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Oct 01

Something is up!

2009 at 01.38 pm posted by Veerle Pieters

You may have noticed that things have slowed down here a bit. I’m also diverting all interviews and keep answering mails to a minium for the time being. The reason for all this is that I am working on Veerle’s blog 3.0. The journey was long and hard!

Veerle's blog 3.0

It is hard to believe but I started the illustration work for the new *me* in the Summer of 2008. Now we are more than a year later and I finally have something that I am very pleased with. You can't imagine how hard it is to combine client work, writing posts, tutorials and working on a next version of this blog. Many iterations have past the photoshop canvas before I got to a point that I really stand firmly behind.

One that didn't make it

This is one iteration that didn't make the cut.

Design that didn't make the cut


Currently I am at a point that almost all my templates have been coded. There is more to code because I have a few new things in the works. Personally I still feel there is a place for a blog that has *one* voice instead of multiple authors and posts that contains lists with 20 of this and 30 of that. We have enough of those! I hope that my new version will bring something new that will serve as a lighthouse in the sea of all the shouting. Most of those shout for attention and traffic and it is my goal to come out with something that is the opposite of that. Not sure if I'll succeed but hey at least I'll have tried :)


The next phase that I have to start is adding my templates to ExpressionEngine and making everything dynamic. Hopefully this will be smooth sailing and won't take up too much time. Speaking of EE...


Mitchell from Solspace is celebrating his 37th birthday with a special 37% discount on all items in the Solspace shop. You'll have to be quick as it only runs today. I'm doubting on Tag 2.6.5. Have any of you used it? What is the most useful EE add on from Solspace that you are using now?


That's the million dollar question :) I'm hoping to get it ready before I go to Leiden, NL for EECI2009, the first ExpressionEngine and CodeIgniter Conference. Not sure if that will be doable. Anyway things will be slow here until I am done.




permalink this comment Kurt Cruse Thu Oct 1, 2009 at 02.13 pm

Can’t wait to see it! I’ve always found that personal projects are the most difficult to execute so the fact that you’re happy with the designs is fantastic.



permalink this comment abdelhak Thu Oct 1, 2009 at 02.36 pm

My first comment on here. I love this place and love what you’ve been up to through the years. I personally think that even your current blog design is very unique and standing out from the crowd, it’ll never get outdated IMHO. Just take a look around and you’ll notice how most graphic/web design related blogs tend to look ridiculously alike.

I’m eager to see the new look implemented. Good luck and keep shining as always :)



permalink this comment Paul Olyslager Thu Oct 1, 2009 at 02.47 pm

Looking forward to see the 3rd generation.



permalink this comment Glenn Van Bogaert Thu Oct 1, 2009 at 03.10 pm

I’m curious. Suprise me! And good luck with your blog. I really like it.



permalink this comment David Tremblay Thu Oct 1, 2009 at 03.33 pm

Can’t wait for your next design! Are you waiting for EE 2.0 or you will use 1.6.8?



permalink this comment Jason Thu Oct 1, 2009 at 03.40 pm

Regarding Solspace, I’ve found that their most useful add-on is “Freeform”. I install it on every EE site I create because I know that at some point, I’ll need something a little more robust than EE’s built-in contact form functionality.

As for Solspace’s “Tag” module, I use it on my site and I have no complaints: it gets the job done. You might also want to look at the “Simple Tags” module—it’s not as advanced or feature-rich as Solspace’s module, but it is free.



permalink this comment Bob H Thu Oct 1, 2009 at 04.02 pm

Something tells me this is going to be one of the biggest ‘events’ of the month. I’m sure it will be amazing!



permalink this comment Marcy Thu Oct 1, 2009 at 05.19 pm

I love hearing your “one” voice, and seeing your creativity. I’m looking forward to the new blog.



permalink this comment Soroush Thu Oct 1, 2009 at 06.27 pm

Keeping me waiting at the edge of my seat! Looking forward to the new design, and new format!



permalink this comment Andrew Thu Oct 1, 2009 at 06.50 pm

When you are designing a site do you first work on the templates apart from EE and then integrate them after they are all “signed off”? I have not worked this way before. EE has so many tags and such it seems easier to just build it in the program.

