Lovers Drown is a roleplaying forum with a dark fairytale and fantasy setting; the site uses the 1.6 version of the myBB forum software. The site staff commissioned me to develop a new skin to set a mood – the original skin for the site was very light-colored and cheerful, and did not harmonize with the tone the founders wanted their site to have.
With those goals in mind, I chose a more Gothic palette for the site, coupled with elegant shapes in the headers, banners and buttons. The site draws its name from the poetry of W.B. Yeats, specifically a tale of a mermaid drowning a sailor – thus I decided the ‘tale’ of the skin should be an underwater one, with mermaids, skulls and shells forming its iconography. ‘Drowning’ was already a theme on the site in its writing and I wanted the skin’s design to reflect that.
In the process of rebuilding the site, I updated it to HTML5 and CSS3, using PHP to overcome some of myBB’s built in incompatibilities. To provide the new requested capabilities, I installed and integrated several custom plugins to switch between accounts, generate static webpages, and ping other users.
The skin has received frequent praise from site visitors and was quoted as an example of evocative skinning.