I recently bought my first digital SLR camera and I have to say that I am absolutely loving it.

Photography is a completely new language to me, despite the fact that I have been designing for the web for years now, when I am taking photos I can feel my brain hurt (in a good way). I love the technical challenge, the new terminology and I love the feeling of being a complete novice too.

I've played a tiny bit with Lightroom as you can see. Amazing what happens to a photo when you tweak the colour ever so slightly.To celebrate my beginners luck I'm posting this small collection of free stock photos for you to use, or if you prefer here is the flickr stream.

Feel free to drop them in your web content, royalty free. I hope you like them.

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A few days a go I dribbbled some screenshots of our next Joomla template which is due for release in the next few weeks. I really wanted to push a rich, corporate colour pallette on this one as well as play around with some noticeably different responsive layouts.

I've seen some comment that responsive design isn't applicable for complex or intricate layouts. The more I work with responsive design I think that pretty much anything is possible. Of course it helps to have a nice responsive framework to sit underneath the design, but at this point, (and I might be proved wrong at some point) I think that most perceived limitations are self-imposed.

Checkout the screenshots of the design below and let us know what you think. Not all of the details have been filled in (or finalised) but you can get the picture. Also the logo is just a little placeholder for the time being.

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I've just released the Corporate Joomla template which is one of my personal favorite responsive joomla templates to date. It's a clean design that features a background slideshow, some elegant pixelated styling, a whopping 26 colour schemes, support for our brand new Zenkit K2 templates. In addition to this Corporate is available in a our newly realised quickstart packages (see below).

As I mentioned in the post announcing the template, Corporate is a more business savvy version of our popular Lifestyle template that was released back in January of this year. We went a little overboard on this template in terms of Colour schemes and so you can choose from 26 Colour schemes, 18 different button hilites and a selection of useful and colourful module classes.

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If you missed it yesterday (well you just have to look at the post below this one) we released a new product line that we are extremely excited about. The Zenkit templates are stand alone template for K2 designed to fit into any Joomla template that add some very nifty layout options for your K2 content.

You can see the announcement in this post, view the live demo and now read the documentation that will guide you through working with these new templates.

A lite version is coming.

Zenkit templates are currently only available to club members however in the next few days to a week we will be releasing a lite version that we will make available for free to non club members.

Layout suggestions.

The Zenkit layouts cover most of the layouts available with our Zentools module with the exception of a carousel. We have plans to add a carousel layout in the next major version.

In the meantime what are the types of layouts that you would like to see added to the Zenkit templates? We are certainly open to building on the layouts available and your suggestions are more than welcome.

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Since the release of the Avanti Joomla template way back in January 2010, we have packaged an individually styled k2 template for each template released. In most cases re-using those k2 templates in other templates was a tricky process and success varied depending on your ability to read code. Zenkit is set to change all of that by providing a selection of standalone k2 templates that can be used in any Joomla template and easily transferred between templates.

Some crucial links ...

Preview Download Documentation

A collection of responsive K2 templates ...

The Zenkit templates make it easy to create complex and interesting layouts from your existing K2 content using the core K2 functionality. Using the Zenkit templates means that there is no longer any need to resort to using modules in your content when you really could just use a K2 category layout.

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So now it is ... you can download it on the JB Maps page.

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Yesterday I released an update to the JB Type plugin.

The new version is essentially a bug fix but I added some new styles to the plugin that I had scheduled for the next major update that I felt just couldn't wait.

Adding grid layouts to your content ...

As you may have seen we use a percentage based responsive grid in our Joomla templates which is also available to users to implement within their content. You can see these grids in action in the Lifestyle template as an example.

However the latest release of JB Type now provides the ability for users of the Zen Grid Framework to use the simplified JB Type syntax to render the very same grids.

As an example users can now specify a grid such as:

{grid4}Here be monsters{/grid4}Any content that has the grid tags applied to it will then be automatically rendered in a div tag that has the grid_four class applied to it. Within a Zen Grid Framework template this will be output as a block of text which floats to the left, has a margin of 3.4% and spans 30.75% of the available are within the content item.

If you wanted to apply the zenlast class and float the block to the right and remove the margin then yopu would use the following syntax:

{grid4_last}Here be monsters{/grid4_last}

You can see an example of how this renders in the upcoming Corporate Joomla tempolate below.


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Deciding on the final design for a Joomla template can sometimes be a challenge.

I can think of more than a handful of designs that had two, three or even four potentially "final" iterations, that would have made great templates but may never make the leap from PSD to Joomla template to your Joomla website.

