thoughts on pixels

I’ve had this idea of ‘thinking in pencil’ for a long time. The notion that one’s thoughts, opinions and ideas can shift and grow based on the information at hand, on any given day, at any given moment. Every new experience, sight and sound informs you as a person, an artist and as a designer. That commitment to exploration and the ability to admit and even embrace being wrong is one of the aspects of my own personality that I strive to improve every day. It makes me a better designer, a better manager, a better partner to clients - and a better person.

I try to focus on things relevant to web professionals, designers and other creative thinkers. Not always a successful endeavor, but variation keeps things interesting at least.

slides for my talk on Designing for Uncertainty at #eduiconf

Submitted by jpamental on

 I gave a talk today the the edUi Conference in Richmond, VA. It’s been a fantastic conference so far, and worth more words than I can devote right now (because Whitney Hess (@whitneyhess) is speaking and she’s fantastic and worth the attention). But the response to my talk was just overwhelming, and I wanted to get the slides up here quickly.

Thanks for all your feedback and tweets so far - please stay in touch!



Submitted by jpamental on

It’s time. After two years (and another previous as a consultant), it’s time to wind down my involvement with Schoolyard. While I’m sure I’ll still help from time to time, the platform  is in good shape (we’ve launched over 30 sites in just over 2 years, with nearly 20 more in various stages of evolution) and the team needs to have more room to grow and take on more challenges. Likewise, I need to grow as well.

Curiosity: Not just for killing cats anymore

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It’s what drives innovation. It’s what drives the web. It’s the force behind the questions ‘Why?’ and ‘What if?’

If Tim Berners-Lee was not curious, he would not have created the very place we all work.

If Marc Andreeson wasn’t curious there would be no graphical browser.

If Dries wasn’t curious we wouldn’t have Drupal (there may be a spelling issue there too)

If you weren’t curious you wouldn’t be here. – a bungler's tale

Submitted by jpamental on
Topics:  drupal

I’ve spent some time getting to know how to tune up MySQL a bit to speed up the Drupal sites I create, and wanted to share a bit of what I’ve learned. 

To start - know that this is all based on using CentOS 6 (or 5.x - was mostly the same) and MySQL 5.x. Getting started was really easy:

designing in public, inspired by @zeldman & started with Goudy Sans

Submitted by jpamental on
Topics:  design drupal

Lots of ‘new’ today. New version of Drupal (7), new host provider ( @linode ), new markup language (HTML5), new evolution of design based around Goudy Sans and built responsively and designed from the typography out. And new rough edges. Lots, to be honest. But overall I’m pretty pleased.

talking about Social Media & Mobile's impact on marketing @ Providence College

Submitted by jpamental on

I had a great time this past week dropping in on a few collected classes’ worth of marketing students at Providence College. I was asked by good friend and former client Ed Gonsalves to talk a bit about how Social Media and Mobile has changed marketing in recent years. While marketing isn’t necessarily a core interest of mine, I’ve been involved in it in one way or another fairly constantly over the years. I think it’s actually hard to NOT be involved in some way when you work as a design and strategy consultant.

looking back, moving forward

Submitted by jpamental on
Topics:  design

Well, the ball’s about to drop in NYC to ring in 2012. Looking back at 2011, I really can’t quite believe how much has happened. The year started early on with a pretty amazing development: my wife started working with me at @schoolyard – which has been absolutely amazing. That was followed by writing a couple articles for Monotype’s blog at (more on the way!), speaking at DrupalCon London, Do It With Drupal in Brooklyn and Future of Web Design in NYC (again!).


Submitted by jpamental on
Topics:  design development

I’m not sure if this is really a tradition quite yet, but certainly something worth doing once a year at the very least. One thing that I’ve come to recognize about my life thus far is that it’s been a very fortunate one. Not that it’s been all easy, that I want for nothing or anything of that sort. It’s been fortunate in the sense that even the challenges that I’ve faced, both internal and externally imposed, have brought me to a point in life where I can honestly say I’m profoundly happy.