I don’t know how a real designer does it, but when I attempt a design, particularly a blog design, I always start with a simple theme. If the ideas begin to flow, I’ll know I chose well. If not, and I still think it’s a good theme, I’ll visit the usual suspects for some inspiration.
On this blog, I started with robots, which quickly lead to gears and mechanics. For this post, I started with circles. Actually, I started with Ironman’s HUD. The whole movie was super cool, but the HUD was the best. And the HUD had all this motion and targeting, and that’s what got me to circles. So that’s the theme. I already know I’m going to apply this theme to a simple grid-based blog layer that I discussed earlier.
Not much left but the real work – make a cool blog design with circles plus some pretty colors. I know my layout, so once again it’s back to Inkscape. There is a nice Inkscape template generator for Blueprint CSS grid layouts. Choosing which colors go where isn’t too bad, because I love dark text on white for blogs. Following that decision, I go with lots of circles in the header in blood red, over a black background. We know the main content will be white with black text, so I decide to make the sidebar really stand out with a bold blood red.
Next, we slice and dice…