About this site's lack of design: Yes, it's supposed to look this way — I'm helping create a new sandbox theme for WordPress (see it on GitHub).

Dan Rubin's SuperfluousBanter

Design, random musings, and the Web. Since 1977


Less Zen, More Garden

After submitting my first design to Dave Shea’s CSS Zen Garden, I have been informed that it is too minimalist, and should be spiced up. To be fair, this is due to an anti-minimal policy Dave Shea has for the Garden — there are a lot of designs out there that could be called “minimalist” if one were attempting not to hurt the designer’s feelings, and as such it is easier for Dave to review each design (and accept/reject) with this sort of policy in place.

The down side is that it negatively affects good minimalist design, which I believe has to have a place in any showcase of the visual capabilities of a given technology — just showing that designers can make vibrant, colorful layouts full of photography and cutting-edge typography doesn’t display all the possibilities, where showing a wider variety of layouts implies a more flexible design environment.

I’m going to revise my minimalist layout (which, btw, was carefully designed to make use of a more print-related grid, and a visual style which would more likely be found in a print publication) and add some touches which (hopefully) will accomplish two goals: making the design acceptable to Dave, without sacrificing too much of the original, minimalist concept.

I have another design in progress, which, while a little more colorful than my first attempt, is still on the minimalist side of design styles. I plan to submit it as-is, with no visual revisions, and see how it rates on Dave’s minimalist scale.

Any and all designs will be posted here once accepted into the Garden.

This item was posted by Dan Rubin on Sunday, June 22nd, 2003.


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2 comments on “Less Zen, More Garden”

  1. Posted by Dave S. on Sunday, June 22nd, 2003.

    I completely agree with you on all points, and I may revise the policy in time. But it’s still too early. Remember that we’re dealing with designers who still write off CSS as being ‘boxy’ and incapable of good design – you have to admit that in a lot of cases, this is a fair assessment. I’m trying to change that. One step at a time…

  2. Posted by Sunny on Tuesday, June 24th, 2003.

    Awesome submission at the the Zen Garden! Its beautiful!