10.21.2013

New Look for VSL blog factory. Logo Mania.

A week ago I sat in the offices at Clutch Creative and looked at 13 really cool logo designs that my friends had created for this site. I instantly loved the one above. I think it sums up the "feel" of what I want the Visual Science Lab to be about. There was only one problem, the dynamic template I was using from Blogger isn't really customizable without a great deal of skill and patience. I wanted to use the new logo but the site conspired against me. I decided I liked the logo more than the template so I switched to one of Bloggers simpler and more customizable templates and now we're right here....

Positive feedback always welcome!


59 comments:

  1. Looks great! Never go back, please. The dynamic blogger site made my iPad crash all of the time.

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  2. Yay! Great looking logo, and I love the simpler site design. I bet it's nicer on my cranky iPad 1 as well.

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  3. Yay for the more friendly template, and please never go back. That's a very cool logo you have there.

    One more thing, you can make your template accept wider pictures (I use 800 px myself) so that the posts looks cooler with the larger pictures without having to click them.

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    1. Speaking of which, was just over to Ripe Camera, I hope that one gets enhanced with a simple template too, it loads much faster, looks better, and works with the different "read it later" apps.

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  4. Looks good. Loads faster. Really don't like the "dynamic" thingy on an ipad. Keep up the good work. Really enjoy your blog. Greetings from the UK.

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  5. Thanks! To be honest, I never liked the dynamic template and put up with it rather than enjoyed it. Like the new logo :)

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  6. Looks great. Which template did you use? I need to re-vamp my blog. And yes the dynamic templates did not play nice with iPads.

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  7. Very nice logo. I especially like the overlaid red and green, and green and blue. I first thought of coloured filters laid on top of each other (you can tell I first picked up a camera a long time ago!) but of course it's a subtle reference to the Bayer array.

    Right after the last post about self promotion, too... : ]

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  8. I like the logo and the site design, Kirk. The standard blogger look is nice but it looks the same as everybody else. There is now a unique look to your blog.

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  9. Much better, though white type on black backgrounds are less readable than the reverse.

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  10. Much, much better. Reading your blogs in the previous format was horrible on the iPad. Only persisted because I like your point of view so very happy with the new format.

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  11. Kirk, I like the "simple template" from blogger that you are now using. I use it on my own blogs and just find it easier on the eyes. I like the links in the side bar being visible. I am glad you didn't big a black background as that just kills my old eyes. A shade of gray is much better IMO.

    Peter

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  12. Well done.
    Couldn't stand the 'dynamic' template. Loved the content, not the display of said content.

    Cheers

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  13. Really much better Kirk - that dynamic stuff isn't there yet...

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  14. White on gray - especially when using a serif font - is not user friendly to many eyes (including mine). If you're in love with this look, how about a gray/black on white option? (diglloyd.com is one site that gives the user a choice - altho I have no problem with that particular white on gray design.)

    Bottom line: I'd have no trouble with the white on gray if a nice sans-serif font were used. Please consider this.

    Thanks much!

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  15. If this template works best for your readers it also works best for you.

    Thanks for selecting a tint rather than 100% black for the text background, and for choosing a serif typeface.

    Now if you could just nudge the font size upward by a point or two.....

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  16. See the two preceding posts to understand the blogger's dilemma.........

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  17. The logo is fine, but I really, really, really, really hate trying to read white type on a black (or even dark gray) background.

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  18. Kirk,
    I think your new design is excellent. I like your Logo, the grey background with white font and like the font style. As for font size, I can expand the text on my MacBook and iPad very easily. Keep up the great narrative and images. You always provoke thoughtful self reflection for me. Thanks.

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  19. Logo looks good. As for the blogger template, this one is much easier to navigate on my smartphone and ipad. The old template prevented me from commenting if noone else had already done so! I prefer black backgrounds for photo blogs, but you have so much useful text content that I'd lean the other way for yours ;)

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  20. The logo and template are great. My tablet is a Google Nexus and the dynamic template worked perfectly on it but I like the new approach even more.

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  21. Thank you! As mentioned by others, your previous format sucked on iPads. The content kept me coming back, in spite of the template. This is a much better format, and the logo "rocks" as they say in the music industry.Love the logo, it's perfect.

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  22. I like the logo and the gray background. Also lets me read your blog at my workstation with old an older browser! Dichotomy: Moving forward by moving back.

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  23. I like the logo very much. I can see why you were taken by it. But is the size of the graphic going to remain as is? It seems rather large for a title graphic. On my computer's screen I can see only a smidgeon of content.

    I also agree with the others about the simpler template. It should work better on various browsers on various platforms than the dynamic one did.

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  24. I like the serif font. If print is too small for my eyes, I do what I always do: hold the Ctrl key and scroll the mouse dial to make it big enough.

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  25. Just a quick note for anyone who was navigating to your blog with "?m=1" at the end of the URL (which seemed to get rid of most of the funky behavior with the iPad). The logo looks nasty - basically it's a pixelated nightmare.

    If you drop the "?m=1" from the URL, it looks a LOT better. Still... I wouldn't mind a logo that takes up a lot less than 60% of the screen on my iPad. And the white text on gray is definitely harder on my eyes.

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  26. Very clean, simple and to the point layout.

    Also the non-dynamic template is much more usable. The old one did not play nice with my tablet and gave my desktop machine heartburn too.

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  27. Good logo. Better site .
    Nice move.

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  28. Yes, the new logo is very smart and relevant. The switch back from dynamic pages is also welcome.

