Elliot Jay Stocks is a designer, speaker, and author. He is the Creative Director of Adobe Typekit, the founder of typography magazine 8 Faces, one half of Viewport Industries, and an electronic musician.

FOWD London 2008 wrap-up

Posted on 23 April 2008 24 comments

Article illustration for FOWD London 2008 wrap-up

UPDATE: here’s the video!

If you want to download my FOWD presentation and workshop files, you’ve come to the right place. Read on…

No, I’m not dead. That 12% beer didn’t finish me off. I’m alive and kicking, and I can only apologise profusely for the lack of activity here on the blog recently. I blame FOWD, moving flat, setting up my own business, and getting ready to leave the country… fairly decent excuses, I hope!

So yeah, Future of Web Design. What a great couple of days! Thanks so much to everyone who came along and said such nice things – it was by far my favourite event I’ve spoken at yet. I got to meet a bunch of ‘online’ friends in the flesh (people like Sam Brown, Tim Van Damme, Sarah Parmenter, Miguel Ripoll, Hannah Donovan, Jeremy Keith, Ian Young, and Larissa Meek to name but a few), hang out with some old friends I see far too sporadically (people like Andy Clarke, Andy Budd, Jon Hicks, Jina Bolton, Paul Boag, Laura and Alex Francis, and Daniel Burka), meet loads and loads of friendly faces from the interwebs (thanks for coming to say hi!), and I was lucky enough to take part in not one, not two, but three different parts of the event. Here’s a brief summary…

Photoshop Battle

The most amusing part of the proceedings was the on-stage Photoshop Battle I shared with Jon (that’s me and him in the photo above (credit: Vectorfunk)), Jina, and Hannah. The whole thing was commentated by Andy, who bore the brunt of our juvenile humour. As one might expect when one is put on stage and plied with beer, professionalism went out of the window…

Like the rest of the day, this was all filmed, so hopefully the video will be online shortly. If you want to see the end result, it’s up on Flickr. :)

My presentation: ‘Print Is The New Web’

Again, the video should be online soon, so I’ll update this post with links as soon as I have them. For now, though, you can download a PDF of my talk. Basically I looked at how web designers can take inspiration from print design, and even got all poncey and started blabbering on about how narrative structure theory relates to the web design. Don’t blame me – blame the 12% beer (supplied, by the way, by my Belgian chum Tim Van Damme)!

Rather than summarise my own talk (that’d just be daft, wouldn’t it?), I’ll point you in the direction of Jeremy Keith, who liveblogged the entire event. (He got the title wrong, but I’ll forgive him, as he’s a lovely chap.)

My workshop: ‘Professional Photoshop Effects’

And if all that wasn’t enough to finish me off (not to mention the numerous parties and the 5.30am starts every day), I taught a half-day workshop on the Friday morning. I think it went well; it was my first ever workshop (bar a brief session at the Start-Up Clinic) so it was hard to tell. But the feedback seemed positive and for those of you who wanted access to the files I was referencing, here they are (warning: 64MB download).

Wrapping things up in more ways than one

Friday was also my last day at Carsonified, and I’d like to thank everyone who came long for my leaving party (even though really it was just yet another FOWD after-party)! As some people have been kind enough to tag me and / or include my name in their photos’ titles or descriptions, you can check out photographic evidence of my Photoshop battling / presenting / teaching / partying-with-a-fireman’s-helment-on over on Flickr.

Next up…

Yesterday was a big day for me, as it was the first as my own boss. I’ll be blogging again in the next few days to review my first week of freelancing, so… um… “stay tuned,” as they say in showbusiness…


  1. Tim Van Damme

    Tim Van Damme

    23 April 2008 @ 06:54PM #

    FOWD truly was a blast. I am now no longer a conference-virgin, thanks for helping me with that :-)

    I wish you all the best going freelance. What I can share from my brief experience with it: Enjoy the ride!

  2. Jason Cale

    Jason Cale

    23 April 2008 @ 06:57PM #

    Hi Elliot

    I enjoyed your talk muchly, and the PS battle was, .. well, interesting!

    Shame I only managed to bump into you in the street, and didn’t manage to have a proper chat – we ended up at Pub standards like a few people, so didn’t make it to the official party.

    Was a great few days ..

    Anyway, good luck with the new venture, and the move.

    I’m looking forward to watching this space, as it were.


  3. Sam Brown

    Sam Brown

    23 April 2008 @ 07:01PM #

    Hey E, was great to finally meet you and what a blast we had. Looking forward to the next conf whether you are speaking or just attending let me know!

    All the best with your freelance adventure, if you need any tips don’t ask me! :P

    Enjoy Norway!


  4. Sam Hardacre

    Sam Hardacre

    23 April 2008 @ 07:01PM #

    I found the presentation very interesting. I’m a fan of mixing handmade/material elements with digital jiggery-pokery and strongly advocate the idea of looking outside the web for inspiration. It creates an interesting mishmash of ideas and sometimes pushes you to the limit in terms of what’s possible with CSS etc. : )

  5. Kean Richmond

    Kean Richmond

    23 April 2008 @ 07:08PM #

    Just wanted to say that your workshop was great, it was good to learn some new stuff and you appeared very natural speaking.

