I spoke to another developer last week about his work. I learned that he uses templates to design his web pages. He said something about “why bother trying to reinvent the wheel”.
Something about the conversation struck me. As a designer, I think that it is important for me to know the code. So I embarked on re-working on the website. I’m glad that I did.
My intention was to create some new content. Instead, I got involved with attempting to manage my most recent slew of bookmarks, and I started re-reading material about Blueprint.
I found a page that has an AJAX tool that allows people to re-program their blueprint code. I played with the tool, punched numbers on a calculator, and came up with something that I like. The new iteration of my website (the front end) is built with it.
Not many people still measure in picas but I sure do. My history reaches back to line-o-type and hand paste-up. I like a design that can divide, as easily into thirds as in half, so I like my numbers to count in twelve’s, sixes, threes and twos.
The page layout that I came up with 888px wide, 30 18px columns and 12px wide gutters. One thing about picas over inches is picas are smaller units and therefore more accurate. 18px wide columns give me much more flexibility than Blueprint’s default 30px. I like my 12px gutters as well. They provide a little more white space.
I spent a day and a half on building the first page. I did 12 more today and posted them. The content is the same as before – I am re-arraigning the chairs on the Titanic – but it is necessary to have the structure flat. There is a lot of “fudging” going on right now. I don’t believe in having “the site is down for reconstruction,” signs go up on my site.
Now, I can work on content development with clarity of the parameters of the site.