Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Spend enough time obsessing over your rebranding as a distraction from the fact you feel like total and complete crap and eventually, you get somewhere.
I've worked very hard on this. When my head is being particularly bad for more than just a day, I like to have high-concentration high-creativity but very positive and productive-feeling and low-real-stress projects to keep me distracted. Crafting and Etsy businessy stuff in general is great for it. Kakuro and sudoku and crossword and any other puzzles are good, too, unless my brain starts doing its weird misfire thing and then I get frustrated, but at that point in the migraine I get frustrated by most tasks and if I can't stand watching movies I just sleep.

But I discovered the "torn paper" filter on Adobe Photoshop. After fake tearing down my scanned wallpaper (which I already messed with levels-wise to make it pop better) with the lasso tool, I discovered I had to actually apply the torn paper filter (found under "sketch") to a white background surrounding my wallpaper edge. Then I just futzed with it until I liked how it looked.

After a number of solid colors and patterns behind the wallpaper, I realized it should look like it was torn away from something. Distract brain from pain by going through different ideas and...sky! Yes, sky would be lovely. So I found a public domain image of the sky, messed with it (i.e. stretched out one particular corner that had the exact amount of clouds I wanted and played with the hue and saturation) until I was happy, and VOILA!

Then, the hardest part. Font. Back to dafont.com. Back through all the script fonts and the stencil fonts and some of the fonts I already have and just like. Try them all on my new background banner. Make sure they're not too long horizontally or too illegible or too pixely or too stupid. Something that feels right. My favorite visually is still too hard to read. It's called "Fountain Pen Frenzy" and it's got the exact look and feel I want, but I'm afraid if you didn't know what it said, you wouldn't be able to decipher it and that kind of defeats the purpose. Observe:So that's clearly a no-go. There were a few fonts that have the fabulous real pen-and-ink letter writing look, but it seems they generally have a harder time translating onto anything but a solid white background in their original size without looking weird.

I also really like the FELL font family in general and kind of like this version, too:Plus on this one I played with barely hiding the letters behind the wallpaper. Same goes for the version with the highest ranked font from the old version of the banner. I can't decide if I still like it, though...
SO! Redesignmania is nearing its end. I still need to get my photographer friend over here and actually make a final decision on font (real comment input is wonderfully helpful...I'll stop tormenting you with polls for now, though I may set up a quick final one and beg the EtsyGreetings Team for votes). And if you read this whole blog post, mazel tov. You are awesome. You totally deserve 20% off your first purchase from Off the Wall Greetings once it exists, or any purchase from JillHannah in the meantime, but only if you give me feedback in my comments ;)

Yes, I just emoticonned.



Glorious Hats said...

Well then let me be the first to shout Hurray! Have been enjoying reading your sharp and snappy articles, finding lots to smile about and many good, very good ideas. Planned to comment and came out of reader to finish the article and comment, to find doing so may even be rewarded should I decide to spend some of my PayPal account in one of your stores. Too fun.

So if you have reached this far in the comment - let me leave you with another Hurrah! Hurray! the banner is awesome, worth the work. It pops, it is clear, it is distinctive. Well done. And thanks for sharing the process.

Hugs to you, Jane

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's some serious work. I have a love/hate relationship with dafont. I mean, how useful is downloading something for personal use? Are you going to use it to write yourself a letter?

JillHannah said...

lol, thecraftbegins.

you can actually filter "free for personal use" out of your search results on dafont's advanced options. I've started doing that so I won't even be tempted/disappointed by all the stupid "personal use" fonts.

Also, it would seem my banner is actually a design disaster.