Hello there. I am Terry and I am a full-time undergraduate based in Singapore. I take photos, write a blog and design websites.

And no, I'm not a teddy bear.

Id’s Awesome New Layout!

Header Design - NotBrainwasherSafe.com

My hands were itching to write a review when Id @ Notbrainwashersafe.com released her fresh new WordPress layout, Soothing, on her private blog. It’s rare to see a layout that leverages on pastel colours, and more important, to see a layout that did well at using it! More often than not, most pastel-colour based layouts are either too flashy for using a plethora of colours, or are either fail to make good use of colour combinations. Id has done an excellent job for her new theme – and here are a list of my loves for her layout:

Header design and overall impression

NotBrainwasherSafe LogoColourful, simple and huge, but does not distract readers and visitors from the blog content. Many blogs have headers that are way too big – either they do not take into account that more than 50% of Internet users are still sticking to their 1024px wide monitors, or they take up so much vertical space that reading the first line of text means scrolling – which is not that visitor-friendly afterall.

*On a side note, although Id’s main photoblog has a relatively huge header before the content starts, she manages to incorporate useful links and even a nifty twitter feed in the header – now that’s brilliant!

With that small space, Id still manage to give life to pastel colours – the mirror effect of the floral and circular patterns at the top, and a whiff of artistic sophistication through the sketches of a home, trees and a cute bird to the right.

I guess the artistic inspiration of Id is from her experience with interior design, which stresses a lot about giving visitors a huge, bright living space (as seen from her light background and colourful floral and circular patterns).

Oh, that rustic feel!

Floral Patterns - NotBrainwashersafe.comId theme never fails to incorporate environment and nature into her designs. For this time, we have blooming and light-coloured spring flowers scattered throughout the page that coexist peacefully with the general layout and content – they don’t end up screaming for atttention, but instead, serve to complement her design by serving as visual markers.

Not to forget the rustic feeling of the faint, bleached wood background – they add this country feeling to the overall layout, that is not too distracting as she have bleached the woody, earthy tones out to fit the pastel coloured theme.

Colourful page borders

Colourful page borders - Notbrainwashersafe.comBy combining an online background generator tool as well as a nifty CSS trick (which is also IE6 compatible, surprise!), Id creates a comfy border around the page so as to keep you entertained as you browse through her published items. It’s not easy to capture a reader’s attention visually, especially in very long web pages (such as blog archives, or exceptionally long posts). Id strikes a balance between keeping her reads focused on her blog content and being entertained by the colourful page borders. She is very nice to share the links - ColourLovers for the background generator tool and HicksDesign for the CSS page borders.

Typography

Typography - Notbrainwashersafe.comTypography is extremely important – it represents the visual aspect of text your visitors are reading. I like how Id has capitalised the text for her post titles as well as second-level headers (well, they call them <h2> in HTML). The colours of the headers, text and links are carefully chosen – they all complement the overall feel and appearance of the theme. Instead of opting for striking, smashing colours, Id has chosen soft, summer-like ones instead, giving her blog a unique charm through text alone. Even without graphics, her blog will still look great!]

I also adore that particular shade of grey and lavender purple mix for the general text – it has enough contrast to distinguish it against the pale background, but it’s not too dark to make it stand out awkwardly against the colour scheme. Id must have invested a considerable amount of effort to get the perfect colour combinations :) awesome work!

Footer

Who says we should reserve unwanted, backup-only and ditched designs, as well as awkward colours for the footer? It deserves attention and love as much as the blog header. Id never gave her blog footer the cold shoulder – she even went an extra mile to make it beautiful, attention-grabbing and unique:

Footer Design - NotBrainwasherSafe.com

It’s terribly kind of Id to mail me a screenshot of her blog footer, since it’s the person who’s writing the review that is supposed to be doing the screenshots. Thanks for the extra help!

I definitely love how she has created a personalised container for each section of the footer – one each for recent comments, recent posts and etc respectively. Unlike me who throws in all the SEO junkie into the footer, she makes the footer navigation visitor-friendly as well. The combination of pastel colours, clip arts and flowers is perfect here – and I’ve ran out of words to describe it’s beauty, pardon me for my bad English.

Note

Id’s blog is private and thus you’ll need to contact her before you could advance any further. Please respect her privacy :razz: thanks!

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