The One with the Thoughts of Frans

An update on a green design

Geek Philosopher is a resource for royalty-free imagery. As you can see I brought a bit of life into the header by cutting pieces an image from the Outdoor Photos and Backgrounds category. Grass by Sidewalk is the full image for those interested.

I took a look around the various categories and most of them are pretty good pictures. I am not sure about the exact copyrights on any of them, as I couldn’t find any pictures labeled with any of the descriptions which are on the about page of the site. I suppose I’ll take a new fresh look tomorrow at that aspect of the site tomorrow after a good night’s sleep.

Luckily as far as the design is concerned I haven’t yet managed to break anything in IE (although the gravatars are a pixel off). I might go with alpha-transparant PNG’s though for some of the transparancy effects, as that would certainly make a much smaller image load and it would make things look somewhat less prettier in IE. After all, I do want people to switch to Firefox, Opera, Safari or whatever else isn’t so annoying to anyone who wants to do a little bit more with CSS.

If you take a look around in my CSS file you’ll notice that I’m trying something new. Over the past half year I switched from full CSS to very compact CSS, but that’s not really a difference. The thing I’m experimenting with here is to indent those properties which are basically a sort of subproperties of a certain thing to increase readability. I must say it’s already working out quite well.

So drop your suggestions now, as this is the layout I plan to extend on in the close future.


  1. I like the grass header with the links at the top, etc. However I am not to sure about the grass being the background as well. Specifically the white border at the bottom. I found it too distracting and draws my attention away from the actual information contained on the webpage.

    I really need to create my own wordpress theme. Now any good tutorials about going about it? I am too lazy to google it myself you see.

    January 4, 2006 @ 16:57Permalink

  2. Something which I have also just noticed is the comment reply box where my previous comment is shown. Maybe make that picture a bit more faded as well- it is also quite distracting to the eye and makes it harder to focus on the text. Of course the colour/font of the reply could just be changed if you want the picture to stay.

    January 4, 2006 @ 17:02Permalink

  3. I am experimenting with it all at this very moment, I’m not sure when you saw it, but I made the image a lot less “in your face” since I first added it a couple of minutes ago.

    January 4, 2006 @ 17:05Permalink

  4. Still don’t like the background. I don’t understand but there is something pleasing about the header and I quite like it

    January 4, 2006 @ 17:07Permalink

  5. It was just a little experiment with the header, but the way it turned out I loved it. I haven’t changed anything about it. The font is a bit tricky though, it being just white was too little, so I added a 1px black border around the letters. If you zoom in you’ll see how it’s really just a hack, but I thought it was the best compromise once again (no images enabled, nevertheless no problem with text being invisible through CSS or so). Basically if you don’t have the font you’ll barely notice it, although it might be slightly annoying.

    All the other images on the page are now only 10% visible, which I think is the best compromise between still adding something and not distracting too much. I didn’t make them alpha-transparant PNG’s (which would go with any background colour) because that would make them too big and it wouldn’t quite work in IE.

    As for creating a WordPress theme, I don’t know of any tutorials. I used the same theme you have (Almost Spring) as a base and I edited that one. I basically chose the theme because it is one of the cleaner themes markup-wise (I think that Kubrick, the default theme is way too heavy and only for a couple of rounded corners).

    If you like I can share my theme, technically it’s under GPL anyway as it’s an edit of Almost Spring. But I removed a couple of things like category display on every page completely because it’s against my taste, so unless that’s also your taste I guess it’d be best if you simply start editing from your own Almost Spring theme.

    January 4, 2006 @ 17:26Permalink

  6. Nah, I would prefer to work on my own. I will get round to it sometime I just prefer starting from scratch rather than using someone elses code as i find it harder to develop it as you don’t know what they’ve actually included.

    I think the header looks good because of the rich green and then the faded white. I had some good nature photos if you want to use any of them :p (not protected by copyright as I’m not really a bastard like that).

    Looking good but how about doing something with the footer as the freen bordering your name kinda sucks.

    January 4, 2006 @ 18:28Permalink

  7. I guess I’ll go with some kind of simple gradient there, I haven’t quite arrived at the footer yet.

    I’d like to check out your nature pics, got them online?

    Btw, get yourself a Gravatar of yourself extreme ironing or something, it would make the comments look more lively. 🙂

    January 4, 2006 @ 19:26Permalink

  8. I will look into the Gravatar thing sometime but alas I am currently trying to make my blog look at least half as good as yours.

    I also just noticed you are using one of my photos as the background the box I am typing in now- awesome

    January 5, 2006 @ 1:39Permalink

  9. I noticed that the text in the header image isn’t quite centred in it. If you want to change that feel free.

    January 5, 2006 @ 11:34Permalink

  10. Actually it’s meant to be right-aligned, but you’re right, the name I chose is so long that it would probably better look in the middle.

    Do you think the textarea would be better with or without backgrounds?

    January 5, 2006 @ 12:37Permalink

  11. I think you either have to lose all the images which are in the comment section or add one to the actualy blog so that it fits in better. However don’t set any backgrounds on the index page as that looks by itself.

    For footer why not make those 2 borders are lighter shade of green and make them thinner so it sorts into the theme of the whole blog rather than just being this bold ugly green at the bottom of the page.

    January 5, 2006 @ 14:03Permalink

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