Also I am working on a new site and have the site map done, but instead of working on the design look and feel I’m first starting to “wire everything up” in EE. After that is done I’ll start looking at how the content should be presented, but at least I’ll have the functionality in place. Do you work this way or do you find it easier to create the look and feel first? Sorry for the long comment and questions.



permalink this comment Vanni Thu Oct 1, 2009 at 08.20 pm

Well Well… here you are announcing yet another re-design of your web site to version 3.0 and I have yet to start my version 2.0!  Right after you wowed us all with 2.0 I was determined that I would re-do my site. And here you are ready with another and I have to yet to start mine ;-) I am sure your new site will inspire me once again to work on my old crusty site. This time i might actually do it!



permalink this comment Vasili Thu Oct 1, 2009 at 08.56 pm

The design that didn’t make it is still very clean and pretty. Can’t wait to see the one that did make it! :D



permalink this comment Sam Logan Thu Oct 1, 2009 at 10.42 pm

Building suspense Veerle, looking forward to seeing the new design!



permalink this comment Stijn Neirinck Fri Oct 2, 2009 at 07.46 am

Veerle, looking forward to see the result. Do you have good links to an online tutorial for making EE templates. Want to give this a try as well. Currently I’m working with Joomla! and Wordpress. But maybe EE could be an added value.



permalink this comment Philly Fri Oct 2, 2009 at 01.07 pm

Can’t wait to see what you come up with.

I have always considered this site to be one of the best examples of an expression engine site.  Designers will always say “well you cant do that online”. I point them here and it normally shuts them up :)



permalink this comment Veerle Pieters Fri Oct 2, 2009 at 01.22 pm

Lolka said:

I wonder how much ExpressionEngine is similar to Wordpress. I am about to set up my own blog and I decided to use Wordpress as it is more popular. But I see that there are many templates to prepare. It is not so straightforward :). If you know Wordpress a little bit are you able to compare it in few words?

For a simple blog you are better off with Wordpress I think. ExpressionEngine has a learning curve as well and until you arrive at that lightbulb moment it can be challenging. Out of the box EE can handle a lot more features that need plugins in Wordpress to do the same. In my humble opinion the advantage is its flexibility.

David Tremblay said:

Are you waiting for EE 2.0 or you will use 1.6.8?

I am part of the beta testers team so I will be using the EE 2.0 beta.

Andrew said:

When you are designing a site do you first work on the templates apart from EE and then integrate them after they are all “signed off”? I have not worked this way before. EE has so many tags and such it seems easier to just build it in the program

Oh no, I absolutely couldn’t work this way. The structure and CSS is so complicated for this design and most other client work that I would loose track very quickly. My templates are built statically first and after that I start implementing the specific EE tags.

Stijn Neirinck said:

Do you have good links to an online tutorial for making EE templates.

I highly recommend are the screencasts by Ryan Irelan. There are some video tutorials at the EE site as well. An Introduction to ExpressionEngine by Sean Sperte is another good resource. That should get you going :)



permalink this comment xethorn Fri Oct 2, 2009 at 04.02 pm

The current version is truly good and has been a reference for years in term of design.

I can’t wait to see the new vision of your website. One thing is sure: it’s gonna be amazing!



permalink this comment Vanni Fri Oct 2, 2009 at 06.57 pm

you are 2.0!! interesting can’t wait to see your new site. i am at EEroadshow in Seattle and your name was mentioned this morning.



permalink this comment Cody Sat Oct 3, 2009 at 05.23 am

Sounds like you’ve gotten everything figure out.  I love to see re-designs of website.  I’m sure it will be awesome.



permalink this comment Wendy Sat Oct 3, 2009 at 11.15 pm

Veerle - I have always been impressed with how generous you are with your time to share your thoughts and knowledge with us. I love your tutorials. Thank you and I can’t wait to see the new design!



permalink this comment Vanni Mon Oct 5, 2009 at 07.19 am

I am surprised to hear that you start with pure html:
“My templates are built statically first and after that I start implementing the specific EE tags…”

It would be interesting to learn a little more on your workflow.



permalink this comment Aurélien Mon Oct 5, 2009 at 08.26 am

Hi Veerle,
you’re one of my favourite webdesigner even if you do much more than web design.
I love all of your graphic works. At the first see, I could always say : “Hey ! It’s Veerle Pieters’ work !”
I’m waiting for your new design and I’m sure it would be a new inspirational way for the webdesign community.
I know how much difficult it is to manage both professional and personnal projects…
So, just go on and continue to break the rules, it’s always a pleasure to see your works !

