This is a guest post from engtech of Internet Duct Tape.
The Sandbox WordPress Design Competition has come to a close after two months. It was a resounding success. Live previews of the 46 new Sandbox designs will be available on August 5th, 2007. Over 31 people who participated in the competition. Some designers were introduced to Sandbox for the first time, while I recognized other familiar faces from WordPress.com forum regulars That Girl and Sunburntkamel. I participated in the contest and submitted my two first attempts at designing themes for WordPress.
But Why Sandbox?
Sandbox is different from other WordPress themes. It is a strong, barebones foundation that lets you design the look without worrying about the layout. Sandbox handles displaying and organizing your blog content in a logical manner while a CSS stylesheet hooks into the powerful selectors Sandbox offers and handles all of the exterior decorations. Lorelle on WordPress uses Sandbox with a custom stylesheet, as does my blog, Internet Duct Tape.
The Sandbox Community
The most successful part of the Sandbox Design Competition is the community that is emerging around it. There are many talented theme designers who are coming together to learn from each other and put out great designs that are interchangeable with a click of the mouse because they all use Sandbox underneath. The official Sandbox blog has been bumping with information about the contest, but the real gem is the Sandbox forums. Registration is required to post, but it’s the best resource on the net you’ll find for learning about the Sandbox theme. Some highlights:
- Why use Sandbox?
- Very detailed discussion of the strengths of using Sandbox as the core for your next WordPress theme
- Screenshots of the contest entries
- Technical discussion on design and development tools
- The one universal tip is to use Firebug for Firefox
- List of Sandbox tutorials
- Add yours if you’ve written a tutorial about Sandbox
- Sandbox release notes
Meeting the Other Designers
One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about the competition is poking around the websites of the other participants and see what they’ve done with Sandbox. I always find it amazing that so many different looks can be accomplished with the same underlying theme. These are some of my favorite Sandbox designs from the contest participants that inspire me to learn more about CSS design. Listed in no order of preference, and as far as I know these designs were not used as part of the competition.
I’m excited to see what will come out of the Sandbox community in the future. The contest was a resounding success. I’m glad they went with the contest idea instead of my suggestion to do a viral Youtube video called “Sand in a Box.”
It’s for the best, because I do a horrible Justin Timberlake impression.
engtech blogs regularly at Internet Duct Tape. He’s authored such useful hacks as Akismet Auntie Spam, Technorati Favorite Your Fans and the WordPress MU Tag Cloud Generator.His latest post was 5 Tips to Building Your Readership – Community Starts with CommunicationSubscribe to Internet Duct Tape by RSS or by email.
Copyright engtech and originally posted to Lorelle on WordPress.