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Category: Design (page 1 of 5)

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My “First Time”

In July, I was featured in The Courier-Journal, the daily newspaper in Louisville, Kentucky. For their “First Time” segment, the paper asks notable Louisvillians to reflect back on an important moment in their life when something (non-sexual!) happened for the first time. Here’s what I wrote:

View the original at

Louisville native Scott Ritcher publishes K Composite Magazine, has run for mayor of Louisville and the Kentucky Senate, and now lives in Sweden.

Here he shares the moment when his career as a designer and publisher essentially began.

In 1988, in a Kinko’s copy shop on South First Street near the University of Louisville, lit by fluorescent tubes and decorated with all the charm of an abandoned conference room, I used a Macintosh computer for the first time.

Nestled in a tiny cubicle with worn carpet underneath it was a 13-inch-tall beige box bearing a rainbow Apple logo and the name Macintosh SE.

The machine had a 3.5-inch floppy disk slot on the front and a 9-inch black and white screen with a resolution of 512 by 342 pixels. Those pixels were so big and so few that the machine’s entire screen could now be fully displayed 16 times on your iPhone 5, or nearly 24 times on the MacBook I’m using to type this today.

I was at Kinko’s working on the liner notes for an upcoming cassette album by the Louisville skate-punk band Spot which would be released on Slamdek, my record label.

In those days, there were no scanners, color printers or design software to speak of; however, earlier that year, a brand-new device called the Apple LaserWriter had been released. The Mac and LaserWriter brought publishing power literally to your desk.

Before that happened, I visited a printing shop for any typesetting I needed. I’d type out the text on a typewriter and hand that sheet of paper over to a man who would enter it into a Linotype machine to make it look pretty, charging me by the word. Even that was a world away from the scratch-on letters that preceded it.

By renting time on a Mac at Kinko’s for $6 an hour, I could cut out the middleman and begin experimenting with typography myself. The power this gave me was seriously exciting.

On this early Mac I was still only playing with the dozen or so fonts available on the machine — most often sticking with Helvetica or Geneva — and typing out everything on a blank page in MacWrite. I’d print out those pages of text on the LaserWriter and cut them up. The actual “design” part was still quite analog and the tools were X-ACTO knives and glue sticks. You know, cutting and pasting.

When I think back on my first time with the Mac, it seems like I knew at the time that it was an important moment. Typography and design are what I do now. Without them and without the Mac, I surely wouldn’t be making magazines in one of the world’s design capitals and living (what I consider to be) the dream.


The level of Swedishness in this picture is blowing my mind. The Turn-O-Matic is about as Swedish as it gets.

Sigvard Bernadotte

Sigvard Bernadotte

Mats Gustafson

A few images from the fantastic Mats Gustafson exhibition at Millesgården in Stockholm.

New notebooks!

These fantastic little notebooks just arrived from America! They’re Field Notes pocket notebooks from the Night Sky Edition. You can get them here.

Newly framed art in my apartment

I just framed the set list from the incredible Andrew WK concert here in Stockholm at Debaser Slussen.

A beautiful addition to the Scandinavian minimalism in my apartment which might be all covered in blood after it’s time to party hard.

Nice Doggie


Comic Sans in Greek

I thought I could go a whole week without seeing Comic Sans, but nope, there’s a version of it in the Greek alphabet.


A little place near Stavros, Crete, has excellent taste in names. Ramblers was the name of the award-winning Sunday night trivia group I was a member of in Louisville.

Norwegian Airlines flight from Stockholm to Crete


Warning about alcohol consumption



Thanks for sorting the garbage. Think about the environment!

That guy’s got a good head on his shoulders.

Let’s see here…

Let’s see here… Step 1… New document… Whoops… Wait… Okay… Let’s see…

Stockholm City Library

Stockholm City Library designed by Gunnar Asplund in the 1920’s. I can see this beautiful building from my apartment window and I pass it on my walk to work.


