Thoughts and ramblings on tech, media, culture, and food. Plus some other stuff, I'm sure.

A redesign for @waysideviolet

Way back in 2010 I redesigned my wife Jessica's website over at waysideviolet.com as she was getting more seriously into selling her knit goods on Etsy. It was the second theme I created for her WordPress site and we were both really happy with it. That aesthetic served the site well for three years, but there were always a few issues that lingered and I never got around to fixing them. It was built at a time when HTML5 was just becoming standard and I was playing with CSS3 techniques like border images, shadows, and @font-face web fonts.

We've been talking about redesigning for a while and some client work I did spurred on inspiration to clean up her site. So, we proudly introduce Wayside Violet version 3.0. It's a simpler, cleaner, more content-focused WordPress theme we're calling Lamby Lamington (after a nickname we have for our pup, Cors, and also after the delicious Australian dessert). 

It's funny. We almost included a sidebar, but then realized that there was nothing Jessica could think of to put in there even when so many other bloggers in the same circles have messy and jam-packed sidebars. So it quickly became a full-width site, making it all too easy to craft a fully responsive blog design that looks good at any device width while keeping the focus on the words and photos. This time around I'm using some new-ish techniques and some old standards including border-box border sizing, icon fonts (including her logo, which I incorporated into a subset of the amazing FontAwesome icon font using the super-cool IcoMoon app), and flex-box sizing. Most of her old photo assets were being served up from Flickr and scale fairly well. In the future, Jessica will be using larger images that are offloaded to WordPress' awesome Photon media CDN service which will be great considering the quality of the photos she posts.

Font-wise we're serving in Playfair Display Black and Source Sans Pro from Google Fonts. I've been on a Source Sans Pro kick lately and there's no sign of it stopping. I love Playfair Display and first saw it in a slide deck created by Dave Rupert ( @davatron5000 ) from the illustrious Paravel design/dev shop here in Austin. And I had to start using it.

All in all we think the redesign fits nicely with our goals of being refined, elegant, and making her photos look good. On top of that it's pretty awesome to read her blog on a tablet ... it just feels great.

So, let me know what you think!

Check out the new Wayside Violet.com

Other Shoutouts

It's been a while, but I definitely want to thank Ashley Monroe for creating the Wayside Violet logo all those years ago. It's held up really well and I was glad to get to incorporate it once more into a project.