Eightface

by Dave Kellam

Kickin’ it old-school

It’s been more than a year, since the last redesign of my site. I really had no intention of keeping it around that long. The previous version of eightface was mostly a reaction to the state of typography on the web and wanting to use a different typeface, I wasn’t particularly enamoured with it. I’ve attempted a few different redesigns since then, but they’ve all failed for various reasons. The latest version began life two months ago, but didn’t really get going until the middle of August. Since then, the design has come a long way but it still isn’t finished. So, feel free to poke around and kick the tires, but don’t be surprised if the axle falls off.

One of the driving factors behind the new design is the fact that I want to make my site a personal space again. I’m sick of templated personal sites and everything looking the same. I don’t want to become a crotchety old blogger man, but I’m headed in that direction. I don’t do this to make money, I do it for fun. I’ve had a website since 1995 (yea, Geocities!) and started writing HTML before that. Seriously, I memorized a bunch of tags from a brief magazine article, went home, coded a webpage (minus internet connection) and loaded it up in IE 2.0. I was a dork. I’m still a dork. The point is that I need to enjoy what I’m doing, I don’t want it to be a chore. Unfortunately, maintaining a popular WordPress plugin (as well as some others) is just that. I’m not knocking it, but the people visiting the site for plugins and themes have a different set of expectations. For that reason, the people who want WordPress related content will be getting a much more Spartan presentation with emphasis on finding what they need. The people visiting the rest of the site will get a much cooler presentation based on what I want to show them. It also lets me screw around without getting a bunch of angry emails.

The core weblog components are mostly finished, although the footer content is likely to receive a fair bit of tweaking. I’ve toyed around with a 1950’s motif before, but not to the same extent. I decided to focus solely on advertising from 1950–1955. Other than the grunge backgrounds, all of the graphics in the header and footer are composed of bits of advertisements from that time period. I’ve also attempted to replicate the typography of the era, the default typeface is Baskerville and the title font is Futura, both popular choices in advertising at the time. You’ll get the best viewing experience using a Mac with Futura installed, but it will likely look alright on Windows, although it hasn’t been tested. The Windows testing will come, but it’s not a priority (remember the personal site argument). Obviously, this iteration of the site is a better response to the state of typography on the web than the last layout. That said, it’s achieved by not caring that it doesn’t look right for anyone other than me, which isn’t always a viable option. To offset that potential lack of typographic coherency, there is a 840px wide grid underlying the disparate elements of the site.

Lastly, we come to comments. I’m getting rid of them. It’s not that I don’t care what you have to say, it’s that I want you to care about what I have to say (and dealing with comment spam sucks). In truth, comments on weblogs aren’t what they used to be. Back then, the community was a lot smaller and less likely to fall victim to Godwin’s law. Regardless of the lack of comments, it’s easy enough to offer a response via email, twitter, or your own weblog. And yes, I truly am turning into a crotchety old blogger man.

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