About

This page was last edited Wednesday, June 27th, 2007 at 11:56 pm.

About Big Sweater Design

Big Sweater Design was born around the fourth quarter of 2005. It’s a one-man show, run by me, Vincent Maglione.

I specialize in building sites that help make the Web a prettier, more accessible place. In particular, I build sites using:

  • Web standards, as dictated by the W3C (as long as I can help it, your website will validate according to the W3C’s specification for XHTML Strict);
  • CSS-based design and layout;
  • WordPress as a blogging and content management platform;
  • and free, open-source tools wherever possible.

What does all this mean for you? For one thing, building Web sites according to W3C standards usually makes them much lighter, meaning your page takes less time for users to download. They can get to the information they need to, more quickly. Sites built according to W3C standards are also readable on multiple devices (including cell phones), so people can get to your site when and how they want to. What’s more, it means the all-important search engines can read your sites more easily, potentially boosting your site’s search engine ranking and driving traffic to your site. When it’s done right, a site which conforms to W3C standards makes it much, much easier for disabled people using the Internet.

And the fact that it’s built on free, open source software keeps overhead down; when you pay me, you pay me for the service I provide, not the products I use to provide it. This site, for instance, is built on the excellent WordPress publishing platform, which is among the very best in open-source applications out there, and being open-source, is free of charge (unless you’d care to donate). Not to mention secure, mature, and stable.

Really, what’s not to like?

Although I prefer to use open-source software wherever possible, I am proficient in the mainstays of the industry, like Adobe’s Creative Suite (Photoshop and Illustrator CS2, in particular) and Dreamweaver.

My coding skills are always growing, and I’m by no means a guru in any given language, but for now I’m great with XHTML, CSS, and I’m learning PHP and JavaScript, with plans to learn Ruby On Rails in the future. In particular, I like to focus on WordPress-based sites, but there are plenty of other content management systems out there, and I’m a quick learner.

Although I prefer to limit my work to that which is Web-related, feel free to get in touch if you need something designed for print!

Anyway, I’ll include a link to my resumé here in the near future; for now, though, this site is still considered under construction. References are available upon request.

A Brief History of Big Sweater Design

In case you didn’t catch it on the home page, my last name is Italian, and in Italian, it’s pronounced “mal-YO-neh”. You don’t have to say it like that though if you don’t want to. “Big sweater” is a rough literal translation of the name; a more culturally educated Vincent Maglione contacted me one day and gave me the specifics of our common name, which I’ll publish here in the future.

I was in school for graphic design, working retail, and hating it. When I approached local computer repair company That Computer Chick looking for a job—any job—to help me get out of retail, the owner hired me to build her website instead of repair computers.

When that was done, I realized, why on Earth am I still working retail, when I can design for a living?

So here we are.

About Vincent Maglione

05-03-2007-0001I’m a 23-year-old guy who loves coffee, bicycling, video games, independent music, good literature, and art. I’ve been known to bang on a drum set occasionally, but I don’t think I’m any good. I’ve drawn since I can remember and actively draw to this day, when I’m not designing stuff. You can see some samples from my sketchbook in the Portfolio section of this site. It’s updated semi-regularly, usually once a week or so.

Self-education is extremely important to me; I’m always reading something new about design or illustration, whether it’s in the form of blogs, books, or magazines. In an industry that changes as rapidly as graphic design (Web design in particular!), keeping yourself up-to-date and educated is very, very important. I’ve yet to complete my formal education, but that will come in time.

I’ve always been kind of a nerd, having read fantasy novels and memorized Star Wars lines with my brothers as a kid. I even taught myself to program my Casio graphing calculator in middle school, which came in handy during algebra tests (don’t tell my former teachers! We were allowed to use calculators, but not like that). However, I discovered a love of design and layout in high school, when I joined the yearbook staff and learned quite a bit, believe it or not. So Web design is a perfect fit, a nice combination of the right and left sides of my brain.

Aesthetics

This site looks its absolute prettiest when you're using a standards-compliant browser.

I like Mozilla's Firefox web browser. It's safer, faster, and more standards-compliant than any of Microsoft's Internet Explorers, and it's free! It's also open source, which you know I like. So give it a try.

Colophon

This site was built from the ground up using open source tools like the GIMP, Bluefish, and WordPress.

In fact, practically the whole darn thing is WordPress-powered. The portfolio/image gallery is powered by a lovely PHP program called ZenPhoto.

Every single page should validate as XHTML 1.0 Strict, but don't quote me on that.