Every vector 2016

9 Dec 2016

Metafizzy every vector 2016

Draplin-esque collage. Every vector made in 2016. Accepted, rejected, upcoming, or unused.

Shepherd logo & brand

6 Dec 2016

Shepherd brand

Shepherd is a platform for business owners to build communities and peer groups so they can better face the challenges and opportunities they share (launching soon!). I designed the brand with supervision from Shepherd's lead, Ben. The main logo depicts two crossed shepherd crooks forming an S.

The alternate logo is a dog, an Australian shepherd. Shepherds still use dogs to herd and control their flocks. Dogs are a great symbol of companionship and loyalty, qualities central to Shepherd. Herding breeds like the Aussie and border collie are the smartest.

Erin loves Aussies. Even as her husband, I'll always be second place in her heart, behind her family Aussie, Tess. She was thrilled to find my screen like this:

Aussie desktop

Designing an Aussie logo was a fun challenge. Blue merle Aussies have striking coloring, with gray and black patchwork and tan points. My solution was to stylize the whole image: use a striped pattern for the patches, punch up the colors to blue and gold, and stick to an angular grid. It's a dog you won't forget.

Shepherd logo sketches

Shepherd logo explorations

Shepherd logo explorations

Interested in a logo for your project? Let's chat! Email me yo@metafizzy.co to get started.

David DeSandro logos

RGB Schemes logo

2 Dec 2016

RGB Schemes logo

I designed the logo, type treatment, and brand guidelines for RGB Schemes, a VR gaming start-up. Woo, it's a fun one! The main logo is the RGB birdie, a symbol dense with meaning.

  • Bird for fun and whimsy
  • R, G, B letter shapes
  • Letter shapes in isometric view for 3D & VR graphics
  • Additive color blending displaying red-green-blue color space

The kicker: The birdie can be rendered as a 3D object.

RGB Schemes 3D logo rotation

RGB Schemes 3D logo object

I coded up this demo with 3D CSS transforms so you can drag around the logo for yourself.

See the Pen RGB Schemes 3D logo object by David DeSandro (@desandro) on CodePen.

It was one of those wonderful cases of design happenstance. I put the letters in a cube and kept playing around with the arrangement. At one point, I spot: "Hey, that kinda looks like a bird." Sometimes you get lucky ;)

Here's a look at all the explorations designed in the effort.

RGB Schemes logo design process 1

RGB Schemes logo design process 2

Interested in a logo for your project? Let's chat! Email me yo@metafizzy.co to get started.

David DeSandro logos


1 Dec 2016

Metafizzy is 6 years old today!

2016 was the biggest year for Metafizzy's product line-up. Major upgrades to three products, plus two new products.

But I'll be real here: I failed.

My goal for Metafizzy in 2016 was to grow license sales by 25%. Now that the year is closing, the numbers are in. Sales will have 0 percent change. That means Metafizzy kept pace with 2015 sales. That in-of-itself is an achievement. But it's nowhere near the goal or even the right direction towards it.

Rather than gloss over this failure, I mean to confront it. It's tempting to project a pastiche of ever-positive progress. I witnessed this behavior while working at Twitter. Failures were framed as lessons. Deficiencies were framed as opportunities. I appreciated the gesture, but what I really wanted was to someone to stand up say "We fucked up."

Metafizzy failed in 2016. I fucked up.

The plan was to do major upgrades to the three principle products, Isotope, Flickity, and Packery, then market these newly updated products. Upgrading the libraries was a worthy project. I'm happy with what I've made. But it was a bigger endeavor than I had anticipated. By the end of it, I was tired of working on the code. I was not motivated for a concentrated marketing effort.

New thing, shortsightedness on Bumpers

This break lead to Logo Pizza. The logos were received better than expected. But I stumbled again, this time in the follow-up. Anxious to start a fresh career in logo design, I said yes to a good number of logo projects brought in by Logo Pizza. Too many. I went from code burn-out to logo burn-out. Again, I'm proud of the work, but I'm worried what it cost.

So it's done. 2016 was not a bad year for Metafizzy — a lot of good stuff and progress was made. But I can't say it was a successful year. I failed the goal. I said it. I'm over it. Onward.

Huebee: 1-click color picker

28 Nov 2016

Huebee color picker

I've made a new thing! Huebee is a one-click color picker. It displays a limited set of colors so users view all colors at a glance, make clear decisions, and select a color with a single click.

I made Huebee while I was working on Logo Pizza. I added a feature so you can choose your own custom colors for a logo. Looking at other color pickers, I couldn't find what I wanted.

Most color pickers are computer-centric. They are designed to display and select from every possible color available, nearly 17 million. But as a human, you only need a good selection: maybe 6 hues, with several shades, plus a couple grays.

That's what Huebee does — show a limited set of colors so its easier to make sense of them.

Huebee is Metafizzy's 4th commercial library. The other libraries, Isotope, Flickity, and Packery, are all big, full-featured projects. Supporting them is a lot of work. Huebee mixes that up. Huebee is small and purpose-built — a welcome entry in the Metafizzy product line-up.

Use GitHub reactions, delete +1 comments

14 Nov 2016

On GitHub Issues, +1 comments are a quick way for people to add their individual support. But for contributors, they are menacing. Each +1 acts like a drip pinging in the dead of night, reminding you of that leaky faucet that still isn't fixed.

After the community called out GitHub on +1 comments, GitHub implemented reactions. Reactions are a nice stop-gap feature. Not only could reactions fill in for +1 comments, but they could provide a wider range of responses — approval, disapproval, happiness, celebration, confusion, affection.

I have since experimented with requesting reactions, asking people to add a reaction to show their interest in the issue. See Masonry#873 - Maintain left-to-right order and Packery#353 - Add back drag / fit packing behavior from v1.


Masonry#873 has been wildly successful with this strategy, gaining 71 thumbs-up reactions and no +1 comments. Packery#353 has had lesser success with 40 reactions, but several +1 comments continue to pop up.

I believe the problem deals with social proof. Packery#353 already had +1 comments in its thread, added before GitHub implemented reactions. Users scroll through the thread, see a couple +1 comments, and feel okay adding their own as others have done.

Meanwhile, Masonry#873 never had a +1 comment to begin with. The reactions have the social proof, so people continue to use reactions.

Going forward, I will continue to request people use reactions, but also make it clear that +1 comments will be deleted. My instructions look something like:

If you would like to see this feature added, please add a 👍 reaction to this issue.

Do not add a "+1" comment — they will be deleted. Use reactions instead. Subscribe to this issue using the button in the sidebar.

Reactions carry the intent of +1 comments, but they do not subscribe users to the issue like comments do. So I point to using the subscribe button.

You know the faucet is leaky. Now you don't have to hear the drips.