Brian M. Platz - History


“A List Apart” began in 1997 as a mailing list for web designers published and curated by Jeffrey Zeldman and Brian Platz.

Founder's notes, by Jeffrey Zeldman:

"In 1997, web developer Brian M. Platz and I started the A List Apart mailing list because we found the web design mailing lists that were already out there to be too contentious, too careerist, or too scattershot. There was too much noise, too little signal. We figured, if we created something we liked better, maybe other people would like it too. Within months, 16,000 designers, developers, and content specialists had joined our list."

"Editing was the key. Many members submitted comments and topics each day; we dumped the dross, published the gold, often selecting pieces for their thematic relevance to one another. Through editorial cultivation, we rapidly grew an intelligent and insightful community."

Zeldman transitioned A List Apart’s community and content from mailing list to a web magazine in 1998.

"David Siegel’s now-defunct High Five advocated graphic design; Wired’s Webmonkey taught JavaScript and other technologies. Both magazines were great, both subject areas vital. But to me they were parts of a larger whole, incorporating writing, structure, community, and other bits nobody had quite put together. Then, too, no web design zine of the time seemed to grasp or value web standards the way I and my peeps at The Web Standards Project did."

The web site has had three major visual designs. The original, designed by Jeffrey Zeldman, featured custom club-flyer style graphics that accompanied each article — an unusual feature in the early days of the web. The first major redesign, by Jason Santa Maria in 2007, featured a softer color palate, and featured CSS-based templates be Eric Meyer and introduced the inclusion of custom illustrations by Kevin Cornell. The most recent update to the site, launched in January 2013, features a black-and-white design scheme by Mike PIck. It continues to prominently feature Kevin Cornell's illustrations, but takes a "content first" approach to design by reducing the presence of almost all brand and design elements in favor of article content.

Read more about this topic:  Brian M. Platz

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