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.

Some pretty big news

Posted on 20 June 2007 26 comments

Article illustration for Some Pretty Big News, featuring the Carson Systems logo, the Dropsend logo, the Vitamin logo, the Amigo logo, and the FOWD logo

Although some close friends and family have known about this for a couple of weeks, it’s about time I made a public announcement regarding a rather important career change: on Monday 2nd July 2007, I will become Senior Designer at…

… Carson Systems

For those of you working in the Web Design & Development business, Ryan Carson and Carson Systems need little introduction. They’re the people behind the famous online magazine Vitamin (Vitamin’s advisory board and contributors list read like a who’s-who of Web Design), the wonderful app DropSend, some of the biggest web-related conferences in the World (Future Of Web Design, Future Of Web Apps, and Future Of Online Advertising), and numerous other projects and services (Amigo and BD4D to name but two).

So you can imagine how jaw-droppingly flattered I was to receive an out-of-the-blue e-mail from Ryan (who’d seen my site on CSS Beauty), asking me if I’d be interested in working for the company.

A couple of days later, I found myself up in the beautiful Bath countryside, spending an afternoon with Ryan and Gill in their garden. A couple of days after that, I received a formal job offer, accepted immediately, and the rest is already history. I’ll be joining a long line of designers who have worked with the company over the years, including the great Jason Santa Maria and Ryan Shelton, to name just two. Wow.

A better working life

But it wasn’t just the Carsons’ reputation that sold the job to me. Their entire approach to life and work is inspiring, and Ryan famously wrote an article on A List Apart about working a four-day week. Yes, that’s right: at Carson Systems, we have Fridays off. But what really excited me was Ryan’s invitation to speak at their conferences; something I thought I would be years away from achieving. Even established industry pro Jonathan Snook recently highlighted how difficult it is to “break into the speaking circuit”. So although I’ll be focused primarily on design, I’ll also be be doing a lot of writing and speaking work on behalf of the company – at least over time – and I’m absolutely buzzing at the idea of speaking at conferences around the world.

Another thing that excites me is the thought of leaving London behind. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love London. But I only enjoy going into the city out of my own choice; not being forced to every day because of my job. So for the time being I’ll split my time between the Carson office in Bath and my home office in the outskirts of London; then early next year, Samantha and I will move to Bath.

And there you have it! as Freddie Mercury once said.


As a sidenote, it’s been about two months since I launched this version of the site, and I thought a bit of housekeeping was due. For anyone who’s interested, the changes are as follows:

  • Comments: The comments now support a rather sexy ‘live preview’, thanks to Iacovos Constantinou’s wonderful ‘Comment Live Preview’ plugin. I’ve also made the sidebar links to ‘recent comments’ behave more like the other blocky, list-based links elsewhere in the sidebar(s).

  • General ‘about’ updates: In light of the news above, it made sense to update the info about me on the main ‘about’ page and also in the brief intro at the top-right of the site. Also at the top, I’ve changed the serif font to the rather lovely Delicious.

  • Categories: I’ve given them a much-needed dust. A few have been deleted, a couple have been combined, and there are also a couple of new ones. I guess this will be an ongoing process; you can never second-guess the content of a blog and the categories it might need when the content is constantly changing.

  • Blogroll: some links have been added; a couple have been removed. I’m proud to see this site cropping up on other people’s blogrolls, so cheers for that!

  • Recent reads: I’ve added some of my latest.

  • Portfolio: Some recent website projects have been added to the portfolio.

  • Doctype: I’ve got rid of the target="_blank"s that were littering the markup, and have switched to the XHTML 1.0 Strict doctype. There are a couple of errors it’s still throwing up, though, so please bear with me!

Right, that’s enough from me for now.


  1. Lisa


    20 June 2007 @ 03:22PM #

    Hi Elliot. We’re really chuffed that you’re joining us – roll on July!

  2. Mo


    20 June 2007 @ 03:53PM #

    A very much so, well deserved, congratulations Elliot, you need to update your CV now. (",)

  3. Elliot Jay Stocks

    Elliot Jay Stocks

    20 June 2007 @ 03:58PM #

    @ Lisa: Thanks! I’m really excited about joining you guys!

    @ Mo: Thank you to you, too! And yes, the CV is indeed in need of updating…

  4. undisco


    20 June 2007 @ 06:17PM #

    4 day week? slackers!


  5. JPH


    20 June 2007 @ 07:34PM #

    Congrats on the job change. As a avid reader and fan of your site its great to hear of good things coming your way.

  6. Jonathan E

    Jonathan E

    20 June 2007 @ 10:10PM #

    Wow! That’s awesome news Elliot. Congrats!

  7. Alice


    20 June 2007 @ 10:22PM #

    Wow! Congratulations :) Good news on moving to Bath too, a much nicer atmosphere then London.

  8. Ryan Carson

    Ryan Carson

    20 June 2007 @ 10:23PM #

    Hey Elliot!

    We’re so excited to have you join the team :) See you on the 2nd!


  9. Dan Mall

    Dan Mall

    20 June 2007 @ 10:30PM #

    Congrats Elliot! The Carsons are lucky to have you.

