Web designInterview

Jake Giltsoff on combining a love for Sass and type

Jake Giltsoff's Sassline boilerplate helps bring the finesse of print typography to the web. Here he discusses his passion for type, making his mum happy, and more.

One of the 10 nominees for Young Designer of the Year in the 2014 net Awards, Jake Giltsoff is a designer at fffunction. Passionate about typography and type, he's also the man behind Sassline, a boilerplate for setting text using Sass and Create Portfolio. We chatted with him to find out more.

Give us a summary of your career so far.

I studied Graphic Communication and Typography at the University of Reading and whilst there I kindled my love of type and typography. During my time at university I worked freelance as a web designer teaching myself how to code which ultimately lead me into this industry.

After previously interning with them, at the beginning of last summer I joined fffunction, a small but perfectly formed web design agency (attending the previous net Awards for their nomination of Best New Agency in my first week!)

What have you been working on over the last year?

Over the last year I’ve worked on a new homepage for Mixture, building the front-end of the new Roland UK website and helping with the design and build of The Centre, amongst other projects.

Outside of fffunction, I have worked on a few side projects including an open source boilerplate – Sassline - which uses Sass and rems and is based on a method used for setting text to a baseline when designing for print. I also designed and built the website for Yard Life Festival – a charity music festival with all proceeds going to MS Research. Come along if you are around in London in Easter!

Sassline is based on a method used for setting text to a baseline when designing for print

What have been the particular high points of your career?

Being nominated for Young Designer of the Year? It sure made my mum happy! It’s hard to say really. Whilst at university I was invited to Buckingham Place to meet the Queen and represent my department, which was pretty exciting. More recently I’ve started blogging for Typecast, which is a real pleasure as it is a product I really love and have followed since their early days.

Who and what influences and inspires your work?

I find inspiration here, there and everywhere really. I regularly attend conferences to get my fill of inspiration – most recently I’ve enjoyed Web Dev Conf, Brooklyn Beta and Hybrid Conf.

On a more day-to-day basis I’m often checking out the work that the Simple as Milk guys are doing or looking at Oli Lisher’s portfolio. I also have an ever growing collection of design books that I am yet to read or even open.

What are you excited about at the moment?

I can’t quite tell you yet.

This year, Giltsoff has worked on a new home page for Mixture, a front-end development tool for Mac & Windows

Tell us about an important lesson you’ve learned in your career.

As my colleague Dan Goodwin put so well in his Pastry Box blog post – ‘Get good at talking to people’.

Name an ‘unsung hero’, someone you admire who deserves more recognition for their work.

Benjamin Hawkyard. I really loved the icons he worked on late last year – Iconicle.

Vote in the net Awards!

Celebrating the best in web design and development, the 15th net Awards is open for public voting until 24 March. With a record breaking number of nominations this year, it's set to be the biggest and best yet. Have your say by casting your votes here.

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