Hi.

I'm Zach.

I make things.

Web & Graphic Design

Before anything else, I'm a designer. It informs everything else I do. Most of the time people mean a visual designer, someone responsible for the look and feel of a thing. That's part of it. It's a part I enjoy. But I believe in a broader definition.

I think that being a designer means you think about how the thing works. You look at it from every angle. Each decision you make is then informed by this. That's how something becomes well designed.

Front-end &

Back-end Development

With my roots in design, it wasn't long before I started to be intrigued by the world of programming. I wanted to know how to breathe life into the static site mockups I was creating. What started as basic HTML and CSS work has morphed into something else entirely.

I'm well versed in both JavaScript and PHP. With a strong foundation in the underlying languages, I can more skillfully use the frameworks built on top. For JavaScript I like working with jQuery and React. When it comes to PHP, WordPress is my preferred working environment.

Southern Belle Rentals

for Hire Jordan Smith

Design

This was a real pleasure to work on. A site designed to showcase and sell rental properties in Savannah, GA and the surrounding area, Southern Belle lets the properties do the talking. We went with a monochromatic color scheme and let the phenomenal photography light up the page.

Independent Formatting

Design • Development

A simple site with a lot of character, Independent Formatting is the home for Lisa Wispé's page layout business. Lisa wanted to honor the print-based nature of her work (as well as her love of literature) with a design that harkened back to old books with beautifully patterned covers.

Independent Formatting →

Bill Rinaldi

for Zen Design Firm

Development

Provided with another great design by Zen Design Firm, I built this custom WordPress theme for Bill Rinaldi. Designed to showcase the wide variety of different projects that Mr. Rinaldi is a part of, the site includes an easy-to-use system of tags and categories to control what posts show up where on the site.

Bill Rinaldi →

The History of WebKit

Writing

This article was almost six months in the making. I researched the history of the open source project WebKit, and told the story of how it began, as well as the changes that it's experienced over the years.

The History of WebKit →

Pythonista 101

Writing

This five-part series on the iOS app Pythonista was a big hit among readers. It walked you through the app from the interface to the basics of writing Python code.

Pythonista 101: Part 1 →

HTML5 • CSS 3

Development

Every site I build is written in modern, standards-compliant HTML5 and CSS3.

I'm a strong proponent of progressive enhancement. That's a development philosophy that ensures your site's content is accessible to anyone browsing the Web, but rewards visitors using the latest and greatest browsers with a superior experience.

WordPress

Design • Development

Custom Themes

WooCommerce & Sensei

I love WordPress. It's a fabulous tool with an incredible community. I specialize in custom theme development, and have experience integrating with popular plugins like WooCommerce and Sensei.

I also had the honor of being the keynote speaker at the first ever WordCamp Scranton in 2015.

You can watch a video of my talk here →

JavaScript

Development

I think JavaScript is like hot sauce.

When it's used skillfully it adds an exciting pop, but you don't need it in everything, and a little goes a long way.

PHP

Development

It isn't fancy. It isn't what "all the cool kids are using". But you know what PHP is? Dependable. That's what I look for in my server-side tools. Something with a proven track record and has been around the block a time or two.

These are the same reasons why I use MySQL for all my database needs.

Roofing by Bruce

Design

Roofing by Bruce is a family-owned and operated roofing and chimney company. They were looking for a modern interpretation of a retro look. Inspired by vintage ads from the 1950s and 60s, we pulled colors and shapes that evoked the feelings we were looking for.

Blue Mountain Sign Co.

Design

Blue Mountain Sign is a family-owned and operated sign making business. Specializing in quality sign work for other small businesses, we created a flexible mark which works well in many different contexts.

That Butterfly Feeling

Design

That Butterfly Feeling makes handcrafted jewelry with an emphasis on natural materials and gem stones. They were looking for a simple mark that walked the line between elegance and whimsy.

Let's create

something

awesome

together

Tech Writing

Tutorials • Product Reviews

I've been a freelance writer for 5 years. I've been published on a half dozen sites including AppStorm.net and Tuts+. Writing is a creative outlet for me, something I really enjoy doing. I love doing product reviews, tutorials, or opinion pieces. Articles that help inform, educate, or just make people think.

Digital & Analog

Pen & Ink • Watercolor

You could argue that deep down I'm not a designer...I'm an artist. I enjoy all the blessings and curses that come from having an artistic soul.

Starting at a young age with pencils and charcoal I've moved onto watercolors, pen & ink, and more recently digital art. I offer illustration services in any of those mediums, and will do commissions upon request.

Tunkhannock Public Library

for Zen Design Firm

Development

Provided with a great design by Zen Design Firm, I built a custom WordPress theme for Tunkhannock Public Library. One piece that I'm especially proud of is the menu. Hidden behind an icon, the tiered menu allows for all the links the client requests without becoming overwhelming to the average visitor. The menu is fully responsive and works very well on small screens.

Tunkhannock Public Library →

Roving Thoughts

Design • Development

It's always hard to work on a project when you're the client. Roving Thoughts is my personal blog, a digital home for my ramblings on life, tech, and pop culture. I was looking for a clean, minimal design that didn't look cold or clinical. Carefully chosen typography and a warm color palette helped to achieve the look I was going for.

Roving Thoughts →

Secondary Pythonista

Writing

Pythonista 101 was so popular that it spawned a second series. This time, we walked through the basics of creating a mini-app using Pythonista, from initial concept to finished script.

Secondary Pythonista →

What Are Wikis and Why Should You Use Them?

Writing

Wikis are so ubiquitous these days it's easy to take them for granted. Few people realize the power and potential that they have, and how flexible they really are. In this article I explain what wikis are and why you might want to use one for yourself or your small business.

What are Wikis, and Why Should You Use Them? →