By Jason Snell
September 18, 2015 1:52 PM PT
When I started Six Colors a year ago, I did it with a design I slapped together myself. Though I have been building websites since the early days of the web, I am not a designer. So I decided to go for a “not designed” look, and to follow the features and functionality of sites such as The Loop, MacStories, and Daring Fireball.
From the very beginning, the plan was to eventually hire a real designer to create a version of the site that was a little more carefully constructed than the one I made last September, and one that reflected the mix of story types that Dan Moren and I post here most days.
My Gmail archive informs me that I asked Glenn Fleishman for Christa Mrgan’s contact information last August, weeks before the site originally launched. In mid-January I asked Christa if she’d be interested in the project, and she said she would, but that she wasn’t available until later in the year. At the Yosemite conference I talked to her more about the project, and we managed to fit it in between her leaving Rogue Amoeba and starting work at her new startup.
In any event, the work is now (largely) done, and what you’re seeing now (RSS readers, this is your cue to open a web browser for once) is the result. Christa refined the wordmark, brought all six colors into the palette of the site, and late in the game took an idea from Jay Fanelli of Cotton Bureau and turned it into a new “6C” logo shape.
In March, Jay and I were going back and forth on a Six Colors t-shirt design—turns out it’s expensive to screenprint six separate colors!—when he suggested a new logo that was a combination of a 6 and a C. I didn’t want to sell a shirt with a logo nobody had ever seen before, so we decided to table it for a while. But this summer, while working on the site design, I realized that we might have a perfect use for a version of Jay’s 6C logo, which Christa provided.
Anyway, the goal of the design—other than, perhaps, to better reflect the site’s name—was to differentiate between the different kinds of posts we have on this site. There are regular posts, sure, but we found ourselves also posting off-site links, links to work we’ve written on other sites, links to podcasts, and posts from sponsors. Now those are all more clearly defined, and I think the site’s better for it. 1
In any event, the site’s got a much nicer wrapper now 2, but of course what’s going to matter in terms of long-term success is the content that goes inside that wrapper. I’m spending roughly three days a week working on the site right now, with Dan covering two days.
I’m doing more freelance writing than I expected when I launched that site, and it’s reduced the amount of time I have spent writing here. To compensate, I brought Dan on. But in the long run, I’d like to find other ways to reduce that outside writing and focus even more on serving Six Colors readers.
For months now I’ve been thinking through the best way to ask for money directly from readers, to augment what we bring in from our weekly sponsors. I’m still working on that—it was encouraging to see the launch of Club MacStories this week, since that’s very much the sort of thing I’ve been thinking of doing—and hope to have something ready to go pretty soon. I have heard from many readers that they would like to support me and Six Colors, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that sentiment. I will try to create something that will let you support the site and also give you something of value in return. Stay tuned!
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