Themes in transit

I think I have at least two or three free themes in the works at the moment, but I just can’t find the time to finish them. Work is taking up my weekdays, and my weekends are usually spent preparing for my wedding (which is only about two months away) or simply rejuvinating.

I’ve been experimenting a lot with WordPress lately, but more on the aspect of using WordPress as a CMS than just a theme. Well, ok, I haven’t exactly been “experimenting” per se. I’ve been using WordPress as a CMS for my clients’ sites.

So far, I’ve managed to create category-dependent templates for “portal type” sites (ie. m|ph). But it’s STILL category-dependent, meaning: a category-dependent theme can’t be user-friendly enough to be released as a GPL theme. It definitely goes beyond the “blog look,” but it’s not that easy to modify.

I’ve been meaning to experiment skinning Scott’s Sandbox theme, but again, I can’t seem to find the time to. I haven’t really taken the time to look into the code. But from what I’ve read so far, skinning Sandbox isn’t as easy as creating your own CSS (well, I find making my own CSS code and structure easier than working on an existing one), but it does have some nifty features that makes it easily customizable by the end-user. Continue reading “Themes in transit”

Designing for newspapers and the Web

I was invited to give a lecture on graphic design for a group of students from a nearby university. These students are actually members of their school paper’s graphic design team, so obviously, the focus of the talk was for print. However, they also wanted to know the main difference in web and newspaper design.

Although the difference of the medium used is pretty obvious (newspaper on paper, web design on the internet), the layout factor is where people usually make the mistake on. There are very few who try to use a made-for-web layout for a newspaper layout (my god, is there an idiot who does?). But the other way around, it’s not that uncommon.

Maybe it’s just sheer dumb luck, but the past few days I’ve been talking to clients who insist on using a newspaper-type of layout. Actually, even the students’ web version of their newspaper is practicing the very same mistake. I’m not talking about the “newspaper web version” here, but the newspaper layout printed on paper. Newspaper layout, as in, paragraphs on one column flowing to the next one beside it. Although this is easily accomplished using CSS, do you honestly think that your site’s readers will enjoy scrolling all the way down and then scrolling their browser up again just to read the continuation of the paragraph? Aside from it can be incredibly annoying, it’s irritating to the eyes too. Continue reading “Designing for newspapers and the Web”

I quote: “Why Do Some Have More Than Most?”

The book, “10 Sikreto ng Mga Mayayaman (10 Secrets of the Rich),” by Al McCaw (Al Sembrano) had all the answers. But I don’t think his website does.

I spoke too soon when I said “thanks” to him for taking down the design concept I made on his site that he didn’t pay for, nor did I (or SheeroMedia) give permission to use. He removed it from his Mayaman site, but then still used it on the Sikreto one.

Anyway, if you want the complete low-down on this, go ahead and visit my personal blog.

Blog-hopping quirks

I have a million things to do (one would be finishing this site), but this is just too good to pass up.

There’s a “discussion” brewing on the latest entry of my personal blog. Things are getting a bit snappy, and I might have to step in the middle soon to police the arguments.

The post was actually simple. I just pointed out a few what-not’s in blogging (actually, I just pointed out my bloghopping pet-peeves), and obviously, got a reaction from some people. Most of the “interesting” stuff in the comments are written in Filipino, so for the benefit of those who don’t speak the language, let me sum it up for you: Some people can’t take criticism, to the point of even defending bad grammar. Cute, don’t you think? ๐Ÿ˜›

Quality writing is actually one of the more important aspects of a blog, well at least for me. Obviously, it’s not something that everybody puts importance to. But then again, blogging is a form of writing. You might not be the best writer, but it helps to at least make it grammatically correct for people to understand what you’re saying.

Probably it really is just a personal preferrence, but really now. Blogs are public, so the public reads them. Simply saying “I don’t care” when commented upon on bad grammar is simply selfish, if not condescending. It really annoys me when I try to read blogs with bad grammar, but it annoys me more when I get a snotty “It’s my blog, I don’t care” response after constructively pointing out a mistake in the blog or design. I don’t really see any good reason behind shutting constructive criticisms point blank except for childishness. True, the blog is the author’s. But being outright snotty doesn’t do any good. In my opinion, even if a criticism isn’t a praise for my work or writing, I think the person who pointed that out deserved thanks for being concerned enough to help me improve. But then again, maybe it’s just me.

Other quirks I have when blog-hopping are the usual blinky backgrounds, unreadable text, and migraine-inducing color schemes. How about you guys? Got any blog-hopping quirks?

On hiatus

This site is officially on hiatus. I have finally found the time to fix things up around here, so I won’t be updating this until I get everything ready and re-launched. Yep, for once this site will have its own theme. I have decided to make this into a tech blog, because frankly, techie stuff doesn’t seem to interest the readers of my personal blog much.

So anyway, you can expect some major changes happening here. I don’t know when though.

Creative distractions

I’ve been so distracted lately. It’s obvious, isn’t it? I haven’t been updating this blog for quite a while now.

