New Year, New Home

A little refreshment for this blog

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Happy New Year. This is the first post that I “published” on this new site. There’re lots of stuff I want to talk about, but this time, let’s take a look at the design of “So1o”. I hope this is a refreshment to the site as well as myself.

I felt like getting a new domain name in the new year. I want my blog to be more personal, where I can talk about stuff. The previous domain has a bit of negative energy in it. I don’t want it around anymore. I was also tempted to make some changes.

At first, I thought something like “defy” would be cool as a domain name. Apparently, it’s being used by someone else. So, I searched for a while for domains that are short and memorable. I gotta tell you, I thought “.com” stood for “company” since I know what the internet is. It was not. It means “commercial”. I also don’t like the meaning of “.net”. It has to be more personal.

Then I took my time to have a look at my fellow bloggers. I noticed @joel and @dusnm both using “.xyz” as their domains. I looked up the meaning of “.xyz” and it turns out it could be anything. That’s great. It just so happens that they’re quite young. Mind you, I don’t want to put labels on people. But according to Wikipedia, people born after 1981 are defined as Gen Y. I’m one of “them.” Anyway, I created a logotype for this blog a while back. I thought, “Why not use it then?” And the fee for was just USD$2 for the first year. It was a steal. I guess you know what will happen next.


Despite the fact that I am not an award-winning designer, but you know, when it comes to design, I do know a thing or two. So, bear with me for a few minutes. I can tell you that, whatever designs you’re creating, the meaning or the concept of them has to be there. Especially in visual design, everything you put into the layout has a purpose and an intention. It maybe not that apparent at first glance, but when someone looks closely, there are some details that echo the idea. It will convey the message behind it in some way. The end result might not be good, but the process of creating it matters more. This is how I see it.

Main logo of So1o displayed on a background with graphics
The logotype and secondary graphics for this blog

Back to the subject, I refreshed the logo and added some secondary graphics as background. The idea was simple. This blog is a place where I share about stuff, from my personal point of view. The joy of gaming, the experience of watching a film, reading a book, or, expressing my moods. They’re all personal feelings. Solo. And I want to document the moments.

A design showing the look and feel, and what So1o was about.
Key visual of the brand. It looks like an ad, I was not able to resist my old habits
Logo with grids overlay
The construction of the logo

The logotype is created using simple geometric shapes. I want it to be sharp, bold, and easy to recognize even in small sizes. Some metaphors were implied with the forms and shapes, but they were kind of abstract. It could be better by making it more obvious. The rectangle represents the target indicator—the arrow pointing “the Player” in video games. The “1” is intended to make the logo more noticeable and distinct—singular, an individual. The “o” is the cosmic—the universe. A personal, independent site that lives in the Federated Universe. Blogging is a “single-player” experience where it can also connect with people.

I actually went through different iterations of the same idea. None of them that appeal to me. So, I returned to the original.

The logo is now set to black. The idea is that I don’t want it to be fixed on a specific colour, but instead, it changes when it was placed in different scenario. See what we can do about it later. I also like to make use of some fluorescent colours. They’re used in the cosmic graphics. These treatments are intended to make the brand more stand out, and fun. I might want to turn it into some CSS animation if I’ve got the time. I think the logo works for now. I’ll keep pushing it whenever I fancy to.


As you can tell, I’m not a developer. But I do have a little bit of knowledge in front-end, such as writing HTML and CSS. I spent some time creating a new section for this blog. It’s an Archive for my blog posts. Originally, I wanted to create an Web App for it. But it’s way too time-consuming, and it won’t happen anytime soon. For the time being, I decided to make it part of this blog. It would be the foundation of my other side projects too.

In case you might have missed it, as I’ve mentioned before, the site’s design is a tribute to the Pop Art movement and a throwback to the 960 Grid System. I created a grid for the structure of this site and aligned content in a way that somewhat resembles the design of fixed width websites before Responsive Design happened. With my background in print design, I think it kind of reflects my taste in typography.

I revisited the code and updated them for a bit. To me, it wasn’t an easy task for using semantic HTML elements while making adjustment on the layout through code. I’m not sure anyone would notice, I pay extra attention to the alignment. It won’t get me any awards. Yeah, I know. I’m telling you, building my site, my way, it’s very satisfying.

Meanwhile, I’m still updating the code. It’s not perfect, but I hope the design is consistent across all pages.


Everyone’s doing year in review, talking about their new year goals. Some of them are great. I’ve seen a lot of reading posts too. I really don’t have plans for year 2023. But updating this site, would be the first step. Gregory asked “What are your resolutions, goals or theme for 2023?” Here’s my reply on Mastodon.

Slow living, blogging more often, write faster, less angry, get healthier, ask my crush out, and be content.

Jw, 2 Jan 2023

I wrote this in a very short time without thinking too much. It turned out to be kind of genuine. So, I want to keep it here and see what happens a year later.

I have a lot of ideas for improvements to this blog. I’ll keep to updating them gradually. Such as a new favicon set, an Open Graph image, and most importantly, RSS. I didn’t pay much attention to the RSS last year, but I’m now trying to make it better. If you are interested in subscribing to my RSS, please let me know if it is broken. Thanks.

I spent my entire day off updating the code and writing this post. It was far too much time tinkering with the site. But it’s better. See you next time!

This is #Day89 of #100DaysToOffload.