Thanks, I'm the one who designed the new format. Been rather busy as of late so been unable to reply as for tips well first you need to think of a theme and also whether you want it to be a light or dark site. You then need to think of the est colours and if it's going to be a forum then you need to find a colour that works and that people love. I had to change the colour twice before i got it right so it's not easy.
Also pay attention to detail. Trying to co-ordinate even the small things can make a difference although sometime leaving things the original colour isn't so bad. The toolbar at the top looks horrible in orange so I left it dark blue, same with the members usernames. So there is a lot too it but it's a simple case of co-ordination and also finding the right version of the colour you want.
Ok yeah I suck at explaining but I tried so I hope that helps.