Tumblr Redesign: Like
March 18, 2010 9:09 PM   Subscribe

Where do I find web designers that can work with Tumblr?

One of my websites needs a redesign and I'm looking around for web designers to help and get quotes. The website is in two parts - a more static-ish section, which is currently powered by Textpattern, and the blog, which is on Tumblr but shares a layout. While I'm fond of Textpattern, I'm not beholden to it and will be OK running it on another CMS; however, I have benefited from Tumblr's in-built sharing functions and I have a loyal following on Tumblr, and would like to keep the blog on there.

So far I haven't found designers that know what to do with Tumblr (which for the most part is like designing for any other site, but there are rules for certain types of posts). Instead they keep trying to upsell me into a more comprehensive CMS that will be used for the whole site (one has even tried to tell me to change my business!). They make false assumptions about what Tumblr is and what its limitations are, and then try to sell me on unrelated things.

I've looked around for people that have made great Tumblr themes, but the one or two that say that they do design websites on commission kind of intimidate me. (I want quotes so that I can try to apply for funding or grants that incorporate this cost; I don't have tons of money.) Tumblize isn't functional anymore and Google doesn't really get me anywhere useful.

Any tips on sourcing web designers that can and will work well with Tumblr? Any recommendations? I'd rather not go the 99Designs/etc route though that's kinda more my budget. I've tried asking my friends but haven't gotten anywhere, and I would like to support emerging newbie designers.

posted by divabat to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Put up an ad at your local art school?
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:20 PM on March 18, 2010

>I'd rather not go the 99Designs/etc route though that's kinda more my budget.

Unfortunately, I think that your budget is kinda behind the problem. It's sounds like it's making you hesitant to talk to people who could solve your problem.

What intimidated you about the people who have made great themes, specifically? That they didn't give you a quote right away? Can you try approaching them with "this is how much cash I have; what would you do in my shoes?"

Even if they work on commission exclusively (whatever that means depends on them) they should be worth talking to.

Also, Tumbler has attracted the DIY crowd to such a degree that it's not an attractive specialty area for web designers, IMO. I could be made wrong over the coming months/years as people get tired of how their stock Tumbler themes look though...
posted by circular at 11:15 PM on March 18, 2010

Response by poster: the intimidation mainly stems from their portfolio of high profile work. There is a grant available that could cover even the higher-end costs, but finding people willing to work w tumblr is proving to be harder than expected!
posted by divabat at 12:59 AM on March 19, 2010

I'm half of a two person design shop that has have loved Tumblr for a while (though I don't use mine as often as I'd like). I'm just finishing up a new tumblr theme for my personal pages. MeMail me if you'd like.
posted by thebestsophist at 1:48 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

I don't have any experience working with Tumblr personally, but if it IS like working with other CMS's, the company I work for is well-versed in this sort of thing (Wordpress, Joomla, etc), may or may not be able to pick it up quickly enough, and, being accustomed to working with people who want stuff on the cheap, wouldn't be pushy with trying to get you into a different CMS if we could help you work with the one you're comfortable in. The only problem might be your idea of cheap could well, as circular suggests, differ to what it actually takes in reality to develop one of these things. Drop me a memail though if you like; we're in Brisbane, so, y'know...! :)
posted by springbound at 1:54 AM on March 19, 2010

MetaLab work with Tumblr, I believe. I like their work.

There's also a lot of themes on ThemeForest - not sure if it is possible, but maybe one of the designer's ther can do some custom work. Or you can adjust one of the current themes to your liking.
posted by backwards guitar at 6:01 AM on March 19, 2010

I know a few people who are pretty good with tumblr themes: blog.cfetherston.com and humachine.us. The second one has designed a few popular themes and is a bit tumblr-famous.
posted by inmediasres at 1:28 PM on March 19, 2010

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