posted by Veerle Pieters
16 April 2009
Both Geert and I are very happy users of CSSEdit, and the fact that it is being developed in Belgium is even sweeter. When we learned that CSSEdit would get a companion named Espresso, we couldn't wait to try it out. Espresso is a brand new code editor for the Mac that shares many interface similarities with CSSEdit and the same polished interface that we are so found of. With the introduction out of the way lets take a look at the work we did.
Research, thinking process, and sketches
Usually when people ask us to create an illustration I take my sketchbook to do some brainstorming with Geert. My initial idea was to create an illustration around coffee and caffeine, using a dark brown background with a jute fiber structure in combination with some bright colors.
We thought some funny text doodles would be a cool idea to add in the illustration as if they arise from the damping espresso cup. We were thinking along the lines of: once you start using espresso, you are on caffeine and become an unstoppable coder. You code like you never coded before. The feeling you have after a strong double espresso shot. You feel like you have all this energy and that you can conquer the world.
Dark brown background with a jute fiber structure in combination with some bright colors. Click on the image to see the full size on Flickr.
Our client liked this general idea, especially the doodles. However the very vertical shape of the illustration didn't really work well. There was also the issue of a brown background not really fitting with the application's interface. My client really liked the colored lines and the doodles. So he suggested to try out to implement the lines in a different way with the doodles still in place and on another background color, definitely lighter, preferable lighter grey. We created many variations. This is only one of them.
The issue with most of them was that the illustration needed to stand on its own in the center because having them aligned at the bottom wasn't really practical. My client also suggested to try to spread the doodles a bit to create a more natural flow. He also wondered how things would look if I rearranged the colored lines, adding a few and using more color variations.
After several trials we ended up with this version, a version we are both happy with.
Espresso is a promising newcomer in the Mac development scene with great potential. Knowing Jan's passion I know that exciting new features are planned. If you want to read a good review on the application I recommend this article. Even without this project I would fully recommend that you try it out. Excuse me now as I go back to coding and wondering about any upcoming new features. :)
What we did