Six months after launching this beta website, I'm starting to get an idea what it should look like. I've simplified the front page layout, finalized a working version of the new "Peaceful Thoughts" blog, and added consistent "Read More" pages for both blog posts and articles. I'm not happy with the overall look yet, but is a web designer ever really happy with his or her work? I don't think so. I'm always willing to settle for "good enough", and that's what Pacifism21.org is aiming for today.
I'm especially happy to have finalized an initial blog design, because I want to be able to write more short quick pieces here on Pacifism for the 21st Century, and "Peaceful Thoughts" will give me a place to do that. I also want to be able to express my own viewpoint in a first person voice, and this seems more natural within a blog format. The main article section on this site will be where we'll publish the work of contributors (some great stuff is coming soon), and where we'll feature original research and in-depth thinkpieces. "Peaceful Thoughts" will just contain my unfiltered thoughts, and you know I've got plenty of those to share.
I wanted a distinct look for the new blog section, and after evaluating a few different visual ideas I decided to try to find an original artist whose work I liked who would hopefully give me permission to use a motif. I spent a lot of time image-googling various keywords that seemed fitting to me, and found an artist in Oslo, Norway named Espen Erichsen whose painting "Memorandum" captured the mood I had in mind perfectly. I emailed the artist and was very happy that he not only allowed me to use the painting but told me that he is sympathetic to pacifism and has been a conscientious objector himself. What a great omen! Here's the full painting on Espen's blog.