Posted Apr 25, 2011. Filed under site. 7 comments.
As part of Icecave’s birthday celebration I won 2 years of domains. Although I’ve never been particularly interested in getting a domain for old Figmint, I figured I might as well—2 years is a while.
So hides your kids, hide your wife, and change your links too, because http://figmintdesigns.com/ is where it’s at.
Note—figmint.zzl.org will still be around—in fact, it will be identical to the top level domain, so you don’t really need to change your links.
If you’d like to always have an up to date link, you could also refer people to figmintdesigns.webs.com, which redirects to the current site url.
Posted Apr 24, 2011. Filed under design. 3 comments.
Click here to get the code. Click the image below for a full view.
This was suggested by Danielle. If anyone else has any suggestions for content, I’d love to hear them.
Posted Apr 21, 2011. Filed under design, articles. 2 comments.
I spent the last week away in Boston with kids from my youth group and another church. One of the days I was there we just walked around, trying to learn about the neighborhood we were in. Obviously, if you’ve ever been to a city, you’ll know there are lots of stores and places to eat and hair salons and whatnot—pretty much, places with signs.
We weren’t in the best neighborhood, and so there weren’t really any fancy or hipster places to eat with nice signs. In fact, there were only two store I recall that has really good signage, and surprisingly, I felt like they really made a difference in the atmosphere of the streets they were on. One of the signs was really modern and clean, and the simplicity of that was very relieving in the midst of the grimy streets and decaying houses. Another grocery-type store had a really spiffy sign that just drew the eye. It was very professional and well done, and a lot of the other signs were photoshop monstrosities with ugly gradients and colors and poorly coordinated fonts.
In any case, when sandwiched in with all the icky design and the rather rundown atmosphere the whole area gave off, I felt like the signs were making a very strong and clear impact on breaking up the negativity of the place. It never occurred to me that signs can affect standard of living, but think about it.
If you live in a trashy place, but all the design is simply gorgeous eye candy, that can make you feel like you’re living in more luxury than you are.
I just thought this was an interesting observation, and it goes to show how very subtle things can have huge effects. Fellow designs, design well. There’s no telling how influential your creations can be, especially out in the real world.
Posted Apr 11, 2011. Filed under resource. 3 comments.
Hey guys. Remember that page of all the ascii codes I found and shared a while back? I decided to go through all the symbols and pick out the most useful ones, and then organize them in an easy-to use way. You can see what’ve I’ve done on the latest resource page, special characters.
This should be particular handy for you neosignature makers out there. Enjoy. ^^
Posted Apr 4, 2011. Filed under design, articles. 9 comments.
Yay, so I finally got around to doing something again. And it was fun. And hopefully I won’t go so long without photoshopping again, because I think it does me good. Anyway, you’re probably here for eye candy or wit, neither of which I’ve produced so far. So, have your eye candy, and just ’cause I’m going to try to educated the ignorant masses and I’ll give you a bit of detail on both banners. Maybe you’ll learn something, if not about photomanipulation, then about how I work. *shrug*
So first off we have this snazzy Let Down banner. Let Down is a song by Radiohead, and you can listen to it here. The colors basically come from the emotion the song gives me. If you look at my other Radiohead banners you’ll probably notice they’re all dark teal. xD I guess they all make me feel the same. Anyway, there’s a bit of red at the top for interest, which comes from the original picture I used, of a train. (I used a picture of a train because the song starts with the lyrics, “Transport, motorways and tramlines, Starting and then stopping, Taking off and landing”.) The font also, was chosen to reflect the mood, and the text at the top left balances the bottom left text-chunk.
And now we’ve got a Coldplay of course, and just from looking at it you should be able to see that I was in the same mood and was getting the same emotion from both songs. This one is based off Don’t Panic, which has two different versions. One is old and spiffy with watery sounds (on the Blue Room album) and the other is less ambient (Parachutes). This image is made of a picture of water and hills, as well as a bokeh photo from Figmint’s stock photo section overlaid for enhanced contrast and texture. I chose the water picture because of the watery sounds of Blue Room’s Don’t Panic, and also because of the line, obvious here, “Bones sinking like stones.” The hills are from the lyric, “We live in a beautiful world.” The blurring of the text too, has a ghostly sort of feel which helps contrast the meaning of the words and bring out the darkness in the first set of lyrics shown.
So um, standing back now, I guess you can see how deliberate everything I chose to do is, even though it really doesn’t look that way if you were to watch me make these in photoshop. Its a lot of trial and error, but the main point is using every aspect of the design to point to the emotion of the song. That includes texture, color, word choice, font, font style, placement and all the other stuff I can’t think of. Next time you make a banner if that’s what you do, you should make sure all those things point to the overall meaning and fit together well. You can’t just throw any font on an image—there’s a lot more complexity to the process.
So hope you’ve learned something.