Theme Review: Amazing Grace

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This morning I received a notice from Vladimir Prelovac that he has just released his newest theme which he is calling Amazing Grace. Since he was nice enough to send me a note about it, I thought I could be nice enough to review it.

Amazing Grace Full Screenshot

Quick Links for Amazing Grace

The Color

The first thing that jumped out to me about Amazing Grace is that the colors are wonderful. I love how subtle they are; they remind me of Copyblogger and Pearsonified.

Colors Used in Amazing Grace

This sort of color scheme doesn’t carry with it the usual web 2.0 trends. These colors are very serene, and have a sort of calming effect on me.

The Trimmings

Sometimes a list is just the right way to do something.

  • A cutesy RSS icon — every site has something like this nowadays (and with good reason, actually) and this one ties in nicely.
  • A nice border effect on all images used in posts/pages (something I’m always intrigued by)
  • General CSS styles which are flexible. You can add new sidebar elements with ease of mind, as the styles here truly cascade.
  • Polite use of social bookmarks at the end of the most recent post (only del.ici.ous and Digg, which I am okay with)
  • Beautiful font choices — main content in a clean sans-serif and outlined in Georgia, yes!
  • Two layered navigation

Two Layered Navigation

I would actually like to dive into this one a bit, mostly because I never thought about how useful this separated navigation could be for a blog. The top level navigation is for pages, ideally. There is enough room spread across to easily fit eight or ten pages, if need be.

The second level navigation is intended, by Vladimir, to be used to house a few categories. Me, I chose Philosophy, Church Theory, and Dorky Code — three topics very dear to my heart. But there is room for another or two, and is a nice way to offer a few starting points for new visitors to your blog.

Works for Personal Use

I approve of this theme so much that I am now using it myself (thanks Vladimir!). I installed it only minutes after looking it over, which is always a good sign. And I will say this, too: any theme that can make you want to examine your blog to improve its overall quality is a great theme. Anyone agree?

I made a number of adjustments to Amazing Grace so far (due to my own personal preferences, not Vladimir’s incompetence) including:

  • Tweaking the search bar’s appearance, and
  • Switching out his photo in the header with a random pull from my Flickr feed.

If you are interested in hearing how I did either of these things, just keep an eye on my personal blog and I’ll post on it in the next couple of days. If some time goes by and you really want to know, just poke me.

I would recommend checking this theme out, whether you are interested in a new theme for your site or are just interested in some quality design in practice. Nice work Vladimir, and keep us informed on your future work.

If you have a theme you would like reviewed, please let me know. I have a number in the pipes, as they say, so it may be a minute before yours hits. But I will get to it. If you are one of those in my pipe, I appreciate your patience with me.