The Buzz

Press, interviews and rad stuff happening in and around the Carbonmade ecosphere.

The Buzz

Brooklyn Beta 2012

Our resident designer Timo shares his field notes from the small but mighty web conference that’s spreading the "make something you love" mantra through the design and tech community.

How do you sum up an event like Brooklyn Beta? And why should I do that in the first place? Do we really need more inside industry backrubs? Probably not, but I'm writing this down for me to remember. To make sure I don't forget how honest and genuine this conference felt. It was my second time attending and, once again, it was a blast but also a humbling, inspiring experience.

But was it Baratunde Thurston one-upping StudiomatesBeer Friday with Whiskey Friday? The dance class? Cory Booker? Maciej Ceglowski’s bedbugs? Or Aaron Draplin kicking off the fuckin’ show in big, bold Futura-style? Or maybe it was the homemade pop-tarts and cookies that got passed around in the afternoon? Or the fact that there’s purposely no wi-fi provided and no speaker list published, both of which lead to a more focused audience and better attendance? Sure. It is all of that. But at the most basic level, it’s just great to put real faces to avatars and chat with the people whose work I’ve read and admired.

There are probably a lot of other conferences where these same people gather but I think Chris and Cameron (and team!) have created something really special. It feels more like being at a friend’s loft party than at a web conference. The love and labor that goes into this event from the room decoration to the name badges, from the beer elevator to the sponsor flags - everything whispers “we made this just for you”. And it’s all housed in a former factory turned arts space that used to churn out novelty “invisible dog” leashes in the 70s. It’s perfect.

Anyway, it’s easy to get caught up in the latest CSS animation syntax or spending hours on a pesky viewport breakpoint but at the end of the day, we’re all building things. The folks behind Brooklyn Beta remind us to try and build stuff that matters, but to also have fun doing it. Make something you love? Sure. Sounds great! But it isn’t always as easy as it sounds. No inspirational one-liner ever is. But I, for one, am inspired to take a second, slow the fuck down and make sure I’m still fighting the good fight.

Sitting in a room with an insanely impressive list of designers, makers, thinkers and Cory Booker can make you feel like you’re trespassing in a place you don’t belong. But the magic of Chris and Cameron’s creation is that, more than anything else, I felt welcome right from the start.

The Buzz

In the press: Offscreen magazine

We're hyped to not only have the Carbonmade workspace featured in Offscreen magazine but our designer Timo looking fly as heck on the cover. Arsie snapped this awesome pic of our beloved pixel pusher on the fire escape of our SOHO office space and we're thrilled that it got chosen for the front of their third issue. Inside you'll find a bunch more shots of our digs by Timo including a pretty heated ping pong rally in progress. Aww yiss!

If you haven't flipped through an issue as yet, we heartily recommend it as you'll learn amazing and inspiring things about the people behind your favorite sites. The content is engaging, the design is top notch and it's a pretty great way to unplug from your computer. Plus, Timo is totally on the cover. That's reason enough right there.

The Buzz

In the press:

Our creative director Dave Gorum recently picked up his electronic pencil for the folks at to outline his best practices for constructing a kickass portfolio. It's his gift after more than a decade spent flipping through them to create Carbonmade and to hire good people. We've pulled out a couple of his suggestions below, but be sure to mosey on over and read the full article for yourself. We hope it helps creative hirers and portfolio cobblers alike!

  • On showing it to a buddy

    You're probably going to want to push it
    out the door because the very sight of it sends you into cold sweats and a fetal ball. This is a perfect time to plop it in the hands of an objective friend or colleague.

  • On not making the hirer work for it

    Keep the presentation simple, the artwork big, and your contact information easy to find and you’ll be light decades ahead of your competition.

The Buzz

Carbonmade officemate kicks off Plant-in City project

Jason and Arsie recently checked out the Plant-in City art initiative being Kickstartered by our officemate Carlos Gomez and his partners Huy Bui and Jon Schramm.

Photo by Arsie Jiwajinda

The ultimate goal of their installation is to create a "green city" in Manhattan out of stackable wood structures and plantlife that is cared for by interactive technology. Once funded, they're going to build a large-scale indoor greenspace for folks who love architecture, nature and technology. They believe that interacting with plants (in person and using their smartphones) helps improves the lives of city dwellers and they're determined to bring their big idea to life.

Carlos is a great guy and the spirit behind their project is inspiring so we just wanted to take a moment to give a nod to their good work. Two green thumbs way up!

The Buzz

Quotable quotes: volume one

Carbonmade users are pretty darn rad and delightful people. Here are just a few examples of their cheeky goodness plucked from our Nice Things Folks Say About Us Pile.

You guys are the hardshell coating on my DQ swirl. Donna A. via
You are truly magicians of the dark arts of electrical impulses firing across the ether. Sara S. via
Who said super heroes don’t exist? That was jaw-droppingly quick of you guys. :) Thank you thank you thank you. :) If the Carbonmade team needs anything from India, do ask! Kunal C. via
Oh snap Carbonmade just made my day! Amy M. via Twitter
Resume/pro tip #4324: use Carbonmade, you dingus. Pasquale D. via Twitter
The Buzz

In the press: Advanced Photoshop

Carbonmade’s creative director Dave Gorum shares his thoughts for a nifty feature article in Advanced Photoshop magazine. The topic? How to keep your design skills fresh while building your career and keeping up with client work. We pulled a couple of our favorite Dave bites to share but encourage you to check out the full story in Issue 94.

  • On investing in your own growth

    If you were an apple farmer and your apple trees paid your bills, you wouldn’t stop watering your leafy money makers.

  • On keeping up with peers and trends

    You don’t have to drown yourself in the river of new design, but it’s good to watch it out of the corner of your eye.