I’ve mentioned the Sandbox theme for WordPress a couple of times before, but I’ve neglected to point out the Sandbox Designs Competition that is going on right now. A few weeks ago, the total prize money stood at over $1600, with 1st prize netting $750.
Sandbox has a really good structure, with lots of semantic classes (and microformats) added at key points. This allows the clever theme designer to turn their site into a chameleon. You can theme based on the type of page being viewed (blog posts, single post, pages, archives, categories, search page, etc.). And you can theme certain posts based on their categories, their authors, or even by the season, or time of day when the post was published.
I’m hoping that we’ll see some really stunning designs that use these capabilities in interesting ways. There’s a strong chance that Sandbox will be included as a standard theme in a future WordPress release, which would expose your work to an extremely large audience. How’s that for some extra incentive? Do you think you have good CSS chops? Design your entry and get it submitted. Just make sure you get your entry in before the July 29 deadline. And note that the deadline is 12:00am UTC, which is July 28, 8:00pm EDT, or 5:00pm PDT.
FWIW, this site is running Sandbox (albeit, an older, and slightly customized version). But I certainly wouldn’t try to hold this site up as a paragon of good design. Make something better, okay?