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multiverse diary

Multiverse is a small and expressive blogging network that @kickscondor and @glitchyowl are building. This is where we log project progress
45 entries
Started Feb 7, 2021
glitchyowl and kicks

There was a link last week on here by @tania about whitespace in design:

One of the things that inspired me so much about @glitchyowl's comic logs is that they bring whitespace to blogging. This has always been possible with images (rip spacer.gif) and in webcomics - and ofc in custom hypertext like what Robin Sloan does - but comic logs really seem to encourage spacing out your layouts in a new way - for a narrative benefit.

This stands in stark contrast to the cramped quarters of posting on 'gwalb' social networks. It would be deluded to say that this can solve any of the myriad of problems on the Web - but it will have a subtle effect that's worth coaxing along.


Hopefully Multiverse is not above janky, smh skins. The ability to destroy the design is a necessity. Otherwise expression is capped, innit? Comic Sans is in there. #FF00FF (such a bad color that it was the original transparent color) is in there. Cornflowerblue on cornflowerblue if you REALLY insist!

by glitchyowl

looks like we've got a dress code! gathering and blog chatting can feel like a potluck party too~* we've been exploring ways to thread and stack conversations in a way where we could feel that we are having an equal conversation online


We both loved the pattern palette from MacPaint - here is ours. And while there are hidden toolbars in Multiverse, the most common tools are all shown by default. I'm amazed at how @glitchyowl was able to preserve the approachability and lively design of MacPaint!


So @glitchyowl really opened my eyes to the beauty of MacPaint. It doesn't work anything like our common design tools work today. Like here - - go create something in it and see. The way the pattern brush works.

It's very limited. But this also leads to a unique look. You can tell when something is made in MacPaint. (Or in MS-Paint for that matter! Pokey the Penguin…) I also love that there are no hidden toolbars. You can see everything that you can do.


And here is @glitchyowl's first take at the Fine Vellum style that won me over. And, amazingly, this style was designed inside our Multiverse prototype! (I later took it back to codepen to try to refine it.)


Let's fast-forward to this last month - when @glitchyowl sent me a series of boxes she'd designed that felt like vellum to me. Semi-translucent, fogged-up styles - achieved by dropping a light-colored shadow with a rather heavy blur on it - but leaving the box layer above the shadow almost clear - but with a subtle gradient to it.

I love that you can see through the upper left and top edges!

Here's the pen where I worked this style out:

glitchyowl multiverse diary