Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Tyranny of Plaid is over

Yes... indeed the day has come when plaid no longer rules the Culture Kills landscape, and another somewhat questionable background image has arisen in its place.

It was nearly two years ago when I cranked out the green tartan background, and even then, it had evoked some commentary from my peers. And yet, it was sort of emblematic of what this blog was all about: what it lacked in taste, it made up for with warmth. Oh, and it really tied the room together.

This was a tough redesign for me... especially since for at least 50% of it, I was trying to get my vision to conform with that Blogger layout system, a process which left me emotionally drained and ready to, as A Knight's Tale's Wat would say, fong someone. I will say that I am glad that the staff of Blogger had the good sense to let those of us with the old templates keep them, because editing the new layouts by hand is a tricky proposition. But in addition to the hardship the the prospect of abandoning a design which, while getting long in the tooth, had served me well over the years was difficult, as it was like I was losing a familiar old friend or a nice warm quilt on a cold winter's day.

I auditioned a lot of backgrounds. I mean a lot. I think I tried about 100 different patterns before settling on a creation of Squidfingers... that I then of course made my own. I saw a lot of really nice backgrounds in my journeys, but most of them weren't me, and were certainly not in keeping with the spirit of Culture Kills either. And while I am still not fully committed to the current one just yet, it is growing on me.

Yes, there are still a few tweaks that I am likely going to do over the next few weeks, but for the most part, I think the graphical part of this redesign is nearing completion.

Now the archiving... that is going to be a challenge.


Jeremy Barker said...

Nice job and I commend you for being brave enough to take it on. I've had a redesign in my head for some time but haven't felt up to tackling the new system as my current template has been so moded (as you well know)I don't know how it will come out.

I'd also like to go to a wide format but worry about how it will change the look of all my past entries, which are my main entry points into the blog. If I could keep it all the same and the changes only effect the new stuff that would be ideal, but that seems unlikely.

But congrats again on managing it without going charcoal.

MC said...

See, that's why I stayed within the bounds of the old template system (I was fortunate to have started another hidden blog before the blog gerbeta so I could beta test some of the graphical changes before I implemented them on my real blog.

There was a moment last week involving my name that was really the straw that broke the camel's back. You see, as you know, I sign my posts and comments with "mc", but my blog also displays my real name... and the new blogger won't do that. Or at least, I don't know a hack that will do it yet. But there were so many more problems with how it was coming along... it made me very angry.

I do think you could go wider without messing up your posting formatting too badly if you were considering using a 3-column system.

Heidi said...

Love it!

MC said...

Heidi: Thank you :)

Micgar said...

Hey I like the new look! It's pretty cool! yes I guess there will be a tiny part of me who will get a bit of a jolt when I click on your link and don't see the familiar design, but that'll just be for a little bit.
I am excited for you for getting a new design and look forward to the other tweaks and twiddles. (twiddles!? is that a word!?)

MC said...

We'll make it one.

Megan said...

Well, the tartan was quite striking, and this is not quite so. But I am getting used to it...and change is good.

MC said...

I just think it feels minty now.

thom said...

I have to say I really dig it. Definitely keeps some of the former charm while looking a tad "cleaner". The masthead is quite nice.

MC said...

I think the color scheme is a little more complete as well.