New Look

Things might get a bit weird for a few minutes while I update our site theme. Although we are very attached to the funky colors and flowers of Savage Minds, our theme is now showing its age – most notably it seems to be borking our Google search results and it is difficult to do simple things like easily update the sidebar. We wanted to get the new theme up and running to fix these problems – hopefully it won’t cause any new ones. If you do notice continued problems after the new theme is properly installed, please let us know in the comments on this thread. And feel free to share your praise, criticism, or requests here as well.

UPDATE: Done! Notice that the blogroll and categories are now located in the footer.

UPDATE: I’ve implemented changes which should fix some of the problems readers have mentioned. The changes are small, but hopefully the effects will be noticed in terms of readability and overall navigability. Let me know in the comments!


18 thoughts on “New Look

  1. Thanks guys!


    We are happy to make improvements. Can you be more specific? Is it the font size, the line spacing, or the choice of font which you find makes it difficult? Or all three?

  2. I do not find this to be an improvement, really; just a change. I don’t care much for the monochrome background, as everything sort of blends together. And, the font doesn’t really pop “off” the background terribly well.

    I am pleased that you are updating the links, etc., and I must thank you all for keeping this thing running, as it is a great forum for anthropology.

  3. Looks great! Works well on different size screens, even a netbook. Will the picture change periodically?

  4. Thanks Fuji! The picture is from the original French cover of the Levi-Strauss book from which we took the title of this blog, so I wasn’t planning on changing it – although I’m open to suggestions.

    @CJ, Readability is important – I’ll see what I can do to make the font “pop” more. But it will take some time to figure out. In the meantime, I highly recommend this great tool which makes any website more readable.

  5. Updating the design was a nice move though I feel you’ve lost a bit of the navigability. Part of this is familiarity but in terms of design the weighting and distribution of the various elements is a little challenging. I actually quite like the colour scheme, though.

    The colour of your font is greyish (#444). If you bump it to #000 or #111 you’ll get crisper more black text.

    You can change that in the “master.css” file:

    body {
    font: 62.5% Arial,Helvetica,Sans-serif;
    color: #444;
    line-height: 2.2em;
    background: #F9F7F5;

  6. @Craig, Thanks. That probably explains why some people find it difficult to read. I’ll play around with the color and see what that does. (As well as tweaking the line spacing and font size a little.)

  7. In my opinion, readability can improve a great deal if the font is simply much bigger, and if the background is much darker.
    As Maddox have it : ” Staring at a white background while you read is like staring at a light bulb.”

  8. When I first viewed the new layout, something seemed off. At first I thought it was the font color but when that got fixed, the layout felt off. After looking at the old version, I realized that there were two things that seemed off. First, the savage minds header looks like a generic default header. I’ve seen the same header layout before on tons of blogs, with the exact same font (and font size) and the exact same shape for tabs. I think the header needs to stand out a bit more (perhaps through the use of different font).

    Second, the area where you view text blends into the background. In the old version, blog text was set apart from the background in it’s own differently colored box. This gave the reader a clear section to focus their attention. Without the box, blog text appears to be sitting in a large field of empty space.

    This link is useful for comparisons between the old style and the new style:

  9. grad student guy,

    I actually like themes that are minimal and don’t attempt to put boxes around everything, hopefully it will grow on you over time as well. But I agree about the title bar looking somewhat generic and am thinking of a way to spruce it up without breaking the clean look of the site. Suggestions welcome.

  10. I am not liking it either, the layout is fine and all, but I think the color scheme is less than inviting and not particularly conducive to the creative thought process. It makes the site feel like what most people envision when they think of anthropologists… old guys in sweater vests buried under stacks of ancient texts nudging their horn-rimmed glasses up onto the bridge of their noses every few minutes.
    (If this applies to you, I apologize for exposing your stereotypical behavior to the world at large)

    Also, in terms of changes to the header, you might try something subtle to make it pop like a slight drop shadow, or setting “Savage Minds” within an over-line and underline, or even a picture of some type that is monochromed in a 30%-50% saturation of a lighter hue than the background itself.
    If that didn’t make any sense an example of what I mean can be found here:
    It can be done fairly easily with Corel or Photoshop.

    Just some ideas, hope they are helpful.

  11. probably it was about time to change the lay-out, but I’m suprised it had to be so drastic. speaking for me, I don’t like it at all. neither the font, nor the header, nor the colours. especially the font as i hate nothing more than arial. of course, with all the clean up you also had to cut the serifs, but please use something else. as somebody mentioned already, sm now looks very much like 100 000 other blogs. what i do like is that you got rid of the boxes.

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