If..Else Log

Many colours of a reboot

And so another CSS reboot comes to an end. This time around, there have been some real treats in store for design fans but with the sheer number of rebooters this year, you might have missed a few. So here are a selection of my favourite reboots of Spring 2006.



Earth and fire, red is an under-utilised colour amongst web designers. So it’s a pleasure to see that those who did choose red were also amongst my favourite entries.

Rob Goodlatte bats off with a wonderfully warm and worn entry; the palatte chosen work well with the style of the site. Kyle’s firey entry roars with it’s bold background and colour scheme. And Prabhath embraces a more earthy design; natural and personal, Prabhath was also one of the few to have gone with a fluid layout.

Other notable entries: codesign



From one colour of nature to another, though green does appear to be more popular amongst developers. That said, this shouldn’t be such as surprise; whilst red is bursting with emotion and boldness, green is altogether more calm and relaxed which, perhaps, makes it more appealing to designers.

Fortyeightdesigns is one such lovely entry; the balanced colour scheme work well with the classic textures and the slightly curvy layout works a treat. Snook has gone in the other direction with his use of green; more edgy than earthy, it has a matrixy, old-school programmers feel to it. And like that programmer favourite, vi, it’s crammed with little secret commands that might escape you on your first encounter. Freshbranding makes the most of it’s name with a design that has a fresh, clean feel. It’s, perhaps, a common studio design but one that’s been pulled off well.

Other notable entries: Zooiblog, BusinessLogs, FortyMedia, ThannyLe



As much as designers like to consider themselves creative and different, it’s always funny to see common trends. Light text on dark backgrounds has always been one of those cyclical themes that pop in and out of existance and it appears it’s now time for it to reappear. However, dark colours do look good and are relatively easy to pull off so which is why it’s had a good turnout this year.

It’s probably no surprise to see Bryan’s entry feature well. His last design was immensely popular and having done this 21 times before, he’s a bit of a veteren to this redesign game. It’s also nice to see that he hasn’t forgotten the food banners. Alex Graul’s entry at m.ossy also caught my eye. A Lovely use of columns and contrast, it’s an impressively minimalist design pulled off with class. David Longworth has stopped blogging but he hasn’t stopped designing; the reboot for Orange Tape Studios was another one of those simple designs that has been executed well. Background, colour scheme, type and layout have all contributed to a strong design.

Other notable entries: Totalspore, BrokenKode, EchoFaith, Niggle



And from the shadows, we step into light. White has always been an extremely popular choice; whilst grey on black does look cool, it can become a bit of a strain on the eye when you’re reading for long periods and thus, it’s good to see sites embracing a more content friendly design. Natalie‘s clearly gone for such with the readable type and generous content area; whilst she’s perhaps gone a bit overboard on the homepage, the internal pages are lovely to read. In redesigning his blog, Jeff has clearly gone back to the grid. Both internally and on the main page, Jeff has masterly utilised columns so as to present information with clarity and cohesiveness and nary a hint of confusion. DesignSnack‘s redesign is reshuffling and tidying of the previous look and feel. It’s now less of a gallery and more of a Digg for designs; however, whilst its exterior is aesthetically pleasing, it’s lacking from a design and functional viewpoint. I’m not convinced it’s a successful reboot but sadly, I’m also a sucker for visual sweetness something which this design is coated with.

Other notable entries: Jorge Quinteros, Yoram Blumenberg, Derek Punsalan, Matt Brett, Intellicode, Twisted Intellect, WebJillion.


68 Responses to “Many colours of a reboot”

  1. Gravatar James AkaXakA

    I don’t fit in anywhere!

    Excellent :)

  2. Gravatar Derek Punsalan

    Thanks for the “notable entry” love ;)

  3. Gravatar Rob Mientjes

    Whee, you like! :) Who’d have thought after the appalling results of the rating.

  4. Gravatar Natalie Jost

    LOL, Phu, you’re not the first to say that about my homepage, though you’re the nicest! I’m re-thinking that after seeing the loverliness that came out yesterday. It’s just a matter of giving “props” (I think I’m too old to use that word) to the “tall people” list and then I can widen the homepage with the content pages.

    Rob – I don’t know how I missed yours yesterday, but I’m glad Phu mentioned it because I like it! It’s odd to see that shade of green with pink but I can get used to that. Nice job!

    Great choices here, Phu, some of my favorites too. And I have to say, I look darn shabby next to Jeff! Boy, I can’t wait for the Fall reboot. :D

  5. Gravatar Phu

    “I don’t fit in anywhere!
    Excellent :)”

    I was going to do a ‘sweet as candy’ category but I thought I should stick to the 3 sites per area theme:)

    “Who’d have thought after the appalling results of the rating.”

    I wouldn’t pay to much attention to the Reboot ratings; there appears to be a lot of tactical voting going on which diminishes what is supposed to be a showcase and highlight of css design.

