Yesterday I had a relatively rare Saturday home by myself. It was raining and cold outside, most of the housework was done, and I had been becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the readability on the current version of the blog. The savvy among you can connect the dots. For those not really familiar with me: I made some coffee, set up a workstation in the living room, turned on Netflix and set my sights on a redesign.
The aim was simple: I needed a simple 2 column layout, and wanted to keep the colour scheme and actual design very minimal.
Immediately, I looked to the black, white, red and gray scheme that I see in so many places that it’s hard to identify where it began. Newspapers, Piet Mondrian, many Swiss designers, many minimalist artists and designers have taken advantage of this set of colours. I’m a humble web designer adopting it for a blog layout, and lovingly dubbing the theme TTC, after the Toronto Transit Commission.
The buses and streetcars of the city bear the commission’s colours red and white, while black and gray are also found everywhere within the system. Arguably a core service in any great city, public transit was one thing that I appreciated greatly when I lived in Toronto. I took it for granted many a time, cursing under my breath about how arbitrary their schedules were, but knowing you have a ride home after a night at the bar or a ride to work every day lets transportation largely be a non-issue in your life. Ramshackle as it was, it almost always got the job done.
That’s how I feel about this theme. It’s a work in progress and is far from perfect, but it truly satisfies my needs and makes me sleep a little more soundly at night. I’ll work on it over a long period of time and sometimes it’ll be completely broken, but it’s mine, and I love it. Also, in the wake of the current lengthy Halifax Transit Strike–I’m not in Halifax but many friends are–the value of a reliable transit system is immeasurable.
It’s a complete departure from the slate gray / electric blue I’ve loved for so long–and continue to–but I feel that it’s right.
- TTC was built as a child theme of the Thematic Theme Framework for the sheer ease of development
- Lea Verou’s wonderful Prefix Free for CSS vendor prefixing
- Dan Cederholm’s simple, elegant faux columns technique
- Google Web Fonts
- Half an hour’s worth of time in Photoshop
- A few hours writing Markdown, pHp, HTML and CSS