about standards, webdesign, usability and open source

Nucleus skins

I recently went through the Nucleus skin repository. There were 14 skins in total, but I was generally a bit disappointed with the quality of the skins. There was of course one exception: Stanch, created by Ivan of Stach.net. Ivan donated the skin he created for his own website.

I’m not going to do the same. I wanted rakaz.nl to be something unique and as soon as I see a blog largely similar to mine I’ll probably start redesigning. So I decided I would do something else: create a series of new skins. Some of these skins are roughly inspired by existing designs, some are completely new.

The way I am designing these skins are as follows. First I create a sketch in Photoshop until I am satisfied with the design. I then take a pre-built ‘empty’ example page, which I then style with CSS to match the design I made in Photoshop. As soon as I have 6 of these example pages I will turn them into fully working skins So far I’ve have ideas for all 6 skins and I am working on the design of the fourth. The example pages for 3 of them are finished.


Take a look at Simple, Fluor and Typewriter.

None of these designs are final, but I you have some preliminary comments, I would be glad to hear them. However, please don’t comment on the XHTML or CSS just yet, it is still very much a work in progress.

14 Responses to “Nucleus skins”

  1. TeRanEX wrote on February 4th, 2005 at 9:23 am

    Wow! I really like Simple and Fluor!! Very nice :)

  2. anand wrote on February 4th, 2005 at 12:11 pm

    Amazing work (as always!), rakaz .. Really looking forward to seeing these released.

  3. Roel wrote on February 4th, 2005 at 4:52 pm

    Nice! I especially like Simple.
    Maybe I can use it to create a new design for my blog. :)

  4. DrBob wrote on February 5th, 2005 at 9:55 pm

    I like them, but I think they may be just a little *too* extreme, if you see what I mean.

    Would it be possible to remove the tables, and migrate them to purely CSS/DIV based design??

  5. hcgtv wrote on February 7th, 2005 at 8:15 pm


    The skins site was setup only 6 months ago, at the time we only had 5 skins. Since then we have been adding skins and today we have 15 to choose from.

    They may all not be the quality of csszengarden but I prefer to offer choice over quality at this time. I have added a stats page and you can see that they are all very popular.

    I would welcome any additions that you may want to contribute.

  6. rakaz wrote on February 9th, 2005 at 3:34 pm

    DrBob: Both Simple and Fluor are pure CSS designs, without any tables at all. Only Typewriter uses a table, simply because that particular design is practically impossible to create in pure CSS.

    I agree that the design are a bit extreem, but that was my original goal. I thought the existing themes were a bit too bland and similar.

    Hcgtv: As soon as my skins are ready, you are more than welcome to host them on the skin site.

  7. DrBob wrote on February 9th, 2005 at 8:34 pm

    Oops…sorry. I only looked at the source for Typewriter :(

    I think you should create a couple of skins that are like the (amazing) one that you are using here. When I say "like", I don’t mean "similar to", I mean "like" in the sense of: balanced, simple, yet advanced and high-definition :P

    I really need to get round to improving the skin for my website…

  8. marios wrote on February 21st, 2005 at 7:04 pm

    I can see that there is an apostrophe, that hasn’t been parsed with the proper escape value.Is that due to nucleus, or same typo or parsing problem in general.
    Would be interesting to find out why?

  9. rakaz wrote on February 24th, 2005 at 12:18 pm

    marios: I have no idea what the problem was, but it is fixed now.

  10. Joris wrote on March 17th, 2005 at 5:32 pm

    I’m impressed…
    You’re a great artist!

  11. Jeremy wrote on July 20th, 2005 at 10:59 pm

    Going to have to agree with DrBob. I would like to see something that is simply amazing like the templete you have here.

  12. Christania wrote on September 12th, 2005 at 1:16 pm

    I like Typewriter skin but I didn’t like the other two.

  13. Abhinav wrote on November 13th, 2005 at 3:49 pm

    really nice skins…

  14. mozila wrote on April 17th, 2007 at 6:06 am

    Nucleus rocks! The skins are prfect. I just starting to make my page using it.