Paper Fanatic Style

Source: Speckyboy

Gathering inspiration is the first step of almost every design job, and those of us really invested in design are doing it constantly. We take inspiration from signs in store fronts, billboards, other websites, nature, photography, videos, and everywhere else we can. We are literally surrounded by inspiration at all times, which we then filter through our own tastes, skills, and preferences to deliver our take on what inspires us.

Those innate preferences can have a big effect on what we turn in. Some designers are drawn to grungy, dark looks, while others like the sleek modernism that results from a mix of 70’s sci-fi design and current modern art sensibilities. Others opt to go an entirely different direction, directly playing with retro styles and designs.

Normally, we take these inspirations from the world around us and apply them to the screen. Even as skeuomorphism is dissipating as the leading design style practice, we use our environment and the images we’re exposed to for our designs. It doesn’t have to be linear. Even flat, minimalistic designs can be inspired by the colors of nature or the mood of a relaxed summer day.

But, what happens when you take inspiration from graphic and web design and apply it to real life? We obviously can’t put a filter on a bike ride or sunset (though good sunglasses can come close), but architectural design often incorporates graphic inspiration into physical objects and environments which can make you feel as if you’ve stepped directly into a design style.

Speckyboy contributor Victor Balasa took this idea and collected several buildings and architectural designs that portray real-life versions of web design styles we play with every day. There are grungy interiors that portray the gritty hardline style of grunge web design without sacrificing class, and even the “paper fanatic” style you would never imagine could come to life. If you ever wanted to know what the world could look like if it was styled by grahic designers, these images can give you a pretty interesting depiction.

Source: Adriano Gasparri

Source: Adriano Gasparri

One of the greatest design benefits of using WordPress is how easy it can be to change themes completely. If you don’t know what I mean by that, consider a time when you’ve gone to a WordPress blog you frequent and noticed a significant change in the appearance or way the site works. A theme is basically the design and layout of the site or blog you’ve been following.

There are thousands of free customizable themes for WordPress available, and even more if you are willing to pay for a professional looking skin, and WP is built for these to be almost interchangeable – almost being the operative word.

When you’ve been running a blog through WP for a while, you accumulate a number of widgets and scripts that are used to improve the performance of your site as a whole. They can run from widgets used for tracking and ads to RSS feeds and an assortment of other additions you’ve made to your blog after you chose the theme you are working to replace or change.

When you change themes, it isn’t uncommon for the new themes to run into problems displaying or running these widgets you’ve built int your site. The standard WP widgets like Archives and Pages are almost always safe, but any special scripts for fighting spam, editing sidebars, and anything else that doesn’t come standard can become break down, bogging down or derailing your site.

OnextraPixel writer Jay Adrianna created a list of 15 things designers or site owners need to do when undertaking a change of themes. If you follow every step, all of your widgets, scripts, and plug-ins will remain safe and sound, and you’re new look will be flawless.