Notice: This entry was published 4 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!

flowers-before

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!

flowers-wip-red

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. :D

Here’s a few other logos I made for laughs:

hot-mess-logos

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

searchresults

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.

Comments

  1. Woot! It looks great :) I’m glad you like the new theme! I think it’s really pretty and elegant. I love with what you did with the header image. I honestly think what you did gave the letters a good texture :D And it’s unique — I don’t recall seeing something like that before ^^
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  2. Like I said on Twitter, I love this theme! I always have trouble with logo design, also. And code is a whole ‘nother monster. Like… I had to pay Georgie to clean up my code for me because it was ATROCIOUS at one point.
    Kristine recently posted…Scumbag instructorMy Profile

  3. I like the neatness of your layouts! Nothing are ever cluttered together and you’re generous on the eyes ;). (Versus some people who have no sense in line height or clutter everything together…)

    Colour Lovers has a bunch of cutesy colors! It’s creative that you use your own pictures for your designs! I don’t know too much about making letter cutouts from pictures *o*. And I feel you about having that favorite font but it was used for a different layout :X. I have a few of those favorite fonts and it’s becoming a challenge to find some new cute ones without having to pay for it!!!!!

    1. Hah I remember a time when negative line height was cool. :3

      I always use open-source fonts coz I’m cheap. I love Fontspace for free fonts!

  4. The new theme looks great! I love the color choices, and how you used a photo for the lettering :) I also like the version you did with the same photo but with the “Always In My Heart” font. I think it’s a really cute font too!

    I probably need to do some refactoring in my code too. The last time I touched it was 2 years ago when I changed themes. It’s probably time for me to look at it again!
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  5. What a great theme! The use of space is just as impressive as the use of items, and the header brings it all together so nicely! I love the cut out letters, and the warm pinks used too! It’s made me want to go and have a good clean out on my layout!

  6. Hehe, I laughed at the part where you wrote that you like to “live dangerously”.

    I like your new theme and the responsiveness here. :D I haven’t seen your old theme, but this theme seems clean and easy on the eyes.

    I understand about how clients get your best work. It goes for the same as me as well. I’m not being paid for my blog, hence forth, my free time should be uh.. sleeping instead of working for free.

    But I do have a psd of the theme I designed, but have not started coding yet, lying around in my hard drive. Sleep or code? Hmm..
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  7. Love the colour scheme, pink + gold is a real pretty combo! And the header works great with it. I like that you included how you created it too. I’m far from a Photoshop expert so it’s always interesting to see how other people do things. :)

    I hear you about the coding. The web is such a dynamic ever-evolving… beast, that it’s impossible to become fully learned. There are new techniques coming out seemingly every day!

    And I do exactly as you: I try to make the sites for work as perfect as possible and then I come home to my own hobby blog and just go “uuuugghh, I don’t have the energy, this will do for now.”
    We have proverb here that says “the smith’s horse and the shoemakers children are worst shod” and I think there’s some truth in it. Guess it’s easier to bring your A game when your career (and paycheck) depends on it, haha! ;)
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    1. Haha I know right? This site is not broken, that’s good enough for me. XD

      I’m definitely not a Photoshop expert either. :’D I really admire people who can make awesome graphics.

  8. I really love the colours that you are using, they fit in so perfectly. I think it’s also cool, because softer blues and greens can often be overused, so it makes yours different. :D

    Man. I loved making LiveJournal icons. It was a whole ‘thing’. So many people did it. I kind of miss it really. xD

    You could probably alter the colours using selective colour as well, to heighten specific colours such as the red and tone down the green. That makes it a lot easier. But, you probably wouldn’t get exactly the same effect.

    I really like the logo. Sometimes something ‘simple’ can take so much time. Because there can be a lot to think about. I really love the way that you did have the image cutout, that’s great. :D I think the blue one looks kind of snazzy as well, did you go negative layer or something? xD

    In closing, I like it a lot. (In my head I said that in a dumb and dumber voice… but I didn’t mean it that way) Arhh.

    1. I miss making LJ icons so much! I even joined a few icontests. Man, those were the days.

      I actually recolored it blue. I started over a lot, but I basically went back to my first choice. :’D I haven’t used selective coloring much, but I will try that next time!

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