As many of you know, the site has had a colorful history - initially launched using vBulletin, then converted to IPB, and ultimately running on XenForo. For most of its existence it has maintained its signature color scheme - a tasteful combination of black, red, gray, and white tones created by Shelley and Lisa.
After upgrading the forum to XenForo 1.2 it became obvious that the style needed to be rejiggered as well in order to maintain full functionality. After considering several possibilities I decided that I wanted to maintain the same appearance that Admin Extra has always had while making it completely new under the hood. In other words, it had to be fully responsive with total XenForo 1.2 compatibility but still look like the old AdEx .
In order to accomplish this I looked at the currently available skins and did some research. I kept coming back to Arty's Soft Responsive and Dark Responsive styles. So I contacted Arty and asked about the possibility of getting a semi-custom style based on Soft Responsive with some dark influences from Dark Responsive adjusted to closely resemble the original Admin Extra color scheme along with some of the original graphics (mainly header and forum icons).
Working with Arty was a great experience! He is extremely skilled in the art of styling XenForo and was very pleasant (and patient!) during the relatively short development period. It probably wasn't the most funnest project he's worked on since the goal (in a sense) was to create a style that wouldn't get noticed. Of course, that's only true on the surface, as the real goal was for the style to be recognized for what it was - a recreation, an improvement of an already awesome original.
In the end, Arty created a really sweet style that is true to the original, but also speaks for itself. I hope he's as happy with it as I am!