In Search of An Anti Hero

Henk Vrieselaar’s Foton2 Theme

While Stateside the likes of Nick Cates Design and Elixir Graphics continue to release great themes of the highest quality and individuality, you need to go to Europe to find the avant-gardists creating some truly innovative themes that break away from the current responsive RapidWeaver norm.

And never more so than now, with frameworks like Bootstrap and Foundation dominating the trend in responsive web design (RWD) where canvases are limited and structural simplicity is a must for sites that need to function fast and deliver commercial goals that are often microscopically analysed by an array of metrics. And all this while looking slick and cool on every conceivable size of desktop, tablet and mobile device. But it is possible.

And it’s RapidWeaver theme developers like Henk Vrieselaar, Multithemes‘ Michelangelo, Themeflood’s Will Woodgate, Lucas Tsolakian’s Archetypon, and Rapid-Ideas‘ Christophe Ricardet who have a long history in the community of bucking the easy trend and pioneering highly original, often unconventional themes that are perfect for those of us who once in a while like to take the road less travelled.

It’s just a shame that these developers tend to get overlooked and undervalued by the trendies at Realmac who (obviously) want their product to appeal to the widest — read most popular — market.

Nevertheless, what we have nurtured here among us is an elite cadre of long established and well-respected theme developers who are also inherently risk-takers. They don’t just churn out seemingly incremental variations upon a single theme and then run out of ideas, their designs are often distinctly unorthodox and extremely experimental — and that is why they survive.

And perhaps prime among these innovators is our very own Dutch Master, Henk Vrieselaar. Vet by day and anti-hero theme-developer by night, Henk has been carving themes in his own inimitable fashion since the dawn of RapidWeaver. As such, he has a huge following of devoted admirers and in the developer community demands the highest respect — something that can only be earned.

So it’s really no surprise that his latest theme, Foton2, inspires me with a sense of possibility again. I’m not even going to try to put it into words. Go see it for yourself. Just don’t expect the expected.

Marten Claridge

Founder of RapidWeaver Central, Developer of WeaverThings, Author of Books, Marten's highly unique skillset has established him as a leading RapidWeaver, Web Design and Wordpress consultant with a worldwide client-list and highly dysfunctional sense of modesty.