[Grok-dev] Alternative look for grok.zope.org

Kevin Teague kevin at bud.ca
Tue May 29 00:26:20 EDT 2007

On May 28, 2007, at 4:22 AM, Sebastian Ware wrote:

> Would people rather want me to develop this look:
>   http://www.urbantalk.se/DEVELOPER/grok/grok_r3
> Compared to the previously suggested one:
>   http://www.urbantalk.se/DEVELOPER/grok
> Maybe the first suggestion was too stylish?

My opinions on style of a Grok site:


I used the original Grok illustrations as a basis, choosing orange as  
the primary colour, tempered with shades of grey that suggest stone.  
I think it might be worthwhile to lay out a few colour palettes for  
comparison, and then try and have the design work within that palette.

I do like the colours used on the existing design - although I did  
select them - in particular the orange used in the existing Grok logo  
area, which was just sampled from the orange in the original Grok  
illustrations. As for the other flavours of orange in the body text,  
sometimes I think this looks quite fun, and other times this feels  
like a bit much.

Orange can be a difficult colour to design with. I noticed that the  
Joyent site uses a significant amount of orange (and lots other  
colours) and still does an excellent job of walking the line between  
professional and fun (they also do a bang-up job with their  


I would be quite happy if we had a design that was heavily "informed"  
by the Joyent style. Although we will have a lot of text on the Grok  
site, and for extended reading of body text it wears on the eyes for  
anything that's not set against a white background.


The Grok logo is a separate discussion. Perhaps we should be working  
towards an official logo before moving onto the the next design  

In particular, adding additional aesthetic elements that are not part  
of the core logo to the design can be distracting. Often you have  
something that looks very nice in the context of a particular header,  
but doesn't look so good if set against a plain background color.  
Hopefully we can also have a logo that retains a distinctive  
character even when reduced to a small size.

I had some ideas about using the typeface on the existing site, and  
applying the leopard patterened swatches from Grok's tunic to the  
inside of the typeface. I am doubtful if this could be successfully  
pulled off though.

Something that conveyed the lettering "Grok" carved from stone could  
look very good. It would take considerable skill to be able to pull  
this off successfully in a logo though.


The caveman illustration rocks. Grok, the caveman, is colourful and  
playful. It makes we want to use Grok a lot :)

The existing illustration is tricky to integrate with the rest of  
design because of the loose, hand-drawn nature of the illustration  
style. You can't set it against any background colour other than  
white. I think it might be possible to do a convincing clean-up job  
on it in Photoshop, but you would still be loosing some of the  
character of the work. I think it would be better to set the Grok  
illustration against a large white background area, and then layer  
any elements of the site design so that they overlap portions of the  

If we can think of Grok pose that works will the end design and then  
have a new Grok illustration produced that would also awesome. I did  
some sketches of Grok, but they are not as good as the originals by  

Primary Navigation

I agree that the existing icons need more contrast. I would disagree  
that we want to have icons as part of the navigation. The words we  
have (evaluate, learn, develop, share, download) say all we need to,  
and it can be very difficult to produce attractive looking icons -  
and even if we did have such an asset for the site, I still think  
icons detract too much from the primary content areas.

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