professional headshot of Joey Gauthier Joey Gauthier 02/23/2019

You try to make a pretty site using pixelated assets and 8-bit colors!

“5 fonts, a million colors, no golden ratio, not color theory, weak this guy insane?” Maybe. If you know me well then you understand what’s going on here. Otherwise, you’ll understand in just a minute.

I’m a front end/UI engineer/developer (you use whatever words you want). I also do some back end work in Node, but the front end is my focus most of the time. For years I’ve had to think about layout, design, colors, etc and try to keep current trends in UI and design in my mind while developing web apps.

I currently work for a company with a UX designer and a graphics artist so I get high-resolution mock-ups and assets for which to base my UI. This allows me to focus on creating the sometimes incredibly complex functionality required. Still, I have to solve the puzzle that is recreating my visual aides and strive to create the most pixel-perfect and modern layout for my elements of complex functionality. There’s also an expectation of providing feedback or resistance to unreasonable or poor design.

Prior to working in my current position I was accustomed to having to be more design-oriented as my employers didn’t see the incredible value in having dedicated resources for UX and graphic design. I contributed to making decisions regarding design language, colors, fonts, layouts, etc. There was a lot more effort made by me to keep up with current trends in those areas. Part of me enjoyed that aspect of my job while the other part of me felt like it sometimes slowed the development process and got in the way of doing what I enjoyed the most which is creating awesome things using JavaScript.

“Ok, so what does that have to do with this site?” Well, first of all, I thought it might be nice to have a project where I don’t have to think about modern design, color theory, etc. Removing those elements of the development process means I don’t have to spend hours searching other sites looking for inspiration for layouts, colors, fonts, nav bars, etc. Now I am free to be whimsical and maybe even a little childish. It allows each view to basically have its own theme. I’ve spent years worrying a lot about the design elements so I thought it might this site might be a nice opportunity to develop something with that part of the process somewhat removed or simplified.

Furthermore, I am a passionate video game collector and enthusiast. I got my first console, the NES, when I was 6 years old and I haven’t stopped being a video games fanatic. My entire life I’ve had at least a couple of consoles lying around with a handful of games. There was a long period where I would regularly sell older games and consoles to have money to go towards getting the latest and greatest. About 2 years ago I put an end to that cycle and started calling myself a collector. Since then, my love for all things video game related has grown and my collecting has become a very large focus. Currently, I have 26 consoles and over 400 games; over 300 of which are physical copies in original or custom cases. It’s a large part of who I am now.

If you’re familiar with some older video game classics and you look around, things might make more sense. The nav bar is Pacman themed. The nav branding is my initials in the Sega font. The home screen is like so many 8-bit title screens with a rough image transitioning in from the right and a space shooter type background. The blog landing page is inspired by the Super Mario Bros. title screen. Most of the colors that aren’t part of an image were taken directly from the NES 8-bit color palette. Each element and view of this site is directly influenced by a retro gaming classic.

I wanted this site to not only represent who I am but to be fun and light and not-too-serious. I spend all day every day making views that are sleek and modern. That gets so old after a while. That’s what led to my decision to make this site’s design something that would make many hardcore designer types sick to their stomach. You know what? I don’t care if anyone reacts that way. I made this site for me and I’m having fun doing it!

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