Lion of the Blogosphere

Improving the blog format

I paid $30 to WordPress for the “Custom Design” upgrade so I could edit the CSS and make the ugly Garamond italic block quotes go away. Now they are the same size Verdana as the main body text. I also got rid of the quote symbols automatically surrounding the block quotes.

Does anyone else have any other suggestions for improving the blog format?

This blog theme, Chateau, was designed by Ignacio Ricci. I have no clue why he thought it was a good idea to have huge Garamond italic block quotes. Or automatically surround the quotes with quote symbols—the whole point of the block quote, I thought, is so you don’t have to use quote symbols.

Besides that, I think he designed a nice upper-middle-class theme, although I’m not sure that he looks very upper middle class in his photo.

In return for making this theme and not even making any money from it, I am going to give an endorsement to his creative design company. So if you need someone to design a website for you, you should get in contact with those guys from Argentina.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 29, 2012 at 7:38 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

16 Responses

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  1. The quasi-biblical title and the elegant italic black fonts on a white background make the site’s design seem not merely minimalist, but ascetic.

    In other words it looks like a religious site which is prole. :O


    December 29, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    • You need to reread Paul Fussell. Understated is upper class, loud is prole. If it evokes feeling of something old, that’s also upper class, because the upper class likes old things.

      The Lion

      December 29, 2012 at 8:10 PM

      • Old, like a traditional Catholic church?

        It might be some form of “upper class” but it sure ain’t hip.


        December 30, 2012 at 2:58 PM

  2. I doubt that the ugly Garamond font was in the original design. WordPress probably made some changes to the original so that bloggers would pay $30 to correct the flaws.

    Blog Raju

    December 29, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    • Interesting thought! It sounds like something a greedy corporation would do in order to transfer value.

      The Lion

      December 29, 2012 at 8:57 PM

      • What about a simple Arial font for readability?

        The Undiscovered Jew

        December 29, 2012 at 10:12 PM

  3. Old to the point of being crotchety. It’s a format I would expect to see Dick Cavett use for recording his more interesting dreams. If that’s the sort of thing you’re trying to achieve, then it works.

    Personally, I favor the classicism used by Mencius Moldbug ( But that’s me.

    Tim of Angle

    December 29, 2012 at 8:20 PM

  4. Thank you for ditching Garamond! Amazingly, some people still don’t grasp that there is a big difference between print and web.


    December 29, 2012 at 8:32 PM

  5. I think the looks are an improvement. You have to click on a specific blog post in order to comment. That may reduce the amount of comments. Maybe not, who knows.


    December 29, 2012 at 8:59 PM

  6. Could you eliminate threading in the comments?

    The Undiscovered Jew

    December 29, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    • Seconded. With no way of marking read/unread, threading is stupid, stupid, stupid on a blog with many comments.


      December 30, 2012 at 10:50 AM

  7. Lion, Garamond is the tyoe of the Pelican Shakespeare. Do you find the Pelican Shakespeare prole?

    Granted, their “Hamlet”s diction is absurdly modernized: “porpentine” becomes “porcupine”, and so on. But the Pelican Shakespeare series is not consistently edited. The edition of “As You Like It” is delightfully conservative, refusing dubious emendations of the First Folio that have been common currency since the 18th Century.

    Of course, the context of the computer screen is an issue. But in my hands, the individual Pelican volumes are a delight on my eyes.

    Lucius Somesuch

    December 29, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    • It’s a print vs on-screen, not class, issue. Garamond is terrible for Web.


      December 30, 2012 at 10:53 AM

  8. On the topic of the Garamond, your headers are still in italic Garamond, which has letters with a distinctive look, but the tilting of the letters isn’t uniform (Capital letters are undertilted and letters like “m” are overtilted) which gives the headers an overall sloppy look. My recommendation as a replacement would be Palatino Linotype (at least for Windows users; Palatino for Mac). It loses some of the character, but would be an overall improvement.

    The Reluctant Apostate

    December 30, 2012 at 3:21 AM

  9. Some other minor details, since you’re on, are your Gravatar and blog icon. The former serves as your avatar in the comment threads here or on other WordPress blogs and and can be changed from the Public Profile section of the WordPress Account Settings while the latter will replace the WordPress logo as your sites favicon, and can be changed from your blog’s General Settings.

    The Reluctant Apostate

    December 30, 2012 at 3:39 AM

  10. White background is too harsh. Needs to be toned down to a nice sepia with a brown font. The maroon titles would then look really sharp.


    December 31, 2012 at 1:29 AM

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