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The enigmatic evolution of Seraphic Zephyr.


Seraphic Zephyr, simply put, is a website consisting of a blog and design portfolio. The blog mainly encompasses the Web, its standards, and why they are important, although there are several notable deviations. Meanwhile, the design portfolio features some of the other websites Preston So has designed in the past.

Preston So
Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

Seraphic Zephyr (SZ) was born on June 22, 2005. That, amazingly, is the same day that

indicating that this site has a lot going for it.

Parrots for Psittacosis.

Seraphic Zephyr was originally a concept conceived in spring 2005, when I was in seventh grade. I had been working on a science project relating to diseases and their symptoms. In selecting a disease, one I stumbled upon was psittacosis, otherwise known as parrot fever. It affects humans and often kills many birds.

Intrigued by this discovery, I decided on the spot that I would call my blog “Psittacosis” with a sub–heading of “A Severe Case of Parrot Fever.” However, after creating about five preliminary design sketches of what I wanted (all of which look nothing like the design you are staring attentively at right now), I decided against naming a blog after a disease; it seemed rather morbid.

So, discarding the macaw photograph above from my project, I moved to more sophisticated titles, eventually moving to the dictionary for inspiration. As many of my acquaintances will know, I was a very active participant of the regional and state spelling bees, and I happened to come across two words that snapped my fingers for me.

Once summer vacation began (“School’s out for summer!”), I began working hard in earnest to sketch a likable design. Originally, the design for Psittacosis required several headings on the left saying “blog,” “design”, and “About,” with subtle gradients on the navigational links at the top of the page to the right of the title.

The original version of Seraphic Zephyr.

Eventually this sketch morphed into a more durable design in which the headings were positioned to the right next to their respective sections, and the navigation was in a vertical unordered list in the top right. Unfortunately, rather soon into the implementation stage, I realized that although Firefox and Internet Explorer displayed horizontal sizes exactly the same, they did not display heights and vertical elements in the same manner. Struggling to keep my innovatively created three right headings, I experimented with every unit I could think of, but to no avail. The sizes simply never matched, even after the release.

I piled together an acceptable design by 11:57 p.m. on June 22, 2005, and uploaded my first blog entry. Since then, I’ve written on the blog with an average of four to five entries every month, gaining much writing experience along the way.

The Blog
The Evolution of Seraphic Zephyr
  • Planning (Spring 2005)
  • Sketching (Spring 2005)
  • Implementation (April–June 2005)
  • Release (June 22, 2005)
  • Finalization (June–October 2005)

The blog of Seraphic Zephyr consists of many different articles strewn about, all of them archived to view at any time. Most of these articles contain my thoughts on topics ranging from overhyped phrases to Sweden to CSS showcases and incongruous mélanges.

The Design Portfolio

Another major yet lesser–known area of the site is the design portfolio. I’ve put together a bunch of sites for a jumbled variety of people, including three for my local middle school and one for a local library. Personally, I love designing websites; I’m never in it for the money, just for the ability to work on something that I truly love.

Other Essentials

What I Used

TopStyle Lite
morgueFile and PhotoFiltre


Featured Site (thanks, Marban!)
CSS Collection
Featured Site (thanks, Meryl!)
Dark Eye
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W3 Compliant Sites
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