I make websites.
My current full-time job working for New Internationalist Australia is pretty close to my ideal workplace. They're a Fair Trade employer, have great ethics and it's a fun and relaxed place to work. Here are the websites I work on for NI, and a couple of extra sites I've built in my spare time:
The NI magazine reports on injustice around the world. From environmental issues to exploitation, corporate corruption and pharmaceuticals. The stories make for pretty heavy reading, but the perspective gained really is empowering. Charlie and Tom from the UK office do the majority of the upkeep these days running Bricolage (an open source CMS) for the main website & blog.
Most of my work hours are spent on the NI Australia site and on-line shop. This ethical, Fair Trade shop helps support developing world producers by giving them a fair price for their products. It's also one of the ways NI funds its magazine production, as we're a non-profit and completely independent co-operative. I built the NI Australia site with Brian from the Adelaide office. It runs on a custom home built CMS that intergrates with our suscriber database software.
Hackerspaces are open community spaces for working on electronics and software projects in a friendly group setting. After Dorkbot fizzled out, a group of us decided to start the Adelaide Hackerspace.
I really enjoy the annual Format Festival in Adelaide. The two week long festival of DIY (do it yourself) is a fantastic combination of workshops, exhibitions and talks on zines, street art, electronics & literary culture. I designed the website for the 2009 Format Festival and volunteer behind the bar from time to time.
I'm a graphic designer.
When I'm not busy designing websites I'm usually creating graphics for printed catalogues, posters and t-shirts. Here are some of the designs that I'm most proud of.
New Internationalist Planner 2008 & 2009
These two diary/planners were probably my favourite graphics projects I've worked on to date. The brief was to create a diary aimed at a young audience, with lots of street art and provocative photographs from around the world matched with inspiring quotes and interesting dates marked throughout the year. They were on sale around the world and were quite popular, selling out in most countries.
New Internationalist ethical gifts catalogues
Working for NI is a real pleasure. Every year I get to design 4 gifts and books catalogues full of amazing Fair Trade, organic, ethical, solar and educational goodies.
Eat Money, Silent & Live Simply posters
I designed the Eat Money poster in 2002 to highlight the fantastic cree Indian saying on materialism and consumerism. In 2011 I designed a couple of follow-up posters, featuring Martin Luther King Jr and Gandhi.
Hackerspace logo & T-shirt
We needed a logo and t-shirt for the 2011 Tour Down Under science community day that members of Hackerspace Adelaide volunteered at. So I designed a little logo and t-shirt screen print for the event.
iPhone / iPad applications & ebooks.
I've always been fascinated by the miniturisation of technology and after owning an original iPhone 2G for a couple of years I decided it'd be fun to learn more about its inner workings. I started out building xhtml based epub ebooks, which were great fun, but what I really wanted to do was learn how to build native applications. So I spent a few months learning the basics of objective-c and am now starting to build some apps of my own. Here are my latest projects:
I'm a big fan of using technology to see a different view of our surroundings, and so timelapse photography really appeals to me. It also happens that a fellow Hackerspace member Dan Thompson is into it too and wrote a neat little program to calculate the time needed to shoot a scene and the playback time it would produce. He released his math under a GPL license, so I decided to use it to build an iPhone version of his desktop app, my very first iPhone app.
New Internationalist Magazine iPad app
NI was very supportive of my move to learn a new programming language, and so it was a natural choice to build an NI magazine subscription application for the iPad. I'm building the app with the help of Pix, who's had over 15 years experience in various programming languages, and has very nicely volunteered his time to help with the coding. We're currently in the early stages of development, so check back for updates.
Apple produced a really nice ebook reading application that renders epub books beautifully. Here's a list of books I've converted for New Internationalist: The Global Vegetarian Kitchen, The No-Nonsense Guide to Conflict and Peace, Democracy, Global Finance, Global Media, Globalization, Green Politics, Religion, Tourism, United Nations, World Health and Vegetarian main dishes from around the world. I also converted a beautiful cycling book by a good friend of mine, Ianto Ware, called 21 Nights in July. If you'd like to have a read of any of them, either click the link (only works if viewing this page on an iPad or iPhone), or search for "New Internationalist" in the iBooks application.
