Brand New Design, Same Old Site

If you’ve visited English Rules lately, you may have noticed a few changes around here. The site is sporting a brand new look, which evolved out of a little collaboration with a friend at work, Jennifer Wetzel. Jennifer and I struck a deal a few months ago to help with each other’s sites: She would design a “mockup” for my site in Photoshop, and I would help implement a new site for her. So now Jennifer has a cool new site,, to display her gorgeous design work, and I have a fresh way to display all the stuff that has been accumulating here for the past couple years.


To create the new look, Jennifer started with a photo that I recently took of an antique trunk that I saw in the American Swedish Historical Museum in Philadelphia. She used the trunk as a kind of motif, developing the color palette and a number of the background elements from it.

In addition to giving the site a facelift, I also performed surgery on its internal organs—cleaning up a lot of the code that had been spiraling out of control (which I won’t describe in detail, to save you all from death by boredom) and simplifying the navigation to make it easier for people to get around. Now each of the site’s main sections can be accessed by the horizontal menu at the top of each page, and a secondary menu on the left-hand side of the page lists what is available in each section. The right column has links to some extra stuff, like contact info, each section’s “get updates” feature for email and “feed” notifications, and links to interesting sites around the web.

camera The Photography section still hasn’t received the makeover treatment because some special tweaking of the design is necessary for graceful display of the big images. Also, I have plans for a couple interactive bells and whistles that I hope to implement over the next month or so. In the meantime, I hope you’ll wander around and enjoy what’s here.

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