Saturated Glow: My Latest CSS Zen Garden Entry

I just couldn’t resist … four was not enough … I’m addicted … I just had to make one more …

Zen Garden Entry Number Five: Saturated Glow


The Inspiration

As you may have seen I recently blogged about the completion of one of my latest sites, Rose Edge LLC. While the client and I are both extremely pleased with how the site turned out, it wasn’t exactly what I originally had in mind. Originally the design was light text on a dark background with more contrast and, dare I say it, edge to it. It was pretty cool, but it just wasn’t Kristin. Kristin is a softer person, and she needed a softer website, with a more calming color pallet which suited her and her work better.

I was really resistant to change the design at first, because to tell you the truth I was pretty in love with it. But, as sometimes happens as a designer, you resist change with all your might and grudgingly go along with a different direction and then look back and think, “Wow … I’m so glad the client pushed me!” Now, mind you, it certainly doesn’t always go like this. Sometimes you look back and think, “Why did the client have to ruin the glory which was my original design???” And then you cry for a bit over a cocktail. Fortunately, this was not one of those cases.

The Awesomeness of a Cool Client

So Kristin was happy, and I was happy, and Rose Edge was finished. But it bummed me out that my original design, while I admit not as appropriate for the project it was designed for, was not going to see the light of day. Because I was still pretty into it! I asked Kristin if it would be OK to use the original design to base a Zen Garden entry off of and she gave me the thumbs up to go ahead. Isn’t that fantastic of her?! Thanks, Kristin!

So Check It Out

Go ahead and take a look at the design and let me know what you think if you’re so inclined. Last time it took almost a year to be accepted into the garden so I didn’t have the patience to wait to put it out there.


8 Responses to “Saturated Glow: My Latest CSS Zen Garden Entry”

  • Kai Schaller Says:

    A very nice job; I especially like the colors. Light text on a dark background seems to be much harder to pull off than dark on light. It took almost a year to be accepted?! Yikes.

    I’ve been kicking around various designs for my own site for quite a while now, but as soon as I sit down and start on something it becomes painfully obvious that my current talents are skewed toward programming. I really need to figure out how to get things in my mind to translate into Photoshop…

    Best of luck with the entry, and good work!

  • hodak Says:

    Awesome… If I can be honest I liked better previous version (Rose Edge), I think there was better colors (it’s too dark in too light background), but that is really good too… I’m learning CSS, hope I will be in half as good as you are someday… Cheers ;)

  • Bruce Lewis Says:

    I think the design looks great. I disagree with hodak on the colors; strong contrast between text and background is a good thing.

    But then, I’m one of those people busily ruining one of your glorious designs. ;-)

  • Jenny Blake Says:

    Mani you continue to amaze and inspire me! I hope all is well!

  • Andrew Brundle Says:

    Hi there

    I am visiting this site from CSS Zen Garden. I’m sure I’ve been here before, and I think I may even have written to you once.

    I too have a design on Zen Garden, but unlike you I am no longer overly bothered about Dave Shea’s little baby. Times have changed. People have learned that CSS is actually quite easy to learn, and that most Zen Garden templates (mine especially) have little or no real world value.

    That said, good luck with your new design. And does it really take a year now to get a yes or no? With me, it took about 3 months.

  • Sheriar Designs Says:

    Andrew – I have to respectfully disagree with you.

    While the basics of CSS are indeed easy to learn, the art of CSS mastery continues to remain a challenge for many. That is why I continue to be hired by various web dev firms simply to do the initial coding of the various template pages for new sites that they develop, even though they have their own in-house front-end developers. If the layout is complex and their desire and appreciation for beautiful and semantic code is high then they still find a need for and a value in my CSS skills.

    As for the “real world value” of these designs, I would offer that Zen Garden is still a great place to showcase a design that you have done that might not see the light of day otherwise. This is certainly the case for me with Saturated Glow. The client for whom it was originally designed was kind enough to let me submit it to the Garden, but I’m sure she wouldn’t have been as accommodating about me using it for other paying clients. As a web designer always looking for new clients, the ability to showcase your design skills to a large audience is certainly of value!

    I believe also that the CSS Zen Garden itself, and therefore all designs within it, is still of value in general because there are still people discovering it for the first time every day! As web designers we feel like it’s very old news, but for the large company employee tasked with finding a web designer for a new project and coming across the Garden for the first time, it still offers a wonderful introduction to the world of modern web dev practices, as well as a bevy of designers to discover.

    Having designs in the CSS Zen Garden has been the best thing I’ve ever done for my career, and I’m certainly not ashamed to admit it! As long as it continues to drive traffic to my site and bring potential clients to my inbox then I’d say it’s real-world value to at least me is pretty darn high. ;~)

  • Leon Says:

    I think the site you designed looks great! CSS Zen Garden will always be the place for people to find inspiration. I know I was there 4 years ago when I started getting serious about CSS.

  • destiny Says:

    bookmarked, thank you =)