Above all else, Encide is a design community. We started as a forum and intelligently grew into a blog-shop-forum-combo offering products, services, and content.
This history page is written and maintained by me, Tim Silva. As one of the co-founders of the community, and the owner of Encide, it is important to note that this historical document is primarily written through my sources and experiences. It will also include personalized, pre-Encide history that focuses on my background leading up to its inevitable formation and key milestones. Obviously, each core member has their own story and important contributions to our small community.
The core members of Encide came from multiple online communities (see the list below). We most directly migrated from Mished, a website that was originally the portfolio of Australian designer/developer, Jeff Nielsen. He grew a small, youthful community that shared common stylistic interests. Before Mished, most of those community members were active on Shiver7, Devay, and DeviantART. Around the same time that Mished launched, Swedish designer/developer Jimmy Björkman started his own forum called Cosmo-Designs and later, TheDreamArt. Lastly, only months before Encide was created, English designer Lance Thackeray launched GUIStation. These three core community leaders gathered followings that migrated to Encide. It's worth noting that American designer/developer, Andrew Ellis, briefly ran a community called OxiForum that was a bridge between when Mished went offline and when Encide was conceived. I remained an active moderator and member on all of these forums until they relinquished, and I earned a key leadership role amongst my peers. After learning how quickly these communities could grow and decay, I realized that I should take my solid reputation and organize a new group with an ingredient of longevity. While most small & intimate communities only live between six months and two years on average, Encide has been going strong and slowly improving since we started in early 2008.
Encide is an invented name that is a playful misspelling of the prepositional word “inside.” As a happy coincidence, our forum became an invite-only community, meaning that members could be called “enciders.” After Mished went offline, our small group temporarily lived on at OxiForum in early 2008. Given that these forums were an early development project, we decided to move to a more stable CMS platform under a new moniker. After witnessing so many of my favorite design communities vanish from the internet, I offered to buy the domain and hosting for our group as something long term (I wasn't kidding then or now). We started discussing potential names for this new home. After plenty of bad ideas (including nearly all of my own suggestions), something we're not afraid of, Jeff Nielsen proposed “encide.” He liked it because the name is free of complex mixtures of ascending and descending characters and is therefore easy to work with typographically for wordmarks and logotypes. This proved to be true during the rebrand process that started in mid-2012. The suggestion was immediately and unanimously agreed upon. We secured the key domain names, created a temporary splash page with a chat box, picked a forum CMS, and went live!
For the first launch of the website, I created a wordmark for encide where the “en” was in black and the “cide” was in a glossy, sky blue to deep sea blue gradient. We organized a competition for the logo and didn't end up using any of them officially. I also create a simple yet forced ec monogram to use as our favicon. A few months after the launch, one of our founders, Eric Fortier, kindly designed some crystal white and liquid blue icons for the site that could best be described as an unconventional monogram; a lopsided c that curled in on the top to look like a hybrid with an e. After a year, around late 2009, Jeff Nielsen modestly unvielved a new monogram idea in an avatar. We loved it and instantly adopted it as our new logo. We launched the first interface battlebay weeks afterwards and displayed the symbol on as many of our steps as possible. Since 2009, that symbol has been used hundreds if not thousands of times by designers both inside and outside of our forum. While it was a strong mark, I started to realized the challenges of working with a logo that has no paired wordmark or grid system, so I embarked on a complete rebrand process in 2012. The earliest explorations included the original mark, and then thousands of iterations later, with feedback and ideas from the community, I arrived at the current visual identity system. The entire process and credits are meticulously documented as a full case study in the brand guide.
The following communities were frequently used, visited, or owned by core Encide members. They all helped to inform our decisions by offering lessons on what works and what to avoid when the goal is longevity. Many of these communities are now defunct or forgotten, so I would like to pay respect for their innovations: Area01, Behance, Billy Bussy Forums, ClanTemplates, Cosmo-Designs, Devay, DeviantART, TheDreamArt, Effectica, Envato, GFX24, GUIStation, LethalTemplates, Mished, OxiFORUM, Shadowness, ShadowDesigns, Shiver7, and UltraShock. There were countless others taken off of this core list, from large to small scales, and long to short terms, but these had the most direct impact. This additional lineup of design-related communities either had minimal influence, were way before our time, were after our time, or their platform relied on a different kind of user-generated and/or curated content. To those of you who have been a part of the design scene for a while, please let us know if there was a community from the past (currently active or not) that should be on this list purely for the history and nostalgia: 1three, Analog-Center, Artexgen, BioRUST, breedArt, CGSociety, CodedFX, CodePen, CSS-Tricks, Depthcore, DesignersCouch, DesignersTalk, DevShed, Digital Flow Studios, DigitalPoint, Dribbble, Dutch-Pride, Dynamic Drive, Eleven2, EvokeOne, eXaltic, Flashkit, Forrst, ForumPromotion, FreelanceSwitch, GameRenders, goToAndLearn, Infected-Designs, InterfaceUniversity, Kenetix, Kigotix, Kirupa, KonvictedArts, Kreativika, Liquid Lounge (l-lounge), LoveDsgn, Lynda, mAsDesigns, One3Creations, PhotoshopMedia, Pixel2Life, Renderosity, SitePoint, SkinConsortium, Slashthree, Smashing Magazine, StackExchange, StackOverflow, Supafresh, Suspicion Studios, TalkFreelance, tech-gfx, TechtonicArt, WebDesignerForum, WebDevForums, Webmaster-Talk, Xanthic Eye Forums, Xtrato, and yaXay.
