Friday, July 25, 2014

Hardcore and PIIINK

I recently decided our blog was (a) too cute and (b) not pink enough. Furthermore, it's summertime and I (a) don't have to work and (b) go totally nuts if I don't have stuff to do. SOOOO it was time to redo the blog.

As a math teacher and modern dancer, I don't really know much about graphic design or html. I've always spent hours and hours and hours of my life playing around with whatever digital image tools I had access to -- msPaint when I was a kid, Photoshop, Gimp. (I use Gimp now.) But I have no actual training. I did take some programming in college, but I've been pretty sloppy about getting to know html. It doesn't really matter, but sometimes I think maybe I should be a little more organized about it.

So, I didn't quite know where to start. I knew that I didn't like the blog the way it was. It was super cute. Like ... cute. Bleehhhh. But I didn't really know why or where to go with it. So, instead of trying to jump into it haphazardly as I had before, I wanted to have a plan. I signed up for skillshare a few months ago, so I thought I'd put my monthly fee to use and see what I could find.


To start, I took these three branding classes:
I liked the last one the most. It's about how to put together a vibe, colors, fonts, image types, etc for a small business. She described the process that she goes through, which includes establishing goals, collecting images that you think suit your vision, selecting a limited amount of colors, and then a few fonts, and then some other stuff you can find out about if you take the class.


I had a general idea of what I wanted. I wanted it to be bright, pretty, and a little obnoxious. Something that looks like it would be sweet, but with a brashness to it. I started out with some Jimmy Marble pictures, because they have a certain vibe I like. His is maybe my favorite instagram account.
the first pin on the board!
a book of his that's so pretty 
I wanted the colors to be a little less warm, and maybe include some darker bright tones, as well. So I went down the pinterest pathway to get more in that direction.

Here's a shot of the board I made. I called it Moesha because Brandy played her on TV. GET IT?! branding... brandy... moesha....

You can check out the rest of the board RIGHT HEEEERE.

I found this picture to be especially useful:

It's a picture from the Olivia Rubens collection for Dorothy Perkins. I can't seem to figure out who did the photoshoot, but I'll for sure keep trying, since I like the photos more than I like the clothes. I loved the combination of the bright and clear yellow, the muted ballet pink, the mint green, and the super obnoxious pink.


I went through some of my favorite pins from the board (especially the one noted above), and then picked colors from them. Then I mixed around with them until I found a combination that I liked:


I couldn't do this by just looking at them. I downloaded a whole bunch that I thought might work, but then needed to see them on the header and the actual website before I could choose the ones I liked. I did decide to only use google fonts, so I'd be able to use them easily on the blog. I used Oswald (up on the header) and Raleway (right here!). Both come in different weights, which is useful. Oswald technically has lower caps, but I hit that caaaps lockkkk button.


Beyond that, I've just googled searched "blogger and ____" for everything I've wanted to include -- like the social media buttons (still in progress...), centering the header, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, and the html I need is totally easy to find and pretty easy to alter how I need to.


So now I've used these colors and fonts for everything on this site, and our latest poster. I think the new concept fits us pretty well, and it's made it a little easier to make new stuff, since I have colors and fonts already picked out. Also I think it's real fun and I've gotten a little obsessive about it. It makes me want to do it again. Luckily my sister started a floral design and event styling company, and they need a website...



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