Shaping the Page

Swiss Theme for NetNewsWire

Written by Andy Johnson  |  June 7, 2011  |  Permalink

I enjoy using a variety of RSS readers on the Mac, but the power user in me keeps coming back to NetNewsWire. It’s recent acquisition seems to promise a bright future for the app on both the Mac and iOS platforms. If you’re a fellow NNW user you might enjoy this Swiss-inspired theme we whipped up for the app.


It almost goes without saying that we used Helvetica for this theme (Helvetica Neue to be exact). For the body text we experimented with different combinations of font size and line height (using CSS, not print terminology here), trying to find the sweet spot for an app whose main purpose is reading. We ended up settling on a 14px/24px size to height relationship, which is normally a bit loose in other contexts, but seemed to be a comfortable fit here.


Being a Swiss theme we wanted to stick with red, grays, and white. Too much red would make it hard to read for any extended period of time so we limited red to links only. We used gray for the body of the page, and wrapped the main content in white. We discovered too many graphics within various blog articles that were sliced with a white background in mind, so we felt a white background behind the main content was necessary to cover up any awkward image slicing.


A good typesetter will define the ideal fixed width of a text column based on the size and line height of the text within. Since NNW allows the user to resize the width of the reading pane, we couldn’t see how a fixed width would work well. So the width of the text column in this theme is flexible, leaving it up to the user to adjust it to their liking. You don’t see rounded corners much in Swiss design, so we made sure they were absent from the theme. Even the midpoints within the author description are square.


If you’ve never installed a third party theme for NetNewsWire before it’s very easy. Simply download the theme using the link below. After unzipping double-click the theme file and NetNewsWire installs it automatically. Easy!

Download the Swiss theme for NetNewsWire here [61 KB].

Download NetNewsWire here.

While we’re at it, if you enjoy using this theme you might also like the Swiss theme we designed for the Kiwi Twitter client. Check it out!

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