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The Daily Edition design process with Liam McKay

Written by Mark Forrester on September 18, 2009 Blog.


Liam kindly spent some time with us chatting through what was involved in his recent collaboration with WooThemes on the Daily Edition theme.

Working on a design for WooThemes isn’t like any other project. You’ve got to keep your mind on making something that not only looks fantastic to start, but something that can easily be customized in a variety of ways. The way I chose to get around this, on this project, was to offer something that quite minimalistic in design, but packed full of the features and special touches that users love to see in a WooThemes product.

By keeping the elements really clean and open I’ve left it wide open for Woo users to grab this and adapt it in their own unique ways. As the brief was for a more modern re-make of the Gazette theme I felt it was important to make the most of the special interactive features, and keep some of the charm that people love from that theme, but also make it distinctive enough to be different from the Gazette theme.

With so many different elements on the page it was important to establish an overall feel, but I spent quite a bit of time ensuring I had made the most of each section and element in turn. I’m happy with how everything turned out and I’m relieved that some of my experiments and ideas were welcomed by the community when the preview images were released.

Liam drew some inspiration from Fever
Liam drew some inspiration from Fever

I wouldn’t say this was a minimalistic design though, not by any stretch, but I certainly was inspired by a lot of minimalistic designs and tried to bring as much of that as possible across in the design element. Sites such as,,, and really got my mind in the right place for making something with a lot of space and clarity. It was important to keep a lot of space without wasting space needlessly, I think it was all about finding that balance and still allowing for all of the special functions that the theme needed to have. It took a while finding something that looked spot on, but once it reaches that point you know right away!

Another big part of this project for me was the Wallpaper that WooThemes asked me to create. They put a lot of trust in me to come up with something that got the idea of theme theme across and create something that looked good enough for people to want to use as their desktop background. My idea was to make a wallpaper that included some big news stories from recent and past years, but I wanted to show them off in a way that made them look attractive and keep a positive feel on a mix of fantastic and horrific news stories. With that in mind I went for a very textured, soft and watercolor-like collage. Keeping the colors soft, and including a lot of space around the elements was done in an effort to reflect the characteristics of the theme. The idea to include news elements comes from the fact that you would class the theme as a premium News or Magazine theme and I’m sure that a lot of the users will be using the theme at some point in the future to document some very important and influential news, so it’s the users who’ll be making the news and it’s WooThemes who’s giving them the tools they need to do so.

All in all it was another project that I very much enjoyed thanks to the WooThemes team, one that gave me a lot to think about and a lot to do, but in the end one that I’m very proud of.


Daily Edition free wallpaper

Daily Edition Wallpaper TeaserThe wallpaper Liam made for us to promote the Daily Edition theme is a wonderful collage of big news stories over recent history, the overall feel is supposed to be quite soft with elements of watercolour and other textures throughout.

I’m already sporting in on my desktop and it looks wonderful.

The wallpaper is available in 5 different sizes:


20 Responses

  1. momo
    September 18, 2009 at 7:55 am #

    Very interesting, thanks for sharing

  2. Ahmed
    September 18, 2009 at 8:11 am #

    This What make this theme different Its open For ideas For Creativity

    Nice Theme Ilove the dark Edition

  3. Dave Sparks
    September 18, 2009 at 9:41 am #

    Nice theme and nice talk through the thought processes thanks.

    (The links to the wallpaper don’t work, they should read uploads/2009/09/ rather than uploads/2009/08/, at least the links I found elsewhere are 09)

    • Magnus Jepson
      September 19, 2009 at 6:01 am #

      Fixed! 🙂

  4. Case
    September 18, 2009 at 10:04 am #

    I’m getting 404’s on the wallpaper links

    • Case
      September 18, 2009 at 10:05 am #

      Sorry, just seen Dave’s already pointed this out.

  5. Gerald Lucas
    September 18, 2009 at 10:52 am #

    I really like this theme and planned to use it. However, it’s the only one of your themes I never got to work correctly, even after turning off all of my plugins and playing with every option.

    The problem was that the articles on the main page and tag pages looked like they were embedded into each other along one narrow column on the left. I know this is something for the support forums, but maybe this one was released too early?

    That said, I generally love your themes and moving to another usually only takes several minutes to make work. With this one, I was not so lucky.

