dijit’s (dojo - http://dojotoolkit.org) tundra theme is excellent.
Notes on customizing it:
- Copy dojo.css, dijit.css, tundra.css, and the supporting images out of the dojo tree and into the application’s CSS directory. Place the images in a directory under CSS, that way, the paths don’t have to be updated in the CSS files for those images. This risks later version conflicts with dojo, but also prevents inadvertant destruction of customization on upgrades. This also ensures you don’t affect other applications as you modify the files.
- Update paths in the files (tundra.css imports dijit.css). Renaming tundra.css is a good idea, since it won’t be tundra after you change it.
- Use icons from the Crystal Project (see link above). Be creative, the icons are beautiful and can be used in many ways to enhance the dijit theme.
- Strive to avoid creating new images, unless you can create them quickly. Tiny images can take a surprising amount of time. Since the majority of tundra is grey, with blue highlights, simply removing the blue images and adjusting the remainder can provide a neutral color scheme.
- Augment the tundra colors with those from you application. If you use the same hue, you can adjust the brightness and saturation to add variety to the color scheme.
- Change as little as possible, because tundra already looks great. Try to preserve the dojo CSS file structures, so that if you need to merge in changes after an upgrade, it is not too difficult.
- Use at least four other CSS files, base.css which contains application common basic layout, color.css, which contains application common color settings, ie.css for IE, and ff.css for FF specific settings. Additional page-specific CSS files, as well as some embedded style tags may be helpful as well. Configure caching to reduce the impact of these files, consider compression or bundling them together if necessary. Keep CSS as lean as possible, place design images in HTML, where they don’t incur overhead unless they are used.
- Spend time looking at the Crystal icons. Even if the icon is named ‘urgent_mailmessage.png’, if it looks good where you want to use it - use it there.
- Install the Crystal icons in DocumentRoot, then link to them with a symlink from the images directory, which should be at the same level as the CSS directory. That way, the icons can be shared by all applications and sites on the server.