Notice: This entry was published 5 years ago and may no longer reflect my views today.
My new theme’s been up for a week. It was a very soft launch, you could say. I was so tired of Papergreen Remix, but this theme wasn’t done yet, so I uploaded what I had so far as a child theme. Then I finally felt motivated to finish what I started over the holidays, so I did and put everything up without telling anyone. Some of you have noticed, fortunately.
So this is Fleur Rose 1.1. It went through a lot of iterations before I was finally happy with what I had. Originally, it was intended to be a blue and pink theme and a lot more ornate than this. I had graphic assets made and everything! But I wasn’t too crazy about the colors, yet I didn’t know what I wanted. I spent a lot of time at Colour Lovers and messing with Paletton before figuring out what I was looking for. I was in a mint/fresh green kick for so long, but now rose gold is my new favorite color scheme. I wonder if it’ll last through multiple themes too.
In which I make a dozen logos
The top logo took up the most amount of time, despite its simplicity. I’ve loved letter cutouts for a long time, so much that I have it in nearly all my sites. I use my own pictures so I don’t have to deal with usage license, and it’s such an easy way to make nice graphics. I don’t consider myself a graphic designer by any means (short of making LJ icons back in the day, anyone remember those? XD). I can’t vector to save my life, but I’m decent at a few Photoshop tricks, so letter cutouts are the best I can do. Give it a try!
This is the picture I started out with. Just some fake flowers sitting out in our front yard back in Vegas. Desert flora isn’t nearly as bright as this. It looks a lot different from the final product, doesn’t it? Cutouts make for interesting textures but the colors can be limiting unless you change them. Luckily, it’s a simple process albeit time-consuming depending on how precise you wanna be.
All you have to do is set the picture to black and white, then color on top of it with another layer and using whatever blend mode looks best. You can use the lasso tool, but I’m lazy so I use the magic wand with a high tolerance. I can’t provide hard numbers because it changes with each picture. It’s definitely up to your own preferences.
I’m sure there’s a more expert way to do this, but as an untrained Photoshopper, this is what I’m comfortable with. Any graphic designers in the house, feel free to chime in!
Here’s one of the early comps I had. A darker pink than what I ended up with. This picture is an incomplete shot of a dark pink and mint green recolor, which honestly looks very neon bad so I won’t post it. :’D
I went through several color pairings just to keep my options open. Honestly, I was so fickle and I just didn’t know what I want. I played around with Marsala too because hey, it’s Pantone’s Color of the Year and that makes things easy for me. It was a pretty color but not quite what I was looking for. After much tears and several episodes of Yugioh, I was finally happy with my rose gold banner. It’s the one on my theme.
Here’s a few other logos I made for laughs:
I don’t even know how to explain the blue one.
Apart from colors, typography is also important when making a banner. I really wanted to use Always in My Heart because it’s just so cute, and it’s also the font I used for my first theme. But alas, it wasn’t working out. I tried a few others for size, but ultimately I kept it simple since the colors and the texture was already a lot.
So there you go, a long-winded blurb on how I made a 920px banner that you guys barely look at. THANK YOU AND GOOD NIGHT.
A few other changes
My header subtitle gains more power with each theme mwahaha!!! Search result pages have the subtitle return your query for reference. I love the idea of a dynamic subtitle so much. My hope for it is that it’ll provide useful information on each page. Haven’t gotten around to figuring out exactly how and what kind of info, but I’m slowly but surely working on it.
Otherwise, most coding changes wouldn’t be apparent. It’s mostly refactoring and cutting down on unnecessary stuff. To be completely transparent with you all, Papergreen Remix was a mess of a theme under the hood. I guess that just goes back to the ol’ it’s crazy how much one can learn in a few months. I though I did a great job with it when I made it, but I look at the code now, and I’m all GURL NO.
Still not done with refactoring. I’ll get around to it when I feel like it. This theme’s launch was a mess. I always hold myself to a high standard when working for other people. I want my clients’ sites to look good and load effeciently. Not so with my own stuff, which really shouldn’t be the case. But eh, this is a hobby site. The people who matter (the ones who pay me heh) get my best work. This blog? ‘Tis duct taped by tears.
Fun fact: I also skipped staging for this theme. When I initially launched it, there were a lot of responsive problems lololol. I like to ｌｉｖｅ ｄａｎｇｅｒｏｕｓｌｙ．