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.

Goals for 2008

Posted on 04 January 2008 14 comments

Article illustration for Goals for 2008

Happy new year, folks! And what better way to start 2008 than with a blog entry about new year’s resolutions, eh? I didn’t picture myself writing something like this, but after seeing Keith’s post on the topic, I was inspired to create my own. I’d love to hear you from you guys about your own goals for 2008; if they exist, feel free to link to your own blog posts in the comments.

By the way, before we get going, I realise that some people find these kind of articles extremely tedious, so if you want to wander off and do something far more interesting, I won’t hold it against you. This list is as much for my own reference (for when we reach the end of the year) as it is for public consumption. One advantage in writing this on the blog is that I can guarantee public humiliation should I fail to achieve any of these goals… so perhaps that’s a nice little incentive to get my arse in gear.

Release a new version of this site

It’s not going to happen for a few months yet, but the site is in need of a facelift; not because I’m bored of the design – because I’m not – but because the underlying structure of the site needs changing to better incorporate both the existing content and the new content I’m dying to put in there. So it’s going to be a complete re-think, and in a month or so I’ll write a post about what I’m planning to do; hopefully with the aim of getting feedback from you chaps before I go and start anything.

Unveil my top secret, super-sexy, uber-cool new project

I’m so excited! But I can’t tell you what it is yet because that’d spoil everything. It’s being worked on right now and all I can say is that I’m hoping it’ll be a fantastic source of inspiration for the web community. More on this very very soon!

Write a book, or a chapter in a book

Despite some warning stories from friends who are published authors, I’ve decided that the next step in my career as a design professional should involve writing a design-related book. I have a couple of ideas that I’m going to put to some publishers quite soon, although depending on timescale, budget, and the nature of the book itself, I might be content with just writing a chapter in a multi-authored book. We’ll have to see how this one pans out, as I have almost no knowledge of the book publishing industry. It should be fun!

Speak at least 4 events

Mid-2007 saw me venture into the world of public speaking and I spoke at four events in six months, so I think it’s fairly safe to take that number as a goal for a whole year. I’d see four as the absolute minimum and I’ll be aiming for a lot more. I’d also like to do as many overseas events as possible, so I guess a mini-goal would be to limit myself to no more than half of these in the UK, if possible.

Release another album (or at least an EP)

From time to time I’ve been known to call myself a musician, although whether this title is deserved or not is somewhat questionable. But this year I’m determined to get another album out, or an EP if time ends up being a bit short (which of course it will. Who am I kidding?). I’ve already made two key decision about this next one: a) it’s going to be entirely instrumental to save you from listening to my less-than-angelic voice, and b) it’ll be download-only, as I see little point in releasing a CD these days. The thought of all those production overheads scares me.

Work out

I’m not going to share all of my personal goals here, but this one’s an exception. When I saw the video of me speaking at FOWD I was rather ashamed at the belly I’d acquired, and as I’m fairly skinny everywhere else and only ever seem to put weight on my stomach, it had the result of making me look… well… pregnant. So now’s the time to really get in shape. I’ve been at it for the last couple of weeks and it’s working well so far; let’s just hope I can keep it up for a year.

And finally…

As I mentioned above, it’d be good to hear from you guys about any of your own goals for 2008. And if you’ve written a similar blog post on your own site, please feel free to link to it. Happy new year, everyone! Here’s to a creative 2008!


  1. Joe Edwards

    Joe Edwards

    04 January 2008 @ 03:31PM #

    as a musician you might be interested in the oomix web site please check it out http://www.oomix.com – something I have a small involvement with – enjoyed your kill web2.0 slide show wish i had been at the speaking.

    I follow you on twitter, you have provided me with some real design inspiration keep up the good work.


  2. Polo


    04 January 2008 @ 03:55PM #

    Cool, good lucks for your goals, i am looking forward to your super-sexy new project & your book (or chapter ^^).
    Happy new year :)

  3. Matt


    04 January 2008 @ 04:09PM #

    Looks like a decent list of goals you’ve got there, I’ve got a couple of questions for you.

    How high do you set your goals, are they seriously achievable targets or do you set the bar too high?

    How do you decide on priority for attacking them or is it just a ‘take em as they come’ approach?

    I did a similar list myself, but it was mostly just things I wanted to achieve with my blog itself as opposed to my life.. Though I am considering working out some goals for myself this year, I just hate to commit to a list and not achieve it all.. Sounds like I set the bar too high right..hehe..

  4. Elliot Jay Stocks

    Elliot Jay Stocks

    04 January 2008 @ 04:52PM #

    Wow, comments already! Thanks guys! :)

    @ Joe: Thanks for the kind words. I’ll check out Oomix. Oh, but it has a reflected logo!!! Ah, I couldn’t possibly use it… ;) Just kidding.

    @ Polo: Thanks – you too.

