I’ve just pushed up the latest incarnation of my own theme for this blog. Building on the foundations of my previous efforts but a completely overhauled design.
I started off in Typecast which I’d definitely recommend as a first step. This allowed me to focus on getting the typography, colour palette and layout I wanted. Their excellent videos and articles helped me learn about and apply vertical rhythm (although that still needs work as it’s been partially lost in development) then export the css when I was happy.
Typecast offers access to thousands of fonts from various sources, the font I’ve gone with for the headings here is Adelle via the Typekit service. I am still on the fence about web fonts, especially as someone not so well equipped in the visual design department as they do add additional http requests and download size. But after having spent so long getting a design I was happy with I’m sticking with it for now. Whether my obsession with download size forces my hand in the future we’ll see.
The next step I took was to integrate Harry Robert’s InuitCSS framework which is a really handy, unobtrusive SASS & OOCSS framework full of handy mixins and conventions. As of the latest 5.0 release you can include it as a git submodule into your own repository to allow really easy updating.
What’s great about Inuit is that it’s doesn’t dictate your project structure at all, you can simply make as much or as little use of it as you choose. I found initially I used hardly any of it but as I’ve explored the source, I’d discover useful approaches I could swap into my project. It’s not only helped improve my code but also served as a useful tool to learn more about sass and oocss.
Finally I incorporated a build script to handle optimisations, image compression and other pre-deployment tasks. For this I shamelessly ripped off @peterkeating’s build script from his own theme. It’s extremely well documented so I highly advise checking it out for some best practice deployment build goodness.
I still have a few more things I need to tidy up but figured it’s good enough to get online now. I’m pretty pleased with it at the moment but will not doubt be changing and breaking things as I go. I’ve also realised I need to stop referring to elements of the theme in posts because I keep changing it, at some point I’ll try and go back to older posts referring to the older design and add better context… probably :/.
The full source of the theme is on github so feel free to poke around, improve, re-purpose as you see fit.
Go on, let me know what you think on Twitter, I can take it.