Themers are the magicians who transform what Drupal wants to do into what the designer wants it to do. They work alongside developers and site builders and are usually hammering out CSS files, overriding templates, writing theme functions and scratching their heads.
The thing is — and whisper this if possible redundancy concerns you — we can bypass the themer entirely.
With some simple configuration, a site builder can get Drupal to output exactly the semantic, lightweight markup that any modern front-end designer would be proud of. The designer can be left alone to write the most appropriate HTML, CSS and JS, while the site builder need only choose a couple of options when putting together content types, views and panels to make Drupal behave.
A friendly developer may have to lend a hand every now and then, but that’s it. You can get rid of the themer altogether.*
This is an extended version of a session James did recently but will take a closer look at the tools and workflow we created and the design principles that initially drove us to this approach.
*No themers will be harmed in this session.**
** Well, that’s the plan, anyway.