Sketches of Miles

I just launched Sketches of Miles, an experimental project combining Miles Davis’s albums and web typography. The concept is to design each individual poster-style page based on Mile’s cover art. To make the project more interesting, I also write a Twitter-style, one-sentence review and each piece has to include the title of the album.

What inspired the project? After purchasing Miles Davis’s The Complete Columbia Album Collection a few weeks ago, I am still trying to get through more than 70 CDs with every chance I get. I listen to Miles at work, on the train and on road trips. One night, I just drove Dana and Duke around DC just so I could get through an album. The problem is that I can’t soak in everything that fast. The only way for me to pay close attention to an album is when I want to write something about it, but I can’t review all 52 albums. I could if I don’t have to take care of Duke. Being a parent changes my priority.

So if I could listen to the entire album and sum it up in one sentence, it would force me to be more focused. Sure, I can just post a quick sentence on Twitter, but I don’t want to be lost in the Twitter world. I want to make simple project and learn something out of it. I have been wanting to play around with web typography as well as crafting each page with a unique design.

A couple months ago, I came across an article from David DeSandro about Stacey, a lightweight content management system and how he uses her to create each individual entry. Stacey is simple and very different from a traditional blog system like WordPress. I downloaded Stacey and was impressed by her simplicity, but I couldn’t do anything beyond the default template. I needed a real project to get a hang of it. So I stripped the system down even further to do what I wanted to do. I got stuck and contacted David for assistance. He replied the next day and even showed me the source to his entire site. I was in awed. Mad props go out to David.

Since this is a personal project, I could careless if the site works across all browsers. Safari is the only one I test it on. There are no reset CSS, no layouts and no clear fixes. The site is a very basic HTML5 markup with very little use of CSS. All fonts are real (no images). I am currently using some from Google Font Directory as well as the safe fonts beyond the Helvetica. I’ll try to look out for more free fonts to link to.

So I hope you enjoy this tiny project. I am not sure how often I will update this site, but you could pick up the RSS to be notified whenever a new piece is up.