Work inspiration with Jon Heslop

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Jon Heslop

Web designer and developer from London

I’m Jon Heslop, I’m a web designer/developer living London where I work for Rapha, a performance cyclewear brand. I was born in London but spent the majority of my formative years in the North West of England. I’ve messed around on the web since we got dial up internet in 1999, initially just playing around with WinAmp skins and building websites with Geocities. Before Rapha, I spent 5 years working in Wales with David and Clare Hieatt on howies, The Do Lectures, Hiut Denim and The Do Book Co.

Hardware

For the last three years I’ve been using an 11" MacBook Air as my primary machine, I’m on my second one. They’re awesome, they are powerful enough for everything I do which is basically just writing in text editors and reloading browsers. I love how light and portable it is. I have a 27" Cinema Display at the office and a 27" Dell U2713HM screen at home. I have a low profile wired Apple keyboard and a Magic Trackpad at both ends. I have a first generation iPad which isn’t good for much these days but I still use it for browsing Twitter via Twitterific. I have an iPhone 5c too which does the job just fine. 

Software

I’m pretty stoked with my software right now, I’ve got it set up  and tuned just how I like it, my hands barely need to leave the keyboard. I use Sublime Text 3 and Chrome mainly. I’ve always got Terminal window open running zsh. I use Photoshop and Illustrator regularly for getting images ready but I very rarely do any design work there anymore. I’ve always got Rdio running I work best with music on not off, I get distracted otherwise. Hues, ImageOptim, Versions and iA Writer are other tools I couldn’t do without. I pretty much keep my entire working directory inside of Dropbox so I can easily share anything. I use Backblaze to keep everything backed up too.

Dream setup

It’s pretty dreamy already but I wish all my displays were Retina! Some of the new 4K displays coming out have an even wider aspect, I would definitely enjoy the extra real estate. I’d like to give a standing desk a go too, I do worry about the damage of sitting down so much.

Work inspiration

Life itself is pretty much a sensory overload, I actively try to not grow immune to all the wonderful things around me. We spent five years living in the countryside in Wales, which was beautiful; nature and wilderness are definitely things that really pump me up. But conversely the city and urban sprawl whilst depressing sometime definitely has it’s own kind of magic… I’ve only been back here a year and I’m barely scratching the surface of what London has to offer.

I spend a lot of time cycling, being able to propel myself to far off places is a great feeling, the headspace you get is excellent, it’s often during those moments that a little thought will spark a bigger thought that later helps me in my work. 

My wife, family and friends are also huge sources if inspiration to me, the perspectives of others and their thoughts help me shape a more well rounded view of the world and my work. 

Of course the internet too; being able to catch glimpses of other peoples experiences through things like Instagram and Twitter is mind bending.