New Design Details

As you may or may not have noticed, Tweens Read Too got a redesign! I did this for numerous reasons mainly because I felt like it was time, and also for a few other reasons that I’ll go over below. If you’re the designer type or if you’re just invested in the site, this post for you! Thanks for dropping by Tweens Read Too, and I hope you like the new redesign!

Why I Changed The Design And What That Means

  • Like I said before, I changed the design because I’ve had my previous theme, Retro-Fitted, for a long time. While I do love Retro-Fitted a lot, I felt like it was limited for what I wanted to accomplish. I also set out a new goal for Tweens Read Too, and I felt like the new theme would bring about new beginnings.
  • Tweens Read Too was originally a part of my young-adult book blog, The Silver Words, formerly RealityLapse. I created The Silver Words first, and it was my blog baby, but I remembered how much I loved this blog on its blogoversary and I love posting to this blog as well. I created Tweens Read Too for a reason, and that reason was that I wanted middle-schoolers, parents/family of middle-schoolers and people who just love middle-grade lit to have a place where middle-grade books are reviewed and talked about. Official today, I’m probably not going to be hosting any more authors individually unless there’s an extra special book that just really needs to get featured. Tweens Read Too is review-focused.
  • It should also be mentioned that I never really realized how seriously I took Tweens Read Too until about it’s blogoversary. It was then that I saw how long I’d been blogging on here and how much I love reviewing and reading middle-grade lit. That was when I realized I needed some things to change on TRT if I’m really going to be blogging on here.

Blog Changes

The design is not the only thing that’s changed. I have more pages, including a list of MG books that I loved and would recommend. It’s still in the works, but a lot of books are up, so be sure to take a look!

Another change is that, while TRT will not be hosting individual authors on a regular basis, it will be hosting an author event, the date for which is still undetermined. How long it will be depends on how much content I can pull together and how many authors would be willing to participate. It will happen though, and it will be celebrating the year’s MG books.

I did a post on it about a week ago, but Tweens Read Too also has it’s own separate Bloglovin’ page now, so there are more ways to follow TRT.

Theme Change

Tweens Read Too

Tweens Read Too, Retro-Fitted style.

The overall theme before was called Retro-Fitted. I picked it because I loved the way that the posts, menu and widgets all popped out, almost like separate entities. I also loved the clean look of the font and the different color of the search button. The blockquote option was also really appealing.

At the time, Retro-Fitted had everything that I needed it to have.

When I started looking for a new theme to put on Tweens Read Too, I wanted to maintain a minimalistic style, and with the same pop-out posts that Retro-Fitted has.

The themes that I narrowed down were Grisaille, Big Brother and Lyretail.

Just as a quick run-down of what I liked, I love the font layout of Grisaille. I really like the styles and the way that the headers and basic fonts look together. I also really enjoyed the way that the menus look out lined so there’s zero confusion as to what is under what and I love the huge social links at the top of the page. Loved the widgets as well. Didn’t love so much the coloring of the links and the highlights. This was extremely close to becoming the theme for Tweens Read Too. I actually tried it on before I tried this theme, but it ended not really fitting the feel I was aiming for with Tweens Read Too. This theme may not be the most friendly, but it’s multi-colored and clean, whereas I felt Grisaille was more professional.

I’ll confess that the header was mainly why I wanted to use Lyretail. Ultimately, I knew it just wouldn’t work for me because, while I did want some social links, I didn’t have the focus on social links to really fully use that theme. I loved the layout of the menu even though I don’t usually love drop-down menus and the minimalistic feel of the theme. I feel like Lyretail was meant to be much more personal, but all the same I would’ve been fine using it for Tweens Read Too if I didn’t have Big Brother.

Big Brother theme Tweens Read Too

Big Brother theme on Tweens Read Too (without header)

Big Brother is the theme used for Tweens Read Too now! From the beginning, I loved the fonts, simple layout and the pop-out of the posts. I really enjoy the widget format as well. I felt like the design was just enough and not too much. I liked the minimalistic style of the footer social links, even though I do wish that there was a Goodreads social link.

I do think it might’ve been better if I’d stuck to the original header text with just an image of books or something in the background, but I really wanted to design a header and matching button for TRT.

List of Design Changes

  • TRT now its own button in the sidebar, and the button for The Silver Words is displayed there as well.
  • There’s a ‘Follow me on Bloglovin’ button link in the sidebar.
  • Instead of a list of categories, I stuck a category cloud there as more of a visual effect.
Footer, Menu, Pages and Header
Tweens Read Too header

I never really had the chance to use TRT’s footer the way I wanted to, the way I did with The Silver Words’ homepage. I’m still not able to, but with the focus on the primary sidebar I’m actually okay with that. However, I do have my social links down there. As for the header, menu and pages:

  • Header text is off
  • New header
  • New ‘I would recommend’ page
  • New ‘About’ page

Then there’s the favicon, which is that little tiny square up on the tab in your menu. It’s a smaller version of the button displayed in the sidebar.

That’s it for TRT’s new design! What do you think of it? Any suggestions? Leave them in the comments below or email me on the contact page.


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