Tag Archives: theme

BenBishop Blog Redesign: Refracted

Posted on: January 15th, 2009 by Ben Bishop No Comments

In the three years since I last redesigned benbishop.me.uk, my personal blog, there have been significant developments in web design. From CSS frameworks like The Blueprint, JavaScript library’s like jQuery to development WordPress themes like Sandbox, all have been designed to decrease development time from concept to implementation.

‘Refracted’ is the product of three years experience with commercial clients and the implementation of many of these techniques.


I had the idea of the logo image in my head for a while and was quite determined to go with a light and vibrant design. Contrasting significantly with the previous ‘Satin’ theme, a light text on dark background theme, I wanted ‘Refracted’ to feel like a change from the old.

The layout was sketched out with old fashioned pencil and paper (!) and the design was composed in Photoshop with Illustrator being used for the 3D typeface effect in the logo. Then Photoshop was used again for the rainbow striped effect for the backoground to the logo and the footer.


Using the Sandbox wordpress theme, I was able to rapidly convert the design into the valid xhtml and css WordPress theme that you see on the site at the moment. Using Dreamweaver, the code editor is excellent, I began the process of adding the header image, and then working methodically through the design as I got dirty with the CSS, making use of the semantic mark up included with Sandbox.

With the basic design done, I installed and configured the widgets to the preconfigured 2 sidebars and finally did the cross browser compatibility changes requried.

End Result

With the theme 90% finished, I still need to monetise it asap, I have gone live. More information can be found here or take a look at the site itself, benbishop.me.uk

BenBishop.me.uk Site Redesign

Posted on: May 9th, 2006 by Ben Bishop No Comments

On May 1st I took part in the CSS Reboot, completely redesigning the appearance of my personal tech blog. The CSS Reboot takes place every year and is a day when designers across the world re-launch their sites focussing on CSS, design, usability and accessibility.While I was happy with the result, the design was only probably 70% finished and still now with further improvements to the layout, I am still not satisfied. Over the last few days I have made improvements to the comments system and have polished up some of the rougher edges to a WordPress theme I am calling ‘Satin’. Take a look.

This I hope to be the first of many themes I produce for WordPress and I intend to make these freely available for download in the future. Satin will be available when I have made the theme a little more manageable.

Please contact me if you are interested in having a (we)blog for any number of reasons. I will be happy to consult on the best course of action from technical issues to designing a custom appearance for your blog. Whether designing a blog for business or personal use or to integrate into your existing site, blogging is a quick and easy way to communicate effectively with your audience.