Our BLAD’s Design and the Look of This Site

by David Perry

We have a great many people to thank

. . . for the look and feel of all that you see here. So many people who have encouraged us, coached us and opened doors for us as we’ve tried to give this project wings. So many who have lent us their insightful minds, their invaluable time and their good names. We are clearly in their debt, both individually and collectively, and we think you should know who a few of them are.

Blad Design

James Forkner, recharging his deep well of creativity at a ballgame.

We simply could not have had a better ally or interpreter of our vision for The 50 Mile Bouquet’s BLAD (Book Layout and Design), than designer, James Forkner of Studio Bolo. Jimmy has been an absolute creative font and steadying rock as we’ve built this project thus far and we cannot thank him enough for taking our raw materials and vision, and giving them such a cohesive, elegant look. To see more of his stunning work visit him at his website.

Website Design & Functionality

From Jimmy’s elegant BLAD design, we’ve tried to pull every beautiful element (color palette, type treatments, page design, etc.), to then transfer into our website’s look and feel. We just think it makes sense for our blog/website to look as if it was born of the same visual family as the BLAD.  You’d think that sort of thing would be easy. Well, it’s not.

Website Mastermind, Mike Go

And so, for patiently figuring out how to translate the elegant and textured look of James’ ‘for print’ page designs into reliable, HTML parse-able code, we really have our dear friend, Mike Go, to thank.

Mike has been tireless in sussing out all sorts of web methodologies and tricks to get us the look we want, as well as offering us wonderful little design embellishments and tweaks that really class up the place.  The Favicon idea and its ultimate execution were a treat from Mike, as was the elegant little list ornament List ornament (affectionately termed ‘dingbat’),  that preceeds each item in the sidebar.  Have you noticed the look of the buttons and their changing, ‘true to our design palette’ colors as you scroll over them and then click them?  Do you like the pleasing, graduated color washes for the page backgrounds?  All of these visual pleasures are thanks to Mike, as well.

Others we want to acknowledge

Our dear friend, gardener and garden blogger extraordinaire, Kathy Purdy, of Cold Climate Gardening fame, doubles as a web maven to many bloggers around the country, via her business consulting website, Blogging Art and Practice.  Kathy very graciously guided us into the website starting gate and then very ably coached us on choosing a structural framework within which to build this site. (We ended up going with the Thesis framework for WordPress after Kathy made us aware of it and then hooked us up with the software).

Bob Meador, of Cultivate Design, very graciously manages both our web domain and Debra’s personal web domain, keeping us both protected and honest.

A Few Pertinent Design Details

Some of you who end up this far down the page won’t care a whit about the gobbledeygook of design details.  Others just love knowing every possible thing about how a project comes together, including both the construction tools and the materials used.  If the latter describes you, read on.

James designed and built our book’s BLAD within Adobe’s InDesign program, utilizing elements (like the signature curlique he created for us) that were built in Adobe Illustrator, and incorporating photography that had been sized and optimized specifically for this type viewing by David Perry within Adobe’s Photoshop program. James has utilized a handful of elegant typefaces to acheive his design, including Adobe Garamond for the body copy, the Gotham family for those special, sans serif treatments and Miller Display Roman Small Caps for the main heads. The italic face he used for our cover title is Miller Text Italic.