Matthew Buchanan portrait by Photobooth SF

About thie author

I’m a designer and practitioner of fine typography in Auckland, New Zealand. I co-founded a design and development studio, Cactuslab, in 2001, and a social network for film fans, Letterboxd, in 2011. I design themes for Tumblr, speak occasionally about web techniques and typography, and think up reasons to visit New York City.

Matthew Buchanan

All posts tagged ‘commerce

The Dutch Icon collective, headed by Hemmo de Jonge, has an impressive collection of royalty-free work for sale. The examples above are just two of the 99 sets they’ve drawn to date, all of which are sold exclusively through iStockPhoto (which sadly means there’s no way to buy the complete series as a single set). The consistency and proportions are perfect throughout — alongside Drew Wilson’s Pictos sets, these are among the best stock icons I’ve seen.

For more similar resources, Meagan Fisher posted a great round-up of alternatives a month or two back.


The new Readability

Instapaper creator Marco Arment on Readability’s new service which enables users to financially compensate the content providers whose material they read:

Trust me, these guys really know their stuff, and their heads are in the right place: there are no sinister motives or shady practices. It works exactly the way you’d expect, and is one of the most positive, constructive efforts I’ve seen in the online publishing world in a long time.

Watch the promo video to see how it works.

Source: marco


New theme: Solaris

From today, my new Solaris theme is available as part of Tumblr’s premium themes collection, to be officially launched later this week. Here’s a little rundown of what it offers:

  • Configurable icon sizes and colours
  • Optional "dark" palette, set in the Appearance menu
  • Option to display tags on summary and/or post pages
  • Option to display post authors
  • Lightbox for high-res images
  • Pages, Submissions & Ask support
  • Custom display of audio artwork and artist/track name
  • Custom display of like, reply and reblog notes
  • Display of liked posts and followed blogs
  • Support for Disqus and Google Analytics
  • Custom copyright message

The dark mode, visible in the wild on Nudge Up, seems to be a hit. Solaris is nine bucks via the super-slick new e-commerce process in the Theme Garden.

Big thanks to David, Peter and the team for inviting me to be part of this pilot, which I hope to see opened up to more of Tumblr’s design community soon. On that note, don’t miss my colleague Mike Harding’s delicious Scaffold theme, also for just $9.

Almost forgot: I’ve released National Park from my own site as well.

Update: there is now a version history page that lists new features, bug fixes and improvements to the theme.


Big news overnight is the launch of Square, a mobile app supporting multiple devices that enables anyone to take credit card transactions without the hassle of merchant accounts or complicated fee structures. It’s the brainchild of Twitter inventor Jack Dorsey and with the likes of Buzz Andersen involved, it’s going to be huge. Impeccable website design by Bobby Andersen.

As pointed out in the notes by Max Wheeler and Lachlan Hardy, part of the solution is a physical card reader mechanism that sends magnetic data from a credit card to a supported device through its audio input jack, generating the power to do so from the swiping motion. Clever.