Much like I did for the Further theme, I’d like to share my thoughts behind Ryu — the free theme I released recently.
Yes, you guessed right. It’s named after the main character of the classic game. If you know why the character was named Ryu, you will understand why I named this theme Ryu, too.
I mentioned this in my previous post about the Further theme, Behind the Design of the Further Theme, too that I strongly believe that we, as WordPress theme designers, should create amazing themes for specific purposes/audiences rather than multi-purpose themes that are just good. In many cases, themes designed for a specific purpose or a targeted audience perform better when people use them for that purpose. I’ve created Ryu specifically for the Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter generation of personal bloggers.
Recently, I released Further — Automattic’s first premium magazine theme. I’ve been given a chance to write about my thoughts behind its inspiration, design, and development. I hope this gives you something to think about as you design your next WordPress theme or website.
Icon fonts are a truly great hack. They’re lightweight, scalable, and a clever way to use vector-based images on the web at a time when SVG just doesn’t have enough popular browser support to be practical. Despite starting out life as a hack, icon fonts are like the sprites of vector graphics, and I think they’re here to stay.
Enter Genericons, a new icon font made especially for blogs by Joen Asmussen with contributions from Sheri Bigelow and Takashi Irie. They were designed with simplicity in mind to keep a minimal, “generic” aesthetic so they can be used in a wide range of projects. They look sharp at small sizes because each icon has been aligned to on a 16×16 pixel grid.
Have you checked the character map for the web font you use in your WordPress theme?
Thanks to all web fonts, nowadays we have much more choices for fonts in our WordPress themes. You might have checked if your theme looks good with Lorem Ipusum text but I’m afraid that’s not good enough. Lorem Ipusum text doesn’t have all digits, punctuations, and symbols from the Basic Latin character set. A WordPress theme should support at least all the Basic Latin characters, and this is only assuming your theme will be used for English language. This seems to be basic but often it’s overlooked. Continue reading
The new book by Jon Duckett, called “HTML & CSS”, is a beautifully designed book that helps your learning curve if you are a designer and thinking to dive in the front end development. Check this out.
The Editorial Team at Smashing Magazine shares a collection of new high-quality free fonts over on Smashing Magazine. Some of these fonts are intended for print publications, but there are several that are suitable for web design, available either to download or through Google Web Fonts. Which ones will you use for your next web design projects?
Harry Roberts presents a primer on technical web typography over on Smashing Magazine.
I recently started subscribing to RSS feeds again after having given them up totally for several months. I was relying on the cream to rise to the top in Twitter and a handful of sites that I would visit every day or week. And now, after declaring feed bankruptcy, I’m back at it again (switching to Reeder as my feed reader was a big part of that decision). I have pared things down though. Here’s my must-follow short list of WordPress and Web Design sources that I’m following right now. These sources let me keep on top of what’s going on in WordPress and Web Design.
One of the barriers theme companies face in going full GPL with their themes—thus enabling their themes to be released on WordPress.org Extend—is a lack of great quality icons with open source licensing.
That’s one reason I’m super happy to see Post Format Icons released by StudioPress. Free, high-quality icons to use in your theme. Awesome.
Will this inspire other web designers and WordPress themers to open source their own graphics? I sure hope so.
What are your favorite open source icons?