Encide's forum is unlike most design communities. Our core members understand the value of providing high quality, honest, and constructive criticism. “Good job”, “I like it”, and “Not your best” are all common in their lack of content. The leadership in our forum encourages the opposite; specific feedback delivered in an honest yet respectful way. We want users to realize the potential weaknesses in their work without trampling all over their motivation. Most of the largest design galleries and portfolio websites that we use are for finished works, not works in progress. It is truly rare to read high quality constructive criticism on websites like Dribbble, Behance, and DeviantArt because users are not incentivized to do so. Sometimes, the comment sections are even abused by those hoping to get more profile views. Given the private and invite-only nature of our forum, the incentives to contribute are entirely different. Feedback from our community members will not often be addressed through 10 minute fixes, especially for beginners. We strongly advise seeking out advice from multiple sources, and we are confident that Encide will be your most valuable and reliable group when you need to improve your current creative project. On top of that, we have an unparalleled set of social threads. We share interesting moments in our lives, our favorite tunes, movies and series, and even philosophical debates. We are constantly refining our discussions for the perfect balance between professionalism and fun.
The first version of Encide had a handful of unique characteristics. We thought it would be fun to have over one hundred slogans that randomly loaded at the top of each page. Most of them were suggested by, or contextually about our members and their personalities. We also used a custom emoticon set that was originally designed by Jeff Nielsen and used on the Mished forums. This set was expanded from 16 to 74 by user contributions. Around the holidays, we would change the logo to have a little santa hat or pumpkins with black cats. Most of these details were user contributions which we could manage from being such a small group.
The thirteen founders of Encide, in alphabetical order (by real name or alias), are Adam Scoville, Andrew Ellis, Axel Norvell (“Axertion”), “cfdesign,” Eric Fortier (“El3ment4l”), Jeff Nielsen (“Mished”/“Mest”), Joe Sanders (“wo^tron”), Kadir Inan (“div^”), Matthieu Dufour, Max, “Relapse,” Rob Faller, and myself, Tim Silva. Needless to say, some of our most active and respected members joined our community in the years following our launch. This list is simply the group that was active on Mished and helped to formulate what became Encide during the OxiForum months. Our “core” members could easily make an independent, larger list. With regards to Encide as a legitimate company, I officially formed Encide LLC, as the sole Managing Member for the California entity, on August 24th, 2015.
I am Tim Silva. I grew up in Petaluma, California, which is only an hour drive north of San Francisco. I grew up in the country (with cows and sheep) in a house that my father built himself. Everyone in my nuclear family performs musically, except me. I became fascinated by computers. The country was great because we had a big field and a creek where we could actually see the stars at night (my suburb friends would often remind me). However, the cost for that was an unstable Internet connection. Naturally, we weren't an early-adopter computer family. The Internet started to become a genuine cultural touchstone when I was about twelve years old, and I was finally able to convince my parents to buy me my own computer and upgrade to a faster connection when I was seventeen. This was from a time when was getting into quite a bit of trouble during my youth. Luckily, I developed a passion for creating videos which I could pour my energy into instead of going down a destructive path. Within that phase, I joined a web design course, and it was the first time I was ever excited about going to school. Not too many people around me were interested in the subject passionately like I was, so I developed a strong need to be apart of like-minded community. Around 2004, I discovered a few design-centered forums and extracted any value I could possibly get out of them while contributing as much as I could (refer to the community list above to see where I started from). I was begining to notice an unfortunate correlation between the quality and lifespan of these communities. The huge ones with thousands of users were stable but saturated, while the small ones had more dense talent and a sense of friendship but they would almost always go offline because the owner would not have time, they would lose interest, or they simply didn't have the drive or energy to manage the growth. Eventually, I wanted to achieve both stability and quality. Even through my toughest years as a stressed and hopeless college student, I never once let the community go offline. I'm in this ride for the long haul.
Noteworthy and succinct moments in Encide's history.
- 2004/08/30: Tim Silva creates his first HTML document.
- 2006/05 : Jeff Nielsen launches the Mished community.
- 2007/09 : The Mished forums become unstable (online/offline).
- 2008/01 : Mished members move over to Andrew Ellis's OxiFORUM.
- 2008/02 : Tim Silva offers to host a new, stable forum that will remain online.
- 2008/03 : Forum CMS research and name ideation starts. Jeff proposes “encide.”
- 2008/04/02: The first official Encide domain (encide.net) was purchased by Tim Silva.
- 2008/04/02: (v0.1) The Encide website went live with a simple, temporary splash page.
- 2008/04/04: (v0.2) The Encide website was updated with a shoutbox (freeshoutbox.net).
