Speaking of gorgious concept art, these alternate history paintings of my favorite part of Sweden are mindbogglingly great.
One of my favorite books is Dune by Frank Herbert. Recently unearthed is a treasure trove of gorgeous visuals from artist John Schoenherr:
Be sure to check out the full gallery.
Rob Ford interviews me about the era when making full-bleed Flash sites was cool. Remember Gabocorp? Remember big animating blobs? Yep, Flash was a big part of my past, and if you’ll indulge me, I reminisce about it at length.
With Twenty Thirteen well out the door, the next default WordPress theme is already being hammered on. Previously a WordPress.com premium theme, Further is being used as the base. Like Twenty Thirteen, it uses Genericons, so recoloring the theme should be a breeze. For the past couple of years, Takashi has blown me away with his theming skills, so I couldn’t be happier with the choice. Check out Twenty Fourteen as it looks today: it’s going to improve even more over the course of development!
WordPress 3.6 was released today. With it, the Twenty Thirteen theme into which we’ve poured much energy. One aspect that was particularly important to me, when designing the theme, was to encourage users to customize the theme to their liking. For the very same reason, every icon in Twenty Thirteen is an easily recolorable icon-font glyph. So changing the whole color scheme is basically writing some CSS.
To celebrate the occasion, I made a couple of color themes you can install on your Twenty Thirteen blog.
Green is my favorite color these days. Did you know when danish people have their final high school exams, they sit at a green table, because green has a calming effect on your mind? It’s true. I tried it.
2013 Green Sequence
Twenty Thirteen has emphasis on blogging, and post backgrounds are assigned based on post formats. If you don’t use post formats, but want the colors of Twenty Thirteen, get this one — it’ll simply alternate the background colors sequentially.
I actually threw in a shade of pink, or “salmon”, in this blue mix. So it’s not entirely shades of sky blue, but I guess you could not use the “status” post format if you dislike salmon. Or you could customize it and make it your own!
2013 Blue Sequence
If you really don’t like salmon but do want an alternating post-format-free blue theme, you’ll want to get this one and customize it. Or you could embrace the salmon. Smoked. On toast. With salt and pepper.
2013 Orange Sequence
Having made sequence versions of blue and green, it seems unfair not to complete the triad. So here’s Orange Sequence — that’s the default Twenty Thirteen color scheme, but the colorful post backgrounds are assigned regardless of post format.
These are child themes. That means they’re WordPress themes that require a parent theme to be present, in this case Twenty Thirteen. So these themes will only work if you also have Twenty Thirteen installed. If you’re on WordPress 3.6 or higher, Twenty Thirteen is preinstalled.
One of the best things about open source is that you can modify things to your liking, and even redistribute.
Please do so. Make it your own, and share it back.
I would like nothing more than to see you modify and redistribute any of the above child themes. So much, in fact, that if you’d like to re-color the default Twenty Thirteen header, I’ve made you this PSD so you can easily do just that.
Now go play with some colors!
There’s a lot to like about the new iOS 7. As a whole, the result looks mostly unique. There’s a nice clean aesthetic going with the thin Helvetica, the white UI chrome, the sandblasted layers and the almost complete absence of gaudy textures. It’s also colorful. Which is a good thing. Right?
Leading up to this there were jungle-drums touting how flat the new UI was going to look (as though every UI will suddenly be clean and uncluttered if you just run it over with a bulldozer). Fortunately that’s not what happened. Don’t get me wrong: I do like my UIs to be clean and simple, I just find the term “flat” to be mostly meaningless when applied to design. There are no magic bullets, there’s only good design and bad design, and I think Jony Ive gets that. So instead of trumpeting flat, Apple trumpeted true simplicity. Oh, and grid-based icons:
Sure, there’s certainly a grid there. I was mostly paying attention to the light-source for those gradients, though: why does Phone looks embossed while Mail looks inset? Also: Game Center? Again?
There will be no tears shed for the linen texture. I will not mourn the loss of green felt. Still, the new iconography alone makes iOS 7 such a departure that there’s bound to be some learning curve, which begs the question: why didn’t they go further now they were at it?
They had a real opportunity here. Jony could’ve said to his team:
Team! We’ve dominated the smartphone market for the last 5 years with a grid of round-rect icons. How do we re-think it from the ground up for the next decade? How do we create something that’ll make Samsung scramble to copy us again?
Perhaps they did just that. Conceivably they created giant mood-boards. Maybe they decorated hip little cubicles with smiling model faces and photos of subway signs and collages of differently colored post-it notes. Could be they brain-stormed all the places they see the mobile space go in the next ten years: creepy glasses, holographic watches, voice-controlled smart underwear. No doubt they considered the convergence of the cloud with all these new-fangled features. Perchance they arrived right back at a grid of icons: Eureka! We had it right all along!
I hope that’s not the case. I hope they had grander ideas… post-smartphone ideas. I’m hoping they were just so lazer-focused on shipping on time they had to punt their ideas for replacing Springboard. I’m hoping Jony felt the most important thing was to uproot the old linen-clad ways and set out a strong new direction for all future Apple UIs. I want to believe.
I want to believe that maybe one day we’ll have smartphones whose strongest visual cues aren’t defined by the graphical prowess of 3rd party icon designers. I want to believe that maybe one day we’ll look back at websites that use
confirm() to alert us of their mobile apps as a dark age. I want to believe that maybe one day it’ll be possible to avoid all social interaction in a manner more impressive than tapping in and out of apps. Is that so much to ask?