The gem cannot be polished without friction
I’ve been itching for a new look for a while now, around the time I was in England, something that was reflective of the peace I’ve made with myself and the world.
Life no longer feels like a draft where I’m trying to figure things out, so I’ve abandoned the beloved graph paper background which debuted in version 9. Most elements and text have been toned down a bit2 to give things a slick, clean, and polished look, very much inspired by Jin Yang’s blog. I’m still in love with the large single-column layout that lets me post big pictures and videos, and most of the design is still based around that.
I’ve never been a fan of vertical rules — they always seem to claustrophobically trap content more than anything else — but I found they brought much-needed definition to the wide column, now that the graph paper is no longer there. Other elements are strong enough on their own to define the underlying grid. I’ve also added some gravity-defying page corners to bring a bit of depth to the layout.
Even though Version 12 has been based significantly on my Version 11 code and design, I decided to give it a major revision number because it’s a new theme at heart. They may look similar, but they feel very different.
All headings and navigation elements are still in Avenir Next, which has long been part of my visual identity. I’m very disappointed with @font-face support as it currently stands3, as well as TypeKit offerings (which appears to solve problems from font foundry licensing issues, instead of actual web implementation) so I’ve stuck with Helvetica/Arial for body type. Aside from the comment bubble, all traces of Georgia have been eliminated. Blockquotes (my favourite aspect of the new design) are in a new typeface: Avenir Next Condensed. Check this shit out:
Large and in charge. Oooh, baby.
I always waver between having the equivocality title in all caps (which I find looks rather aggressive and arrogant) or all lowercase (which has those frustrating hanging descenders from the “q” and “y” characters that trap dead space in the bounding box). For this version, I’ve opted to go with the former for the sake of alignment.
A matter of time
Version 11 (which now lives on it’s own subdomain) lasted for about a year; a decent amount of time for a person who has a history of redefining himself every six months. I was extremely pleased with it, but it doesn’t feel relevant anymore. There were a few offers from people to purchase the theme since I have a policy to never release them publicly, but I never relented. I put so much time and energy into these designs that they’ve become part of my identity; it’d be far too unsettling to see someone else’s content in them.