- 2008/04/14: (v1.0) Our forums, powered by SMF, went live. We consider this our birth date.
- 2008/04/27: After many logo designs were proposed, we took a vote to choose the official one.
- 2008/05/08: The forum design process started (we launched with an SMF theme by Andrew Ellis).
- 2008/07/29: (v1.1) Tim Silva finished designing and coding the custom forum theme (based on Andrew's).
- 2008/11/21: The members voted to make the forum private to avoid saturated growth that we had seen before.
- 2008/12/19: Our first invitation system was put into effect. This version was primitive and too open for misuse.
- 2009/01/14: Tim Silva acquires the encide DeviantART account from the previous owner who no longer used it.
- 2009/08/28: Our invitation system was updated. Key users were given invite rights; others needed 250+ posts.
- 2009/11/01: Encide's 1st “Interface Battlebay” (2009) project launched (later renamed to “Encide Interfaces”).
- 2010/05/14: Tim Silva reacquires www.encide.com after it was temporarily lost (hmm... Matthieu Dufour! :p).
- 2010/08/30: The invitation system went into a temporary hiatus to slow down some wayward growth spurts.
- 2010/10/29: Encide's 2nd “Interface Battlebay” (2010) begins. This version is done against a light background.
- 2011/01/28: A new and improved invitation system is introduced. This version required staff member approval.
- 2011/06/01: Tim Silva acquires www.encide.org for the first time from an inactive German-based gaming clan.
- 2011/09/25: Encide's 3rd “Interface Battlebay” (2011-2012) starts. This edition was delayed for the next year.
- 2011/11/07: (v1.2) Encide upgraded the forum to SMF 2.0 which required a theme redesign built upon Curve.
- 2011/12/03: New invitation system, again. The upgrade to SMF 2.0 disabled the previous invitation system.
- 2011/12/05: A notably desired up vote & down vote system was installed for all user generated comments.
- 2011/12/24: Tim Silva acquires the encide Twitter handle from the clan who owned www.encide.org before.
- 2012/07/07: Tim Silva begins sketching new Encide logos with the goal of an identity system and brand guide.
- 2012/11/04: Tim Silva acquires www.enci.de as an exact brand name domain hack and/or permalink shortener.
- 2013/04/14: On Encide's 5th birthday, nine months after Tim Silva's first logo sketches, the concepts are shown.
- 2013/06/08: Our host (Eleven2) had frequent downtime so we gladly jumped over to (mt) MediaTemple instead.
- 2013/07/07: Tim Silva created the first web design concept for the long awaited v2.0 update, a gigantic process.
- 2013/07/25: Months after compiling community feedback and iterating on the logo redesign, updates are made.
- 2013/11/15: A breakthrough is made in the wordmark and logomark explorations. The core logo elements exist.
- 2014/01/27: After seven additional months of iteration and refinement, the first brand guide is shown internally.
- 2014/03/06: All of Encide's social media accounts are updated with the freshly rebranded logo and brand colors.
- 2014/02/02: Encide's 4th “Interface Battlebay” (2014) starts. This edition was incomplete due to Tim's schedule.
- 2014/05/01: An attempt to migrate SMF-2-WordPress+Vanilla took place. Using jsConnect SSO was unattractive.
- 2014/05/14: Tim Silva acquires the encide Instagram account from someone who registered it without ever using it.
- 2015/05/01: After years of work on the rebrand and web redesign, Tim Silva leaves his full-time job to build the vision.
- 2015/07/02: The first SMF-2-bbPress migration test begins. Loads of bugs, but with the single account result, bbPress wins.
- 2015/08/24: Tim Silva forms Encide LLC as a San Francisco, California based company after dotting the i's and crossing the t's.
- 2016/04/12: Encide.net (using SMF) goes into maintenance mode as the database is moved over to Encide.com (using WordPress).
- 2016/04/13: (v2.0 Soft) Attempted to launch a day before Encide's 8th birthday. Technical issues and QA testing put the beta on hold.
- 2016/05/26: (v2.0 Beta) Encide.net (using SMF) is migrated and launched over at Encide.com (using WordPress) as a quiet, beta release.
- 2016/08/30: Announced the launch of the Encide Interfaces 2016 edition through a quick blog post and subsequent social media blast.
- 2016/09/13: (v2.0 Beta) Removed the "BETA" stamp from underneath the logo in the navigation after more than three stable months.
- 2016/09/25: The Encide Slack team starts being used (quite reluctantly by Tim Silva). (First created/reserved on March 4th, 2015.)
- 2017/02/27: The Encide website moved from MediaTemple to a DigitalOcean droplet for a faster, private hosting experience.
- 2017/09/21: The original Encide website (encide.net, powered by SMF) was taken offline and safely backed up (if needed).
- 2018/08/25: The Encide website moved from DigitalOcean to DreamHost for a simplified, managed hosting experience.
This timeline will be updated on occasion with additional moments and updates including dates, links, screenshots, etc. If you believe any information is absent or inaccurate, please contact us so that we can improve the quality of this page. Not all companies value or log their history plublicly; we strongly believe it matters.