This is the archive of version one, made in 2006, launched in 2007, and active until 2012. It’s archived to preserve the original design and its content that was referenced in multiple posts, books and galleries. There’s a holding page before the new site arrives.

Jon Tan

Hi, I’m Jon.

  1. Professionally…


    I’m a designer and typographer. I co-founded Fontdeck, and help organisations like the BBC with web typography. I design products, interfaces, and branding from Mild Bunch HQ, the co-working studio I founded in Bristol, UK. Sometimes, I’m lucky enough to write for design publications like Typographica, and talk at conferences like An Event Apart.

    I’m a member of the International Society of Typographic Designers. My work and prose has featured in publications like I Love Typography, 8 Faces, .Net magazine, The Manual, and in books like Hardboiled Web Design (Five Simple Steps), Fluid Web Typography (New Riders), and The Principles Of Beautiful Web Design (SitePoint).

    If there is anything more you wish to know after all that rather formal (and uncomfortably narcissistic-feeling) blurb, you may wish to read more human prose in the form of my personal note or Seven Things log entry.

    Upcoming talks:

    Previous talks:


    Articles and interviews:

    Professional associations:

  2. Personally…

    Chinese translation: Dragon’s spirit, tiger’s mind, born between sunrise and sunset, where ancestors and descendants whisper, between heaven, earth and tan.

    I’m a husband and father of two boys living in sunny Bristol, UK. Originally brought up in the not-so-sunny, but equally loved Stoke-on-Trent, I took a rather circuitous route to Bristol via Singapore, The Seychelles (map 1, 2), London and Sydney.

    Half of my genes are from Singaporean–born Chinese stock, the other half from the UK. So I’m a hybrid, and regularly dip my toe in both ponds and feel a quiet sense of pride in each.

    When not working, I entertain, enrage and encourage my sons, who apart from being an order of magnitude more creative than I, are also the best spiritual sustenance and exercise regime I could ever wish for.

    I first started designing with Lego. I still think it’s still the best metaphor for what I do today. From dabbling in print design using plate and press in 1992, I moved to digital design around 1995. A jack of all trades and master of none, the tension between artistic creativity, pedantic precision and wanderlust has characterised everything I’ve done, finally finding a perfect home in interface and information design today. Along the way I’ve worked as a marketing director, octopus fisherman, professional DJ, and market stall trader.

    Today I mostly convert pixels to ems, and wish for just one more decimal place of precision and consistent rounding in web browsers.

    I’ve definitely not been bored — I hope the same can be said for you after graciously taking time to read this.

    All the best,

    Jon Tan

    Sunday, 11th March, 2007.

  3. Contact

    Download my vCard* (via X2V):

    *If viewing with Internet Explorer you will not see the image in the vCard. IE does not support base64 encoding that enables it to be displayed.

    Jon Tan
    Jon Tan (base64 image)
    Skype: jontangerine
    Yahoo: jontangerine
  4. Colophon

    Chinese die stamp and lowercae Roman ‘t’.

    There is one Tan here (me) and I like to eat tangerines. When first thinking about life-long domains this one made me smile. Soon after, a respected colleague remembered it long enough to add me to his IM, after accidentally refusing my request. Thus jon tangerine dot com.

    Fresh tangerines may be available soon, but until then this is merely a personal log, knowledge silo and sandbox.

    The design grew out of thoughts on Western type and print versus Chinese typography and calligraphy. A balanced elastic interface seemed to fit, so everything stretches including content images. In fact, there are no presentational or background images at all, only content. You could call it an attempt at pure information design. It’s the same ethic that makes Chinese calligraphy decorative, but simple and articulate, and lets all newspapers have a beauty all of their own, just from the anatomy of the type.

    Depending on your platform, Baskerville or Palatino Linotype are used for headers and incidental text, Georgia for the body. Times New Roman is used for the stacked decorative type in the index masthead. For those lucky enough to be viewing this on a Mac, you may even notice the rare appearance of an italic Cochin.

    The content is managed using a home-rolled blog application built in PHP called Lifelong File. Credit goes to Paul Whitrow for the initial work, but particularly to Jon Gibbins, whose tireless work behind the scenes has qualified him for the “Free Cider At My House Award” for 2007-8. Jon is also responsible for the extracts of my bookmarks, Twitter moments and Upcoming events using a modified version of MagpieRSS rather than the APIs.

    Plain old semantic HTML wraps all the information you see with CSS used for style. Microformats such as hAtom, hCalendar, XFN, hCard and rel-tag feature heavily around the site.

    Other features close to my heart are also planned, from weighty tomes like OpenID support to Mills and Boon fun stuff like Gravatars. Now I’ve said it, it has to happen! Thanks for reading.

Clippings via

  1. Sponsored: 64% off Code Black Drone with HD Camera

    Our #1 Best-Selling Drone--Meet the Dark Night of the Sky!

  2. ish. yet another viewport resizer.

  3. De Waard tents

    Some of the most beautifully made and designed (real) canvas in the world. Oh, and some of the most expensive, too.

Moments via Twitter

  1. Wed, 10 Oct 2012 18:31

    Z: ‘I know what Twitter is daddy, it’s a bird that’s blue.’

  2. Wed, 10 Oct 2012 14:58

    SCOREBOARD! Flights to San Francisco and Brooklyn booked! The day gets better and better.

  3. Wed, 10 Oct 2012 10:09

    Hah! Ace. John Cusak and Cameron Crowe join Peter Gabriel on stage with a boom box for In Your Eyes: /v @hoyboy

Flickr feed Photos via Flickr