A new header for a sparkly generation

Some may recall the phase I went through, designing lots of headers for this site. I gave it up because… well, I wasn’t that good and I wasn’t really getting much better, and I moved on to other exciting creative things. BUT, you know, sometimes, of a Saturday night, you get the creative urge to mess about with Pixelmator.

I wasn’t planning a new header, but I followed a random tutorial, and ended up with this. I liked it so much that I decided it was time for an update.

July 2011 header – Not quite a black hole

I went back to good old Abduzeedo for this one, the tutorial for Abstract Wallpaper. I tweaked the colours a little and made it my own, following the tutorial exactly made it too dark for my tastes.

As ever, I have used Anivers for the font, as it matches the text on the blog.

You’ll notice that there is no month in the header this time out. I’ve been quite lucky that I had a productive few months earlier in the year and had some spare designs in the bank, but now I have run out. I’ve been busy doing other things, such as writing books, and so whilst I do still enjoy creating the headers, it is not a priority at the moment.

I will do more in the future, but I don’t want to guarantee one a month, and I don’t want the date in the header putting pressure on myself!

June 2011 header – In the city

I was somewhat loathe to get rid of last month’s header. I did so enjoy the purpleness of it. However, a new month means a new design and this is what I have got.

My aim with this one was to take something that I attempted to do in the previous batch of headers and do it better.

So, last time I used a skyline sillhouette: City Skyline

Nice enough, but I can see exactly how it came together and could probably replicate it in seconds. This took a lot more tweaking, and I like it better.

My only regret is that it’s a little dark for June. Now we are (supposedly) in summer, it should probably be a bit lighter, and this header would work better for September or October. However, it is what it is.

I still can’t tell which city it is though.

May 2011 Header – Candy stripes

This header came about suddenly at the last minute, but was a culmination of a lot of experimentation during the month.

Firstly, the typeface is the one I use for headers on the blog – Anivers. When I made the changes with Typekit, it suddenly made the existing header look a bit strange. I’ve already mentioned that I need to find a way to make text look more integrated with the pictures rather than stuck on at the last minute, but somehow the typeface tweaks made it seem even more obvious.

Working on the integration, I found a great technique for making the text look embossed. It’s so simple and really very effective.

Next on my list was a way of working with colours better, as I’m usually quite reserved with my choices – particularly when it comes to mixing and matching. Mr C pointed me in the direction of Adobe’s kuler which is a fantastic (albeit using Flash) way of finding a good colour palette.

I’m really happy with how this all came together.

Apr 2011 Header – Lens flare

It’s always going to be hard to follow the panda success of March, and that being the case, I present you with a header I actually made beforehand.

It was based on this tutorial but I went wrong somewhere along the way. I ended up with a dark pink nightmare, that was far too black.

I threw the tutorial away, tweaked some bits and pieces, and most importantly, changed the background colour from pink to this glorious green.

The font is Times, which is basically one step away from Times New Roman, but in this context I think it works. Text is still where I am struggling the most when it comes to imagery – it still doesn’t feel like the words are part of the image, but merely stuck over the top.

More work to be done.

Mar 2011 Header – Pandamonium

So, I reckon this could be the best header I’ve ever made.

The idea came to me while I was in the middle of quite a lengthy drive, which was more than frustrating, but by the time I got my hands on Pixelmator, I was ready for the challenge. I found some creative commons photos, via vladdythephotogeek and used a tiny portion of this comic style tutorial.

The font is Meiryo, and was possibly the toughest part of the whole thing. Everything I tried took away from the awesomeness of the pandas, until it became obvious that less is more.

Feb 2011 Header – The planets

Mr C spotted the tutorial for this over on the Pixelmator site, and I was keen to give it a go. It certainly looked like a challenge, and it came right about the time we were talking all things space, and that programme was on the BBC and everything. I didn’t really like the clock bit in the middle, so I just replaced it with another planet. It kinda makes less sense now, but it’s just pretty planets anyway, so I like it more.

I particularly enjoyed learning the various ways they went about making the image dusty and textured and so forth, that’s always useful to know. Oh, and the font is Apple Chancery.