So… Hard to believe, but it is here and it is live (those from feed better jump in) !
Long time readers are probably sick of promises about new logo and refresh of looks. Well, here is what over year of promises, development and countless hours gets you.
Right time to change
There are two ways to do theme change wrong:
Major design change is pretty much disaster to site’s image, usability and reader impressions. Doing it often on top creates illusion of schizophrenic reasoning behind it.
So why there was design change? Not because it was needed, but because old theme was no longer viable.
Statement theme conquered me over two years ago with clean blocky looks. Over two years later not only those clean looks felt dated, but theme internals were falling apart from countless tweaks and rotten or deprecated code.
Right design to go for
There are three cases of great looking blog:
- Owned by designer.
- Owned by designer’s spouse.
- Owned by someone with money to spend.
Neither really applies to me, so my way was underdog way – doing it myself.
Proper design process includes beautiful Photoshop templates and smart creative process… Well, neither touched this theme.
At first it was black screen. Then red lines spitted it into columns. Columns were filled with blocks of content, fast and loose until there was no more place to fill. Then things were removed until there was nothing more to remove. Leftovers are what you see.
The most important thing in design (as for me) is personality. Content is very important, but it takes time to read and soak in. It only takes a blink for design to make and freeze an impression.
Right parts to pick
I thought my first year of blogging had too much dabbling in WordPress.
Oh my, it was nothing comparing to what I had go through with this theme. Amount of tutorials, articles and documentation pages consumed alone I estimate at 900-1200.
Behind the scenes ReStatement runs on Hybrid parent theme by Justin Tadlock. I can’t even put in words how much time and effort this saved me. You would probably have to wait another year (or two) if I had to accomplish everything Hybrid does with seemingly little effort.
Most of new functionality is accomplished with custom widgets (and occasional fork of Hybrid’s parts) but there are few notable exceptions – plugins by scribu. They rock. Solid, flexible, object-oriented code that is pure pleasure to make use of.
Grey balloon icons you see throughout theme are from Balloonica icon set. I’ve seen a lot of icons, but this is one of very few sets that completely blows my mind every time. So much style and thought in so few colors and forms. ReStatement draws a lot of its style from that set, over year they grew into each other.
The logo is typed in awesome and free Bitstream Vera Sans Bold font and further modified in Inkscape. There are two doses of hidden meaning in that star by the way, I wonder if someone picks up on both. :)
New layout emphasizes content area, but also spends a lot of effort to deliver clean and interesting navigation options. I hope. I will just say that footer is highly contextual, keep an eye on it and see how it changes throughout blog.
So… Time to take good fresh look at blog. Wander around. Visit completely rebuilt archives page. Encounter a stupid bug or two. Try out new enhancements to comments.
This is the face this blog was waiting to get for over two years. I hope you are pleased to meet it.