The Hamburg Times

Author: Andy Hartwell

After  a long time in the making, I finally launched my side-project; The Hamburg Times, a burger review & recipe blog, open for anyone to contribute to.

Being a burger fanatic, I follow a few ‘burger bloggers’ who are always tempting me with delicious looking and sounding eats, but often mainly focused in the the USofA, London or in one case Australia. With the explosion of popularity for burgers in the UK over the last year and a half, I’ve been trying more and traveling further for them. It’s admittedly not an original idea, but I decided to make a site to document my favourites anyway, as the West Midland has some great places to eat and no one documenting it (as far as I know).

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The brand

The name stems from a combination of the city of origin of the burger; Hamburg, Germany, and an early concept of the site layout being made up of multiple columns, similar to a newspaper. Hence, The Hamburg Times. The brand and site’s aesthetic is a mix of a more traditional newspaper and skeuomorphism playing on burger joint stereotypes like neons and the commonly used reds and yellows. Combining the two styles has created a a somewhat ‘speakeasy’ style, with dark, worn textured backgrounds mixed with vibrant and warm accent colours, to not only draw attention effectively but also trigger hunger due to the chosen hues of oranges, yellows and red. (and if they don’t do it, photos of juicy burgers will)


The site

The project was meant to be a quick win, launching over a few weekends, but sadly as with many of my side projects, this wasn’t the case. The layout has been through quite a few variations and changes over the last 6 months, as I tweaked, revisited and tweaked some more until I created something I was happy with and felt honest to my style. Earlier versions had more sidebars and other forms of content, but each step towards that more typical news-site style made me increasingly unhappy with the focus. So while the design and especially the code isn’t something I’m happy to really shout about, It’s been another learning experience about the importance of shipping, then tweaking to perfection. The key element of this project is the content, and now that’s sitting up In the open, I’m sure an appropriate V2.0 will come sooner rather than later, based on feedback and real-world use… Also, as always, a responsive layout took 10x longer than I had imagined.

The future & Substrakt

Eventually I want it to be more than a collection of things I’ve written, and more of a go-to place for recipes, techniques and places to try out, contributed by anyone who can write a little and take some half-decent photos. As well as the current reviews and recipes, I also want to create a database of geo-located bars, restaurants and pop-ups, with any written reviews associated with them. This is where fellow Substrakter Mark comes in with his latest CMS Nymbol, which is focused on physical objects and places in the the real world. Being the Titanium based app developing master he is, I can’t wait to develop this concept and content further, perhaps developing an app to help people find a burger joint near their location, and submit photos and reviews while they’re there, similar to the recently released Walking Architecture apps.

But for now, check out the site and start salivating

Visit The Hamburg Times