  6. Gravatar Sherwin Techico

    Geez, you already went through the whole 15 pages of Reboots? Wow?! =)

  7. Gravatar Rob Mientjes

    It’s odd to see that shade of green with pink but I can get used to that. Nice job!

    :) Decided to be a bit more playful with it this time. Pink is the new black from when black wasn’t even the new orange yet!

    I wouldn’t pay to much attention to the Reboot ratings; there appears to be a lot of tactical voting going on which diminishes what is supposed to be a showcase and highlight of css design.

    True, true, but still. Never nice to see.

  8. Gravatar Natalie Jost

    I just knock of a star and consider a 4 the best. Then all those people with 3′s are really not too bad! (like me) :D

  9. Gravatar Shawna

    It’s nice to see some color.Hopefully the “white site” trend is dying down.

  10. Gravatar Alex Graul

    I’m honored to be in such company! It is a pity the voting seems to have turned into some kind of war but such is life. Like Natalie, seeing some of the stuff out there has given me a pile of ideas for the next reboot which I indend to do with far more time to spare.

  11. Gravatar Thanny Le

    Colors – what wonderful way to highlight the rebooters! Thanks so much for the notable! =)

  12. Gravatar Adam G

    I really like the site. Ever think about wrapping it and placing it into a theme for WP.

  13. Gravatar Everybody was Reboot wrapupping – WebJillion

    [...] Phu Ly’s Many colours of a reboot, Natalie Jost’s My Favorite Reboots for Spring 2006, Rob Goodlatte’s My CSS Reboot Hot List and Chris Garrett’s The Post Reboot Deconstruction. [...]

  14. Gravatar Nidahas » CSS Reboot Guest Reviewer

    [...] In other news, I’m enjoying the attention of some really talented designers, who have done a stellar job with their own sites for the reboot. [...]

  15. Gravatar Tom


    Thanks for the notable mention :). This css reboot is the best so far if you ask me. There are a lot of high quality designs to view.

  16. Gravatar Pud

    Love your work, thanks for the inspiration, keep it up!

  17. Gravatar Rida Al Barazi

    Lovely way to show favorite reboots, as this reboot had many great designs it is really difficult to list the favorites as they will be too many, but you’ve done it greatly and amazingly.

  18. Gravatar Justin Scheetz

    Phu, thanks for commenting on Design Snack. I appreciate the constructive critizism.

    It’s funny, I actually thought the same thing once I had finally completed the new site. I loved the way it looked, but I started realizing it may come off as a little confusing to new visitors.

    Well, that’s what the Fall CSS Reboot is for, right? :)

  19. Gravatar digital quality » Blog Archive » Spring Reboot Color Trends

    [...] Phy Ly notes some of the color trends in his picks from the Spring 2006 CSS Reboot. I’ve been noticing as he has that greens and dark grays seem to be a popular choice these days. [...]

  20. Gravatar Vidar

    Am I the only one who went for blue? There has to be someone else there… I’m gonna have to re check the list

  21. Gravatar AsceticMonk

    Very useful summary to me, there are quite a few of them that I have missed. Now I am adding them to my link list, thanks Phu!

  22. Gravatar stchatterbox

    I love Kyle’s very bright red site.I can’t understand why Jeff Croft’s page can’t load properly in my Firefox browser. It looks like the sites on CSS Naked Day! ;)

  23. Gravatar codesign

    Hi, and thanks to link and talk about my new website !!! (even if it is not realy finished, I would like to change the Flash part).

    I’ll come later with more time to read all the comments :)

  24. Gravatar Kenny Saunders

    Thanks for adding me to your list. I’ve been admiring your themes for awhile now.

  25. Gravatar Joshua Hughes

    Well, thanks awfully Phu! I was almost lost for words when I saw your review of http://www.freshbranding.co.uk – particularly nice as it’s still requiring a fair bit of tweeking! And a review on a website that I’ve always looked at and thought ‘how cool!’ makes it doubly nice :-)

    Thanks again,

  26. Gravatar tripeak

    There were some awesome rebooters – i agree. It’s a shame i wasnt able to make the grade :(

  27. Gravatar Martin

    My fav is ‘Green’.

  28. Gravatar Wilson Miner

    Man, I can’t believe I didn’t even win the greenest site award! ;)

  29. Gravatar Joshua Hughes

    The design of http://www.freshbranding.co.uk has been nicked… Check out the culprit’s site over at http://www.desensolutionsgroup.com, and admire their lack of morals! If anyone feels like emailing ‘Desen Solutions Group’ to complain please just make sure you’re not TOO blunt!! There’s a post over at freshbranding.co.uk – see the news page.

  30. Gravatar mustaq

    hey pho

    can i know what are the plugin you have used in this blog ?

  31. Gravatar Hand.er

    After reading this post I remind myself that my favourite colour is green :)

  32. Gravatar kymo82

    i like your work. keep it up.

