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Open Coterie  ·  29 members

Site Design

About This Coterie

The place to discuss the art of site design. From skins and templates to graphics and ads, anything aimed at the actual design, aesthetic, or visual aspects of creating a site. No coding skill necessary to participate! This is for getting opinions, suggestions, and sharing ideas about about the way things look. Not the codes behind them.




Play nice. We're all here to enjoy ourselves.


Leave the coding discussions and the site reviews in the appropriate forums. This about the technical aspects of skinning/coding or for opinions on the overall appeal of a site.



  1. What's new in this coterie
  2. Some light themes can be nice, but I seem to prefer dark themes. I'm a minimalist. Keep it simple. Make it easy to read (I'm old, dammit), and give me a nice balance of image and text. No tiny text. (I want that tiny trend to die in a fire.) Because I am often on my phone, yes, mobile legibility is important. Prioritizing that makes me happy. I'm a graphic designer by day so I'm pretty damn picky, aesthetically speaking.
  3. I taught myself HTML/CSS in high school and am a web/graphic designer by degree and career. When I want to learn something new, I take it apart and fiddle with it until it makes sense. This is how I taught myself HTML/CSS. This is how I taught myself PHP for Wordpress. This is how I taught myself phpBB. And this is how I'm teaching myself MediaWiki. I come up with a few small, easy to wrestle projects and work my way through them. I often search for tutorials online. W3Schools, Codepen, CSS Tricks, and HTML and CSS are Hard are good spots to study.
  4. I'm a big fan of header fonts that make an impact. Some of my favorites are: Cinzel, Cinzel Decorative, Playfair Display, Jim Nightshade, Abril Fatface, etc. I tend to try to match my body font to my title font. If I use a serif or slab serif title font, I like to use a sans-serif body font. If I use a script or fancier header/title font, I like to use a serif body font. Forum, Open Sans, and Comorant Garamond are favorites.
  5. Double purple is also good! Decisions are hard Jones
  6. Needs more orange I am sure. *flees*
  7. I prefer your double purple.
  8. I like the silver too. I think I like double purple with gold also but is it too much purple? idk. maybe.
  9. These are forum wrappers for the SMF theme I am building for a wip. I am terrible at the actual aesthetics and keep second guessing my choices- hence the point of this coterie. So what combination looks the most appealing to all of you?
  10. I reached LOL because I am the exact same way! It's my OCD. However, we do have that issue at my sites. It was a conscious decision to put some basic character info below the avvies so that people didn't have to go find the bio to get the info for their posts. Still.... I HATE seeing a short paragraph and all this blank space. Another reason we promote doing short dialog tags within one post (editing in responses). It assuages my OCD.
  11. Hahaha....ha.... I actually don't like large avatars or having a lot of information in a mini-profile/below an avatar because I can't stand it when a post's container is longer than the content. I know it's the internet and it's not like we're gonna run out of paper on a website, but it really bugs me to see 3-4 inches of blank space between posts. Now you know my dirty secret.
  12. Moving, flashing, moving things everywhere! Ugh! If it moves, I will immediately leave the site. Ditto on the cursor thing. Did I mention hating the moving, flashing, moving stuffs?
  13. So I was browsing a site and this absolutely annoyed me and I realize that there are some really annoying things in some design elements so I figured we could share. So I hate when sites change my cursor. My arrow is just fine! Leave it the fuck alone! This is not a video game. Additionally elements that say you can mouse over them but then you have to mouse over a tiny element WITHIN that element to see it. I have a big screen, ain't nobody got time for that!
  14. Category Headers and Forum Titles are generally the most eye catching on a forum, making them one of the most important aspects of a site's aesthetic. So what are your favorite fonts specifically for Headers?
  15. I learned on my own with the use of an html guide book. This of course followed my dive into rp around 11 or 12. I was big into horse rp and it was way before jcink, back when invisionfree was a new thing. I had a freewebs webpage and I had all these mini discussion boards spread out over ... basically... a webpage. Forum design was an entirely new thing when I finally drifted to invisionfree forums and rp. But generally, it was a lot of examining source code and messing with it. Script I still cannot even begin to write but I can do pretty well with html and css.
  16. I would go with site name personally.
  17. I would probably move the site name over there. Or maybe a small wanted ad spotlight. Like a small 100x100 image with a line of info on the wanted character. We have a spot in our sidebar for that and use it as incentive for posting. Get a certain amount of posts, you get to pick an ad to put on our wanted spotlight.
  18. Ok so here are the two versions of our theme for the latest (private at the moment project). What I'd love some help on is what to do with that empty box there beneath the board index. Do you think I should move the board title over? Perhaps put in a news clicker? Also what color? The box was designed with the theme I purchased it from for ads, but since we're self hosted I don't have to have ads and to remove it would be a rather big pain. Thoughts on what you would put there?
  19. I've fallen in love with Unica One combined with Roboto. I actually use Roboto Light (300 weight). Gives me a decent sci-fi-futuristic feel, and I used this combo in my latest theme design. I also like combining Merriweather Serif and Merriweather Sans. They work very well together. For probably obvious reasons lol Overlock SC with either Open Sans or Tahoma. (I am a total Tahoma freak so I will pair it with almost anything tbh.) Comfortaa pairs very well with almost anything, but I've got it with Tahoma at the moment in a theme design. I also like Rajdhani with Merriweather Sans.
  20. We have a thread about our favorite fonts, now lets talk about the combinations we enjoy! And any tips we have when it comes to fonts too. For instance, when working in print its best to use serif fonts for larger bodies of text. The serifs create a line that is easier for the eye to follow. Where as sans serif is easier to read as body text when it comes to online content. It is clearer at small sizes and on smaller devices. Right now my fave combos are: Meddon and Judson (or Libre Baskerville) Abril Fatface and Poppins Sawarabi Mincho and Open Sans
  21. On the subject of colors, finding the rgba of an element is super easy. For example: you create an element and give it a background color of #00281e, then decide later you want that element to have opacity. If you're using coding a skin or what-have-you then you likely have your DevTools open already. Did you know clicking that colored box next to a color input (hex, rgba, etc) will give you the option to change the type right then and there? You can simply copy and paste it from there. 2018-09-29 19-25-07.mp4
  22. Do you have any neat little tricks? Some tips? I'll share this one, This really helps when you are selecting colors to match.
  23. Clean lines, uniform fonts, and easy on the eyes graphics.
  24. For me I always start with inspiration from some sort of image or point in my life where I felt inspired. I want you to open a site and feel one way or another, the same as you would when I'm painting. For example. I had this place I wrote about when I was younger, this cold yet magic mountain of a kingdom built by the sea. When designing a site for it I wanted you to open up that browser and feel the wind on your face, smell the fresh salty air, and just dive into the magic of it all. I started with this: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/249386898085584042/ (not the exact one I used for the thing below but close) It is a basic color theme that someone has already added matching colors, or colors that go well with the certain mood I want to people to feel. From there I find those colors on photoshop and I made the header image. And from there I start plugging in the colors. I do this same thing when I start a painting, I mix my colors first that way I don't get crazy patches of wild reds somewhere without meaning to. So for me, having it visible in your mind is one thing that is very important, and just like art (because this is art) you have to have an emotion you are going for.
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