I promised I'd share how I accomplished my redesign, and I've been thinking about how to go about it. The best way I could come up with is to just go step by step and show you each item and how it was done.
For me, design is so often all about color. More often than not I start with a color palette and work my way from there. I shared ColourLovers with you earlier this month, and that's where I started this project.
Oddly enough, the palette I began with was not intended for use in this, or really any other, project. I just made it because I was messing around with the colors on the site. One of the interesting features of color lovers is that if you're the first to use a specific shade you get to name it. This turns out an amazing variety of color names. While playing around on the site, I decided to make a palette using just the names of the colors, rather than working with the colors themselves. At the time, "In the Valley of the Dying Sun" by House of Heroes was playing in the background, and I figured that was a fun title to play with. So I came up with this palette. Oddly enough, the colors really work well together, so when I was trying to decide on colors for the blog, that's where I started.
So next step was the background. That's the most obvious expression of the color palette, so it seemed a good place to start. There are a plethora of great background making sites and tools out there, and I've even been known to make my own from scratch now and then, but this time I went with PatternCooler. I chose the "Tri Seed Curl" pattern and played around with my colors until I was happy with the results. What you see on the blog now is the result. Of course, the palette changed a little in the process. I dropped the reddish color and added a really pale violet and a darker shade of the color called "house." I also tweaked the colors just a little, so that none of them are actually the exact colors from the ItVotDS palette. My finished palette can be seen here.
So that's how the palette and background came about. Nothing too technical so far, in fact I think almost any blogger would be able to use the two tools I've discussed here with little difficulty. Next up we'll get into the slightly more technical aspects... Stay tuned!