Refreshed: Grid Focus

UPDATE #2: A variant of the Grid Focus is now available for download. Feel free to visit the project page for details.

UPDATE #1: I’ve since updated. Feel free to see a preview of Gridded Focus on Flickr.

I spent some time today today making use of some new Moleskine Gridded Journals, a mechanical pencil, TextMate, MAMP, and Transmit to get Grid Focus from paper to front page finished product in about 12 hours. I’d like to take the time to thank the amazing Mr. Vinh for helping me realize a few important points – via email, and Mr. Watson for allowing me to use the helpful grid background. Make sure to check out Vinh Khoi’s Grid Computing and design.

Moleskine Gridded Journal

I decided that it was time for a 5thirtyone.com refresh. For a number of months, I had successfully used and shared the October Special WordPress theme. Although the theme featured SEO optimization by Neil of Pronet Advertising, and a number of contextual advertisement placement opportunities, I was not content.

I wanted to be able to write – both shorts and longer entries. Due to the presentation of the theme, and my own anal-retentiveness, the layout demanded lengthy posts which matched or exceeded the height of the sidebar in order to look "balanced". Anyone who has or is using the theme will surely agree. The demand to write longer entries dissuaded me from updating the site on a regular basis – which explained the dry content periods.

So what was there to do? A full refresh. The creation of a layout that would be both forgiving and open to accepting shorter posts when laziness overcomes all that is blog-productive.

Grid Focus Screenshot

Inspired by content-rich grid focused sites such as the New York Times & Subtraction, the result is Grid Focus – a layout which imitates the background image used to aid in lining-up various elements.

Next on the blog house-cleaning list? The age-old question concerning time limited discussions (comments) on older posts. I’ve received a rather noticeable number of repeat comments on older posts due to some readers neglecting to take the time to read. I’ve contemplated this topic before, and find myself mulling over the idea again. I’ll follow-up the time-locked comments discussion with a realignment & refresh of older public themes and their distribution method(s).

Discuss - 82 Comments

  1. nice design derek. once, I used your V.2 and october special, but there is bug about the commenting system. anyway, this grid background is quite fresh idea. great job!

  2. Derek says:

    The commenting issue with V2 was sorted in the comments for that post. It had to do with the recent comments widget that is included with the Widgets plugin. Please keep V2 related comments on that associated thread.

  3. […] folosesc eu [modificat, fireste] pe ndru.info. Mai nou, Derek si-a redesenat layout-ul. Personal, Grid Focus mi se pare al naibii de reusit. Astept momentul in care o sa faca un release pentru public […]

  4. Derek says:

    I don’t see how this is a rip? Subtraction set the standard IMO as far as B&W grids but that does not prevent others from looking for inspiration. If you read my post, I even emailed Vinh (Subtraction) directly in order to check if he would have any issues with my layout. The answer was no. Read posts & comments thoroughly before accusing someone of a rip.

  5. Johnny says:

    I have always been a big fan of your work Derek but when I saw the grid I wasint as amazed. You can do better than this.

    And why does 5thirtyone look a hellova lot like http://subtraction.com/? A RIP????? Derek cmon!

  6. Charity says:

    hey derek. also a long-time reader, first time poster here. i love the simplicity of this b/w theme. very elegant. have to say V2 is still my fave of all your designs, but your work continues to inspire and more than anything, i’m envious of your ability to crack off a new look in 12 hours! it takes me days and weeks sometimes, and it’s discouraging. course, i have an 8mo old daughter who takes up a lot of my time 🙂

  7. Kiley says:

    it takes me days and weeks sometimes, and it’s discouraging. course, i have an 8mo old daughter who takes up a lot of my time 🙂

    Man, I know exactly what you are talking about. Try doing it with a 2 1/2 and 1 year old. Ha.

    Still lovin’ the theme Derek, might have to rip you. Bwahahahah.

  8. Wow I just noticed the background image on the new design, very slick. Amazing that you did this in 12 hours…

  9. […] not going to say much. Whereas I emailed Mr. Khoi concerning my Grid Focus being inspired by his grid based designs receiving a message conveying he did not disapprove, […]

  10. […] the mental blockage provided by the current layout which encourages long posts, an issue that Derek discussed recently. I’ve also come to realise that the saying “every day is a school […]

  11. H says:

    Can download this theme?
    I like it .

  12. Derek says:

    No this isn’t a public theme.

  13. hello says:

    Since you changed layout, will the grid one become available for download?

  14. […] a month ago I launched a personal project here on 5thirtyone.com – Grid Focus. Roughly 15 days after the fact, the following URL landed in my inbox which was a complete rip of […]

  15. […] to implement was a horizontal page navigation just below the top banner image. Something similar to Derek Punsalan’s Grid Focus idea, also seen on John’s graphic design and typography blog. What do you […]

  16. […] to implement was a horizontal page navigation just below the top banner image. Something similar to Derek Punsalan’s Grid Focus idea, also seen on John’s graphic design and typography blog. What do you […]

  17. Will you ever be publishing the archives.php file publicly? I love your theme and use it on my site, but I really need an archives page. Please let me know.

  18. Derek says:

    [quote comment=”52684″]Will you ever be publishing the archives.php file publicly? I love your theme and use it on my site, but I really need an archives page. Please let me know.[/quote]

    Check out Justin Blanton’s Smart Archives plugin.

  19. lautblog says:

    I love this theme! I used it for my Musicmagazine – great Work!

  20. amazing work…liked it alot.