Who doesn’t love cheesy killer robots? Nobody that’s who!
I’ve decided to give my blog a facelift. We’ve been living with the old design for a few years now, and those darn robots just weren’t making as much progress on the invasion as they thought they would - so I decided to help them along with a rebuild. Here’s the before and after:
I’ve already posted a couple of little teasers on my blog (The robot invasion is progressing and All your DerekAllard.com are belong to us). This was partially to keep myself motivated I have to admit, but I’ve also found that as I’ve expressed myself more and more though other outlets (Twitter, IM, email), the blog has gotten a bit neglected. Also, with 110% of my energy being devoted to EE2 for so long, I just haven’t had much that I’m able to write about lately. A rebuild seemed like a great way to re-engage this tired old blog.
There were of course a few ground rules:
- So, I needed to stay with a robot-theme (d’uh).
- I needed the rebuild to take as little of my time as possible. This meant no new layout, and essentially cosmetic tweaks.
- I wanted to keep all current functionality, and didn’t really want to add anything new. No tagging, no streaming twitter updates (although I like the idea, I just didn’t want it here). Same as before, only fresher.
To get the ball rolling, I contacted illustrator Scott Thigpen who I had met through the ExpressionEngine Professionals network. He’d done some really great work for some others, and I really dug his style. So I started out by sending him an email asking if he’d be interested. Fortunately for me, Scott is a fan of robots ;) After an initial back and forth, these arrived in my inbox.
I have to say… I loved them. I picked my favourite as number 5. My last robot had been standing, facing square on to the viewer. I wanted something a little more different, a little more “fluid”, so I asked Scott if we could have him “holding a tiny white dude with a beard (me) and failing him around”; “smashing a tank or really anything”, or “plugging itself in to a computer or something”. Yeah, I know, artistic direction at its finest right? Well Scott totally came though. What follows is a progression as we worked through the concept.
I loved it. Now this is the robot I want representing me! A few buildings, a parallax effect, and some subtle flash work later (move your mouse around the menu) and the main component of the site was done. I spend a weekend and a few evenings tweaking the stylesheet to get the colours I wanted, and I’m finally ready to take this sucker live.
I consider it very much a work in progress - there is still a lot I want to do, but if I don’t post what I have I’m not sure the work will ever see the light of day.