs. Since I’d always had a PC, once I had overcome my fear for its intimidating hidden workings I started taking it apart. From hardware to software, I wanted to know what made computers tick. The Mac seemed like such an antithesis, such an impediment to creativity, learning, and curiosity. Why would people prefer closed, shiny plastic boxes?

It’s only when I got my iPod that I figured it out. The experience was enthralling. When the Mac finally switched to Intel chips is when I felt comfortable switching, and I never looked back. I took the amazing experience that welcomed me – and swallowed me whole – apart, bent on finding what made me love my Mac so much. That year I found my passion for visual user interface and user experience design. Fast-forward to today: I am changing the experiences millions of people have with software for the better as a job. I love it. I have never been happier.

Steve touched us all, and I am no exception. Before going to the Academy of Arts and before getting my first Mac, I started learning about the history of Apple as a company. I devoured books, documentaries and even the movie Pirates of Silicon Valley, in which the early years of Apple and Microsoft are told from the perspective of Jobs, Wozniak, Gates and Ballmer. The movie, and Steve’s 2005 Stanford Commencement address, are what motivated me to let myself go, and let myself be submerged in my inner drive to obsess. I put a picture of him and Woz in my sketchbook.

When I worked at Apple, having my work reviewed by him and getting feedback and input from him was my lifelong dream made a reality, and the greatest honor I ever had. It has helped me tremendously grow as a person, and a professional.

When I sat on my couch this morning after a terrible, sleepless night full of confusing dreams and racing thoughts, it finally struck me that that man is gone. Even writing those words now, I feel a terrible sinking feeling.

Steve was my greatest inspiration. We all have to fight, live, work and most importantly love more and more strongly than ever to fill the void he left behind. I’m in a lucky place where I have never lost a close member of my family to cancer, but I am sure I will some day. Until then, I will do all I can to fight it: I am donating all proceeds of my video tutorial website, Icon Resource, to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network between now and Monday, October 10, midnight PST.

As my friend (and amazing human) Aza, whose father was robbed of him by the same disease put it so well:

First my father, then Steve Jobs. Pancreatic cancer has had a disproportionate and dire impact on early Apple people. Imagine if it hadn’t.

And I will end this post on a note I wrote myself:

If you want to honor Steve, don’t mourn. Do your best work every day. Live your life to the fullest. Never settle. His spirit lives on.

29 Apr
   Filed Under: Announcement, IconResource, Personal   

Some doubted it would ever come. Some said it had been seen riding unicorns in misty valleys in the Scottish highlands. Others had seen it teaching design techniques to Duke Nukem, seemingly Forever. But today, the vapor has condensed.

Icon Resource 2 is actually here.

It’s great, because today is also my birthday. The best present I could give myself is bringing Icon Resource 2 to all existing members and welcome new members to the website.

As interest for techniques in iOS icon design has grown considerably, Icon Resource now has a small sibling in iOS Resource, which (for now) teaches you iOS icon design techniques, but will soon rise up next to its brother with full fledged tracks on scalable UI design and other techniques that are essential in designing for iOS.

If you are an existing members, you will get several new advanced level courses in icon design for free. You should get an email soon with new login information that gives you access to the member area. If you have not received an email by tomorrow, do drop me a line (twitter also works). I hope you enjoy all the new content, and I will update this new platform more this year with free new content.

25 Jan

In August last year, I decided to hold a limited sale period for Icon Resource, since I was about to upgrade it with new content for existing members. I like giving people free upgrades whenever possible: Icon Resource was always meant to be an ongoing project, and it still is. However, it’s taking longer than expected to roll out the new websites. It’ll certainly be worth the wait, though!

Here’s a brief a look at the new Icon Resource – and its new brother, iPhone Resource. There’s something new for previous and new members in the works, but I’m not ready to release it yet. This only means that there’ll be that much more content for you if you’re a member: two entirely new courses on Mac / Windows icon design, including intermediate and advanced techniques.

iPhone Resource, a separate and new set of courses, focuses on making amazing iPhone icons and interfaces. It’s shorter and more concise than its big brother, but from what I’ve seen in the App Store, it’s certainly sorely needed.

You will also get a brand new member area, where you can watch course videos, review lessons and download files. An iPhone application is also in the works, but I can’t tell much about that yet. It’ll be released a bit later than the actual upgrade.

Much design love went into this new version, and all pages have been redesigned from the ground up. The new login page went through over a hundred iterations. Click on the image to view it at full size on Flickr.

I expect to roll out the entire new Icon Resource upgrade in late February or March. As an existing member, you will be notified by email (and only this time! I hate newsletter spam) when the new content arrives. The price will remain unchanged.

07 Aug
   Filed Under: IconResource   

For the next week, Icon Resource will be a full 30 euro cheaper – over 35% off – in anticipation of the announcement of Icon Resource 2.0. The second version of Icon Resource will be a sizable update with a slew of new ‘courses’, which are all free for existing members.

Keep an eye on the blog for the big announcement and preview of all the new content, resources, and features. I can’t wait to show off some of the great stuff that’s cooking!

A note to all folks that are purchasing the membership this week: I will be unavailable this weekend, so support email and other inquiries will be unanswered until Monday.

16 Apr
   Filed Under: Icon Design, IconResource, News   

Matt Gemmell, legendary coder of Mac OS X source code and programming fame, has posted an expansive review of Icon Resource on his blog.

I genuinely feel like I learned a lot about what was previously something of a black art to me, and I couldn’t help but come away feeling enthusiastic about the prospect of creating some of my own icons for future software projects – or just for fun.

Check it out here if you’re interested!

02 Apr


The day has come, and Icon Resource, the biggest project I’ve spearheaded since the start of my own company has gone live. You can now go to the Icon Resource website to watch a sample video, read more about the contents, or acquire your access to the polished Icon Resource member area.

Continue reading…