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Get Me Out of My Site Design Rut

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color-palette.jpgGood Day! Help me! LOL

(This topic might wind up moved to a different forum. I couldn't decide on a home for it.)


So, I may have mentioned once or a hundred times that I am working on the revival of my sword and sorcery RPG. It ran for many years and then we ran into a wall with plots. Nothing horrible, just had vital peeps have to leave and whatnot. The core group is still together and still planning on being together for the re-opening.


I have engaged (begged, pleaded, whined, and wheedled) someone to do a custom theme for us. This means I need to give them some design ideas.


The site's timeline is somewhere between medieval and Renaissance in *feel*. It's not Earth so exacts do not apply. There are intelligent dragons, an Elvish sort of people, humans, and other things. We're limiting weapons to pre-gun tech (swords, bows, crossbows, war-hammers, what-have-you). 


Now - I am kind of hidebound. I like dark sites. Part of that is because my eyes just can't see shades of gray on white anymore. The glare is also painful when the background is stark white. I also have members that have issues reading text on any kind of a light site. We'll offer a light variant, but the default will be dark.


Here's where I need the input, help, some ideas.... While keeping the overall dark backgrounds, I would like to get input on how to get a really great Medieval/Renaissance Magical feel.


Someone somewhere went to sleep and dreamed us all alive.
Dreams get pushed around a lot, and I doubt if we'll survive.
We won't get to wake up, dreams were born to disappear.
And I'm pretty sure that none of us are here.
~ None of Us Here by Jim Stafford ~


sagas-button1.png.467e9214ee1a2d2a24c0030301948c27.png   aereth5.png    Smuggler's Blues RPG



*your one-stop RPG resource site!

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How about Irish illuminated manuscripts for inspiration?


A very soft,  subtle repeating background pattern to evoke the feel of parchment, with warm-toned blacks/whites for your background colors, and jewel toned accent colors as in the image in your post above. The default font of your site could be Garamond or some other serif font. You'd have to increase the default font size a notch to accommodate the serifs, but that's probably not a big deal.


Throw some gold and blue in, and some elegant patterns, and you've got a mildly Arabic theme as well.

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Glub glub.

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I'm...not the graphic or design person on my site. But going with what my other admin does add some pretty font in non-important areas. A font that is loopy handwriting for the username in the top corner is a nice touch. We have it on our site and we changed welcome, username to Yer a Wizard, Username. And the font is a very pretty cursive. It's a nice touch, in my opinion. Of course ours isn't very serious, but our site plot is quite dark and we like to lighten things up here and there. 


I too prefer darker skins. Utilize a nice textured background. You can always use parchment type backgrounds for the main look or for category headers. Nothing too obvious, but subtle yet identifiable. Also having macros that are lightly glowy symbols would be fun. I'd also keep the bulk of the skin clean and uncluttered. 


This is a hugely personally preference, but if you like visible content areas but don't know how to work it into the aesthetic, you can use a small scroll for announcing basic updates. 


It all sounds very well in my head but I'm sure I didn't explain it right. I hope your skin turns out nice! I'm sure it will! Good luck ❤️

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