Most of you must have visited my blog and noticed the new look and feel it has. Some of you would have noticed the four little photographs on the right. I thought that I should describe the process behind turning my blog into this new look. It might be good if others are interested in adapting the process to modify their own blogs. I changed the theme, colours and customisations.
First, I looked up some good themes on the Internet. I wanted a theme that was simple and classy. A very quick search brought me to the grid focus theme. I liked the style and the fact that most of it was accomplished without many graphics. However, the theme was a little old and did not cater to WordPress widgets. Another quick google and I found this site, which explained how to widgetise the theme. I modified the steps slightly as the sidebar_widget class does not exist.
Next, came the time to customise the colours. To do this, I created a new custom.css file to override the original styles. I like to use this website to choose colour schemes. In my many years of web design work, this is the best website that I have found for colour scheming. So, I just browsed through some random colour schemes until I found one that I liked. I looked for a dour single colour scheme as I tend to like them. Then, it was just a matter of substituting the styles into the custom style sheet.
Finally, came the decor. I realised that as nice as the design was, it would be better if it was garnished with some photographs. So, I perused my collection of photographs and picked out four nice ones. As there was little space to place a photo anywhere else, I decided to composite them into a montage and put it in the sidebar. The result is the “vanes” image on the right. From left to right, they represent the time of day from morning to night, and the four seasons from winter to autumn. The dimensions of the image are close to the golden ratio. Then of course, the final flourish was the signature brush that I have described earlier.
Throughout the process, I relied solely on open source tools. For making the custom style sheet, I recommend using Firefox with its web developer add-on to display the names of the page elements, which can then be accurately styled. For the images, I used the Gimp, of course. No animals or children were hurt during the production of this theme.
PS: Feel free to let me know your thoughts on this new look by voting in the polls to the right.