At the request of Capt. Anand Kumar, I have assembled a little journey through the look of our network over its history, using the logo as the signposts of our journey.
Admittedly, I am a tinkerer by nature, so the changes have happened often. One of the themes that shows up with every site change is the usage of typography, which is critical in conveying an image, in both senses of the word. One interesting note is that Eldon Tucker's first rendition of Theosophy.Net and the current version use the exact same font, Times New Roman. However, by using all caps and no bold, a much more 'stately' image is conveyed. It is very interesting how some themes keep playing themselves out. Certainly an eternal golden braid.
So, with that, I'll try to tell a bit of a story with each one.
Thanks to the site waybackmachine.org, which archives old versions of sites. I have been able to pull some of the older versions of Theosophy.Net.
Here is Eldon Tucker's first use of the name. The first iteration took place in February, 2000. By the way, the redirect still works!
The first major change took place on April 21, 2003, when several links were added for the other sites on the Theosophical Network. The intention was to create a network of sites which would support each other. Included in this was the still active "Theosophy World", the "Theos-Talk E-Mail List", currently run by MK Ramadoss, Richard Slusser's "High Country Theosophist", the predecessor to "Theos-Talk", "Theos-L" (for theosophy list, back when they were known as list-servs), and the site "Theosophy.Com", which is still active.
Thus the site remained the same until March 28th, 2009, the official opening of The Theosophical Network.
One decision that was made very early on was the usage of a fractal image in place of the swastika that normally occupies theosophical seals. This was Eldon's idea and we all were very enthusiastic in our agreement. Since one of our major goals is to reframe the movement by maintaining a forward facing focus, the usage of the fractal just seemed to fit right in. It feels right!
The original banner was put together by Katinka Hesselink. It featured the network name with a number of "echoes", that is, fainter versions of the name in the background. The banner remained the same until July, 2010. The main font in the banner is a Lucidia Sans, an informal typeface that is quite classy.
The next incarnation actually rolled out in July of 2010. It retained the black background of the original, but the script and the logo changed. The main font is a Galeforce BTN, which is an artistic script face, whose purpose was to convey something of an edginess, but not too much.
Next was the first of the "planets" theme, which hung around in one motif or another and changed with the theme of the site. Since the color scheme was lightened up a great deal the logo went to a white background. The font was an Arial typeface, given a "3D" candy apple texture.
The last change before the current homepage was done on December 29th. The motivation for this view was to correspond with changes that had been made to the theme. The word "Theosophical" was no longer a "3D" image, rather it had been flattened out to look a bit less like a candy apple. The font had changed to a Trebuchet MS, standard webfont.
And now the current theme, as of March 2, 2011.
In the middle of February, Ning rolled out a feature which allows admins to have much more control over the look of the site. Part of this was a number of new themes and a new theme designer, which is much, much more powerful than the previous design.
The banner is a Times New Roman font, all in caps. This brings a much more dignified look to the site when combined with the rest of the theme.
The other major change is the addition of icons to cover all of our project work. Not only do they make the interface easier to navigate, but there is also room for future growth, as each row can accommodate up to five icons.
Thanks Joe. It is very interesting to note the development of the banner.
Equally interesting will be a small note covering how the idea originally came about. Who were the people and why the need was felt. Even the origin of "Embrace, Compare, Explore" would be nice.
Thank You again.