Deep Thoughts + Inspiration

on academic writing.

i am one year and 3 months into a masters of design at the university of washington school of art, art history and design. while last year i focused on building a foundation in design, this year i dive into examining what design is through academic texts, writing and a studio practice (more on the latter soon).

the attached is my first attempt at a research paper. i explore the designer-developer collaboration as it relates to typography on mobile screens. it’s far from complete, but i learned so much about how to formulate an argument and defend it. in the future, i would love to incorporate more narrative into this type of work. for the most part, though, i’m proud that i actually got this far. learning to think and process information through writing has been so much more challenging than i thought it would be.

if you’re interested in the top level argument, here’s the abstract:

In this paper, I examine current designer-developer collaborations in order to better understand the challenges visual communication designers and interaction designers face when laying out type on mobile screens. Due to different skill sets and varying communication processes between designer and developer, the translation from static mockup to coded design can make refining type difficult, ultimately affecting the reading experience of the user. I look to existing studies on designer-developer collaborations and apply these findings to three examples of designers working with developers in instances specifically related to typography on mobile screens. Based on these findings, I make 4 recommendations for designers to improve efficiency in their process and achieve desired levels of detail in their designs when working with developers: improving designer to developer communication, shifting the level of fidelity in static mockups, cultivating a mutual respect between designers and developers, and having an organization place value on design.

Piper Loyd

i took an introductory processing workshop this morning. we learned very basic things, but it's still so gratifying to make something move on a screen—like that little yellow dot! 

Piper Loyd
my love of bill murray + an obsession with NITCH.

like the rest of the universe, i love bill murray. and separately, one of my favorite sources for quick-hits of inspiration lately has come from NITCH. they regularly post gems from my man bill. a few worth bookmarking?

on the left:

“friendship is so weird. you just pick a human you’ve met and you’re like, ‘yep, I like this one,’ and you just do stuff with them.”

and on the right:

“the more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything: the better you are with your loved ones, the better you are with your enemies, the better you are at your job, the better you are with yourself.”

i highly recommend following them in your path toward total… consciousness.

Piper Loyd
the funfetti cookie.

this sounds ridiculous, but one of the things i really miss about san francisco is the ability to order the confetti cookie on demand from doughbies. thus, i’ve been on the hunt for a good at home recipe. i adapted this one a bit and i’ll likely mess with the recipe a little more. these are just slightly crispy, but light and sugary and go down way too easily.

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 7 tbsp sprinkles (roughly — add more or less if you’d like)

cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. add eggs and vanilla extract. mix well. in a separate bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sprinkles. gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet, until just combined. cover dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

preheat oven to 350F and line cookie sheet with parchment paper. scoop into 2 Tbsp-sized balls and place at least 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. bake for 12 minutes, or until barely brown around the edges.

cool + enjoy.

Piper Loyd
songs for a sunday run.

sometimes i throw together the most random collection of songs and it hits just the right note (pun intended). enjoy this eclectic 57 minutes of awesomeness.


police + thieves — the clash
the world has turned and left me here — weezer
all the wine — the national
best one — anderson.paak
muscle’n flo — menomena
them changes — thundercat
wolf like me — tv on the radio
all my friends — lcd soundsystem
mystery achievement — the pretenders
bike dream — rostam
lost + found — pretty lights
we used to wait — arcade fire
over and down with — the proclaimers

listen in full on spotify.

Piper Loyd
this week is brought to you by fun. and bike rides.

i snuck out on a ride this afternoon, just a quick one before the rain started. i love that there is a killer loop right from my house. i get curvy wooded roads, views of the water and the mountains, a few hills and an espresso stop on the way home. at the coffee shop, i borrowed a pen and the barista gave me a piece of scrap paper so that i could jot down whatever popped up while i was peddling. 1. the past few weeks, i’ve lost the fun element of what i’m doing. it’s hard, yes. and sometimes the first thing to go when that happens is the joy of the thing you’re doing. i can shift that. i can bring back the fun, the joy. it’s not entirely gone, but it’s certainly waning. 2. there is always, always, always time for a ride. or a walk or a run. moving and taking a break from the screen flips a switch and i’m usually able to make some kind of progress when i sit back down to work. 3. the right tools make all the difference. when i moved to seattle, i treated myself to a good pair of 3/4 bibs and a rain jacket from velocio. they are worth every penny. if i’m comfortable riding in the rain, i’ll fucking go for a ride in the rain.

Piper Loyd

this song on repeat. i like it so much it hurts a little.

Piper Loyd
on the days you want to quit.

monday was a hard day, for no reason other than it’s half-way through the quarter, i’m a student again for the first time in 15 years, i didn’t get enough solo time this weekend and, well, i’m human. my insecurities hit toward the end of my afternoon class and i cried all the way to the bus. and once the faucet is on, it’s on. i noticed a poster on a street corner looking for a lost 66-year-old man with dementia. that really sent me over the edge.

i wrote a list once i got on the bus.

it’s titled: on the days you want to quit.

  • cry
  • run
  • put a good song on repeat
  • eat something healthy + fulfilling (warm in the winter, cold in the summer)
  • know that if you didn’t have a few days like this, you wouldn’t be pushing hard enough.
  • no one said it was going to be easy. ha.

the last one made me chuckle. when i first moved to san francisco, i had a roll of butcher paper on the wall of my room. at some point, i wrote “no one said it was going to be easy” amidst random notes and reminders. i fell into a particularly dark period of depression right around the same time and i remember my roommate at the time saying to me, “you know, no one said it was going to be easy.” i looked at him with a blank stare. it was so blunt that i laughed. “what?” he said. “you have it written right there on the wall.”

the cry helped. the run helped. the music helped. the food helped. i know that there will be days when those things won’t help. but having some sort of hope, some kind of optimism that you’ll make it through, that helps, too.

so here’s to pushing on.

Piper Loyd