Hey Charities: We Want to Give You Stuff
Charities, social support organizations, and do-gooders of all kinds: we want to give you themes! As part of us having well-developed superegos and generally giving a shit, we’d like to extend an invitation to any and every group that’s using the platform in their campaign against world badness.
We’re especially interested in helping registered and established charities get set up on Tumblr, but we’re open to new and lesser-known groups too. Whether you work for one, support one, or just know of a great cause that should get its charitable butt on Tumblr, send us an email!
Emphatic Swanson courtesy of the ever-useful ReactionGIFs.
Blogs We Like: Anamanaguchi
Chiptune has had the good fortune to evolve without losing any of its juiced-up, adolescent enthusiasm. As forerunners of 8-bit music’s millennial resurgence, Anamanaguchi might have dwindled by now given the difficulty of inventing and reinventing within the same musical type. But here we are, and you can bet your weed-grimed Game Boy that Endless Fantasy, released this week, is awesome.
Taking 3 years to create, Endless Fantasy is giddily ambitious both in size (22 tracks) and unabashed, ass-shaking grooviness. It’s the soundtrack to an eternal pre-responsibility summer, full of intergalactic discovery and psychedelic wombat rides through seas of benevolent bikini babes. Anamanaguchi are also longtime Tumblr-ers, constantly posting all manner of blippy goodness and just being generally cool members of Tumblr’s music community. Give ‘em a follow and check out their live wizarding somewhere near you this summer.
The ‘guch are everywhere you’d expect, including Twitter, Facebook, Soundcloud, and their mainsite. Be sure to check out Endless Fantasy’s Kickstarter too, which features ridiculous donor rewards like personal theme songs and even their ultra-dank tour van.
Stuff You Can Use: Your Current Version Number
- Anchorage - 3.0.0
- Antiqua - 2.2.0
- Aperture - 2.0.0
- Blank Slate - 1.1.0
- Bookmark - 1.0.1
- Boutique - 2.0.0
- Carbon - 1.0.2
- Cobalt - 2.0.0
- Crate - 2.1.0
- Eclipse - 1.0.14
- Effector - 2.0.1
- Fluid - 2.2.0
- Fluid 2 - 2.0.0
- Gun Metal - 2.1.0
- Halcyon - 1.0.7
- Halogen - 2.0.0
- Havana Club - 1.2.0
- Hue - 1.0.2
- Insider - 2.0.0
- Juneau - 3.0.0
- Kodiak - 2.1.0
- Kyoto - 2.2.0
- Marber - 1.0
- Maximalist - 2.0.0
- Nautical - 1.0.1
- Noir - 2.0.0
- Paperback - 2.0.0
- Photofolio - 1.0.9
- Provenance - 3.3.0
- Simplefolio - 1.3.0
- Sonic - 1.1.3
- Sticks and Stones - 1.0.3
- Stockholm - 1.0.7
- Storybook - 2.0.0
- Synthesis - 3.0.0
- The New Yorker - 2.0.0
- Titan - 2.0.0
- Vanity - 3.0.0
- Videographer - 1.0.7
- Vintage Portfolio - 1.2.0
- Vintage Scrapbook - 1.0.4
- Vogue - 1.0.6
- Workspace - 2.0.0
Have an older version? No problem. Throw us an email and we’ll be happy to give you the newest code, and probably recommend a weird youtube video too.
[image courtesy of some rando on Imgur]
Theme Spotlight: Titan
Our goal for some time now has been to create small families of themes that complement each other. Rather than shunting everything into a single “brand” aesthetic, we’ve consistently aimed to design small constellations of related themes that vary in function but share visual elements. To that end, we’re proud to introduce a grid-based brother to Provenance, our recent single-channel offering. Meet Titan.
Titan takes the sharp, simple aesthetics of Provenance and expands them into a beautiful mosaic. It keep the always-popular sticky post and customizable header features, and includes post highlighting to improve organization. Like our other grid themes, Titan is a spectacular frame for curated and portfolio blogs, or just about anything image- or video-heavy. Pick it up today for $49.
Stuff You Can Use: Keep Your Theme Updated
Starting Monday, I’ll be making a bi-weekly(ish) post letting you know of recent theme updates. For many of you, this won’t matter too much: Tumblr themes automatically update whenever we push new version. If you’ve made any changes to your theme’s css or html, though, auto-updating doesn’t happen. So, to keep things working well, keep an eye out for our posts, and check your version numbers every now and then.
Odds are that if you’ve fiddled with your theme’s code then you know how to check its version. But, in case you don’t:
- Go to your blog in whichever browser you’d like, right click, and select “View Page Source.” Some browsers will phrase this option as “Show Page Source” instead, but it’s the same thing—”page source” is the important part.
- You’re now looking at your theme’s html. Under our super-classy Pixel Union ASCII tag, you’ll see your theme’s name and a version number (“v X.X.X”). That’s your theme’s version. Check it against what we’ve updated to, and if it’s not right, send us an email for that sweet re-up.
