I first came across Erik Sagen’s Kartooner in April of 2004 and instantly loved the then current design. From then I occasionally came across the site whenever our Chief Design Officer, Mike Rundle, shot me a link to Erik’s entries.

Thoughts and observations from a quirky cartoonist and designer.

Erik Sagen is a man of many interests and it shows on his site. Just looking at the categories you can see his topics range from Books to Food and from Graphic Design to Life. This is what a personal site is all about, writing for the love of writing.

This is the first of many personal sites to join the 9rules Network and we are glad to welcome Erik on board.

The Return of Design

When I started Whitespace in September of 2003 I had envisioned of simply writing articles on design. Over time Whitespace expanded, but the focus remained the same, focus on design. A couple of months ago I wanted to make some changes to Whitespace because there were a lot of design issues that I wanted to mention, but didn’t feel deserved full-blown entries and I couldn’t justify making siginificant changes to the format of the site.

My ideal site is exactly what The Return of Design has become.

The site offers both great links to design articles along with focused entries on design written by James Archer. However, my favorite feature is the web color scheme section which looks at different sources and offers you their color schemes. Very handy for any designer.

Entries of note to check out:

We welcome another quality site by James Archer. Come back tomorrow to see more new launches from the 9rules Network.

Strange Brand

What happens when you combine a passion for marketing, branding, advertising, public relations, small business and entrepreneurial spirit into one site? You get Strange Brand of course.

Strange Brand is the brainchild of James Archer, owner of Forty Media Corporation (the company that handled the Forever Geek redesign). The blog is a great mix of business philosphy offering insight into what makes a company successful.

I first met James at SXSW where we discussed the possibility of having his sites join the network and we have been talking ever since then. He is a smart individual and we expect to see big things from him and his company as time goes on and we plan to help him along every step of the way.

Some entries worth the read:

This is site #1 of the 9rules Network (not including the sites that were already in) and we are excited about the first launch. May great content follow.

Launch Week 1

This week we will begin to announce the new blogs that are joining the network. You will be seeing a number of quality design-related and personal sites that we are very proud and honored to have with us. So stay updated with the 9rules blog by subscribing to our feeds as two sites will be announced today.

Cutting the Fat

There is one thing that we are focused on with regards to the 9rules Network and that one thing is great content. The 9rules Network used to contain only sites that we maintained, but now that we are beginning to introduce sites that we don’t maintain it only makes sense to follow the same standards for our own sites that we set for everyone else.

So even though we maintain these sites for a living some of them obviously do not belong in the network in their current state. Why? Because either the content is lacking or the site isn’t a content-based site. We want to be proud of what sites are in the network and want the readers and members of the network to be proud of the sites within the network. Therefore some of the sites in the original network have been removed. So say goodbye to The Car Blog (it will make a return shortly), Chef Vault (also making a return), Better Landscaping, and the Powertools Vault (don’t ask).

We work on one principle: provide great content. Everything else will follow.