I collaborate with several graphic designers – most frequently Danny McEnerney of workin’ man creative and George Guy of Warp Graphics – to turn their graphic designs into WordPress websites. They send me Photoshop files of their designs, and I turn them into functional websites that match their graphics pixel for pixel. I really love this aspect of my work.
It gives me something fresh and new to work on. When I code my own designs, I find my own work predictable, since, of course, it comes from my own head. When I can code someone else’s design, I have something new and interesting to work with, and other designers end up doing things that I never would have thought to do.
It might seem that once the graphic design is done, the creative part of the process is over and writing the code is just busywork. On the contrary, I actually find that writing code requires a great deal of creativity, especially when it is someone else’s design. I have to figure out how to write a bunch of text that the computer will translate into the images I see. Not only that, but I always try to write websites so that they will be easy for the site’s owner to update themselves, so sometimes that requires a little bit of extra creative thinking. It’s a fun problem-solving exercise, and it often requires thinking outside of the proverbial box or approaching the problem from several directions at once.
Coding for graphic designers has also made me a much better designer myself. I have to examine the work of several different designers in minutia, and looking at how they put their designs together has taught me a lot about what I need to do when I create websites.
It might seem like writing WordPress themes over and over based on someone else’s designs would get boring, but I really enjoy it. I find it to be creative and stimulating work.