The biggest motivator for the redesign was to really clean up the site. When I first made the last design I was really happy with the result, however it wasn’t long before the site really outgrew what I wanted the design to do— and it became cluttered, unorganized, and well… not that great.
I like to think that my design abilities have improved since the last round, and I think that is safe to say. This design is cleaner, uses subtle typography, grids, and the rule of thirds. I have emphasized the items I really want to (subscribe, the title, commenting) with out going overboard.
I made the site dark so that the burnt orange can really pop and provide a nice level of contrast. I usually have a strong preference against dark design with white text, especially on a blog where it is copy/content heavy — however I feel the use of whitespace and legible fonts balances this out.
Hopefully it accomplishes the job of presenting content and articles with a professional appeal, as that was my goal.