Entering the World Wide Web, back in the day

Last updated on January 30th, 2023 at 05:27 pm

My entry to the World Wide Web happened in 2008. Up to that time, I designed logos and print items such as advertising, brochures, catalogues and labels.

Creating an advertisement for a technology newspaper was my first job as a graphic designer, and yes, I know a bit about the latter part of this era: parallel rulers, tweezers and Rotring pens.

As I dug into my old portfolio: the heavy black folder sized about 12″ x 16″, I found my very first design project as a working designer.

My first deisgn work - newspaper ad

The starting point

I decided to learn to create a website in 2008. At that time, taking a Dreamweaver class was definitely out of my comfort zone. I was intimidated by just even getting into the classroom and didn’t know what to expect. On the first day of the class, I remember a curly-haired guy wearing a graphic t-shirt and short pants. He gulped down a can or two of pop during the class. That was my instructor Kevin McMillan. He made me feel less intimidated probably because he seemed relaxed and was not the tech person I had imagined. I don’t quite remember what exactly I had imagined. A tech guy in a sketch of Saturday Night Live?

The class was very inclusive of all levels. The sample material was very interesting to work with. The class made me feel I could actually make something with what I was about to learn. I feel a part of the reason I am able to design websites today is that I had such a positive experience at my entry to the World Wide Web.

I was very excited to see the first website I created in the class go live.

The journey continues: learning and practicing

After finishing the course, I continued to learn and practice by myself. When I started learning WordPress shortly after, I quickly realized there was no way I could learn everything; existing information and stuff that comes out every day. Since then, my stance became “Learn what I need“. I still keep an eye on new techniques and tools in the area I am interested in, but don’t want to be drowned in the sea of information. I only have two hands. I have to say goodbye to something sometimes.

I will shortly start posting notes from my experience. The subjects would be something like my list of WordPress plugins, learning WP Rig, etc. Those posts will be my go-to place to remember what I did and why I did it. I will also try updating them whenever I have a new take because I am still learning. If they help someone in some way, it would be a bonus to me.

Kevin McMillan currently teaches at Langara College and Emily Carr University of Art and Design. You can find more about his courses here … and don’t hold yourself back from googling “Weasels Ripped My Flesh”. I didn’t.