Tumblin’: Notalkingplz (Kenan Bayraktar)
Kenan’s art is relentless. Its volume, intensity, skill, and nihilism are so consistent and overwhelming that his blog feels like a passage through an infinite event horizon. It’s work that exclaims universal absurdity while also particle-accelerating that meaninglessness into a sardonic mania. It’s funny, disconcerting, vicious, and oddly charming—all executed with little more than a couple pens, crayons, and 40 hogsheads of paper.
When I first walked into Kenan’s Highlighter and Sharpie Party last year, I felt a sense of uncanny familiarity. As it turns out, we’re both from the same part of Michigan, and our epigenetic midwestern coldness immediately bonded us. If you’re lucky, stretches of rust-belt tedium effect a productive derangement, and Notalkingplz is, to me, the current aesthetic high-water mark of where that leads. What follows came together over months of conversation, cobbled together with interrogative baby steps and undulating silences. Enjoy.
Let’s start with pleasantries. If you could pick three people to put in a locked, windowless room and have fight to the death, who would it be?
Oh man, this interview just got personal. I’m gonna go ahead and suggest a no holds barred battle of grit and grits, and say Kathy Bates, Paula Dean, and Janet Napolitano.
Obviously, Kathy Bates comes out the winner. Paula Dean’s not lasting more than a minute since her butter-heart would surely explode if she attempted combat.
Paula Dean’s butter-heart is her body’s Krang.
Theme Spotlight: Provenance
Provenance was an experiment. After a handful of high-concept themes, we wanted to return to zero and make an archetypal bread-and-butter theme with all the things we’d learned and refined. Thanks to the endless galaxy of genius pooled between Carlo and Jared, we did just that.
Provenance is an unpretentious single-channel theme with multiple header and sidebar options, our newly improved featured tag drop-down menu, and loads of color options. It’s simple, sharp, and flexible—joining perfect organization with slim, unpretentious styling with all the now-standard accoutrement. Pick it up today for $49.
Theme Spotlight: Aperture
We don’t use the phrase “magic bullet” often. Typically it’s just when we’re talking about horrible informercials or the Kennedy assassination. When working on Aperture though, we were compelled to flap that cliche around like a cat with a rat because, well…it’s the best portfolio theme we’ve ever made.
We took the best-loved bits of our other portfolio themes (Kodiak and Photofolio mainly) and expanded upon them, adding in smoother animations and even tidier structure. Tag-organized galleries, an ultra-compact navigational menu, and an alternate grid view all blend seamlessly into Aperture’s stoic, alabaster face. It’s a perfect solution for professional photographers, visual artists, and curators alike, and we’re incredibly proud to share it with you. Pick it up today for $49
Theme Update(s): The Tweets They Are a-Changin’
Twitter is changing the way Tumblr (and we designers) can use it’s API, and this, in turn, will change they way you use our themes’ Twitter feeds. Starting tomorrow, most of your Twitter feeds will require a slightly different setup process, and may go down for a couple days while we push some changes through. This isn’t as scary as it sounds though: let’s walk through it.
Most of our themes have an integrated Twitter feed. This has worked by Twitter maintaining an “open” API, meaning we design code that pulls raw data from Twitter into the container we’ve built for your tweets. Think of the API as an open ocean, and that we build little site-specific channels for its water. However, starting tomorrow, Twitter’s closing the beach and forcing everyone to use bottled water instead (so to speak).
Fortunately, though, the new system won’t change a lot for you folks. Signing into your Twitter account in your blog’s general settings should be enough. To do that, head up to the gear icon atop your dashboard, then select whichever blog on which you want to show your tweets. The Twitter sign-in option is toward the bottom of these blog settings, and totally self-explanatory.
We’re mainlining coffee and foregoing sustenance to update as many of our themes as possible, but many of our themes’ Twitter feeds will be temporarily unavailable tomorrow and a day or two after that. We’re sorry for the inconvenience, and I’ll be in touch to let you know if anything else changes, or if any themes’ Twitter feeds will be fragged for longer than expected.
Mouldering Fail Whale courtesy of Kudsite
Tumblin’: An Interview with Jessica Fortner
There are remarkably few artists with the range of reference and visual depth of Jessica Fortner. Based in Toronto but working with an aesthetic of the furthest out-theres, Fortner’s design and illustration are equally genre-bending and deeply empathic. An alumnus of the Ontario College of Art & Design, she’s studied and worked in printmaking, sculpture, woodworking, bookbinding, and slews of other forms—a constellation of skills and media that clearly shape her work’s sophistication, novelty, and narrative tinge.
Jes is also one of the talented minds behind Squidface and The Meddler, a Canada-centric online arts magazine co-created with her equally talented boyfriend Michael Wandelmaier. I caught up with Jessica in between trips to Tequila Bookworm and The Beguiling, and asked her about…pretty much everything.
I’ve always been interested in artists’ mental states while working. Since your work has such strongly hypnotic, patterned, and surreal components to it, in what kinds of weird places do you sometimes find yourself?
That’s an interesting question. It really depends on the project. I did one piece (Mouthy) that came about from thinking about perception and it’s distortion in cases of mental illness. I was listening to a lot of Radiolab podcasts on the subject, and started to feel really subjective about everything (not being able to trust my perception). At one point my boyfriend suggested that he might be my Tyler Durden—just a figment of my imagination.
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