KillerLight v2 is here!

Yep, after far too much procrastination, the successor to my first WordPress theme is here.

It has taken a week of evenings to convert it from a layered Photoshop design into HTML and CSS. The previous version of KillerLight was based on the code of the K2 theme, and ended up being heavily customised. This time around, version 2 is based upon Thematic and very little in the way of HTML changes has been made – just a few more wrapping divs here and there. This should lead to a very robust theme.

Gone is the animated header background, at least in this version. It caused far too many complaints and confusion, although I still think the idea is sound provided the animation is subtle.

I’m going to submit the theme to’s themes directory soon, and once approved (fingers crossed) it should be easy for people to find and install into their WordPress v3 site.

More information can be found on the Idea Cog website, where information about the theme is being hosted.

EDIT: Until the theme is available on, you can find a download link on this post.

Idea Cog business cards

I decided the weekend before last that I can’t continue trying to promote Foresight without having some business cards to give to potential customers. Given that I’m trying to get the software known on a budget of effectively zero, word-of-mouth and hand-to-hand promotion is forming a key part of my initial strategy.

Designing stuff is always fun, but designing a business card is also difficult. It’s something that will give a lasting impression within seconds of it being presented, must contain lots of information in an attractive manner, and most importantly of all it must be correct! Unlike digital media that I work with on a daily basis, in print the ink has a tendancy to be permenantly etched into the paper stock.

I decided to keep my cards quite simple, but also made them serve a dual purpose. Not only do my cards have the name of the business and my contact details, but they also remind the recipient of what my flagship product is and what it’s about.

I also decided to only include online contact details – email address and website URL. These are certainly sufficient for most people’s needs. I didn’t include a phone number because for one I don’t currently have a dedicated business line (I’m working on that at the moment), but also I have a day job that I plan on keeping for the forseeable future and so wouldn’t be around to answer it anyway.

I ordered the cards from, having found them through Top CashBack (see my earlier post for details). They have a brilliantly designed site, with a well-built submission process. They also have order tracking so I was always able to check on my order.

The cards arrived today, 3 days ahead of the estimated delivery date. I’m really pleased with them, and the card they are printed on gives a real feeling of quality – all important when trying to promote one’s wares. They aren’t cheap though, at £10 + P&P for 50 cards. Those cards will very quickly disappear with my initial upcoming ‘friends & family’ marketing/awareness campaign.

Birth of a brand identity: Idea Cog

As I’ve mentioned a few times, I’ve started my own business. Part of the fun of starting a business, for me at least, is the graphic design needed to create a brand identity.

There are many things that constitute a brand identity, including the name, logo and brand colours. Choosing a name is probably the hardest part, and I’ve worked through many iterations to get there.

Continue reading “Birth of a brand identity: Idea Cog”

Hopeful improvements to KillerLight

If  you don’t already know, KillerLight is the name of the theme I created for this site, and which is available on Currently it uses JavaScript to do some animation of the header, fading between several images to give the impression of lighting effects. Many people have contacted me (sorry to everyone I’ve not managed to reply to!) about the performance, saying that even on high-spec machines it struggles.

Well, perhaps with the advent of HTML5, specifically the Canvas element, this will hopefuly be improved when I have the time. This new element is designed for graphics rendering, and uses the graphics card to it’s full advantage where possible. This should produce a huge difference in performance. For those without an HTML5 browser, they will see a standard static (non-animated) header.

First Attempt at Interior Design

My completed bedroom
Back in April I decided to take a well-earned break from work. During that week, I got a lot accomplished. Mostly I worked on my software project (details to be revealed fairly soon, probably) but towards the end I started my first decorating project in my flat.

Continue reading “First Attempt at Interior Design”

KillerLight theme released

KillerLight screenshot

My first WordPress theme, KillerLight, has been released on The theme is a slightly altered version of the one used on here.

Like this site, it has a javascript-based animated header which fades slowly for a lovely faux-lighting effect. All current WordPress features are supported, including widgets and gravatars.

One important thing to note about the theme is that IE 6 is not supported – it’s just not worth the effort. Instead, a message is displayed to users of IE < 7 informing them that they should either upgrade or get a different browser.

KillerLight improvements

If you haven’t noticed already, I’ve made a few improvements to the KillerLight theme.

  • There is now a JavaScript-driven header animation, which has the ability to detect a slow computer and disable itself. You can turn it on and off manually with the button at the top-right.
  • A few more icons have been added here and there
  • The ‘read more’ link is now styled
  • The footer can expand vertically instead of being fixed height

I’ve taken a look at it in IE6, and it’s not as badly broken as I feared. At the moment the animated header screws things up royally, and the top horizontal navigation doesn’t display horizontally. I hope to at least get things looking reasonably presentable soon, by disabling the animated header for IE6 and changing the way the top nav is styled.

As for a future release of the theme, it’s all planned out in my head. A non-branded version of the header images will be included, so anyone can have that fading animation. The name of the blog will be overlayed in standard text.

I also have a few ideas for spin-off themes, which are a slightly different take (new graphics) on the same structure. Watch this space!

KillerLight: A new WordPress theme

KillerLight screenshot

It’s been a long time coming, but I have finally produced my own design for this site.

KillerLight is based on the theme of ‘illumination’. I wanted it to give the impression that things have been illuminated by artificial means, and I looked to a few existing WordPress themes for an idea of what needed doing.

It’s taken about 3 days to put together, just in time for the new year. It was created using a mix of Photoshop, Eclipse (with PHPEclipse) and Notepad++ (for CSS editing). This is my first WordPress theme, and the first serious bit of web design I’ve done in a while.

I also did a little bit in Flash, attempting to have the header rainbow stuff animated and fading between different colours, but there were too many issues so I’ve put that idea on hold for the moment. You can view my attempt if you like by sticking the querystring ‘?animate=true’ on the end of the URL. I know that it doesn’t work in FF on Ubuntu, probably because the Flash player implementation for Linux is a little different.

I don’t have IE 6 at home, so I’ve not been able to test in that. However I assume it will be quite broken, so for anyone unfortunate enough to still be using < IE 7, they will be warned that things won’t look nice and be advised to upgrade or get a different browser. Seems to work fine in FF 3 and Safari (Windows) though.

This theme is not by any means perfect, and there’s plenty more work to do on some of the bits that aren’t commonly accessed. With that in mind, if you spot any issues, please report them in the comments of this post.