Articles about design

Articles relating design - from websites to software.

As part of my RSS reading, Smashing Magazine is rapidly becoming something I look forward to reading. Every month they do a roundup of desktop wallpapers which include a calendar and are, in some way, seasonal. This month is no exception! They have a fantastic selection of christmassy wallpapers for you to chose from and they're all free!

My first theme, Abessive, gets a new release today for Drupal 6. Turns out to be a pretty easy upgrade!

In case nobody caught onto what Abessive was the first time; it is an (almost) image free theme with flexible 1, 2 or 3 column layout (depending on where/if you place any blocks). Each block/section has rounded corners and slight top & bottom gradient which is achieved using only CSS techniques involving margins, padding and background colours. This makes the theme very lightweight and elegant at the same time.

Abessive Screenshot

I have just finished commiting my very first theme to the drupal community! I'm not a designer by nature - I prefer to be deep in the code. Thats why I commited this theme - it contains very little design (in terms of Photoshop work). This design is, pretty much, image free! On top of that - its SEO friendly too!

Abessive Screenshot

I say 'Pretty much' because it is still using 3 core image files for the bullet points. But what I'm pleased about is the curved CSS-only corners with a slight gradient on them AND the fact that if you remove content from a column, the content fills out over it automatically.

iPhone Theme

I treated myself to a nice new iPhone last week and am LOVING it!

My phone is jailbroken and unlocked now (using PwnageTool). This means I can run all kinda of funky apps and games. I decided recently to design my own theme to make my phone feel more like "mine". Here are some screenshots. I'm working with a friend on how to release this theme along with some he has done too…

Just over 2 weeks since we started, my friend, Janak, and I have just finished our 3rd round of Drupal Wallpaper Photoshop Tennis.

If you haven't heard about this yet, the principal is to take a theme or idea and keep bouncing designs back and forth and at the end, a winner is decided.

Read more to see all the wallpaper previews until now.

I recently launched a Drupal Codebase site for a programming community and wanted to have the user profiles to be more than just a "signed up on..." and a Tracker Tab. I wanted them to have structured and customisable blocks, dynamic content, a Peer to Peer Message Board (almost finished)... I can have my dreams cant I?!

I recently wrote a book page on how to programmatically create a view. I wanted to do this as it would allow to me control almost an entire website with multiple content types, terms and users (as well as combinations of the three) along with RSS feeds - all powered by the Views Module + a bolt on module consisting mostly of a menu callback and a function to make and configure a view. This worked pretty well for a first try and principle test!

I then realised - hey, if you can do this with Views - why cant you do it with Panels too? Panels are fantastically useful for structuring multiple blocks, views and nodes onto a page. So I tried… And you can!

Color Jack

ColorJack is a recently popularized Color Theory Application

They have a fantastic online system and an offline OSX Dashboard Widget. Basically, they have a whole load of settings which you chose from. You then drag one of the points around on the colour "sphere" (circle) and you are provided with a list of complimentary colours.

To try this out, get your browser over to the ColorJack Sphere where you can try it online.

I have a never ending quest to find good free stuff. Finding free stuff is easy - its the GOOD bit that stumps me…

Often I dont even mind paying for something if its quality, but obviously free is better!

Quality Icons are something I am always on the lookout for and I have been a member of Icon Buffet for a long time now — I'm a big fan of the free deliveries — and, although I've purchased a few packs (Oslo, Oslo Buzz and Soho), they are very expensive for a "bedroom programmer" such as myself.

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