    I agree with those who don't like the grey background but I get around that by using Reader, a Firefox add-in (see http://barisderin.com/?p=372 ).

    Good work with the blog.

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  29. Yes, very nice fresh new look. And like many others, I am not a fan of the old dynamic Blogger template. The old template was very, very buggy out here in the wild ...

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  30. Yes, very nice new look. And like many others, I am not a fan of the other "dynamic template" ... very, very buggy out here in the wild.

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  31. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! The dynamic template drove me bananas.

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  32. Hey Kirk,
    So glad that you are not using Dynamic Template anymore. I feel that it is too standardized and there is no unique feeling to it. Now you have a personalized template with that cool bold header, I say your blog looks better than before! This surely is more you.

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  33. Yes to losing the old, fiddly version! But white on black or grey is not the answer, in my opinion. It's hard enough for me to read, but it must be a nightmare for those with dyslexia or other reading difficulties. At least I can still read it via the medium of readability.com (also useful for deciphering LuLa!).

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  34. Yes, I like the simpler and more 'photo dark' template too!

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  35. Hey Kirk, I like this 'simpler' theme much better than the other.

    If possible, a clear background with dark ink would be even more appreciated.

    And yes, congratulations for the nice new logo :)

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  36. This new template is way better for my tablet, a Nexus 7. Makes reading your blog a lot easier.

    Btw, Panasonic is rumoured to be coming out with 4k video in 2014 with the GH4K

    Cheers

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  37. I like the logo, but I'd like it better smaller. I'd really prefer to see more of the top photo and post when the page comes up.

    Otherwise, new design looks good so far. And the comments finally seem to work. reliably.

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  38. The new logo is great. The new layout is more tablet friendly.

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  39. I like the new logo and template. It makes your blog look fresher somehow.
    AllanJ

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  40. The logo is nice, but like many others have already noted, the white text on dark grey background makes it very hard to read anything longer than a few lines.

    It's not just a matter of taste, it does make my (our) eyes hurt after a while. Maybe it's different for the under 20 year-olds, but for us ancient ones the text content is unreadable without the Reader feature in Safari.



    Which leads me to the positive side of the change. The good thing is that this new template does work better and is more readable with any browser and device, and thanks to that, we can "counter-reverse" the text content back to black text on white. Which was impossible with the previous template.

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  41. In case there is any doubt, stick with the simpler template. Works on the iPad.

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  42. A prominent link to the Ripe Camera blog would be nice - maybe in the Quick Links? Thanks!

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  43. Nice template, Kirk.
    But the comments with a smaller font size are visually much easier to read — and scan. And easier on the eyes than the blog content.

    The nicely designed logo seems obese and overpowering for the visual design that follows.

    Light gray on darker gray with a bulky serif font I find eyesight disturbing to read. And the blue headlines and sidebars ruin comfortable scanning. The blue recedes and requires effort to read even with its serif font.

    Of course, your writing excels.

    Cordially,
    Joe Dasbach

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  44. Hi Joe, I'm still working on addressing some of the design parameters and trying to balance a cool look with usability for the many people who are having trouble with light type on a dark background. The "Obese" logo will be sticking around in that particular size until I get tired of seeing it big. Right now I'm liking it fine...

    Mshafik, don't be lazy, click on the images! I need to keep the margins fairly small as a number of people read this on 13 inch laptops.... can't win them all...

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  45. Kirk should make a different version for each of us and re-design it each day so that each of us is happier with the site. He's so selfish. It would only take a couple of hours more each day to re-design the content for a couple dozen different versions. And the more he practices the quicker he'll get at it.

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  46. I like the logo but it would be better if smaller. It consumes too much of the page.

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  47. The good news is that for the first time I can read VSL on my Kindle Fire. Also, the black on gray works okay for me.

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  48. A very pleasant design update.
    Easier on the eyes with dark gray on light gray.
    The orange text works very well everywhere.

    The logo now connects better visually with the blog.
    No longer does it appear "obese". Bold and cool followed by usability.

    Enjoy New York.
    Joe Dasbach

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  49. Nice new look. You could change the orange colour and font for the headers etc to better match the new logo, it somehow does not gel very well in my humble opinion.
    Thanks for keeping at this great honest and entertaining blog, Kirk!

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  50. Wow! I believe I was the first to bitch about the white on gray - and now you've gone thru two iterations and I LOVE it! I can comfortably read my favorite blog again!

    Nice work, Mr. Tuck. And the Ben-at-18 post is a great one - very personal and touching. Plus a nice pic!

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  51. Using my Opera User Mode, I can select a blue background which is easier on my eyes.

    This template works much better in my browser than the previous one.

    But I miss the "X" Close at the top.

    Richard

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  52. Since I was one of the people who complained about the reversed font and background, now I'd like to thank you for turning it back to black text on a light background.

    The overall look of the site, including both the logo and the rest of it, is much better now. It works better than the old one, and chances are that I, too, may become yet another regular (and eventually un-anonymous:) reader of it. Provided that the content will remain interesting enough. ;)

    I discovered the blog only two weeks ago.

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  53. I really dig the new logo AND the new Blogger template. THe old one I found cumbersome to navigate with the inline scrolling. This one is much cleaner. Congrats!

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  54. Very nice it works with noscript!
    A big improvement.

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  55. The logo is nice, and I prefer VERY much the new blog template - I always check it while commuting, and now it is much more pleasurable to read on my tablet.

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