Digital Toolbox #1: Martin Wood, Corporation Pop
In the first of a new Creative Times series, Corporation Pop’s Martin Wood opens the lid on his digital toolbox.
I’ll be absolutely honest – I’m a bit of a digital jack-of-all-trades (hopefully not a master of none) and, like most of us at Corporation Pop, I’m stretched across disciplines most weeks.
So, my daily toolkit can include anything from After Effects to Excel. Taking this into consideration, I have a list of apps, tools and extensions as long as my arm, which I could ramble on about for hours. But to cut to the chase, I could not do without my repositories and local development software.
We use MAMP (if you’re on a PC WAMP is a good alternative), MacHG and Mercurial in our workflow at Corporation Pop. We find the choice solid, and for us designers that feel anxious just looking at the terminal window, it’s as easy to use as Version Control can get. MAMP, by the way, may possibly be the easiest web development tool out there: point at a directory, click ‘start’, and you’ve just set that directory to act as an Apache server. That’s it.
I may be preaching to the converted, but If you’ve never heard of these tools I have to say you could be losing time and wasting resources. That repository is not just a website backup, it’s a snapshot of the entire build process, and if you’ve never developed a website locally and always worked on a server, you’ve already added unneeded time waiting for that s/FTP progress bar to complete, before refreshing the page to see your changes.
I’m not saying that the tools I’ve talked about are right for your workflow, and I’m certainly not saying you will find them quicker, especially at the outset. But take a look, have a tinker, and you may be pleasantly surprised.
Martin Wood is Senior Interactive Designer at Corporation Pop, Manchester.
For more information on Corporation Pop, visit corporationpop.co.uk