Aside from work and this secret “project” I’m working on for this blog (promise, it’s coming soon!), site rippers have been getting on my nerves lately. The first one is still under “negotiations” between our company‘s Marketing Director and the person’s PR guy, so I still can’t blog about it… YET. The second one is actually just a nuisance I can’t seem to be rid of, and I’ve pretty much vented out about it on my personal blog. With so many things going on in my mind right now, even my fiance, Marc, is beginning to wonder how in the world I’m still able to design for work.

Well, blame it on this startup business my sister, Marc and I are working on. Filipino Artisans is primarily focused on providing novelty invitations and souvenirs with a native Filipino touch (we make use of native materials). It’s still not my full-time job (web design will always be my first love), but working on invitation orders is a great creative fix. Staying too long in front of the computer is not only bad for your eyes and ass (it’s literally a PAIN in the ass… UGHH. Bad pun), but it can also be a source of a creative block. Doing arts and crafts every once in a while helps the creative juices to flow… Specially when you most need it.

I’ve been getting some emails asking me how I manage to keep on designing (thank you for those, by the way… They’re very comforting after a week of dealing with damn rippers)… Well, there’s your answer ๐Ÿ™‚ My secret: arts and crafts (and no, it isn’t always about sex :D)

Dapit Hapon Admin

I’m sorry for being such an irresponsible blogger on this site ๐Ÿ™ Been busy with work and at the same time creating a theme for my fiance and doing some charity web projects (no, I’m not being sarcastic, they really ARE for charity). Anyway, you’ll see them soon! I have a project in the works for this site, as well as another theme in the making ๐Ÿ™‚

Back to the point. Frank Robinson sent me this pretty admin CSS based on Dapit Hapon colors!

Dapit Hapon Admin screenshot

I’ll be putting this up on the Download page as soon as I fix up the layout this weekend. Anyway, you can download the CSS here for the time being. Always remember to have a backup of your original CSS file in case you change your mind. Enjoy!!!

You can now take many web design programs online from the comfort of home.

WP 2 theme contest after-thoughts

I was totally shocked with the outcome, to tell you the truth (you can even read my personal blog for my initial reaction). I never expected to win anything in the WordPress 2 theme competition. You have no idea how honored I feel placing second for Kurtina and Best Use of Colors for Dapit Hapon.

Congratulations to the other winners! ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank you to everyone who supported my work… and thanks too to those who didn’t ๐Ÿ˜€ Oddly enough, I find the “negative vibe” extremely entertaining (ahh… the wonders of Technorati, also helps me keep track of those who hate my themes hehehe).

I’ve seen my name come up in a few times in the increasingly long comments thread of contest results. Some aren’t very nice. Not to be arrogant or anything, but the “negativity” just makes me want to roll my eyes and snort. Call me calloused, but I’m used to it. You should hear my dad criticize my work. He’s an artist and a photojournalist, and my critic for important client projects.

However, one of the comments caught my eye:

wank said,
May 17, 2006 @ 7:26 am
David: does this mean you consider Gail Dela Cruz undeserving of her gift certificate? Thatโ€™s harsh, and might have been better kept to yourself. If you think sheโ€™s more of a coder than a photoshopper I have to wonder where your eyes are.

I must tell you that this made me feel really flattered. Getting a compliment like that from Wank is very flattering indeed. I’m not being sarcastic here, don’t get me wrong. I’ve long been a reader and a fan of his blogโ€”the way he writes his entries makes me laugh. So you can just imagine how pleased I was when I saw his comment about me.

And yes, Wank, you’re right. I am a photoshopper. Been a photoshopper for almost 10 years now ๐Ÿ™‚

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I’m teasing, I know

I was reading through Terry’s ArenaWP and saw that he doesn’t have anything against releasing a theme entry to the public before he releases them in his site. Well, that’s good. If that’s the case, you guys will see my two entries sooner than you thoughtโ€”sooner than WE thought.

Since the deadline for ArenaWP has expired anyway, I don’t see any harm in showing you guys the new themes in their full glory. They still won’t be available for download here at the moment though. I’ve submitted the themes to Jame’s Theme Viewer and Silkjaer’s WordPress Theme Park. To be honest, I don’t want my server to shoulder all the download requests. I’m being hosted here by SheeroMedia for free, and I might be pushing my luck too far if I do that hehe. I’ll just put up alternative download locations here when the themes are up in those sites.

I have installed Ryan Boren‘s Theme Switcher plug-in on the side bar so you guys can easily preview the themes.

By the way, the newest theme I made is called “Kurtina,” which is translated in Filipino as “curtain.” The story behind it is pretty boring, I was just inspired by the nice texture and patterns of the curtain my mom made for me to put on my bedroom windows. I initially used this as a the main layout of my photo blog, Pixeliera. I’ll be changing the layout of that site soon to a more simplistic, photo-bloggy feel, so I just modified the theme a bit for general use. Enjoy!