Kind Regards



permalink this comment Christophe Mon Oct 5, 2009 at 10.08 am

The mind is most critical for ones personal work - looking forward to the new design.



permalink this comment Paul McLaren Mon Oct 5, 2009 at 02.36 pm


I have loved visiting your blog for the last few years.  Your designs never look busy and flow nicely allowing the eye to browse though your content.  Which their is a lot of and I still don’t understand how you find the time to do it. If it was for your blog and tutorials, I would never have end up on the road of design better websites using CSS. Keep up the great work!  Looking forward to seeing the new 3.0 blog and learning more!!



permalink this comment Rahul Tue Oct 6, 2009 at 08.30 am

We are awaiting your next version of the blog.

We hope this one is gonna take the blogging world with a boom.

Best of luck.



permalink this comment Stafford Wed Oct 7, 2009 at 11.58 am

Looking forward to seeing it - I think it’s going to be pretty impressive! :-)



permalink this comment Dr. Girlfriend Wed Oct 7, 2009 at 05.04 pm

Your goal is a noble one and I heartily support you! You’ve put into words the exact reasons why I enjoy coming to your site so much instead of the many others who push and scream for attention, all the while trying to sell you something.

Your site has always been a zen-like experience—an oasis from the chaos. I appreciate your singular voice and look forward to the new iteration, however you choose to manifest it.



permalink this comment Roland Thu Oct 8, 2009 at 08.57 am

Balancing work and my non-profit sites is always difficult - I could use just one day that was a thousand hours long every once in a while. Good luck with your blog 3.0 !! You deserve it…



permalink this comment Vanni Thu Oct 8, 2009 at 05.46 pm

“Your site has always been a zen-like experience—an oasis from the chaos. I appreciate your singular voice and look forward to the new iteration, however you choose to manifest it.”

Very nice thoughts. I concur



permalink this comment Wendy Sun Oct 11, 2009 at 09.14 pm

Sometimes you just know that a person has the talent to make things look great. That’s how I think of you and the amazig work that you do.Looking forward to you r newest site.



permalink this comment lebisol Wed Oct 14, 2009 at 12.27 am

I am part of the beta testers team so I will be using the EE 2.0 beta

...and now you just doubled the envy. :)
Solspace…well since you are the only author it eliminates need for a lot of addons. Tags are nice IF you really need tags…they will comb your categories and create tags. Favorites, Freeform,Ratings, User are all very nice…again they come in play with multi-user site.

Personally, categories are just enough to organize content…the rest is meta world anyhow. Speaking of,if you have not configured your fields quite yet then consider LG Better Meta.
Good luck with launch!



permalink this comment tashfeen Wed Oct 14, 2009 at 07.56 am

I wish I could express in words how much of an inspiration your blog has been. I had decisively drifted away from web design, when I one day stumbled on your site - and now I’m thinking of rekindling the old flame. Thank you, thank you so much, and I’m sure 3.0 is going to be a blast. Can’t wait.



permalink this comment david Mon Oct 19, 2009 at 04.39 pm

Hi Veerle!!!

I am definitely looking forward to the next iteration of this site! It’s no doubt, it’s going to be good.  I’ve started using EE for client work, just because of this site and will start on my own site very soon. Thank you!



permalink this comment Paul Liddelow Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 03.05 am

Hey Veerle!

More power to you! I love your site and have done for years. I use it as inspiration and tips on how to master Illustrator etc. Like you, I agree content is king and you will shine out over the crowd if you keep it so.



permalink this comment Vanni Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 05.24 pm

Hi Veerle ... do post news from EECI2009 tomorrow!

(Veerle: didn’t really had wifi that worked so coudn’t post updates. Biggest news is that EE will be out December 1st. )



permalink this comment Josh Star Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 07.26 pm

Hi Veerle!

I’ve been a long time reader of your site and admirer of your designs but this is my first time posting. I am truly impressed with the intricate level of detail put in to all your designs including your parent site at

Brilliant stuff!



permalink this comment Harry Fri Oct 23, 2009 at 05.49 am

Awesome, the blog world needs more quality content!



permalink this comment Lauren Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 05.46 am

Hi, like many who have commented before me on this post, I too am a long time visitor to your site but a first time commentor.

This design is still just as stunning as it was since it’s inception, I can’t wait to see what’s next. Not only is your site visually impressive, your articles have also been top notch, and accurate. You wrote tutorials about doing things the way they should be done not just how “to emulate an effect.” Again, I can’t wait to see what you have in store!

I have enjoyed and admired your site for quite some time, one that I could not imagine the web without.

When you launch version 3.0, those of us who can only admire your work will do what we know, take a screen capture so that we can add your site to the 20 best web designs post we are working on. :) Have a super day.

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