Introducing Little Thunder Co.

For many years I have worked as a freelance web designer and collaborated with some talented folk along the way.

For me this was a great way to spread the workload and of course buy in the specialist skills I needed for a project. The more I collaborated the more I thought about expanding my practice and working with a team on a permanent basis and in March this year I announced my new company, Little Thunder Co.

We’ve launched our new website, moved into our new office and we’re officially open for business. I’m now able to offer a wider range of services from app design, web development to digital publishing.

Little Thunder App

Going forward, all requests for work through will go through Little Thunder Co. If you have a project in mind, get in touch at

Round up of Creative web projects

The web is full of creative people producing amazing things and this is a round up of some of the projects that have recently caught my attention.

FontBomb by Philippe-Antoine Lehoux

Have you ever wanted to blow up the content of a webpage? No me neither until I discovered FontBomb, which allows you to do just that, and boy is it satisfying.

By creatively using HTML5, CSS and JavaScript this bookmarklet by Philippe-Antoine enables you to plant bombs by clicking anywhere on any webpage, then watch in anticipation as the timer counts down to an awesome explosion of text in all directions on your screen.

Next time you’re annoyed by a comment on a webpage, or are just looking for a fun way to pass time, I recommend you check out FontBomb. Set the timer and run here

ASCII Street View by Peter Nitsch

Using Google Street View and WebGL, this project by Peter Nitsch takes text-mode art to a whole new level. Want to see your city or your house beautifully rendered in ASCII? Just type in your address, pick a colour mode and watch in awe as you feel like you’ve entered the Matrix, all whilst maintaining the interactivity of Street View.

You’ll need a browser that is capable of supporting CORS WebGL textures such as Chrome or Firefox to view it and WebGL is largely hardware dependant so you may find older computers struggle to smoothly render it.

Find it at here and thanks to @create_oblivion for showing me this one.

Toasty by Edward Price

Nostalgia alert! Those of you who remember the original Mortal Kombat from their button bashing days, may remember the delight at witnessing the Toasty Guy, who would pop up from the bottom right of the screen and say “Toasty”, after you delivered a sweet uppercut to your opponent.

Toasty by Edward Price is a script that enables you to add the Toasty guy (real name Dan Forden) easter egg to your website and is activated using the Konami Code JS.

Edward is also a student of mine and did a fantastic job recreating this infamous easter egg. Read about the development here and check the action out for yourself.

Using WordPress as a Website

WordPress is a great content management system for anyone who needs to move away from a static site.

While it is primarily a blogging platform, over the years extensive development and third party plugins have opened it up to cater for much more than this. While a default install will indeed set it up as a blog, it is very simple to configure it for use as a website in just a few simple steps.

Anyone wishing to do this may find a this screencast I created useful. Within 5 minutes you will be up-and-running with your new WordPress website.

Micons Series 2 and Premium Bundle Update

At the end of last year I launched a personal project called Micons, a free collection of iOS style icons from the world of technology.

Since then I have been working on and off at Series 2 (more off than on to be fair) which is set to include the classic consoles, Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive II. I look back fondly on a childhood playing these two juggernauts of the gaming world, and series 2 will pay homage to that.

As always they will be accompanied by a video showing the design process and a PSD with all the layers intact, so you can break them apart for yourself and see how they came together.

I am also going to release a Premium Bundle which for a small fee will include both Series 1 & 2 plus plenty of extra icons including Apple TV, joypads, cartridges and more.

I will be aiming for a September release and you will find out here first when they have launched.

New Deifuser track ‘Livestock’

Music, like design is a huge passion and creative outlet for me.

For the guts of 15 years I’ve been writing, playing and performing in various bands and recently started a solo project under the alias of Deifuser pronounced diffuser. This is the first time I’ve had an entirely hands on and immersive experience in every aspect from the writing & recording to the final production and I am learning more and more about each stage with each song.

I merge contemporary genres and live instruments, with the retro gaming soundtrack of a 80’s & 90’s childhood and you can listen to my latest song Livestock below.

All the songs are free for download for both personal and commercial use under a Creative Commons Attribution license, so feel free to use them for school projects, youtube videos or just enjoy listening to them.

Dealing with Plagiarism of your work

Call it what you will; plagiarism, theft, rip off, infringement, paying homage, this sort of thing happens everyday on the web.

As designers and developers there is nothing worse than seeing your carefully crafted website appear under the accreditation of someone else (usually in a crude, bastardised version of its former self). Our designs, infuse our personality, our individuality, our creativity, our time, our labour, our understanding of our discipline and in one moment, it has become the new shop front of a stranger.

Let’s define plagiarism by looking at the definition from

Many people think of plagiarism as copying another’s work, or borrowing someone else’s original ideas. But terms like “copying” and “borrowing” can disguise the seriousness of the offense:

According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, to “plagiarize” means

  • to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own
  • to use (another’s production) without crediting the source
  • to commit literary theft
  • to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.

In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else’s work and lying about it afterward.

We love the openness of HTML & CSS and the ability to look at someone else’s code and figure out how things work. That is how we learn from each other and that is what makes the web community so great. The danger of course is that this also leaves your work open to abuse from plagiarists. More often than not a simple cut and paste from the source code will all but surrender your code, but more sophisticated methods include freely available programs that in a few clicks, can actually suck an entire website down, including scripts, CSS, sub pages, fav icons, images etc… a scary thought I know.

I am of course speaking from experience, as this very website has been plagiarised on countless occasions. Some have been genuine mistakes from young designers who are still learning the difference between influence and imitation, but others have done so, conscientiously knowing they have taken someone else’s work in its entirety and are passing it off as their own (on many occasions this is work that a client has paid good money for). A total lack of respect for the originator of the work.

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