Thursday, February 04, 2010

Grids and CSS Frameworks

Last year, I finally decided it was time to start designing on a grid. Imagine that! Using a design grid for websites. In the old days of two- or three-column layouts, you didn’t really have to worry about that.

But today, it’s all about Web 2.0 (whatever that means to you), and static grids are so ’00s-y. To take advantage of everyone’s bigger LCD monitors, you have to explore different column layouts, often within the same page.

So, with the latest project, I’ve designed the site on a 16-column grid (using Nathan Smith’s 960 template).

The big trick, though, is to make the markup and CSS not a complete pain in the ass.

My strengths don’t exactly include planning or coding; I’m too fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants to carefully think all the way through something really complex. So I’d started laying out the templates for the site with my gonzo more-or-less best practice styling (there are many opinions on what constitutes “best practice,” and I find compromise is usually required to get the job done — never mind that it already takes 10-20% more time to debug for IE6).

A couple weeks ago, I discovered the Blueprint CSS Framework, and from there, the BlueTrip Framework. Thank Zeus for clever style monkeys.

I’ve adapted their 24-column grid for my 16-column grid, and added a few other customised layout options. I’m still scratching my head over padded columns inside boxed divs, as well as equal-height column borders, but those are stories for another day.

Today, I just wanted to thank the Blueprint and BlueTrip folks. Cheers!

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Blogger Mike Crittenden said...

Thanks for the mention of BlueTrip! Glad you liked it. If you have any questions or can think of any improvements, feel free to ask on the forums.

Thu. Feb. 04, 06:22:00 p.m. 2010  

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