Trygg is the Swedish word for “safe.” This is at the top of a beautiful old insurance company building in Stockholm.

Winter postage.

A few winter-themed postage stamps from Sweden.

Illuminated Door Handles

These restroom door handles in Stockholm glow in different colors to show you if someone is inside.

Another day, another 6.45 kronor.

Another day, another 6.45 kronor.

Picnic Time is out!

For about a year I’ve been working on another iPhone app. This one isn’t a magazine or anything like that. It’s a package of impossible games.

International Picnic Day is June 18, but you can get that outdoorsy feeling (and a little frustration) year ’round with Picnic Time – a new picnic-themed puzzle app for iPhone.

Picnic Time is no walk in the park, though. It’s a basket loaded with 48 puzzles, including tile slider games and memory matching diversions. These are high-quality time wasters, some of which are annoyingly difficult. Because of that, there are no timers, no scores, no playing against friends – these challenges are simple and painful enough without outside distractions.

With Picnic Time, you’re competing only against yourself, staring into that deep abyss of sunshine and strawberries where you’re the only one to blame. Good luck, dummy.

The impossible memory matching games include things you take on a picnic, like delicious sandwiches, deli food, blankets, vintage picnic baskets, cups, plates, beer, wine, champagne, and even some surprises, like gross meats and people we picked named Nick.

Picnic basket cases unite!

Now in the App Store for iPhone and iPod touch.

Guten Morgen!

Guten Morgen!

I’m switching planes in Germany this morning on my way to, um, Poland. I’d much rather be staying here in Berlin.

It is truly impressive how Germany smells when you walk into the airport. I think they must plan it so everyone gets a waft of freshly-baked pretzels and pastries as soon as they arrive.

Workin’ it.

Workin’ it at my desk at Bonnier Tidskrifter. I needed a photo of me working for an article about K Composite, so I had my co-worker take a few shots with the iPhone. The phone had an Ollo Clip on it, which has several different lenses.

iPhone Background Image

As a Saturday afternoon Photoshop project, I made a custom background image for my new iPhone 5.

In the spots which aren’t filled with app icons I positioned old school yearbook photos of some of the famous people who have made my life more enjoyable. Interesting group, I know.

There are download links below if you’d like to use it on your own iPhone.

Top row: Stephen Colbert, Ross Perot, Evel Knievel

Second: Kate Moss, Alexa Chung, Larry David (!), Kurt Cobain

Middle: Lindsay Lohan, Claire Danes, Steve Martin, Steve Jobs

Fourth: Johnny Cash, Bobby Kennedy, Barack Obama, Emma Stone

Last: Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, David Letterman, Grace Kelly

I really wanted to include Annika Norlin, but I just couldn’t find a childhood photo of her online. Apparently school yearbooks aren’t a widespread phenomenon in Sweden like they are in the US.

Download Links
Feel free to download it and use it on your own iPhone. Here are the links to the the full resolution versions for iPhone 5 and for all other iPhones. If you’re reading this on your iPhone, just tap one of the links to see the image, then hold your finger on it until the option pops up to save it to your library.

Here’s how it looks in action:

Oops! I did it again.

Oops! I did it again. My new iPhone 5 has arrived after three weeks on the waiting list.

Shit. That ain’t right. How much did I drink?

Shit. That ain’t right. How much did I drink? (Taken with Instagram at )

Instagram filter used: Normal

View in Instagram ⇒

Home decorating on a budget

I decided I’d rather have a bigger desk than a kitchen door.



A few of my favorite things

Some of my favorite things from all sides of the western world. Iida from Trollhättan, Bulleit from Lawrenceburg, Coca-Cola from Atlanta, triangular vintage picnic cups designed by Sigvard Bernadotte and international music collaboration in my beloved Stockholm.

Magenta Toner Accident

Magenta toner accident outside the Officemakers store in Gamla Stan, Stockholm.

Garbage chute instructions

A handsome, vintage, framed note in the hallway of this apartment building provides pointers on how to properly use the garbage chute.