    Good luck with the freelancing.


  6. Marko Dugonjic

    Marko Dugonjic

    23 April 2008 @ 07:24PM #

    Elliot, it’s been pleasure too meet you in person.

    Thank God there are still talents who can resist all that fame and glory. You rock! :)

  7. Jeremy Keith

    Jeremy Keith

    23 April 2008 @ 07:36PM #

    ’Twas a pleasure to finally meet you in the flesh, so to speak.

    Oh, and I didn’t get the title of your presentation wrong; you got the title of your presentation wrong. Don’t you know that I’m never wrong?


  8. Camilo Oliveira

    Camilo Oliveira

    23 April 2008 @ 08:07PM #

    Elliot, the zip file of your workshop returns a 404 page.

    I also can not open your PDF file, but i donĀ“t know if this is a trouble in my computer.

    Cheers from Brazil

  9. Mike Robinson

    Mike Robinson

    23 April 2008 @ 08:29PM #

    I really wish I could have made it to FOWD, it sounds like it was awesome. Guess I’ll wait for FOWA in October or next years UK FOWD.

  10. Peter Coles

    Peter Coles

    23 April 2008 @ 08:48PM #

    I feel i should start with “long time listener first time caller here” oh well.

    Just wanted to say great presentation and a great time down in London. Was a bit bummed I didn’t get chance to collar you and congratulate you on a brilliant presentation. I couldn’t have agreed more with what you spoke about.

    All the best for the future.


  11. Lee Grant

    Lee Grant

    23 April 2008 @ 09:53PM #

    Good luck with the move & the new job. It’s a big bad world out there but you have some bigger and badder skills.

    I only met you briefly once and I was instantly taken by the fact that you’re a really nice, genuine guy – and that alone will get you more work that you can shake a stick at!!

    Actually, that was a strange day – we were sat on a bench outside a pub with Eric Meyer and Ryan Carson and all of a sudden Gilbert & George strolled on by.

    As a very wise man once wrote: “Don’t Panic”


  12. Elliot Jay Stocks

    Elliot Jay Stocks

    23 April 2008 @ 10:14PM #

    Thanks for the kind words, everyone. I really really appreciate it.

    @ Jeremy Keith: Oh yeah – good point! ;)

    @ Camilo Oliveira: The link should be fixed now. Sorry about that.

    @ Lee Grant: Thanks man! Yeah, I remember that evening – very surreal indeed. But then that pub did sell Old Rosie cider on tap, so perhaps we just imagined them walking past! ;)

  13. prisca


    24 April 2008 @ 02:38AM #

    Thanks for the downloads, Elliot ;)

    couldn’t be there for the event but appreciate the notes :) great images in your PDF :) I’m really looking forward to listening to your presentation (hoping the MP3 will go on the FWOD site soon?)
    I saw the ‘Conclave Obscurum’ featuring in your PDF – this has been my all time favorite site since what’s now called ‘Conclave Obscurum II’ was the main site… will be curious to hear what you will be saying about it ;)

    Good luck with your move and everything ;)

  14. Dennis Coughlin

    Dennis Coughlin

    24 April 2008 @ 01:19PM #

    I wasn’t able to attend FOWD, so thanks for posting your presentation.

    Much appreciated!


  15. Gavin Elliott

    Gavin Elliott

    24 April 2008 @ 05:19PM #

    Gutted I missed it all, sounded like it was excellent.

    Well done on the “Masterpiece” Elliot. Excellent finish to it I though.


    p.s. keep us all updated on how the freelancing thing is going.

  16. Gavin McFarland

    Gavin McFarland

    25 April 2008 @ 03:01PM #

    Yes thank you Elliot for your speech and workshop.

    I mentioned a site that lets you download grid layouts in various formats and have now remembered the address which is at http://960.gs/

    Thanks again.

  17. Ian Stewart

    Ian Stewart

    26 April 2008 @ 02:49AM #

    Elliot, I went through the PDF presentation, trying to read it with an accent and everything. I loved it. I feel challenged. Awesome. Thanks for that.

  18. Fubiz


    26 April 2008 @ 09:39PM #

    Thanks for the pdf!

  19. johno


    27 April 2008 @ 09:19PM #

    Many thanks for the roundup. Wish I could have been there. Much mention of type?

  20. rama


    28 April 2008 @ 09:49AM #

    downloading the pdf.. a nice piece of work! thx.

  21. Elliot Jay Stocks

    Elliot Jay Stocks

    29 April 2008 @ 06:39PM #

    @Prisca: As far as I know, the MP3s and videos will be on the site fairly soon. I hope so, anyway!

    @ Gavin McFarland: Nice one for the link, man – I’ll be using that for sure!

    @ Ian Stewart: With an accent? Haha – I’m honoured, mate! :D

    @ Johno: I’m afraid to say I pretty much glanced over typography. For shame! Obviously it got a few mentions but no typographical nitty-gritty stuff. Time constraints, you see!

  22. jones


    09 June 2008 @ 09:24PM #

    sweet pdf, great post.


  23. bsc


    15 June 2008 @ 06:42PM #

    your website is so wonderful! I learn a lot from you!

  24. bsc


    15 June 2008 @ 07:24PM #

    i get a gravatar

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