ryderdesign: the works and days

17th century image of a ballet dancer in an elaborate orange costume

And so finally, here we are, at the beginning of a whole new era …

Laurie Anderson
Another Day in America, opening line

Ryder Design is evolving. It’s time to do some new stuff. So I’ve refreshed my web presence with a new blog, updated the research section, and started a fabulous new side project.

I’ve been building websites for 20 years, working primarily with artists, designers, musicians and arts organisations.

My specialty is the creation of small, hand-crafted websites for discerning clients.

Vibrant Music Library

A one-page calling-card library music website for Vibrant Music.

The experienced producers, songwriters and musicians at Vibrant Music create quality music for advertising, television drama and Hollywood cinema.

Featuring work from Paul Williams, Adja Bandjani, Mark Taylor, and Roxy Music’s Phil Manzanera, the Library continues to grow with new multi-genre music for clients worldwide.

Vibrant producer John Burns commissioned the site in late December 2019 and we launched at the end of January 2020. I enjoyed working with John, whose clarity, commitment and consistent good-humour were invaluable as we collaborated on the brief, design development, testing, and launch phases of the project.

The site showcases one track from each of Vibrant’s 35 library music albums. We used a classic card-style layout, presenting album artwork, track descriptions and SoundCloud audio players in a grey colour scheme to let the album artwork shine.

Website screen shot showing audio players for 12 colourful Vibrant Music albums.
Vibe 001-012

You are most welcome to take a spin on the Vibrant Music Library website. It would be great to know which tracks are your favourites … you can post comments here.

See my Terminology page for knowledge about how websites work.

Colour themes in the landscape

As I go about the landscape, I often see colour compositions perfect for website design and layout.

Indeed, fancy software is available that does just that. But these tools are usually over-specified, and we can so the same sort of things ourselves.

In this example, we might use the paler parts of the sky for our background, the bright blue for links, the serious cloud colour for headings and body text, and the greens and golden colours for text accents, underlines, and decorative motifs.

west berkshire landscape view as colour reference
West Berkshire landscape view as colour reference. Looking north from here.

What I like most about this idea is how it provides a great opportunity for immediate collaboration. “Hey Charles, I would love it if my website could incorporate the colours in the photo that I’m sending.”

The colours will then end up in the CSS for your website. I discuss CSS briefly on my Terminology page.


Pen and ink drawing of a painting on an easel with the artist's had and brush

Looking for a nifty and resonant image for this first post, I came upon this drawing that I made around 1990. It reminded me how much I enjoyed a recent visit to BOTH AND, an exhibition of work by Calum Storrie and Geoffrey Winston.

The exhibition runs until 24 November 2019. There will be an Artists’ Talk on 9 November and a closing concert on 24 November. Oh, and it’s a very nice bookshop!