Theme Spectacular

OK, Folks. I’ve got the theme snapshots done and we’re ready to make a selection. Each sample is a full-size screenshot of the main page and there are 12 to choose from. Click through to the full post and please leave comments to vote for your favorite.

Remember, we can change the fonts (serif/sans-serif) and banner images easily. Heck, we can even change the colors.

Regardless of the specific core layout, I’d make sure we have the most, if not all, of the current sidebar sections on the new design. (I’d probably leave off the one called “Pages,” combine it with “About the site,” and flesh out a couple supporting pages.

I’ll let some of the rest of you comment before I put in my vote.


Blix Sample

Connections (the current one)

Connections Sample


Copperleaf Sample


FastTrack Sample


Kickass-Convergence Sample


lightCMS Sample


Modern Sample


PhoenixRealm Sample


Pool Sample


RedTrain Sample


Subnixus Sample


Tiga Sample

13 thoughts on “Theme Spectacular”

  1. I like the CopperLeaf. I like the calendar that is in Tiga, so if we could use CopperLeaf and integrate the calendar on the main page then that would be sweet. Is that an image of Mpls at the top of CopperLeaf? It would be sweet if we could have one at the top of our page.

  2. A calendar is easily possible on all of the designs. I’m torn when it comes to the calendar. It really just shows which days there have been posts which, to me, is obious looking at the site as each post is date-stamped.

  3. Oh yeah, I’d make sure that handy toolbar we have at the top is also available on whichever design we choose. It might take a small amount of doing, but I’d make sure it happened.

  4. Nice. I was more thinking a long the line of a calendar where we could post the Geek Gather dates, maybe birthdays of geeks, etc. I something like that possible? Or does it serve more as a “short-cut” mechanism to see all the posts for a certain day?

  5. That’s what the one built into the theme does. I already have something on my list about making special mention of the next GGM date. I have an idea of how to do it already, but I want to wait until we pick the final theme, then I’ll finish up the specifics.

  6. I prefer the calendar and nav items on the left. I also like them to be on one side only, and not some here some there. I am partial to sans-serif fonts. My top 3 in order are:
    – Copper Leaf (gotta make it look less like Windows though)
    – Subnixus (gotta line up all the links on one side? I don’t even miss the picto at the top, although when I look at Red Train, I really want to get back to my designs for a header. In the end, it only steals vertical screenspace. If it doesn’t do anything for us or our mission, I would consider nixing it and spending more time on the design features of the blog.
    – Red Train (gotta work on the fonts)

  7. Hard to say- I like having all frequently used links from the main page within a click without having to scroll down, so I guess that would indicate two side bars, like Tiga.
    But, I really don’t like the _look_ of two side bars.
    I could go for the ones that Patrick mentioned as well. But I also like Scott’s idea of having a banner image that says something about us-

    yep. I think I’m going to have to vote for Copperleaf or FastTrack.

  8. OK. Since at least half of the authors have weighed in, I’ll finally throw my two cents in.

    I’m with Mr. Eian on the sans-serif fonts and sidebar stuff on only one side. Sans-serif is a given in my book. Luckily that’s easy to change. However, since the most important thing is the content, I’m a menu on the right sort of guy.

    For me it’s RedTrain (sans-serif the fonts, change the post headers a bit), then CopperLeaf, then FastTrack (but blue (like CopperLeaf) or maroon (like RedTrain) instead of the green.)

    I really like there to be a banner at the top, but if it could certainly be smaller vertically. Something about half the height really.

    Mr. Eian: I guess I don’t see the Windows-ish look to CopperLeaf. What makes that stand out to you? (Not trying to challenge, just trying to understand from a design perspective.)

  9. Looks like CopperLeaf is taking the lead here. I guess that light blue shading reminded me of that (no offense). With the screenshot being smaller, its probably to early to get into that level of detail. I will withdraw that comment for now.
    I’d say, given the great feedback from our active member base, Michael can figure out which theme rules here. If there are no further vetos, I’d say he can go ahead and implement – and we can tweak it from there – but that’s just me. Geeks?
    This is really cool. I really enjoy this process. Thanks everyone for being involved.

  10. I’d like to thank everyone too. After looking at that top banner on CopperLeaf, I think we should make it less over powering. I like how we have the Geek Gather and tagline imbedded in the image on the current theme. Can we do that on CopperLeaf? Are we going to be able to find a Minneapolis skyline to put at the top? Any other ways we can incorporate MN into the site? I had suggested earlier to make the ‘K’ in Geek a State of MN outline (because the shape of MN is close to the outline of a ‘k’). Just a thought. I’m rust ranting because it’s 10:45pm at night. Anyone catch the State of the Union? I’d open it up for thoughts, but that could be dangerous.

  11. No offense taken at all. Gut reactions and opinions are always welcome. I wasn’t looking to pick a fight, but rather find out why it instilled a particular reaction so we could see how to overcome it in the design. For example, if it’s a matter of changing the light blue to maroon, green, or some other color, then it’s an easy fix.

    Looks to me like it’s CopperLeaf as well. What I’ll do then is flip it to CopperLeaf, get the sidebar where I think it should be, and produce a couple samples in different colors too see what folks think.

    My plan is to make the flip this weekend, Friday night or Saturday morning. So if anyone has other ideas not previously mentioned (I’ll go through the other threads and see what suggestions I can incorporate at the same time) either comment here or send me email and I’ll see what I can do.

    I may be able to cut down their default banner to remove some of the height. Ideally we’d replace it with our own image, one of the Twin Cities skyline or something else completely.

    I’ll also make sure the Geek Gather text appears in the image area rather than above it and play around with the MN outlike for the K as well, just for fun.

    I think I saw a style switcher for WordPress that may be able to set them as user preferences. I know I’ve seen a couple style switchers on some Web design sites. If I can get it working without making a mess of things, I’ll put it in as well so people will be able to pick their own themes. That will be quite a ways down the road, but something to work toward (and a good learning experience for me.)

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