There are a lot of factors that we take into consideration when deciding the type of template to release and I often hold back on releasing a design that is similar to a recent theme in the interest of keeping our catalogue fresh and diverse.

A sneak peek at the Corporate Lifestyle template.

In light of this, I'd like to give you a quick peek at the the Corporate Lifestyle template which will be available by the end of April.

This design has it's roots in the Lifestyle template from back in January and as you can see from the screenshot below it has a few things in common with the original - a large background slideshow, a black and bold navigation strip, subtle transparency shadow type effects on the navigation etc.

Whereas Lifestyle focussed on an arts / creative / business type websites, Corporate Lifestyle will focus squarely on users that need a striking business Joomla template, with a strong focus on typography, white space and of course that stunning full width slideshow.

Development for the theme is really starting to take shape now and I'm confident that it will be available for you to play with by the end of the month.

You can check the screenshot after the jump.

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Vintage is our new tumblr inspired Joomla template that features multiple colour schemes a simple tagging system for your content and an elegantly executed responsive design.

Vintage is aimed at those users that want a simple blog style template to showcase their ideas, thoughts and inspiration. Consider it your online Joomla notebook - ready to record your every thought.

Some links ...

Before we get started here are some crucial links for you to check out the Vintage template.

Live Demo | Features | Documentation | Downloads

Don't worry - it's flexible ...

The Vintage demo site shows a simple one column layout with site links, search and other modules you would normally see in the side bar, hidden in the hidden panel . But if that isn't quite your cup of tea, since this theme is built on the flexible zen grid framework you can have a more traditional two, three or four column layout.

A tonne of colour themes and variations under the bonnet ...

Vintage comes with some flexible options including 5 background variations, eight Colour highlights and eight different tag Colour schemes. The tags are automatically populated in the k2 Joomla template and you can also use them across module classes on the page. There are ten different tag module classes available. The images are delivered on the page using a sprite which means you can load as many of the Mage based module classes n the page without worrying about excess htt requests or an increased page weight.

{loadposition vintage}

Did I mention it's responsive?

Vintage is our seventh responsive Joomla Template and as you can see in the images below, it morphs and changes according to the width of the browser that you are viewing it in.

We like this approach to creating mobile ready Joomla templates because it means your site has an elegantly executed mobile design but you don't have to do any ectra work.

iPad Portrait

Vintage in iPad portrait

iPad Landscape

Vintage template in ipad Landscape

iPhone Landscape


iPhone Portrait


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Over night Jeff Channell posted some information regarding the privilege escalation vulnerability recently found in Joomla 2.5. If you haven't already updated, then it's advised that you upgrade to the latest version of Joomla via the Joomla update process as soon as possible.

A big thankyou ...

A big thanks goes out to Jeff for spotting and fixing this - the Joomla world is a safer place when Jeff is on the case.

How to update Joomla ...

If you are new to Joomla you can check out our doc for using the updater to update Joomla 2.5 or if you need a fresh copy of Joomla to download head on over to to grab a copy.

Joomlabamboo Quickstart packages updated to Joomla 2.5.3.

All of our quickstart packages for Joomla templates that are compatible with Joomla 2.5 have also been updated. In addition to this I have spent some time in our download area over the last few days and caught up on culling the old unsupported joomla packages and relabelling the packages where necessary.

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Last night I relaunched our knowledgebase area with a new responsive design and some pretty new colours.

There are still a few holes that we need to fill in with the documentation however the new layout and design provides a much faster way to sort through the volumes of information we have for each theme, and Joomla in general. The design itself is a contender for a Joomlabamboo redesign but I am going to let it sit for a little while before I make any decisions.

Mobile Friendly ...

I used our Responsive Template as a base for the design and couldn't go past optimising it for mobile browsers. So the documentation will be upfront and accessible on desktops, ipads, iphones and other smart phone devices.

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As you may have noticed fromy my Dribbble stream I have been toying with a few ideas for a redesign of the Joomlabamboo site.

I have wanted to overhaul the pricing table for some time and make it, firstly more useful and secondly a lot lighter and I hit upon an idea today that I think achieves that. The table also includes some tooltips for some of the key elements in the pricing grid which I hope will provide a better idea of the benefits of each plan.

You can see it in action on our sign up page.

A new plan ... The Big Bamboo


The Big Bamboo Lifetime developer plan is an exciting addition to our list of subscriptions.

We cater to all types of users here at Joomlabamboo and this plan is aimed at busy developer types who love what we do and want to keep using our products .... for .... ever .... (cue space echo effect or manic laughter).

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