    @ Matt: Good questions. I’d say that all of the goals I’ve set above are ones I believe to be reachable. It’s possible that I may not achieve all of them (the book is probably going to be the hardest) but I think I’ve been fairly realistic. As for priority, I’m not too sure. I guess I’m mostly thinking about them chronologically. To that end, they’ll probably go something like this:

    New site – July
    New project – March
    Book – start in April
    Events – throughout the year
    New music – June
    Work out – throughout the year, starting now

    The main reason I see them panning out this way is that my girlfriend is going travelling for three months from April – June, so I’m intending to get my head down for much of that time period and working flat-out on the most time-consuming stuff.

    I had a quick read of your own article, by the way, and I think all of that stuff is highly achievable. Even a simple redesign could allow you to achieve all of that – and beyond – as I was shown in April last year (I previously had about 2 uniques a day and was completely unknown; since April that figure has drifted between around 400 and 2000).

  5. Elliot Jay Stocks

    Elliot Jay Stocks

    04 January 2008 @ 04:54PM #

    Oh, one other thing: one of my mini-goals that I didn’t mention was to give my portfolio a much-needed content update, and I actually managed to do that today. Check it out!

  6. Steve Killen

    Steve Killen

    04 January 2008 @ 05:41PM #

    Look forward to your new website (hope it’s as good as this one) and your new project, Elliot.

    Also nice to see the subversive design in your portfolio, it was one issue of .net that I gave a miss but almost bought for your tutorial alone.

    Incidently, is your new album/EP going to have the pay what you want model?!

  7. Matt Munsey

    Matt Munsey

    04 January 2008 @ 05:50PM #

    I am also hoping to get a site redesign out for my site pretty soon. Been thinking about it for a bit now and I have the general concept, just need to sit down and go at it. Going more organic this time around I think. Textures apposed to gradients ;)

    Other goals include:
    SXSW in March (This shouldn’t be hard)
    Hitting up San Diego (Soon hopefully! As soon as it’s warm I swear)
    More blogging. ( I hardly post anymore)
    CSS Zen Garden Submission (Been meaning to do this for years)
    And like you I could lose a little weight as well.

    I would also love to make it over to your side of the world soon, but at this point in my life it is more of a pipe dream I’m afraid. Still, hopefully within the next couple years…

  8. Elliot Jay Stocks

    Elliot Jay Stocks

    04 January 2008 @ 06:03PM #

    @ Steve: Aw, thanks! Hopefully the tutorial will eventually appear online. It’s interesting you should mention the pricing of the album / EP because it’s something I’ve already been thinking about. It might use the pay-what-you-want model, although (because I’m not a millionaire like the members of Radiohead) I might set a £1 or £2 minimum price point. Does that sound reasonable, do you think?

    @ Matt: Cheers! Perhaps I might see you at SXSW, then! I’ve been tempted to do something for the CSS Zen Garden myself, but I’m put off by the huge backlog of designs – it might not appear for two years.

  9. Matt Munsey

    Matt Munsey

    04 January 2008 @ 06:13PM #

    Actually, Dave Shea has recently started posting submissions again. He explains it in greater detail here, on his blog. Chances are now much better that you will see your design posted sooner then 2010 ;)

  10. Jonathan E

    Jonathan E

    04 January 2008 @ 06:58PM #

    I think there’s a lot of us with this same goal Elliot – release a new version of their site. I’ve been developing mine since the summer, but since life has gotten really busy and my commute has gotten longer I just haven’t found the time (or energy) required to finish it off.

    I have some down-time coming in the next week or so though which I should be able to use to get a good portion of the new site finished. Hopefully.

    Now, I’m no designer, so I can’t say it’ll be anything earth shattering and it probably won’t set the design community on fire, but I have something I’m pretty pleased with. If only I can get it finished before I get sick of it. :)

    I can’t wait to see what you’ll cook up for your new site though, as judging from the reaction to this version, you probably will set the community ablaze ;)

    Cheers to a brand new year!

  11. Ian James Cox

    Ian James Cox

    04 January 2008 @ 07:09PM #

    My aim to speak at one event, to have one of my websites published in a leading graphic design magazine, to win one design award……

    My real aim is to throw more paint around at home!

    And……the baby shower, trust me mate…..we wall seem to have one! Fight the power…my power is called football and squash!

  12. Tim Kadlec

    Tim Kadlec

    04 January 2008 @ 08:06PM #

    Some great goals there. No lie, I was just thinking last night about how I wish you would put a book out — maybe dealing with the design process. I always enjoyed following your development of the Carsonified rebrand.

  13. Ritchie


    05 January 2008 @ 11:24PM #

    Mine is to win the the championship title for the CWA and learn basic in AJAX and PHP/MYSQL.

    New layout for my website for this year. And gathering more inspiration/ideas for the design.

  14. Michael Tosetto

    Michael Tosetto

    06 January 2008 @ 06:43AM #

    Hey Elliot, you’re an inspiration. I regularly check out your work. I’ve similar goals myself as far as music goes. Working on a new album at the moment and have some samples up on my relatively new website – modifi.com.au. Check it out if you get a chance. Music is so time consuming, as is design and scripting, so balancing the two is always a challenge for me.

    I know what you mean about the fitness side of things, I’m a stick developing a belly too. I’m also hoping the novelty doesn’t wear off on the fitness side of things. So far so good.

    All the best for 08. Mike

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