  10. andy Booth

    andy Booth

    22 June 2007 @ 01:31AM #

    Great to see one of my stars doing so well. Great to see you are reaching your goals .Loved seeing your work youv’e come along way superb .I am an assisitant headteacher and would love to become a head in time perhaps 3-4 years away.
    Andy booth

  11. Dickson


    22 June 2007 @ 04:44AM #

    I’m a relatively new to your site, but I’ve enjoyed reading your recent blog entries. As someone who is currently in limbo and hopes to eventually find an awesome job like you have at Carson, I must say congratulations and best wishes!

  12. Francis Booth

    Francis Booth

    22 June 2007 @ 02:40PM #

    If you ever think of trying XHTML 1.1, then “strictly” speaking, it should be served as the MIME type application/xhtml+xml as opposed to the default text/html.

    Sadly not all browsers support this yet, but interestingly, you can check if the do from the server, and serve specific web-browsers what they can handle.

    There’s a great tutorial and explanation on how to do it here: http://www.htmldog.com/guides/htmladvanced/declarations/

    One last point tho – if you do do this then if the markup is at all broken then the entire page won’t render (in FF at least) and will just throw up an XML error message (as all good XML clients should when served code that’s not well formed).

    I suppose the question is, is that really progress?

  13. Francis Booth

    Francis Booth

    22 June 2007 @ 02:50PM #

    Oh, and if you still want stuff to open in a new window whilst remaining at XHTML 1.0 Strict, then you could add rel="external" into the anchors you want to open in a new window, and add this JS somewhere:

    function externalLinks() { if (!document.getElementsByTagName) return; var anchors = document.getElementsByTagName("a"); for (var i=0; i
    …of course making sure you don’t use typographic quotes in the code! That’s how I do it anyway. :)

  14. David Liu

    David Liu

    23 June 2007 @ 01:44AM #

    Congrats dude! Thats gnarly that you get to work with carson systems. good luck to you in your future.

  15. Elliot Jay Stocks

    Elliot Jay Stocks

    25 June 2007 @ 01:28PM #

    Thanks everyone! I really appreciate your support, and for taking the time to leave a comment. Thank you!

    @ Francis: I don’t think I’ll be switching to XHTML 1.1 any time soon; at least not until it’s more widely supported. It’ll be interesting to see what its support is like in the forthcoming new version of Opera, which (like Safari) includes CSS3 support. Thanks for the Strict-compliant tip on opening new windows, by the way. Nice.

  16. Matthew


    27 June 2007 @ 10:05PM #

    Hey Elliot, congrats. I’m totally stoked for you.

    Our conversation ended on your other post, so I figured I would start commenting elsewhere.

    Let me know the first time you speak at a conference, I will try to come check it out.

  17. Kyle Meyer

    Kyle Meyer

    03 July 2007 @ 12:31AM #

    As I said before, congratulations Elliot. I’m sure this is an exciting time.

    Your housekeeping only reminded me how long I’ve been putting off setting up my blog.

    Enjoy your new 4-day-a-week lifestyle. =D

  18. Elliot Jay Stocks

    Elliot Jay Stocks

    07 July 2007 @ 10:41PM #

    Thanks for the kind words, Matthew & Kyle! It’d be fantastic to meet you guys (and everyone here) at one of the Carson conferences. FOWD in NYC, November, anyone? :) Kyle – I’ll be keeping an eye out for your blog.

  19. Jonathan Snook

    Jonathan Snook

    09 July 2007 @ 11:51PM #

    Many congrats, both on the new job and getting the opportunity to break into the speaking circuit! (lucky bastard…) ;-)

  20. Paul Hopkins

    Paul Hopkins

    10 July 2007 @ 10:17AM #

    Congrats on the job Elliot, and I am not surprised that you recieved the offer as your site is excellent!

  21. Sherwin Techico

    Sherwin Techico

    10 July 2007 @ 02:00PM #

    Though quite late… congrats!

    It seems that there has been a good lapse since your last entry. I guess that’s a great sign of work-that-needs-to-done and new experiments to be started(?) =)

  22. Elliot Jay Stocks

    Elliot Jay Stocks

    10 July 2007 @ 02:58PM #

    @ Jonathan: It’s an absolute honour to have you on here, sir! Thanks very much for the comment. Hopefully we can catch up after your talk at FOWD

    @ Paul: Thanks very much indeed!

    @ Sherwin: Thank you! And yes, you certainly guessed right. :) But stuff is on the way, I can assure you.

  23. Elliot Jay Stocks

    Elliot Jay Stocks

    12 July 2007 @ 11:58PM #

    Hey everyone, I just wanted to apologise – especially to those of you who have subscribed to the comment feed on this post – for the amount of spam comments that have been getting through recently. Askimet’s currently doing a brilliant job of catching spam, but it’s not perfect, and some comments – like the one I just deleted that advertised golfing supplies – don’t show up as spam because they appear to be human-authored. Anyway, sorry for the inconvenience.

  24. novotak


    20 July 2007 @ 02:25PM #

    ahoj máš super blog hezké efekty;-)

  25. Elliot Jay Stocks

    Elliot Jay Stocks

    20 July 2007 @ 02:46PM #

    @ Novotak: být zavázán tebe! (Hopefully that should say “thank you!”)

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