The labour of love defines the graphic designer – allowing a practice to develop in often unexpected ways, it also contributes a certain dynamism to Australia’s design culture.
Over the past few weeks we have profiled eight labours of love. This is the final profile in the series.
Founder: Anthony Kolber
Stacey is a freely available lightweight content-management system driven by text files and folders, rather than the more traditional database-driven model. Creator Anthony Kolber took a simple idea and turned it into a labour of love.
What prompted you to start the Stacey app?
The basic concept was something I had developed while helping a number of friends to get their portfolios online. Everyone happened to send their projects in a fairly common structure: a folder matching the name of the project, a text file containing the project information and then the project images in numbered order.
The idea was to create a system that could take this common structure and convert it into raw html that I could then deploy.
What kind of difficulties have you faced putting the project together?
Developing proper documentation and dealing with support requests was much more challenging than I had anticipated. It is especially difficult to justify the time they require when the project is something released singlehandedly and free. Luckily, the general community has begun helping out, which does relieve some of the pressure.
How rewarding has the project been for you?
Hugely. The amazing people that the project has introduced me to was something I had never imagined when I first released the project.
What has been your happiest moment working on it?
The project gave me an opportunity to work with Jurg Lehni on some ideas based on similar principles to Stacey, which was quite an exciting moment for me personally. Also, seeing a brilliant portfolio site and then realising it was built on Stacey is always a nice moment.
Do you see the Stacey app as a labour of love?
That is definitely what it has grown into. At the time, it was just a crazy throwaway idea. It wasn’t until after it was released and people started showing interest that it became something more serious.
How important are labours of love to design culture?
For me, I think they’re of great importance. I feel that design (in all its forms) is at its most powerful when it is used to express personal opinion, which always seems to be more problematic in commercially-driven projects.
What do you think you have achieved with the Stacey app?
I think Stacey’s model, which is a much less abstract approach, proposes an interesting alternative to traditional content-management.
Any words of wisdom for others wishing to pursue a labour of love?
While the idea of spending your limited free time on ‘another’ project can seem quite daunting, in my experience, these things tend to pay themselves off.
From desktop magazine.