Hello and welcome to the new Digital Arts website. We've razed the old site and built a completely new home for our news, in-depth features, advice and tutorials on its foundations with a fresh new look.
We've added new areas to the site – headlined by our brand-new curated Portfolios section. This is not a post-it-yourself free-for-all full of work of, ahem, variable quality – there are many sites for that across the web. Our Portfolios feature the best work of well-known and up-and-coming creatives as chosen by the discerning eye of our art editor Johann Chan. Here you'll discover cutting-edge work across the creative disciplines – work that will inspire you and remind you of just what's possible with the right mix of concept and execution.
We're always on the look out for great new work, so if your work is hot enough to get us excited, drop Johann a line at [email protected]
Our new Guides (see right) allow you to hone in our articles by broad subject area from graphic design or illustration and art to motion or creative hacking and making. If you want to find inspiration for the project that you're working on right now, check out our Topics pages – allowing you to find articles by specific themes from screenprinting to 3D printing to music design to, well what you're looking for. We'll be adding further Guides and Topics as new areas of creative endeavour appear – so you can stay on top of emerging, cutting-edge forms.
If you're wondering what the hell I'm talking about when I talk about Guides, you're probably reading this on our mobile site – another new and much-needed addition to our site. Here we've stripped everything back to provide a simple, fast-loading experience for when you want to be inspired, informed or just entertained on the move. iPhone users get a special version of our slide-based Tutorial and Portfolios articles that allow you to see the images in very high detail. Android and Windows Phone users, we haven't forgotten about you – it's just taking a little longer to make these work on your devices. You can still view these articles as traditional-format stories though, and we'll let you know as soon as they're finished.
The desktop site also features a new aesthetic design with a open, clean look conceived by Johann. It largely eschews the rounded chrome and texturing of what-used-to-be-called-Web-2.0-design for clear navigation and putting the luscious images and videos that accompany our stories front-and-centre – and in pin-sharp detail. For our typefaces we're using distinctive relatively recent release Jubilat for headlines, balanced against long-time Digital Arts favourite Futura for tried-and tested readable body copy. We're tapping Extensis WebInk web fonts service for these fonts, which our development team are big fans of how easy it was to integrate.
What hasn't changed is our commitment to bringing you the best creative work, advice and techniques around – plus must-have kit, books and lifestyle items. Quality matters to us. We're going to continue publishing stories about top-notch work to inspire you, thoughtful advice and engaging opinions from leading creatives in the UK and beyond, and advanced tutorials that match your accomplished skill set. Alongside our own stories, we'll also be linking to equally interesting work through the Short Cuts links on our homepage and News page. This allows you to see visually on this site the kind of additional links we've been tweeting about recently.
Looking back, what I said at the beginning of this piece isn't quite true. We didn't just knock down the house, we dug up the foundations too. Underpinning the site is a whole new platform that'll allow us to build many more amazing things in the future. Based on ColdFusion 9 using Coldbox MVC web framework using Solr and SQL Server 2008 Database for persistence, it enables us to create new types of article without being reliant on a blog engine or fixed template. We've been using an iterative design process – so what you see here is the first we think is ready for you to use. We're really excited about what it'll allow us to do in the future – and we'll let you know as soon as the next iteration is ready.
None of this would have come to be without the help of our incredible development team. We owe a big debt of gratitude to Adrian, Dominik and Joao for turning our designs into a reality, for inventing things we didn't think of, and for their patience as we inevitably had to change some important things at the last minute.
We'd really appreciate your feedback – both positive and negative, suggestions for new features or changes (or even just 'have you noticed this bug?') – so please let us know what you think in the comments below, on Twitter, Facebook or by emailing me personally at [email protected]