The start of Shelf!

15 Jul 2010

Drew Strojny from The Theme Foundry (who I knew from his lovely Traction theme) recently asked me if I’d like to create a new WordPress theme for him. The offer-I-couldn’t-refuse was complete creative freedom, and the opportunity to make the design process visible. That doesn’t mean ‘open’ in the sense of ‘everything being up for discussion with the internets’ (that way madness lies), but documenting the steps as we go.

Everyone has a different workflow, and my workflow isn’t necessarily the right approach for anyone else and vice versa. However, I still love hearing others explain their thought process – the ‘Design Eye’ panels at SXSW spring immediately to mind as being good examples.

So on this blog, and on my dribbble account, I’ll be recording what happens as it goes along. Who knows, it might be fun! It’s the certainly the first time I’ve ever done a project in this way.

Before I go any further, I have to know the constraints. Even on jobs with creative freedom, there are still constraints. On this project there are 2 main ones: budget (which is usually the case) and saleability. It can’t be so esoteric a theme that no only my mum wants to buy it!

The next stage was to come up with an idea. Drew wanted it be something that I would excited about, that I really felt motivated to do. My original thought was something along an 18th century nautical theme, inspired in no small part by my love for the Kraken Rum packaging:

I discussed this with Drew, but the conclusion was that this was too esoteric, limiting the potential audience somewhat, which was fine. So I went away and sketched a more contemporary idea that had been brewing:

It involves a shelf (very subtle white/grey shades, not wood) with a series of ‘cards’ on it. The content is put into these cards and their size is dependent on the browser window. Content could be identified as different types of ‘cards’ (article, photo, video etc.) and each of these would have a slightly different layout.

There would be a fixed top nav and footer, and these would allow for different colour scheme options – a very modern grey/yellow but the background yellow and text colour could be interchangeable for any colour scheme.

As the content would resize to fit the height, scrolling would be horizontal. We’re always told to avoid horizontal scrolling, but I love a challenge! I’m keen to see if I can make it work, especially with what will be a fluid, responsive design.

This a theme that could multiple purposes:

Basically sites with a lot of visual information, rather than text-heavy content. Stay tuned for more developments!

Recent Posts

The Infinite Canvas

09 Feb 2018

Blade Runner 2049

14 Oct 2017

iPad Pro Pencil loop

11 Oct 2017

Troika #32: Tearjerker

04 Oct 2017

Troika #31: Dusk

06 Sep 2017

Icon Design Process talk at Reasons To 2017

06 Sep 2017

Instagram Hickstagram

  • 22 Mar 2018

    Goodbye Coco, you were a marvellous GP 😞

  • 21 Mar 2018

  • 20 Mar 2018

  • 16 Mar 2018

    The Clientele with @corinpilling at the Scala last night were mesmerising! It also made me realise how great a guitarist Alasdair MacLean is!

  • 13 Mar 2018

    Hold me…

  • 13 Mar 2018

  • 11 Mar 2018

    Must. Push. Button.

  • 11 Mar 2018

    Dinner in the Oxford’s. Happy Mother’s Day @hicksleigh! (It was the best one of Dan - honest)

  • 11 Mar 2018

    She didn’t have a clue

  • 10 Mar 2018

    You paint a great mural, and some idiot adds their ugly tag to the little of space you left to balance the composition.

Contact us

Call Jon on +44 (0)7917 391536, email or tweet @hicksdesign.

Alternatively, pop in for tea and cake at the studio…

Wenrisc House
Meadow Court
Witney, OX28 6ER
United Kingdom