The Style Contest Results
Honestly, I don't entirely agree with the judges selections. So, my picks for category winners:
- Hobbies and Crafts: Magic Paper: I can certainly see why this theme won this category. The first time I saw it, the subtlety and great attention to detail left me needing to pick up my jaw. Phenomenal work! My Scrapbook: Blue entry isn't even worth looking at once you've seen Magic Paper.
- Home and Family: If I can't pick Bulletin Board as the winner, I'd pick Pink Blooms. Pink is definitely not a favorite color of mine, but the simplicity and elegance of the theme make me really like it.
- The Kitchen Sink is a tough category to choose in because there really are several entries that are worth being winners: Quoth the Raven and Shlyapa are fantastic, but I think Red Curve should have won: it's an uncluttered design that clearly presents the site's text in a readable manner. That's the highest praise I can give it: the design makes me want to read the text on the site, not look in awe at the graphics used--something we should all probably strive for a little more.
- Let me be honest up front: I read no News, Politics and Current Events blogs. I typically find their presentation of information terribly cluttered and unappealling, so read through Bloglines. I think they should be using a text-focused design like Red Curve. I didn't expect to like any of the entries in this category (and really, I don't), but Top Secret is the best of them, without a doubt.
- Sports and Recreation: Trail Mix is clearly not a contender here. Foggy Forest is a great theme, but is definitely trumped by The Sky Conquest: its use of imagery is very thorough and red accents really scream to the reader, which completely fits the fast and strong energy associated with planes and parachuting.
- Technology: Ineligible because one of the contest administrators created them, I really like Web 2.Oz Ruby Slippers and Emerald City. Make My Way is a great choice for the category winner: as the author says, "simple and harmonious."
Who would I give the Grand Prize to? It's certainly a tough choice, but three entries immediately jump to mind: Magic Paper, Red Curve, and The Sky Conquest. Perhaps the best way to choose a winner would be for the three theme authors to put some boxing gloves on and get into the ring--last one standing gets the money!