Visitors to the personal portfolio site of Thomas Notland will be immediately struck by the elegant simplicity on display. In fact, once the use of the favicon in the page footer is observed, the term ‘subtlety’ comes to mind as well! Thomas took some time out to answer our questions about his work and his use of Wolf CMS.
Your portfolio includes very different kinds of design work. Do you find these interests in competition with each other, or do they have some synergy?
Well, I haven’t actually thought about that before. I guess I have to say there’s a little bit of both. As a full-time architecture student and a part-time designer, I think the biggest competition would be my time. I’m constantly searching for new and interesting ways to be creative, and sometimes I really do feel a struggle for what should get my attention.
At the same time I also think that all of my design work should interact in a positive way. When I’m designing a new poster or logo, I’m learning something useful for architecture. And when I’m designing houses, I learn a lot about web design as well. In addition to a showcase for potential clients, my portfolio also works as a personal reminder to myself of what I’ve actually done over the last years, and my hope is to see a growth and development over time.
Your site has a simple elegance. Is this a clue to your approach to design?
I must admit that I do have a passion for simplicity. On the other hand, I wouldn’t say that this is my main goal in my designs. Instead I am trying to find some sort of a balance-point between elements, content, and whitespace, and at the same time keep a clear focus. Sometimes this can be relatively easy but at other times, almost impossible.
What makes Wolf CMS your preferred option for your personal site?
With my limited programming skills, I really appreciate the way Wolf CMS makes it easy to create fully customizable templates and themes without needing to scroll through hundreds of lines and files with code. I think Wolf is the most flexible and at the same time simplest CMS I have ever tried, and for me as a front-end designer, this is a big plus.
Having a trusted CMS to build websites upon is important, and it really seems like Wolf is heading in a good direction. The lightweight core is such a great starting-point.
The portfolio solution you use is intriguing. Do you think those new to Wolf CMS would find it straightforward to set up something similar?
The setup is pretty easy actually. Most of the code is available in the Wolf CMS documentation, and with a basic knowledge of HTML/CSS, it shouldn’t be a big problem even for those completely new to Wolf.
The solution I have uses a jQuery gallery script which in a short time will be available for download. The content-area below the gallery is the playground. Here I have the opportunity to style every element with CSS which gives me incredible freedom to create a presentation in a way that corresponds to the project. I see my site as a never-ending work in progress, and this area I’m hoping to explore and develop further in the future.