A photograph of me smiling at the camera, taken on a cold, sunny day on an outlook over the ocean. Plymouth, February 2022.

Allo! I’m Robin, a writer and web designer from the UK. Now I live in San Francisco where I design things at Sentry. My work is always in the weird space between writing (blogging loudly), front-end development (bragging about how a website looks), and publishing (figuring out new ways to get words in front of people).

Please direct all compliments to robinjrendle@gmail.com

CSS-Tricks

In 2014, I joined CSS-Tricks as a staff writer. For almost eight years I wrote about all sorts of CSS-related things; incoherent ramblings about the peculiar magic of flexbox and auto margins, what the heck grid-auto-flow is, or why CSS is frustrating. For a good long while I focused on the newsletter where each week I took the latest news in the front-end development world and tried to make sense of it. Altogether I wrote almost 300 of them which is around ~300,000 words or 2.3 Silmarillions (!) over 5 years.

On that note, I make a lot of demos in Codepen. For example! I’ve made 3D animated type demos and fun variable font experiments. I’ve spent many evenings trying to figure out the backdrop-filter CSS property, creating a CSS loading bar, or making a weird sci-fi Pokemon dashboard. What I’ve learned over the years is that Codepen is an excellent notebook; it’s the best place to tinker with ideas and try some peculiar web thing.

About this website

I’ve been working on this website since 2014 and I see it as a public office; notes spread out everywhere in every direction—and whoa! don’t move that—those books and papers over there are super important! Jeez! The idea is that you can stop by and see what I’m working on at any given moment. This helps me refine my work, learn about web design and typography, and hone my writing skills a bit. It’s also a record of where I was and who I was back in, say, 2018 when everything was falling apart.

Once every couple of years I try to publish A Big Thing over in /essays. This encourages me to work on longer writing projects than I’m typically used to. They often take weeks, months, years of research and thinking and being lazy about them and planning them out and designing them and then just winging it all at the last second and hitting the big green publish button and hoping for the best. Some of them don’t really stand the test of time, some of them are pretty embarrassing, and some of them are the best things I’ve ever done. I’ll let you decide which is which.

Also! This website was built with Eleventy and published via Netlify. You can view all the code over on GitHub if you want to take any inspiration for a website of your own.

Typesetting

Hex Franklin is what I use when I want to pack a punch, whilst GT Alpina is used for body copy and small headings. It’s cute and curious and excellent! Look at the ? and the lowercase a! Wondrous. You can download free trials from Grilli Type of their entire font catalogue and you should absolutely go do that.

Also, also! I tend to change the styles and typography of this website a lot, and sometimes multiple times a week. Let a website be a worry stone, etc.