Saturday, March 27, 2010

Where's Luke? 2.0

Now that we're three and redesigning ourselves (we're gonna be the kid in high school who wears a fedora) I decided to take my share of input and put it into the blog. Now my share of input here is roughly 46%, even though you might think it's only 25%. Open Bar's share is also 46%. Side Bar wants his opinion to be known but has neither then time nor inclination to put any work into the redesign save to say, "I like that," or "That sucks". He's therefore at 7%. LJT, true to form, does not give a fuck about anything, and if he were to make a list of things in the order in which he did not give a fuck about them (which would inherently violate the idea of not giving a fuck, thus no list exists), the blog redesign would be near the top along with the time and location of the next Tea Party rally. LJT's contribution is the 1% of obligatory mocking of the rest of us spending any time at all on the redesign.

So yesterday I found myself all of a sudden interested in overhauling the site and discussed with Open Bar the idea of creating a new banner to better fit whatever template we end up using. I decided to give it a try despite the fact that I knew beforehand that I have essentially no photoshopping skills, nor do I even have Photoshop, so I'd have to use an inferior program in order to create said banner. I spent many hours on this yesterday.

Actually making the banner took like 5 minutes to be honest, but I went through many ideas and picture choices and actually ended up making many banners. At one point I had an idea to photoshop in pictures of us in a sunflower field based on a picture of a couple of us. I messed around with that for a while before deciding it didn't really fit with the manliness that this blog is known for.

Then I thought of just taking the existing banner and photoshopping new pictures onto that one. I think the reason I abandoned that one was because I realized that I couldn't really crop the pictures very well with the freehand crop without having really rough edges. Still I don't hate this idea, but I ended up abandoning it. It may be worth revisiting given the end of the story. Read on.

Then I decided that I'd need a black background or at least a dark one in order to smooth out those rough photoshop edges. That's when I decided to sortof put us into space. I came up with the left side of the banner relatively quickly. I screwed around with a few ideas and ended up with two I thought were pretty good.

I did all this without having decided on a template. Open Bar had put in a few different templates and I had picked a few different ones. The problem I was having was that I couldn't find one where the banner would fit without screwing up the page and also all the templates that don't come straight off the blogger site would screw up the many extra information type boxes we have (the links, archive, labels, etc,). So after trying tens of different templates that I couldn't get to cooperate with Blogger, I decided to just pick a different Blogger template.

As of the time I'm writing this, that's the template that's up here. It may be that it will have changed again at the time you read this. If it does change, though, then Open Bar has again taken the reins on redesign, because I think I've reached a stasis on this one. As it turns out, our original banner fits really well up at the top of the page. So I spent a lot of time creating these few different banners and there's nowhere to display them. Anyway, here are a few of the ideas I had as I went along yesterday. This way at least all that time wasn't for nothing.

This one isn't really a banner. Open Bar's idea here was for me to shop myself into this pic of ourselves from Joe's Wedding right in the middle and really make it obvious that I was shopped in. It's pretty funny, although the photoshopping job is, amazingly, actually a little better than I originally intended. Not that it's not obvious that I'm shopped in, but I was going for more of a in your face cut and paste thing. I love in this one also how LJT is tallest and Side Bar is shortest. Worth noting too that the shape of this one doesn't really lend to placement anywhere on the page. Now that I'm looking at it, though, maybe cropping off the whole bottom half would make a decent banner. Hm...that's interesting.

This was the beginning of the reworking of the original banner. I liked those two photos on the right side and I was thinking about starting on the left side before I abandoned the idea. Like I say, given that the original banner is now up there, this may actually be worth revisiting. Click on the banner to embiggen it.

This is the star idea. As I said, the left side came together quickly. I like the (maybe not so) subtle hidden meaning of the point. There were a few ideas for the right side I liked, and ultimately I think this is the one I like best. I like the solidarity. Also these pictures are from three different weddings, Side Bar's, Ghetto Bob's, and Joe's, which is somewhat interesting.

This is the second star one. The appeal of this one is obviously the Side Bar pose. The thing is that I couldn't really work Open Bar in in a way where it really fit well. See the same Open Bar picture shopped in one of the above photos in a much more successful way. Even so, this one isn't terrible.


Anonymous said...

I still like the original banner. But that's just a little biased since the picture is from my wedding. It makes me still feel loved.

Plus you guys all looked a lot better back then - Oh Snap!

-Ghetto Bob, Cincy Rob, Soon-to-be Hartford, CT Rob

Evan said...

I can't believe this is the same car!

Side Bar said...

The last picture is far and away the best, and I have LJT's proxy . . . he agrees.

Getto bob is in the fucking house!!! So great to hear from a Wheeeere's Luke original.

Stars and stars forever.

Amanda said...

What happened to the by-line at the top, right under the title of the post? I like to know what I'm dealing with at the beginning.

I suggest this revsion be made.


ChuckJerry said...

Yeah, I agree with you, AG, but even though it is currently set to but the byline at the top, it's putting it at the bottom. Mad ghetto.

jenn said...

oh boy!

ChuckJerry said...

Interesting changes, Open. I like the nuance. I must say, I did kindof like the alternate list of labels with the big and small fonts. Also that way it doesn't scroll all the way down into white text.

I guess you and I are like the Middle East when it comes to the labels.

Open Bar said...

I didn't make any of those changes. They reek of Side Bar, if you ask me.

Open Bar said...

To be clear, it's not that I don't like the little changes. I do. Though I actually would agree with you on the labels thing. Perhaps I'll change that back.

Also, I'm gonna center the banner pic.