New Threads For The Closet Entrepreneur

I promised myself after the last theme redesign that I would hire a designer to make future changes to the look of this blog. Yet what initially turned out to be an attempt at a crude mockup turned out to be a week long obsession to make the blog look like something out of the Eighties. All I can say is that I feel like I just gave birth to an Atari playing web designer. By the way, please visit the blog to see all the changes if you happen to be reading this via feed or email.

Info on the redesign…

As you can see by the shameless self-promoting “hire me” links in the sidebar, and at the end of this post, I’ve decided to do some freelancing on the side and wanted the blog to reflect this new direction. Also as I alluded to before, I’m a child of the Eighties and wanted the site to have an Eighties retro feel to it.

Your feedback is appreciated!

Anyway, I would love to know what you think of the redesign? To be more specific,

  • Does the “hire me” signage make you rethink whether or not the advice on this blog is genuine, or take away from the enjoyability of this blog? By the way, none of the signage shows up in your feed reader or email, it can only be seen by visiting the blog.
  • Is there enough contrast between the text and background colors to allow for easy reading?
  • Is there anything that can be done to the layout to make the blog easier to use?

Of course, I welcome any additional constructive criticism and feedback you may have so feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments or via email!

More than meets the eye…

I’m not a web designer so none of this would’ve been possible without the help of the following resources…

  • The background for the content area was created from a scan by designer Bart-Jan Verhoef.
  • The computer font used in the header is courtesy of Tack-O-Rama.
  • The Visicalc image in the header was found on the Tech Support Forums.
  • The Space Invader favicon (in the address bar) was created using
  • The seamless wood pattern used for the background is none other than Henri Liriani’s infamous wood background. I have no idea where the original file is but everyone seems to credit Liriani with creating the background, so I will to.
  • The IE6 PNG transparency fix was recommended to me by the cool people on the Refresh Phoenix Google Group and is courtesy of Dean Edwards’ IE7 JavaScript library. I never understood why some people hated Internet Explorer so much, and now I understand that it is all IE6’s fault.
  • The projector slides, vintage page, pencil, and vintage computer images are all courtesy of Stock.XCHNG and are of surprisingly high quality for being Royalty free.
  • As for design inspiration, the tutorials and articles on PSDTUTS and Blog.SpoonGraphics were extremely useful and insightful; I highly recommend checking them out if you’re considering a redesign.
  • Last but not least, Adobe’s Kuler was an absolute life saver since I’m red-green colorblind. The great thing about Kuler is that you can start with a base color and generate a variety of monochrome and complementary color palettes or just check out what other users have created.

In Conclusion…

I hope you like the new look and feel of the blog and it’s only a matter of time before I get back to regular blog updates! As always, your comments and feedback are appreciated!

The Closet Entrepreneur

» This entry was filed under General


  1. I like the new design! I do wonder if having TWO hire-me’s on every page is really necessary — Maybe just the one on the sidebar will do?

  2. I like the hire me button. 🙂

    This is why:

    It says you are actively trying to support this resource for the community.

    We nearly all do what we love in this community because we feel obligated to do so. Still those same people understand that nothing is truly for free, someone is spending their time, energy and money to bring us great resources like this.

    It is perfectly fair, and for me expected, that there is some mention of that commitment on your site. In fact for me I respect people more when they expect something from me. 🙂

    Thanks Tomas.

  3. I love the new look. I am a child of the 70s, which embarrass me now when I look back. I have fonder memories of the 80s. My first computer was a Commodore 64 that I bought the first year I was a K-8 computer teacher in Ohio.

    Love the look, love the content. Wish you well with your relaunch!

  4. Love the new look, Tomas! You’re freshly retro!

  5. Very fun, I love the new look. Looks great in Firefox for me!

  6. @Siel – Thank you for the input. My reason for throwing a second ‘hire me’ at the end of each post was to let people know I can help if they find that the info provided in the blog post is too much work and they’re looking to outsource it. One idea I’ve been toying with is using a conditional statement that will leave the ‘hire me’ in the sidebar if someone is browsing the index of the site (which doesn’t show full posts), and then hiding the ‘hire me’ in the sidebar and only displaying the ‘hire me’ at the bottom of the post if someone is reading an individual post. That way, only one ‘hire me’ exists and it’s strategically located depending on whether or not someone is on a page or on the main page.

    @tysoncrosbie – I was very cautious to make sure that any self promotion was done thoughtfully and as out of the way as possible, that’s why I isolated all my info to the footer with the exception of the ‘hire me’ signage. I just want readers to know that I’m not a big fan of ‘in your face’ spamming so hopefully the design reflects my philosophy. Thank you for all your insight and wisdom! 🙂

    @Charlene – Commodore 64, that’s awesome! I always remembered how hi-tech they looked compared to my Atari 2600. Thank you for all the well wishes and guidance!

    @Jeff Moriarty – Thanks Jeff! I had a backup plan just in case I wasn’t retro enough! It consists of a widget that begins playing Spandau Ballet tracks if a site visitor fails to click on a link within the first 10 seconds of being on the site. 😉

    @brooke – Thanks! Firefox and Safari were extremely good to me during the redesign. Internet Explorer 6 was so fussy! At one point I was almost going to give up and just create a static website using MS FrontPage and pay my nephew to manually update the page whenever I thought of a new blog post. 🙂

  7. Tomas, you did a really great job with the redesign! I love the wood background and I love the fonts.

  8. Thanks Chris! It’s interesting to see what you can come up with when you begin to lose your mind during a redesign.


  9. Thanks for the information…I bookmarked your site, and I appreciate your time and effort to make your blog a success!

  10. Love the new design, just checked in after a long blog reading break. Good stuff.

  11. @Rachael – Thanks for bookmarking the site! 🙂

    @Erik – Glad to hear your back, and thanks for the kudos on the blog redesign! 🙂

  12. Tomas,

    Love the design and your posts! First time visiting your site and have already been here for about 30 mins reading your informative posts!
    I am also in Phoenix and a fellow Entrepreneur! Keep up the great posts.

  13. @Adam T. – Thank you so much, I’m honored that you enjoyed browsing through the posts! Also, it’s nice to meet a fellow Phoenix Entrepreneur! Do you attend any of the local Phoenix-metro meet ups on Phoenix Meetups To Go To?

    By the way, be sure to add your blog to 🙂

  14. Hi, I’m HoneyJo just another writer on line.

    Actually I like almost everything about your site.

    The ‘hire me’ makes me want to hire you, and I can’t afford you as yet! It is cute yet sincere!

    There is definitely enough contrast between the text and background for easy reading.

    The #2 looking pencil is great!!!!!! I want it too. 😉

    I can think of nothing that needs to be improved on your site, except that I would like to see a little more do it yourself items.

    I downloaded your cardboard notebook holder and use it even now.

    Additionally, I have twittered you on occasion and feel that if you were to have a few more freebies, you would have even more tweets, and tweets from outsiders mean sales! Right?

    Just keep up the good work!


Leave a Comment

Please type the answer to the math equation. Click the pic to hear the numbers.
Click to hear an audio file of the anti-spam equation