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Antipixel

There's an aesthetic to the smallest of things, right down to 80x15 web badges, and some people just don't seem to get that. It should be unsurprising that I'm a fan of these, if you've looked at the bottom of any of these pages. Late in the mainstream web's youth, these began to explode everywhere. Their creator, Jeremy Hedley, Japan-resident photoblogger, eventually gave them away, right down to a PSD. The last archive of the original blog post can be found here. In it, he writes:

Not being very clever or technically inclined, I’m disappointed that I can’t bestow some brilliant gift on the web sites of the world like proper quotes or an RSS validator or a whole stable of brilliant plug-ins. Setting my sights considerably lower, however, I realise there’s perhaps one small thing…
The buttons that started it all
The buttons that started it all

Oh, but Jeremy, your gift was brilliant. In just 0.0012 megapixels, you symbolized an era, and made the dimensions "80x15" synonymous with "web badges". And it's not just me singing your praises. The voices that do sing your praises, however, appear to be growing quieter by the moment.

G. Taylor McKnight's repository and search engine seem to throw SQL errors when attempting a search. Hacker News or Reddit aren't raving about those buttons in the same way that Metafilter did back in the day. Everything these days is vector this, responsive that, retina the other thing. Pixel art at large appears to be a dying art, and Antipixel buttons are, albeit ironically named, perhaps one of pixel art's last stands, which is why I'm encouraging everybody to let it live and make some. Kalsey's generator is a fantastic resource for simpler, text-only ones. If you fancy yourself a bit of a graphic designer, you can take the .psd off the archived blog post, or I've also prepared a .xcf and a .psd with a few preset backgrounds merged from the original as well as modified versions of the "w3c-style" buttons from João Ventura. The font to use is the lovely Silkscreen from Kottke. Have fun. Trust me, it's easy.

Just some of the variations out there, some better-looking than others
Just some of the variations out there, some better-looking than others

Jeremy went silent for a while, and the domain antipixel.com expired a few years ago. His Flickr last updated in June of 2015. Everyone can only hope that he's doing all right somewhere. Since 2014, antipixel.com has been parked and transformed into what appears to be a run-of-the-mill 2ch-style clickbait blog, with random posts about loans and borrowing. So poetic is the end of an era: The domain of a comfy, personal blog full of wit and originality, having expired, has become a symbol of the modern Internet: a homogenized, sterile, cash cow where all that the public can lay eyes on is ad space, a potential commodity to be traded, bought, sold, and snapped up at the first sign of abandonment. But as long as my will stands, this symbol of an era, this beautiful meme, this historical footnote and historic footnote, will never die, nor, I hope, the Internet that loved it.