Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Before and After

I've been reworking the look of my blog along with the functionality by changing the fonts, the background color and sidebar elements, and adding pictures.

Below is a "before" screenshot:

As you can see, I've lightened the background color. It is now a very pale gray. I didn't want to go all the way to white. I have the idea that my artwork looks better against a gray background and I personally find a white page hard on my eyes, but that's just me. The darker gray matches my website, so I'll have to change that on my website as well. I've been meaning to make changes on my website anyway. While I'm at it I'll also have to change the font there. Come to think of it I'll also have to change my business cards. My website and business cards both have Times New Roman and the blog is Georgia, so I might want to rethink that. In general I prefer a font with serifs. I know that many people consider a sans serif font more legible on computer screens, but I haven't found that to be true. My experience has been that the serif font, along with a not too white page is easier on the eyes and easier to read.

Below is the "After" Screenshot. Obviously you can see the changes because you are here reading the blog, but I want it pictured as a way of tracking the changes I've been making.

I also changed the Title bar, including the tag line, and I added some thumbnails of my artwork.

I removed the "Links" section from the sidebar because it is, for the most part, duplicated in the blogroll.

Feel free to give me your thoughts. Have I improved the look? Gone backwards? Spinning my wheeels?


Kim Bennett said...

Wow! Looks great. Glad you kept you comment widget.

Marilyn Fenn said...


I love the new header!

As for the off-white vs. darker gray -- it looks good now, but I liked it before, too. I'm a lot of help, aren't I? ;)

Marilyn from blog class

Alyson B. Stanfield said...

Katherine: It looks marvelous. I really love the images at the top. There is no doubt that I'm on an artist's site! I think you said you had green links, but they're showing up blue for me. Maybe you've been playing around with them some more.

carol mcintyre said...


The site is lovely and fits your work.

Keep up the good work!

Carol from blog class

Melissa said...

It looks great!
It has been my experience that color affects the readability of a font more than serif vs san serif. I tend to lean more toward serif because I feel it adds a certain dignity, where a sans serif font can look more causal, but lends a cleaner design. But this is just an opinion.

I like the lighter gray, it's a nice update, the darker grey was nice too! (is it gray or grey?)

Katherine Kean said...

Wow, thanks everyone. I really appreciate all the feedback.

Kim, do you mean the sidebar comment widget? I like having that preview right on the page - it's fun.

Marilyn, Thank you. Yes that is helpful actually.

Thank you Alyson. The visited links are a dark green. They may be too dark - too close to the black of the text. The unclicked links are supposed to be a blue-grey. Hopefully that's how they read.

Thanks Carol - thanks for visiting!

Thanks Melissa, I appreciate your take on that especially with your graphic design experience. I can see how color would have a big effect on readability.

I think you're right; grey is probably more widely used than gray.

Caroline Roberts said...

I think it looks great. I love the paintings in the header, having spaces between them looks very elegant.

I'm just going to have to steal that recent comments widget though, and see what else that site has to offer.

I like your About section too - I have yet to finish that homework.


Katherine Kean said...

Thanks Caroline!

Yes, recent comments are great fun and free for the asking.

Anne M Bray said...

the light grey was a shock! I've been very fond of your medium grey -- it sets a certain calming mood that goes with your writing... maybe a grey halfway inbetween? New one not quite grey enough.
LOVE the mini images in header. Great idea.
Sidebar has become very long to scroll through, not sure what you do to alleviate that

Matt said...

Katherine, I love the changes. I think you've improved the look and feel of your blog, while still maintaining a sense of continuity.

Katherine Kean said...

Hi Anne,

Thanks for your feedback. I know it's shocking, but I think the light grey might start to grow on you. It's already starting to look dark to me. :)

I know what you mean about the sidebar - even though I've shortened it a bit - it's still long. If I could get the "About Me" section on a separate page somehow that might help, although I'm not sure yet how I'd accomplish that.

Katherine Kean said...

Thanks Zataod!

Nancy Giere said...

I think the images across the top look great.

Katherine Kean said...

Nancy - thank you, and thanks for visiting!

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