Bye bye one column article page

Like any self-respecting blogger, when I make a small realign to my blog’s design I feel I must make a big song and dance about it. So here goes…

One dream: one column

When I first launched this redesign and the blog theme Dylan, I had this overwhelming dream of the one column blog post with large images (460px wide) accompanying each post. At 9am today that dream was pronounced dead.

Two weeks ago Brett Shegogue, emailed me with this question:

…I didn’t have a problem reading [your site], but I did notice that most of your paragraphs span the entire width of you [sic] page. A lot of people have wrote that this is bad typography/design.…

Brett seemed to be asking – why when so many typographers tell us that the ideal measure is around 60 characters was I ignoring that rule so blatantly?

After much deliberation and denial I decided I’d entertain the idea that I had made a bad typography choice so I sat down and tried to read one of my articles and sadly, I found it a little more difficult to read than it should have been. So thanks to Brett’s intervention I started to think about realigning the article pages to make them more readable.

One sidebar to rule them all

I think that a lot of blog designers are lazy by not bothering to differentiate between different types of pages on a blog – not every page needs to have a complete blog roll for instance. I’ve always tried on this site to create a format that matches the content of each page so the home page differs from the portfolio and the article archives differ from the search results – they are different content with different goals – therefore they need a different design approach. I thought the one column blog post was a solution to that problem but it turns out it wasn’t… not in this case.

When I designed the site, over a year ago, I wanted lots of images – hence the name ‘image is everything’ but, in practice, it’s very difficult to come up with a unique image that represents each article with zero budget and zero photographic talent. Furthermore, those secondary actions like the add to facebook/digg/etc links, related articles and subscribe links were hidden below the article and I doubt many people found them – so by putting them up a little nearer the top hopefully they’ll see a wee bit more action.


There are some articles that do have 460px images on them and with this realign they aren’t looking too hot. As of yet I haven’t thought of a reliable way to remedy that but I’m working on it.

6 responses to “Bye bye one column article page”

  1. Hi Phil

    Good stuff with changing the blog, seems a lot of web design is often changing to what is the perceived best practice, and then this quite often gets changed again.

    Am a fan of your black on yellow, it may not be to everyone’s tastes, but if everyone had the same taste the world would be a sadder place.

    Am viewing your site on a Mac and the “Leave a Reply” section is currently hovering over your commenting rules.


  2. I like the sidebar Phil, makes navigation easier. In IE7 though I get horizontal scroll. It probably serves me right for using IE7 eh?

    • IE7 horizontal scrollbar be-gone. A lack of a width on the next/previous article links (under the ‘this entry was posted’… bumpf) was causing that. Thanks for pointing it out.