So what do you people think?

When we left the Geeklog behind and moved to Movable Type, we quickly settled on the style you see now, with a black dark gray or whatever background, for the site. Of the options available we liked it best, and it had the advantage of not being used by any of the MT blogs we knew at the time.

We once tried tweaking the colors, which led to this comment:


ok, so that attempt did not turn out to be entirely successful.

As time has passed however, we’ve come to experience a bit of ennui over the layout and color scheme. For one thing, the clever use of a non-white background has been copied by many lesser blogs. Besides, it might just be time to change anyway.

Given our commitment to customer satisfaction however, we thought we’d ask you for your opinion. Should Sadly, No! overhaul its appearance? Go back to a white background like all the normal people? Design a fancy pants blog like Katieweb? Or should we just stop writing altogether?


Comments: 54


Black?? I thought it was gray….hmmm. I knew I needed a new monitor. I know! go all XP transaparent, with alpha video channels, that way it’ll take people with slow connections most of the night for your site to materialize, and then you’ll have awsome numbers!


Jeff, this is not helpful! We hates you.


Holy Cheney! I couldn’t figure out where I was for a minute with all the white. I thought I’d stumbled into some kind of Republican meeting.


I’m OK with leaving it all alone.

Your blog is easily readible.

I took a look at the alternate blog you posted, Katieweb, and I’d say yours is much easier for me to read.

Of course, I’ve got an older monitor too – 4 years and still running.

If you really want to mess with it, you might try a pastel font color, say a lilac or cream. The dark grey background just works well for me.


Now, with this white background, grey letters, you look normal.

Is that really what you want?

It won’t be enough to keep me away, but the previous is much better.


Say, Seb…Have you considered a nice pink background?


It won’t be enough to keep me away, but the previous is much better.

So what would we have to do? Back to Black (or Dark Gray) it is (for now.)


The background is kinda black on my monitor, but it might be a very dark grey.

Keep it the way it is. Certainly don’t go the Katieweb route–it’s difficult to find anything over there.


Why don’t you go for that nice clean modern look like “The Dark Window” has?

In fact, to avoid a lot of bothersome reformatting, you could just take over the entire “Dark Window” blog, rename it “Sadly No” and kick Pete M’s bony ass out into the street.

Just an idea.


glenstonecottage: We liked your idea until we got to the part that requires us to interact with Pete M’s “bony ass.” (How come you know about that anyway?!?)


I’ve always been partial to blue myself. πŸ™‚

Lately, however, I’ve been admiring the graphic design of Drudge Report and Citizen Smash. Didn’t anyone ever tell these people that the courier font is ugly?

Of course, Dan Beste’s USS Clueless is a striking post-modernist homage to the lava lamp, so I might want to emulate him.

But the blog design I most want to emulate is Benjamin Stein’s blog with its anemic pepto-bismol background, that rakish photo of the young Benjamin, and the really big type so his grammy can read every word that dear precocious little Benny dreams up. Isn’t he darling?


I agree with Clif — I think you should go the Virgin Ben route, and feature a dreamy artist’s rendering of your photo for the main screen, with a creamy background overlaid by pure white (representing your purity) and a really large black font and no actual content, for the blog portion.

Oh, and you should include Richard Poe on your blog roll, like Ben.


Darker backgrounds with light type produce much less eyestrain for me.


Would you just quit worrying about stupid shit and get back to your excellent thought provoking informative commentary???


Try making your site look just like mine.




Use the “BLINK” tag more liberally.

It’s so out, it’s in.


You should make it dark grey on black, and include more pictures of Norwegian death metal bands.


I don’t think your brand is harmed by those “lesser” blogs. I agree with most of the nonsnarky comments that the color scheme is easy on the eyes.

If you want to set yourself apart of the others consider layout changes and your logo, small careful changes there can make big differences.

Most people read you for content though so all this is a bit like Terrible says.


In response to your questions: Yes.


Keep the current color (?) scheme…I read your blog in the dark, and too much white might cause me to be more awake than I choose to be.


Your blog has a pretty mouth.


Black type on white background, please.


Looks great as-is, but when I first saw S,N! (using a different browser) all the sidebar text was oversized and squashed together so that it overlapped. THAT was a neat look.

It might only have been the browser, but I haven’t noticed a change in any other pages since switching.

But yeah, looks fine. Could use a logo or some kind of identifying graphical detail.