Here are the projects that I'm currently working on.
Electric car conversion
Since my first experience driving a ute on my grandpa's farm in Cummins, I've been quite fascinated with cars. The ability to propel yourself at un-natural speeds, and the skill needed to balance you and your car on the edge of grip is rather thrilling.
Unfortunately traditional combustion engine powered cars tend to consume lots of oil based fuel and create quite a bit of pollution. So in an attempt to try and reduce the pollution and guilt associated with my love of driving in the hills, I've decided to swap my petrol combustion engine for an electric motor and charge my car from green energy.
I'm a member of the Adelaide Electric Vehicle Association, and I can highly recommend attending their monthly meetings if you're interested in electric cars. Check back here for updates on my conversion. I'm planning on starting construction in mid 2011.
The Rundle Street Lantern was supposed to be an interactive panel that would be open to the public to.. interact with. Unfortunately what we got was a $2million screen saver on a carpark that is fairly closed to public use. So my friends from Hackerspace Adelaide have decided to build our own Arduino based version and here's what we're planning:
- It'll be programmable by the public via mobile phone web browsers
- Display text messages via SMS
- Interact with its surroundings via sound & light sensors
- Cost under $1,000
Follow the progress on the Hackerspace Blog.
Really? You're still here? Blimey, you probably want to hear my ramblings too then don't you. Well lucky for you I'm happy to obligue.
Renew Adelaide. // Thursday, 3 December, 2009
There's a pretty exciting movement happening in Adelaide at the moment. Its based on the Marcus Westbury model of Renew Newcastle, which is based on the idea of reclaiming vacant, disused or awaiting development buildings and turning them over to artists for short or medium term leases. Thanks to some legal smarts, the landlords don't lose their beloved tax benefits of keeping the buildings vacant, and the spaces become artist run spaces that can then be transformed into creative realms for art, music & experimental culture.
The people driving the Renew Adelaide project are the Format collective, a non-profit DIY arts body who have noticed the decline in arts & music street culture over the past decade and want to do something about it.
Would you like to get involved? Join the Facebook group and pop a note to show your interest.
Transplant. // Tuesday, 29 September, 2009
I'm going to be performing a transplant late next year. There'll need to be quite a bit of planning and research before I attempt it, but it should be very satisfying.
Yes, that's right, I'm going to transplant a normal petrol engine for a beautiful electric engine and controller, so that I can enjoy driving through the amazing Adelaide hills without the black oil guilt.
So here's where I need your help. I need to decide which car will be the recipient of my transplant operation. I could just operate on the car my girlfriend and I share, but its a pretty efficient little car as it is (about 6L / 100km), and ideally I'd love to get a classic show car that would draw some attention.
So if you have any suggestions, flick me an email. Thanks!
John Butler and his Seed. // Saturday, 22 August, 2009
And the winner is... ADELAIDE! Yes, that's right, we've been given a grant to run the Adelaide Street Art festival in 2010. If you're interested in helping out, exhibiting artwork, running workshops, selling your street art zines, canvas prints or photos, please get in touch.
Email me at: sighmon //at// sighmon.com
Street Art Festival in Adelaide. // Friday, 31 July, 2009
And now the waiting game begins. Matt and I applied for a $5,000 grant to run the Adelaide Street Art Festival in 2010. We've scheduled loads of fun stuff like box walls, exhibitions, workshops and maybe even a projections evening.
So cross your fingers and hope that we get it!
Hello world. // Friday, 3 July, 2009
After years of owning a pretty minimal little website, I thought I'd better pull my finger out and create something slightly prettier and more useful. Sure, its still pretty minimal, but at least there are some nice new features.. like an official blog, some information about what I actually do.. and even an RSS feed!
If it all looks completely stupid on your browser, or I've missed anything out that you really wanted to see on my website, then email me and let me know!
I'm a designer from Adelaide. I have a bachelor of Design, majoring in Industrial Design which means I can design physical objects like computers, bikes & mobile phones. I have also completed courses in graphic and multi-media design, which means I can also design posters and websites.
Name: Simon Loffler
Email: sighmon //at// sighmon.com
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Job: Designer for New Internationalist
Other versions of me
Here are some of the other places you'll find me on the internet.