    • Magnus Jepson
      September 19, 2009 at 5:29 am #

      That is one for the support forum 🙂

  6. downsouth
    September 18, 2009 at 8:01 pm #

    Thanks Woo for including these backgrounders – it’s most interesting. I love this theme. To me it has the ideal blend of out-of-the-box style with excellent and easy opportunities for customisation.

    One general observation: I’d really like to see some typographic options as well as overall colour changes in the options panel. For example, I’m not a fan of forced capitalisation.

  7. thecandytrail
    September 20, 2009 at 9:15 am #

    Hi Liam.


    Exactly the look and functions I was dreaming of …

    Great work – I bought your theme yesterday and had it running fast, after a test version, everything behaving nicely – pics, video, loading in (one small footer thing: for forum) but awesome despite that I that had an intermittent web connection and some uploading / downloading hiccups here in Guatemala, during a big storm, at mellow San Pedro on the shores of Lake Atitlan.

    I changed my site from THESIS to WOO, which is better for my present needs and soothes my close-to-zero coding abilities so that I can chill and focus on content.

    You my check my revamped blog – w/Daily Edition – on the link above.

    Regards – MRP [ the candy trail … on the road across the planet, since 1988 ]

    • Adii Rockstar
      September 21, 2009 at 1:03 am #

      It’s awesome to see that you have switched from Thesis to one of our themes! 🙂 The site is looking fantastic and those photos are really stunning.

      • Michael Robert Powell
        September 21, 2009 at 1:07 pm #


        While I still have Thesis – awaiting the hyped 2.0 release – for possible other sites I found the lack of skins and my total lack of CSS abilities (not interested in learning it, either, as my time, between traveling constantly, is spent learning graphics / video software for my blog content) and so re-designing Thesis to look great and adding workable plug-in sliders, etc, just proved too frustrating and time-consuming for a code-novice like me.

        BESIDES, I have been aware of WOO since the start and have been tempted to change-over-themes constantly this past year … but didn’t, til now … Glad I did !

        Woo themes is seriously the best place for WP themes.

        Regards – MRP

  8. Basilakis
    September 20, 2009 at 12:42 pm #

    Liam link in the top, gieves an 404page error because the link is wrong. Check it out 🙂

    • Adii Rockstar
      September 21, 2009 at 1:06 am #

      Thanks for that; I’ve amended the link now!

  9. Flashy
    September 21, 2009 at 2:55 am #

    Can you please redo Daily theme. It has one major flaw in its design. Too much space. I dont know did you studyied design or anything, but you failed with finding the balance of space and content. Huge padding just kills this it.

    • Magnus Jepson
      September 21, 2009 at 3:28 am #

      We think the correct use of white space makes this theme stand out. And I think most will agree with us. I haven’t studied design unfortunately, but I believe I have an eye for good design 🙂

    • Michael Robert Powell
      September 21, 2009 at 1:16 pm #

      Flashy: I disagree; way-too-many WP themes are cluttered, dense lay-outs with too many options / info, and usually too much crap, especially Ads. I reckon the big white space is great as it gives a place for the eyes to rest and, really makes CONTENT STAND-OUT – great, if your site is dense with ORIGINAL images & video, etc.

      I love this theme … but each to their own … there’s no definitive answer for life, let alone a definitive WP theme.

      Regards – MRP [ AKA the candy trail … ]

  10. downsouth
    September 21, 2009 at 8:08 pm #

    This theme certainly blows away huge amounts of space, but for what it is I think it works well. It’s suitable to really showcase a selected stream of high quality content, and have it standout, free from clutter.

    The amount of fresh content on display isn’t too disimilar to the mockups of InStream (name right?), but InStream feels much more cluttered imo because of the oversized sidebar.

    The only thing I’m not that keen on is the slider coding. The slider looks good, and I want to use it, but seems to be a bit of a resource hog.

  11. premiumthemeclub
    October 1, 2009 at 7:10 am #

    It really has great features like video player in home page by java script. as Liam said in his quote that he has packed this theme with full of features and easily customizable in a variety of ways yet quite minimalistic in design. Great work done by him and wooteam

  12. mrak911
    November 16, 2009 at 8:25 am #

    Very interesting, thanks.