What kind of color scheme and style should the site have?
Should it be similar to blender's UI and default theme?
Should it look like other blender related sites? E.g.
What are some opinions on this?
Following Dan the Man's suggestion of doing something similar to blender.org, I've created a proof of concept stylish theme:
Install it from userstyles.org to use it live (it covers the entire site) :)
Tested on Firefox and Chromium. There is a strange issue in chromium where it doesn't render properly when refreshing the page, but clicking on links (even a link to the current page) makes it render correctly. Other than that it seems to work fine.
For the icons, some ideas which I liked most:
With a gradient:
Both are rendered in cycles ;)
Unselected var 1
Unselected var 2
Selected var 1
Multi-colored version, as suggested by A Wild RolandiXor:
Thanks to @catlover2 for early testing and feedback :)
I really like how the new blender.org site looks. Flat and slick (yet slightly vibrant). We could do something similar. The main colors are pure white, F8F8F8, #444444, #109df0, #ddd, #f84, and #5f5f5f. It heavily uses the 'Open Sans' font.
+1 if you like the idea.
I think that the blender UI should be represented through the site, yet without compromising the user experience (the gray background is just too radically different from what people are used to). We can still use a few buttons/icons here and there.
Upvote / Downvote
Various (by gandalf3, you can view these icons with the bundled icons addon)
This is a specific idea for the background (I also changed the font to Open Sans) that helps start the look of the site. I used the http://chemistry.stackexchange.com theme (modified) for the proof of concept. Naturally it would need some tweaking, but I think it has potential.
Polygons make up all 3D art in blender (with a very very few exceptions) They are an intrinsic aspect of 3D, and are also a powerful design element.
Some have suggested limiting the background to the header:
Also, I used this answer on the site to create the background :D. That is the beauty of SE!
I wanted to jump in here. I do not yet have a full blown site mock up, but some ideas.
First, I really like the way the top of the https://ux.stackexchange.com/ looks. Picture that blue stripe in blender orange.
Second, I thought gandalf3's idea to use the monkey as the badge was neat, but the silhouette was too unconventional. So here is my proposal for the badges.
Smaller (12px) and with more contrast.
For the voting buttons the first two are in the voted state, the grey is default unvoted.
I will add more to this in the coming days.
How about something like this?
I'm still working on the spacing of everything as well as adding a little more texture, but you can still get the general idea.
I agree with Dan's answer that we would need colors (or symbols) to make our site recognizable at first sight. After quickly reading up on graphics design (not in English so I didn't learn any technical terms), I thought that a simple mesh could represent an abstraction of blender.
According to Usage in artwork and community websites the Blender logo should only be used to point to blender.org
Under the following conditions, third parties may use the Blender logo as well:
The logo can only be used to point to the product Blender. When used with a link on a web page, it should point to the url blender.org.
You will visualize and promote your > own branding more prominent than you use the Blender logo. The Blender logo only can be used as a secondary brand, which means it has to be clear for an average viewer that this is not an official Blender or Blender Foundation website, publication or product.
You can use the Blender logo on promotion products, such as T-shirts or caps or trade show booths, provided it is a secondary brand as described in point
The logo is used unaltered, without fancy enhancements, in original colors, original typography, and always complete (logo + text blender).
In case you use the logo on products you sell commercially, you always have to contact us with a picture of how it will be used, and ask for explicit permission
This means we couldn't borrow the offical blender logo, and would need to have our own.
The design goals were that the banner shouldn't take too much room to leave more space for content, it should be recognizable. The mesh abstraction shouldn't be too dominant, it should have a fresh look. The font should be somewhat 'futuristic'
Some variations I think the mesh-thing could be easily over-used :
It would love to discuss any critics and suggestions. This was created with inkscape if anybody would like start with improvements rather than from scratch I could upload the file.
A gloomy variant (Edit: improved readability and increased dpi)
Just after posting the following, I saw there is a more recent question asking for site design input and thought it better to post there. Not sure which is more relevant, so leaving this double-post up for now.
I think aesthetics and a good sense of design and composition should take priority over looking "themey". Sure, having the Blender colors in a couple of places - used tastefully - could be good. But if the icons are all literal elements taken from Blender's UI it could start to look gimmicky and cheap. And while we love Suzanne, she's one of the more overused and definitely less sexy symbols associated with Blender. Could we maybe think outside the box a little more?
It should be sexy. It should be chic. It should be smart. It should demonstrate that this is a place for artists who understand design, not just people with a purely technical understanding of Blender. This may be a place to find out "how" but let's not forget the "why", which is the creative element. Blender is a powerful pro graphics application being used by many brilliant artists and we owe it to the community to deliver something that impresses and inspires.
What might such a design look like? I invite discussion along this train of thought.