• Work Web Development, Responsive Web Development, Branding, Project Management
  • Year 2009
  • Link

My first proper design-oriented job was working in Dublin for Bodytonic, a company that in today's world might be called a "startup", but back then we just called it a "build it yourself" thing. Offices above 18th century pubs, working off a laptop that you needed to crank before it'd boot up, that kind of thing. I was, at one point or another: head designer, head developer, editor, writer, interviewer, video producer, audio editor. We made a lot of mistakes, but we had some great ideas too.

First Bodytonic redesign from 2007 First Bodytonic redesign from 2007

I worked constantly on improving their main website. We wanted to provide services within a relatively poorly served community (underground electronic music), with lots of original content, but plenty of opportunities for user-generated content too (uploaded mixes, a pre-Pinterest content bookmarking tool and a busy forum).

Last Bodytonic redesign from 2009 Last Bodytonic redesign from 2009

Later in my time there, I built a mobile site on top of the existing desktop site codebase. I can say that I've improved a lot in technique and complexity since this, but for an m-site that began production in 2009, and launched in 2010, it was pretty neat. It wasn't responsive, because media-query was still somewhere in pre-W3C ether, but it was as close as you could get - navigation that would degrade visually in a graceful way, ensuring that no functionality was left out of either platform, and a reduced amount of images to better load on a 3G connection.

I also tweaked the Bodytonic logo, which had been frustrating me for a while with its messy and outdated off-the-shelf font by creating my own custom typeface using cut ascenders to better continue a 'circular' theme throughout each character - one which worked better with the main 'b' symbol logo (in use long before Beats By Dre came along!).

Top: Old Bodytonic logo, Bottom: My redesigned typeface Top: Old Bodytonic logo, Bottom: My redesigned typeface from 2009