I really enjoy books.
I enjoy not only the contents of a book, but also the presentation of the book, the white space, the “color” of the type on the page, the design of the page. I also enjoy looking in the back of a well designed book to find a colophon. In most older books, and in many better designed modern books there is a section, usually at the end of the book, that details some of the production and design aspects of the book. Most often included is the choice of type faces, but other design details, including choice of physical format, binding and cover materials, ink and paper used, and even the cotton content of the paper. I enjoy finding the book designers name as well as the printing method (offset, digital or my favorite the old school letterpress). Software used is now a common ingredient in the colophon such as in the case of O’Reilly. I wish more book publishers would include a solid colophon like O’Reilly and Knopf, but I fear that save for them it is more prevalent in smaller publishers who specialize more in the art of the book.
While the web is certainly not a book, and typography online remains largely an abomination, I think the idea of a colophon still holds. So here then is the colophon for Larval Images.
DreamHost + WordPress
The base theme used is Atahualpa 2 by BFA WebDesign. It has been modified a bit by me so far, mostly for typography and to accommodate Linnaean classification lists and similar site specific design issues. I plan to modify it more as time allows and the site develops. Eventually (as in within the next year or so) I hope to develop it into a unique design.
The site uses several key WordPress plugins to make the site work and look the way it does. In no particular order of precedence some of the more instrumental plugins on the site are:
- Automatically wraps acronyms I define in an <abbr> tag with the definition of the acronym as a tool tip.
- Subscribe To Comments
- Allows commenters to be notified of further comments leading hopefully to a fuller discussion.
- FeedBurner FeedSmith
- Handles all the details of RSS and Atom feeds.
- AskApache Google 404
- This one gives me some serious control over the appearance of my 404 page, especially nice is that it allows me to offer visitors a list of posts that may be related and customizable google search tabs which I use to include searches at all the sites I am an author For instance check what results turn up at The Other 95% and Eclectic Echoes in the above 404 page.
- Social Bookmarks
- Adds the “Share This” list of XHTML compliant graphic links at the end of each post to allow visitors to submit posts to social bookmarking sites.
- Flickr Blog This to Draft
- This short and sweet plugin is at the core of my blogging work flow using Flickr as I do. All it does is tell WordPress to take any posting requests coming from Flickr and set them as draft or unpublished. This allows me to blog a photo from Flickr to Larval Images, then when, and only when I am ready, to let the post go live on the site. This gives me the time to do the research and take the time to write a longer post if I want to. Before I had to race over to Larval Images and “unpublish” the post hoping nobody had seen it, and knowing full well that it went out on the RSS feeds already.
- Live Flickr comment Importer
- Pulls in the comments from any of my flickr photo’s I use in posts. Since similar conversations often happen on flickr and on the posts where an image is used, I figure let’s collect the entire conversation in one place.
- Twitter Mentions as Comments
- Pulls in any mentions of a blog post on twitter and posts them here as a comment to the post.
- This plugin does all the heavy lifting of creating and presenting the polls for the site. The nice part is that, with this plugin, everything remains on this site, yet I have a lot of control over the look and feel. It also automatically created a poll archives page.
Typography and Imagery
Currently the type is set in Tahoma, Arial or sans-serif in that order of precedence. This will change, but since it work for now and doesn’t make my eyes bleed I will wait to change it until I untie all the theme option files, which make for a sloppy html page, into a proper stylesheet.
This site will be image heavy by design. Almost every post will feature at least one image, many will have more than one. The site also relies on a lot of custom imagery in the header, logo and avatars. The logo and avatar are my creations. The logo is a somewhat generic brachyuran crab zoea I created in Illustrator. The default avatar that shows up in the comment sections a generic brachyuran crab megalopa, the post-zoeal, pre-juvenile stage. Again created in Illustrator. I fully expect these will be ripped, but please if you use them provide credit as they are licensed by Eric Heupel under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.Most of the main post images will be my own and similarly licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License, but some of my images may carry a separate license. I also use other images I find online and from colleagues. These images may all be licensed under completely separate terms, which will be spelled out in the caption of the image or at the source link of the image.
The header images are randomly generated from a selection of prepared images in the theme. The images currently in rotation are:
If you’re interested you can help me out by voting for your three favorite header images.