The tools I'm using

This page lists the tools I use to get things done vis-à-vis this MA.

This site

The site is built and published with Jekyll. Every article (and indeed almost everything I write) is written in Markdown. It is hosted on DigitalOcean with some objects in a CDN at KeyCDN.

Visual Art

I manage my photography and digital assets — 14,000 images and counting — in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and adjust them using software from DxO.

Vector work is undertaken in Adobe Illustrator, assisted by plug-ins from Astute Graphics, Hot Door, and Artlandia.

Sometimes I drop into Affinity Designer when Illustrator throws a wobbly and I need to clean up the mess.

For raster work I use Adobe Photoshop and Sketch.

In the non-digital world I work with acrylics using supplies from Royal Talens.

Audio and Video

Narration is recorded from a t-bone 450 large diaphragm studio microphone and captured using Audio Hijack.

Audio editing done in Fission or Twisted Wave. Additional processing by Vocal Rider.

Video editing and production is done in FotoMagico.

Type Design

In the MA I haven’t done any type design, but I do use some type design tools to mangle bézier curves: FontLab Studio; RoboFont; and Glyphs.

If necessary, additional tweaking is done with Superpolator, OT Master, and MetricsMachine.

Writing and editing

I write using iA Writer. It is a minimal environment for writing — “distraction free” — but with some excellent features.

I also use Office 365 because, let’s be honest here, Word is de facto and I long ago gave up tilting at that windmill (yes, FrameMaker is far superior but it never got the mindshare of Word, and Adobe killed support for it in the Mac). Plus, if you what you are doing and more importantly know its limitations and don’t try to push the envelope, Word isn’t that bad. I’ve been using Word since Word for DOS. Yes, for that long. Its a love-hate relationship.

To manage the task of keeping my research material in order and dealing with the task of bibliography and citation generation, I use Papers.

For scripting, programming, and miscellaneous text-wrangling, I use Sublime Text.


I have an iPhone. It has become my everyday digital camera as its always with me.

For photography, when I’m not using the iPhone, I use Canon cameras and lenses. My camera du jour was the S95, until it experienced a lens failure. I still shed a tear over that as the S95 was a very sweet camera.

My main computer is an iMac.

I don’t use a mouse or a trackpad but instead a trackball. I’m currently using a Logitech M570 wireless trackball, and before that I used its predecessors.

For kicks I use a Cintiq 24HD interactive pen display.

Productivity and well-being

I drink Lavazza coffee. They are more than welcome to sponsor my work. If you work for Lavazza, or know somebody who does, get in touch. I’m serious about welcoming sponsorship and I have a serious caffeine addiction.

When I’m at my desk I’m sitting on a Knoll Life chair.

For those times when I need background noise, Coffitivity or the more comprehensive Noise Machines.

I have an extensive music library that I listen to, and if I can I support musicians directly on Bandcamp; I seem to be spending a lot of time at the moment listening to the electronic beeps of Andy Pickford & Paul Nagle as Binar.