About — Overview

You’ve discovered the about page of Michael Rose.

Another boring, bearded, tattooed, designer, front-end developer, and occasional illustrator who works and resides in Buffalo New York.

Glitched portrait of Michael Rose in monochrome.

I’m into drawing portraits of strangers on an iPad Pro, making popcorn, eating chicken wings, watching dust collect on my vinyl record collection, and playing narrative-focused video games.

Professional history

For over 20 years I’ve been making stuff on the web. I specialize in writing semantic and accessible HTML/CSS and designing templates for static site generators.

I cut my teeth with poorly crafted HTML hosted on AOL and Geocities in high school. Which later evolved into building Macromedia Flash (hey remember that?) sites for local independent bands between classes in typography, design, and drawing at Rochester Institute of Technology.

After graduating from RIT with degrees in Design and Illustration I started my career at a science education company named Science Kit. There I did layout and catalog production on huge thousand-page tomes, designed marketing collateral, and built table-based HTML email promotions.

Today I work as a content developer for a leading global provider of laboratory products. On any given day I’m massaging text and assets in and out of enterprise content management systems you’ve probably never heard of, building web pages for marketing campaigns, and working with HTML/CSS/JavaScript to maintain design systems, components, templates, and static prototypes across an array of digital properties.

And if that wasn’t enough, in my spare time I maintain a few Jekyll themes and other open source projects.

Family life

When not in front of a computer, I’m the father of twin girls and married to a snail-loving vegan addicted to Squishmallows. There aren’t many photographs of the Rose family together as Wendy and myself are more comfortable behind a camera, but here’s a few.

Wendy holding Everly and Chloe in amongst pumpkins.

Identical twin girls in identical pink floral Easter dresses.

Michael bearded in a knit hat posing with his daughter who has a carrot painted on her check.

Various photographs of the Rose family.

For a time I was into tattoos and making my arms look like someone scribbled all over them. Don’t ask me to explain why or what they all mean — I have no idea what I was thinking when I got them years ago.

Tattoo. Black line work of a woman and man forming together as their hands become a solid black heart. Inspired by art from the band pg.99.

Tattoo. Bride with a bloody nose is comforted by her husband.

Tattoo of black ink splatter and printed text from André Breton’s Nadja and Mad Love.

Black arm tattoo of trees and birds.

Tattoo. Black line work of a one-armed woman whose hair has become a perch for nesting birds.

Black ink tattoos.

Listening to and collecting post-hardcore, emo, punk, screamo (are they called skarmz now?), and indie rock 7-inches and LPs were a big part of my 20’s. Back then I didn’t have a mortgage or a family to care for so I could waste my paychecks on records or Nintendo Gamecube discs.

I’ve gone through the painful exercise of packing up and transporting around a thousand records more times than I’d like, claiming each to be the last.

Audio Technica turntable and 800 records stored in cubed shelves.

Favorite six LP albums hung above Audio Technica turntable.

My record collection organized alphabetically in cube shelves and boxes.

But here we are — cubbies full of heavy objects, occupying space in my office, gathering dust more often than they get played.

Social accounts

I’m most active on Instagram where I’ve been posting records from my collection. The other accounts occasionally get some love, so feel free to follow if that’s your thing.

Open source contributions

Repositories I maintain on GitHub, sorted by their popularity (stars).


📐 Jekyll theme for building a personal site, blog, project documentation, or portfolio.

HTML 12.0k stars


A simple Jekyll theme for words and pictures.

SCSS 2.0k stars

About Made Mistakes

What does this all have to do with made mistakes and why’d you name this site that?

Well, it vaguely has to do with the idea of a happy accident, where mistakes can turn out to be something unplanned and great. But to be honest, I wanted a short and memorable domain name that sounded less emo than my previous personal site — fadedleaf.com. Guess I failed at that 🤓…

In May of 2004, I purchased mademistakes.com and uploaded a splash screen while I worked on building out my online portfolio. For the next couple of years, I would migrate the site between content management systems (Movable TypeTextpatternWordPressIndexhibit), developing minimalistic themes and learning more about HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, and MySQL databases in the process.

I’ve since decided to abandon the idea of using a monolithic CMS to build this site, in favor of the Jamstack. With a bit of black magick and Hugo, I get a better performing and secure site built from version-controlled Markdown and other static files. Pushed up and deployed by GitHub and hosted by Netlify.

For the curious, you can read this page for the hardware and software I use to build Made Mistakes.

Selected interviews

Honorable mentions