  33. Gravatar Kenzo

    Are u Vietnamese? :)
    (Phu can be a vn name)

  34. Gravatar Alert

    Also it can be an jp name

  35. Gravatar Pollyanna Malorni

    Hi Phu,
    I found my name here on your website. Why? Why do you do it without my permission? What’s going on?
    Let me know. pollyannamalorni at yahoo dot com

    [Edit by Phu: Pollyanna, I have no idea what you're talking about. Could you point out where your name is used on this site because I've never heard of you before.]

  36. Gravatar Brue Desk

    Very useful summary to me, there are quite a few of them that I have missed. Now I am adding them to my link list, thanks Phu!

  37. Gravatar Gunner

    Hey – I’m using the Ambiru 1.0 setup that you designed for WordPress. Thanks for your work on that. I’m wondering – will that design ever come out with Sidebar Widgets? That’s one thing I’d love to have on it. Just wondering. Thanks.

  38. Gravatar the down-going

    [...] 2020hrs if //this (doesn’t work out then) else where next? [...]

  39. Gravatar Flyball

    What about update?

  40. Gravatar mono

    when I can download it theme?

  41. Gravatar Nusardel

    Do you know how to use a theme I downloaded on my wordpress blog because I just don’t know how.

  42. Gravatar Maple » Blog Archive » 圆角还是直角?

    [...] 其实个人 blog 还是不适合大量的或者过大的圆角,直角做起来要简单得多,优化阅读体验有很多方法,我非常喜欢的 Phu Ly 和他推介的设计都是个中精华,比如说我现在这个叫什么?无角设计? [...]

  43. Gravatar mobility

    Nusardel, you have to upload it into your blog in
    wp-content/themes/ path.
    after that log-in and you have a link : Change my theme. From there you have to select your favourite theme.
    I hope you can do this.

  44. Gravatar mobility

    can tell me someone how can I add a “Allow ping” feature to a website which is not a weblog ?
    In a wordpress when you publish a post you have a checkbox “Allow ping” … what should I do to add that module in others sites ?


  45. Gravatar Mag

    I do not recommend that. After all, “Allow ping” proved that it’s not the important feature you may seek tweaking for, even in wordpress.

  46. Gravatar Sarah Oteem

    Phu, we’re still waiting for updates.
    Are you retired or what?!

  47. Gravatar Milu Marginean

    I understand Mag. Thank you for your advice. Also could you tell me more about the reason ?

  48. Gravatar Lee Jeans

    I prefer warm colors. Such like red

  49. Gravatar Paul

    Hey Phu, will you make others themes soon ?
    Something which can be used in a sport, motorsport weblog …
    Thanks !

  50. Gravatar T Shah

    Nice designs. looks like webjillion is taking a break.

  51. Gravatar Rebooted – “Fat” faux footers – 5ThirtyOne

    [...] Rebooted – “Fat” faux footers Inspired by Phu’s Many colours of a reboot, I’ve decided to share my favorite sites which utilize “fat” footers. I think the more appropriate title for the trend would be faux footers. Rather than one line footers including contact information or short reference links, these “fat” footers usually play the role of the standard sidebar. A resource for archived content, quick posts, Flickrstreams, del.icio.us collections, Last.fm resources, favorite quotes, running comments… You begin to see the trend. [...]

  52. Gravatar Guido

    I like to see some color in a site; hopefully the standard pure white or black website trend is going down….

  53. Gravatar Arzt

    Hello Phu, really nice designs, but i prefer something blue in a site.
    I´m also waiting for new themes….

  54. Gravatar Schwarzer

    Hey, any updates in the meantime? Thx and greetz, Tom

  55. Gravatar Gritt

    A wonderful warm design. For a sense of well-being.

  56. Gravatar Andreas

    hope that there will be a update this year. But I use the stop here to wish you and all the visitors here a great and successfull year 2007

  57. Gravatar 程控交换机


  58. Gravatar Simone

    Very nice designs! But I miss a yellow or pink side for example.

  59. Gravatar Daniel

    m.ossy seems to be offline.
    very nice sites and good examples of the featured main colors…
    keep up the good work

  60. Gravatar Mark

    good work, designs are fine!

  61. Gravatar Bourse

    You have chosen nice sites for example. I personally liked Natalie’s the most but as I can see from the thumbnail I guess she has changed the design since your post. Also, her current design could be an example of good use of red color :)
    Just a suggestion for your next post: some examples of “blue” since personally I have noticed it is more popular even than green. (I myself am currently building my website in this color scheme)

  62. Gravatar Damenschuhe

    Perfect Designe wooow

  63. Gravatar tworzenie stron www

    Fantastic article! Very useful informations. I really love it, can I recommend it to my friends?

  64. Gravatar google offers

    I think these blog is really useful for new comers and Excellent resource list. It´s a very interesting Blog and simple answer of many questions. Keep up the good work! Thanks it helps me a lot…

    oopps, forget. nice design!

  65. Gravatar auto navigation

    Great article. Amazing design.