You could try swapping out all of the yellow for a color that’s… not yellow. Changing out accent colors against a neutral background is a great way to update a stale look… must… put down… Cosmo… gouge… out… eyes…


That Katieweb thing is almost unreadable — certainly don’t inflict that on your readers. A classic black letters on white background format is nice and easy to read. And of course lots of blue, and a little pinkish-purple thrown in is good — hey, I’m describing my blog!


You mean it isn’t chocolate brown? I’ve been thinking “Mars Bar” all along for no reason?


Seb, what are you doing?! In a time of war it’s just not appropriate to go about changing things! That’d be like appeasing the terrorists if you change it!


The content rocks, and it works well with the background (very charcoal grey) and font type.

I like the suggestions of changing font color to lilac or cream, leaning towards cream. Maybe you could have Creamy Thursday or something like that..

A little graphic with Oskar in it?


raj and Frederick,
What specifically makes katieweb unreadable? Is there too much content? (i.e. too much text in the columns that competes with the posts?) Should I move to a black font, etc?

Thanks for letting me know. You can post here or e-mail me: katie at I can take it. Thanks!


Well, we’ve got some kind of cream thing going.


Have you seen the blog Just below the upper right header are two selections for style, either dark-on-light or light-on-dark, let the reader decide! But whatever you do, please keep writng! & thanx


Don’t go changing.


If you really want to mess with it, you might try a pastel font color, say a lilac or cream.

And then it would match your shirt, Crockett.


Ponder this: books are distrubted with BLACK text on WHITE backgrounds. There’s proabably a good reason for this.

Readability is everything. Color schemes are distractions. Prioritize as you will.


Ponder this: books are distrubted with BLACK text on WHITE backgrounds. There’s proabably a good reason for this.

To save money on ink? πŸ˜•


I don’t much care for this creamy text, but I know a lot of people don’t much care for me, so do whatever you want.


I personally like this color scheme. The creamy text is nice. Your blog is highly readable, too. It doesn’t have to be black text on a white background like everyone elses. A little graphic element like a logo would be nice.

People here could be right – I may have overdesigned and overstuffed content into my blog in an attempt to make it look different. I’m tweaking it a bit now, but am not attempting a major overhaul. It’s only been up a couple of months anyway.


I think the ad maven David Ogilvy once said that reversing white text on a colored background reduces readability by 40%.
Of course, that was ad copy he was talking about, but I still prefer the straightforward designs like Pandagon.
Nice and clean.

Content is still king, and you’ve got that.


Mmmmmm….Creeeaaamy Thurrrrsday….

It appears to make the background not so dark on my monitors.

Perhaps a color change on font every now and again, to counter the boredom of shooting the fish that won’t die.


I would suggest you make the blog look like a Document in Microsoft Word so when my boss peaks in my office, it looks like I am working.


I’ve no clue on a reformat, but I *did* manage to waste much time on a web color link:

I love the little rolling contents block to the left.


I like Eric’s idea about the word document.


Slight Redesign

Sebastien at Sadly, No! graciously linked to me this morning as an example of a well-designed blog. Unfortunately some of his users commented that this blog was more difficult to read. This is my first blog and has only been…


PLEASE change to dark on light; I love your content (and even your fonts, for that matter), but the light on dark is hard to read.


Please switch to lime green text on a Day-Glo orange background. Also, use the blink tag more and switch to some type of Gothic font. (Just trying to help out a friend… and you’re taking all the traffic away from him with your outstanding content.)


I thnk I’m goning to join Sadly, No in the state of drunkeness.


Terrible: We hope you’re wearing pink. πŸ™‚


I much prefer the “Classic” Sadly, No! dark background. On my li’l iBook screen, it is very easy to read. In fact, I found the white background rather jarring.


bright red on dark blue please


I like the white background — makes it much easier if I want to print out a blurb from the blog.


The white background is way too bright, I would be worried that it might wash out the brilliance of your posts. I’d watch that “lesser blogs” comment though, whaddya gonna do next time you need Pete to blogsit? Or more to the point what might he do the next time he is asked to blog sit?


We were told in my advertising classes that in print ads, legibility is best with dark type on a light background, but for TV ads, it’s actually the opposite. I don’t know how that translates to the Internet, which is kind of a little bit of both.


Enjoy your content, don’t enjoy your white on black text. Hurts my eyes. One man’s opinion.


creamy text…


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