There was a nothingness
That shroud over blogs, there
Were no decent templates, just rigid
border to wrap around you posts, sidebars,
widgets and whatever else. Needless to say it was
A time of great blandness and spartan designs. Until
three came and changed things, taking a giant leap for blogs
changing the look of blogs forever ----- K2, Kubrick, Hemingway
[ok, I will end my peculiar star war intro before I creep you out more]
Like all websites almost a decade ago, blog designs were extremely bland and boring compared to blogs today. The first template that was exceptionally new and fresh design-wise was Wordpress based because of its easy HTML, coding integration; Which still remain one of the reason why there are tons of Wordpress theme and only a dozen Blogger templates.
That very first template was Kubrick which remained the default template that comes pre-installed with Wordpress till this day. Then K2 became more popular followed by Hemingway. These three templates are not special just because they are the 'first' templates but also all three templates are very customizable and many other templates are based on them. Some templtes just swapped the graphics used while leaving the coding framework, yet the customized template look different enough to go under another name.
Kubrick is designed by the good people at Binary Bonsai, you can get a little history of Kubrick from the site. You can see that Kubrick uses rounder corners that are popular in the new web2.0 age of the internet and web design. The general color and clean feel also fits the web2.0 style.
In terms of coding, Kubrick started the cornerstone of blog template coding with organized CSS, clean divs, and excellent element tagging with class and id to identify each distinct element of a blog and their purpose. ie. a header post title would be clearly classed "post-title". This way designer who aren't as strong in coding could simple replace old graphics to have everything fit in place.
Kubrick is very widely customized with widgets, coloumns [2,3,4 columns], and ported into other blog publishing system.
K2 is a second theme designed again by the good people at Binary Bonsai, it has its own site at http://getk2.com/. K2 is somewhat a heir of Kubrick, continue the web2.0 theme. K2 did away with the round corners and added the tab navigation. The meta information for each is moved up under the blog title with some nifty FAMFAMFAM icons added. Again K2 retains Kubrick's clean layout that's easy on the eye. K2 and Kubrick share very similar sidebars. In fact, one of the tricks to identifying a modified K2 or Kubrick theme is by the sidebar, a streamline blue list with a gray title at top.
Similar to Kubrick, K2 is very well coded and heavily modified into many different versions.
Overall I think K2 provides a great alternative for those who aren't into round corners but more so for angular designs.
Hemingway is designed by Kyle Neath at Warpspire. Although it is not as popular as Kubrick and K2 it is very widely used by thousands of blogger and one of the first choices as the skeleton for customization. Hemingway features a minimalistic desgin white on black that leaves a lot of rooms for extra graphics and tweaks. Designs with Hemingway as the skeleton usually have excellent readability featureing clear text, large line spacing, and distinct level identification in content and lists.
Hemingway is also one of the first blog that has the option to have the links at the foot and post occupy the entire top section of the design. Another bit of trivia is that the name of the template came from the designer's favorite author.
Of these three template, you can find K2 at Blogcrowds in new Blogger XML Template supporting labels and widgets. I'm pretty sure Kubrick is converted to Blogger XML as well somewhere on the web. Hemingway is yet to be moved to new Blogger.
Hi nice information about the template building blocks thanks for sharing.
Nice tutorial and very informative and helpful post for all of the designers.
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