Who is Tyler Sticka?

That’s really my last name, and it’s pronounced exactly like it’s spelled.

Photo by Kent Derek.

I’m a designer, cartoonist, speaker and educator living and working near Portland, Oregon. By day I design mobile websites and mobile hybrid apps at Cloud Four. By night, I’m co-founder of Backabit, where I make games like Ramps for touch devices. I enjoy speaking publicly at events like WebVisions, WordCamp and TechWeek, and I occassionally conduct classes and workshops in design and web standards. I enjoy making little apps like Portwiture.

Before I could even articulate it, I was inspired by the relationship between art and technology. My parents say I started drawing when I was two, but my love of cartooning accelerated when Ray Nelson, Jr. visited my second grade class. I checked out a book on HTML from the library when I was eleven because I was tired of waiting to publish my cartoons. Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics and Reinventing Comics were discovered a few years later, the latter teaching me to regard the web as a unique medium.

I apprenticed at Art Center College of Design and designed CD-ROM interfaces for Intel before I had my driver’s license. I followed my passion through college, earning a Bachelor of Science in Interactive Media Design from the Art Institute of Portland. Since then, I’ve had a blast crafting web sites, apps, icons and illustrations with organizations like Microsoft, Sasquatch! Music Festival, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, McAfee, Providence Health & Services and many more. Geoloqi co-founder Amber Case called me “the most consistent, rational and productive person in Portland.” WebMD Executive Creative Director John Weiss said that I’m “an incredible artist, designer and consultant.” Wired contributing editor Steve Silberman called me “a software poet.”

The web is where I’m meant to be. I adore its restlessness and the enthusiasm of its practitioners. I can’t wait for it to force us to re-learn everything again.

Nuts and bolts

Since 2004 this site has been my primary online identity and soapbox. This is the fourteenth design I’ve experimented with, though only the seventh that’s seen public release. This iteration is the first to use an adaptive layout to respond to many different screen sizes. I also wanted to improve readability, scannability, and the consolidation of previously fragmented sections of content.

This site is powered by WordPress. The markup is written with the most recent iterations of HTML and CSS I can get away with. LESS and its PHP port make CSS a joy. The typefaces are Source Sans Pro and Depot New Condensed, both enthusiastically served by Typekit. There’s also just a pinch of jQuery for added flavor. My code editor of choice is Sublime Text.

In addition to HTML5 Boilerplate, Less Framework and Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS, these web design books were tremendously influential:

  • Adaptive Web Design by Aaron Gustafson
  • HTML5 For Web Designers by Jeremy Keith
  • CSS3 For Web Designers by Dan Cederholm
  • Responsive Web Design by Ethan Marcotte
  • Hardboiled Web Design by Andy Clarke