Elliot Jay Stocks logo by Emma Luczyn

Some pretty big news

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.