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How to design this Wordpress header?
joliett89




msg:4423355
 12:03 am on Mar 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have a theme that I need to make a header for, and I've been kind of stuck on this one for a while. I am fairly new to graphic design in general, but I have some good theoretical knowledge of Photoshop (tools, menus, layers), color theory (Kuler etc), and overall design process (like choosing layout, navigation, content etc).

Can you tell me if there are any good sources on the net that would help me move this one forward? (I tried some artistic text websites so far, but this is just an example of what I am thinking about)

And also, what steps would I need to take to improve my knowledge of graphic design in general, and make it easier for me to work on things like that in the future? I never really worked on graphics part, so this is all a little abstract for me at this point etc....

Thank you in advance for any info / advice.

[edited by: tedster at 1:32 am (utc) on Mar 1, 2012]

 

tangor




msg:4423416
 1:43 am on Mar 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

There are a number of ways to gain more knowledge regarding "art", but if art is not your game, you might want to consult with an artist. We can be all we can be, of course, but sometimes we can't be everybody else.

joliett89




msg:4423417
 1:54 am on Mar 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

I dont want to be the next Picasso, if you know what I mean, but I want to do most of the things myself (and thats just for adult blogs, tgp and tube design etc, for now.)
A lot of skills comes with practice too. I just have to experiment with it, I guess, until I figure something out. I was just looking at the shapes in Photoshop (like playing cards symbols, animals etc), brushes (you can paint grass and other things) and nothing seem to match the site. If I would want to add regular blog's picture header that wouldn't loog good either. I dont know...

I posted a link in the original post, but it was erased I think, so this is how the theme looks like:

[wordpress.org...]

I got rid of the ribbon and calendar picture from the top, and I am trying to fill the white space with something for adult blog...

tangor




msg:4423421
 2:23 am on Mar 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

The link above does show a "project page"... but it looks like a "cancer" theme (pink ribbon, etc.) Pretty sure that's not what you intended. There's more to art than pretty pictures... it sometimes leads to social conscious and politics unintended.

Still suggest you consult an artist who can take your verbal description of what you want to accomplish and provide you with an "artist's eye" result. Treasure the other eyes to see what you want to portray.

I am a writer (published author) an artist (graphic design last 30 years) a musician (on the charts as far back in the late 60's as a studio musician) and webmaster. Even with all those skill sets I STILL seek outside help when I butt up against a problem... I don't have to do everything, I just have to know who to consult to get the job done.

Robert Charlton




msg:4423439
 3:49 am on Mar 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

joliett89 - I'm tending to agree with tangor on this. I too have an extensive art, graphics and design background, but, more often than not, I pull in a professional graphic artist whenever I can. tangor's comment that "sometimes we can't be everybody else" covers quite a bit. ;)

That said, there are reasons to give it a try yourself. My background in the field helps me to be a much better communicator with the artist than I otherwise would be, and much better at conceptualizing what I want... and I realize that not all projects have budgets for outside help. Additionally, creating visuals can be a great pleasure.

So, if you're going to give it a shot... and you're right, practice is a big factor ... let me say at the outset that familiarity with the software, while an accomplishment in itself, is not going to give you the design fundamentals you need to make even a dent in what's a very deep and complex craft. It helps to learn those basics.

For the basics in layout and typographic design, I suggest "The Non-Designer's Design Book" by Robin Williams. It's subtitled "Design and Typographic Principles For The Visual Novice", and it's the best such book I know. Williams has also written a web design book that I don't like nearly as much as this one, and in fact I don't recommend her web design book at all.

I would also spend a lot of time looking at art and graphics. In terms of web graphics for the kind of utility work you're talking about, Smashing Magazine [smashingmagazine.com...] is an online standard which I think I can safely link to. It also gets into tools and CSS.

This forum has an extensive library of posts that you definitely should check out. I did some searching using our site search to see what might be useful here.

The first search I tried...
creating images for the web site:webmasterworld.com

...returned this thread as the first result....

Graphic design & creating web graphics from scratch?
[webmasterworld.com...]

It's an excellent discussion, and should provide some more food for thought to get you started. As you'll see, there's no one easy answer, and there are a lot of aspects to the field.

joliett89




msg:4423529
 11:02 am on Mar 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks. As far as the website that I was talking about I just need to do some major chanes, like getting rid of the picture stripes, that divide it into sections, maybe putting some plain black on the top, as header, and embedding navigation in it, and just stick to the overall color theme, and fonts. This is gonna make it look a lot different, and more flexible to create something new out of it, I think.
I was also looking at [dafont.com...] ,and there is a lot of good fonts over there, that I should be able to use for a logo (like Cartoon, Groovy sections etc). I may add some green to it etc, it is just gonna take some time, but thats what needs to be done, I think.

Thank you.

tangor




msg:4423558
 1:09 pm on Mar 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Fonts as images works fine. Fonts embedded (other technology) might slow down page loads. We all want to put best face forward, and that is an on-going challenge. Best luck in getting it done! I'm in the been there done that, hope I did it right camp.

rocknbil




msg:4423694
 5:00 pm on Mar 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

jolett don't be insulted but take this for the constructive criticism it is and consider some things.

You are looking for what "you" think looks good. You've already professed that you don't have a background in design and art. So really: do you really know what's best for you?

Trust me. You don't. Without a background in design and art, your need to control your design directives will wind up like this [theoatmeal.com]. You'll be proud if it, think you've done great, everyone will tell you so to your face, but behind you they will scoff.

but I want to do most of the things myself ... I just have to experiment with it, I guess, until I figure something out.


You need to let go of this and trust the skills of others. Sure you can spend the next ten years "figuring it out" but how much conversion and reputation will you lose in that time? There are thousands of designers and developers who've already done this (and just as many who will never "get it") who are ready to help you. You just need to find the one you'll get along with.

Why do I care? I wish I could have said this to at least a hundred customers over the last 15 years or so, most I didn't have the heart to crush their dreams, others were too bull headed and egocentric to listen, and nowadays, I'm just too tired to fight it any more. Listen to all of the advice above, the other posters here are 100% right on.

"Do everything and do nothing well."

Robert Charlton




msg:4423962
 2:43 am on Mar 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

joliett89 - The WebmasterWorld terms of service and the Charter of this forum [webmasterworld.com...] don't allow you to link to your own projects.

Check your sticky mail "Inbox", up at the very top of each page on the site. You should have received a message explaining the reasons for your last edit. This link should get edited as well.

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