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Any Professionals using Artisteer here? (4 posts)

  1. WP Voyager
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    I have been considering a foray into theme designing, in addition to my current work as webmaster for a small business. I have some experience with hand-coding XHTML and CSS, especially in context of customizing existing designs (well, hand-marking-up, whatever; I know XHTML and all that isn't really "coding"). I am curious to see if any "respected theme professionals" hanging around the forum are using the Artisteer program to make themes.

    "Respected theme Professionals" is in quotes, because "professional" and "respected" tend to be relative terms. If you have knowledge on the subject, I would just like your input and opinions. When I say professional, I'm thinking about someone who is very dedicated and well-known in the forums (a Mod like Esmi, or an awesome designer like Alchymyth).

    In general,

    • Are themes created with Artisteer notably "beginner" or "cheep" in appearance? [In your opinion]
    • Have you personally used Artisteer to create a theme for public use (either in the WP.org repo, a third-party GPL repo, or as a premium theme)?
    • If you would personally recommend against using Artisteer, are there any obvious ways to replicate some of it's handy automatic functions by using WP Template Tags, a plugin, or something?

    I'm just looking for some input here, curious to see what the experienced users and designers think. Most posts about Artisteer are very old!

  2. waif
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    I am not a professional theme designer, but I have looked at Artisteer and this is what I think:

    • The code it creates (especially the HTML and css) is very bloated. Note that is true of most visual design tools.
    • A lot of the sites tend to look very similar... centered with glares, textures, and gradients, sometimes overdone.
    • Related to that, a lot of the graphic elements could be done in css (even css 2) instead of in graphics.
    • I can't speak the the php files it creates because I am not as familiar with those as with HTML and css - but it does things like put HTML in some of the php files instead of in functions. It works fine, is just a little ugly. (This is comparing the php files to those in the twentyten theme files).
    • It uses fixed font sizes (px) instead of ems -- not accessible. But a fairly easy thing to change in the css.
    • You can ask it to "suggest design" and also configure your own colors in many locations. However, not all the suggested designs are pretty!

    Version 3, recently released, is better -- it allows full width headers (so not every design is centered) and variable widths (percentage width for both the main content and individual columns instead of fixed pixels).

    Since it does create graphics using different colors (such as background textures -- even some subtle ones), I'm thinking about using it just for that, and dropping the image into a cleaner, smaller HTML / css framework.

  3. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Are themes created with Artisteer notably "beginner" or "cheep" in appearance? [In your opinion]

    Definitely "beginner".

    Have you personally used Artisteer to create a theme for public use (either in the WP.org repo, a third-party GPL repo, or as a premium theme)?

    Sorry - no. Wouldn't touch it with a barge pole. The markup it produces is quite awful.

    If you would personally recommend against using Artisteer, are there any obvious ways to replicate some of it's handy automatic functions by using WP Template Tags, a plugin, or something?

    No. People build good templates/themes - not software.

  4. WP Voyager
    Member
    Posted 3 years ago #

    @waif, thanks for your opinion. I was sadly figuring as much.

    @esmi: Ha ha ha ha! I was actually thinking of you as one of the "professionals" I mentioned in the OP. Thanks for your thoughts. Yeah, that's definitely the experience I've had with other visual design programs, and I wanted to see if anyone thought the same general things about Artisteer.

    The only thing I'm still confused on is how to easily recreate the cool thing that Artisteer themes do with the menu system: They wrap the link <div> in three parts, so that there is a cap image, looping fill, and then an opposite cap.
    I have never used Artisteer, only customised themes created with the program. I noticed this handy feature for styling the menu markup, but it appears to be a custom function. Also, the themes are not compatible with the new 3.x menu system.
    So, my question really is: "How can I create the double-cap menu design without Artisteer?"

    I'll probably wind up creating a new thread if no one answers here...

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