Yes, it’s that time of the year. Time for me to do another half assed design. This one looks particularly half baked, I know. But this one has rhyme and reason where the others were just laziness. This is still a transitional design, but instead of going naked, I’m going for a few simple design principles and then will fill in the rest as I go.
The main goal of the new design is legibility. Large font sizes, large leading, serif fonts, liquid but liberal measure. Content first, right there on the left. Headline at the top. Content is given the primary position, with nav and branding (or the eventual spot where branding hopes to be) is secondary, out of the way. Granted, it’s fixed, so it stays with the user but it’s definitely secondary.
Serifs are back in. Headlines are in the beautiful slab serif Rockwell. Body text is in the venerable Georgia. Subheadlines and nav went old school with Berthold Akzidenz Grotesk for a little change of pace. This is probably the first font stack I’ve ever put together I’m truly proud of. I know, it needs a little work in the leading and some of the kerning is erratic depending on browser and OS, but I think in essence, it’s solid.
I am trying out the golden ratio and a liquid layout. I’m no designer but I like to think I understand the basics. There is something oddly pleasing about the proportions. It just feels right.
I struggled with measure. Optimal legibility says it’s something like 66 characters wide. I already stated I was going for optimal legibility. But something wasn’t sitting well with me. If someone viewed the site in a wide screen monitor there is just so much wasted space. So, I decided to hell with measure. The width is just a raw percentage. If you want to look at this blog in a full width widescreen window, first off, thanks for reading, and secondly, you should have the right to take advantage of all that space. Maybe when I get some content I’ll think about capping the measure and doing a more columned approach, but for now, power to the reader!
I’m also accounting for the minimum thresholds. I’m using media queries to handle tablet and mobile device layouts. Eventually I’ll get around to doing a proper mobile site, but until this media queries will have to work.
And don’t I know it. The site is missing a lot. I took it way, way down. It’s more basic than the out of the box template. It doesn’t have the archives, it doesn’t have search, it doesn’t have much of anything other than the blog post content. I’m still playing with all those other things but I thought I would go ahead and launch the new template anyways.
So, I hope you enjoy and I’ll be posting updates as I update something worthy of a post (which is honestly a pretty low bar).