> patrick villanueva

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visual communication

Exploring related facets to design made me lose sight for these fundamentals, and I don’t want to wait any longer to reset. In fact, I probably waited too long. I’m currently at a crossroads in my career, so now’s a good time to revisit.

Like anything else, it’s really important for me to take a hard look at where I am and need to go. Setting aside different places I’ve been and brushing on various skills, I never broke through the elusive design threshold. It’s that rite of passage that well-respected designers have crossed, causing me to explore AIGA last year to see what can be done. I’m still a ways away, but inching forward. Amidst status quo, that’s all I can ask for at this point.

I had the worst creative block in trying to define what I wanted for my personal site. And yet, I couldn’t trust the design process. Researching progressive techniques led me to what you see the previous design, whereas I previously got lost for days and/or months trying to conceptualize (or in this case, overthink) something more skeumorphic or flat. Throw in trendy techniques. In other words, graphical and interactive conceptualization from the outside-in.

I’ve forgotten that approaching design this way almost always guarantees something with less substance, which led to a classic (and lengthy) case of analysis paralysis. I realize I’ve been heavily influenced by detracting philosophies, where design was treated without respect and as an afterthought, and led astray from core theory. With recent experiences, my approach has turned into one big glob of confusion. Enough is enough, it’s time to revert and utilize something more focused.

Intriguing concepts, when executed well, have always proven to be worthwhile projects over the course of the design process. And I still look back to particular print projects from my previous life – what was involved – from handcrafted books, finding appropriate paper stock, and using typographic principles. So, it dawned on me.

Apply interactively.

I used to think that book design wasn’t anything special, but realized in working with them, that there’s a very pure artform involved. Credit: Craig. And it’s something that stays with my graphic design side. In the context of User Interface trends, it may not have the allure of eye-catching aesthetics. But in a personal context, it holds significant value. And this includes selecting and using the Garamond font.

That said, I’m letting this design evolve from a basic foundation, from scratch, from a print concept. This also means no content management system or anything behind it. No frameworks in PHP or Ruby to provide heavy lifting. Natural, organic until required out of need. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen for awhile; could be when I think it’s necessary, like tomorrow or in five minutes. Changes will be ongoing.

My wish for this domain is to apply design in an authentic purpose, which is how it should be. And in the lightning fast digital age, I’ve noticed how much it’s become a lost art. Very painful to see something so real get replaced by something that’s not; a discussion worth exploring by itself.

Is content really king? Supposedly, but a question for debate. I’ll go with principles, and see where it takes me.

August 2013

Update: Finding a nice font family and good CSS rules for typography, I designed a landing page to go on top of the previous design. It seemed a bit hodgepodge, but went with it. And I stand firm with trusting the creative process. Seeing that there was this chance to add recent coding projects, I've restructured the entire website into individual HTML pages – only to see that updating pages were going to be a pain. So I've turned to trusty old PHP to make portions of the pages modular, and it is much more effective. The website is evolving into something structured to organize, maintain easier and display consistency throughout.

July 2015


Sample code, includes some recent JavaScript practice. A continuous work in progress.


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Recent thought extension, which may or may not include code. Also using platform to recount things.

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