How to Make Exciting Screenshots (In Photoshop or Gimp!)

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screen-a

Have you seen screenshots on other blogs and wondered how they made something plain look so vivid and unique?

Engaging your readers with beautiful graphics isnʼt as hard as you might think! This tutorial will teach you how to create more eye-catching screenshots with just a few simple techniques.

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7 Elements to Make Your Blog Look Great

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In What Makes a Design Good?, I talked about the technical aspects of a good design, like site and user goals, branding, and distinction.

I did not however answer the question of what makes a design look good. What makes one blog visually attractive, but makes another one ugly?

There is no mathematical solution, but there is an artsy one. A good looking design is a combination of a number of factors. If your blog succeeds in each of these areas, then the overall effect will be an appealing design.

designtext Image by Nir Tober.

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Make The Web a Less Colorful Place

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The web is a colorful place. It’s easy to choose any color you can imagine, and put it into your design. No mixing paints, and no worrying about color-printing costs.

It’s easy to have a colorful web page, and very tempting to do so. But what is the alternative?

Monochromatic Design

Monochromatic design is design with one color. You select a single base color, and then add white and black to it to produce different shades of that color.

Your design consists solely of your monochromatic palette, and various shades of gray.

Example of a monochromatic palette, with the base color at the right and left ends of the top and bottom rows respectively:

monochromatic_palette

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Design Review: What Sarah Said

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What Sarah Said What Sarah Said is a personal blog, belonging to Sarah of course. It was picked out of a CSS gallery to be this week’s review candidate; a high quality candidate!

What Has Been Done Well?

  • Color. No-one will argue that the color scheme here isn’t unique. The unusual combination looks great, and works perfectly. Getting this right has instantly made WSS memorable.

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5 Mistakes I’ve Found in A Lot of Blogs

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Wrong Way. A few weeks ago I ran an offer where I would give 5 free tips on anyone’s blog’s design. The offer went down very well, and I’d like to share some of what I have learnt so far.

Every design is unique of course, however, there are some small flaws that I found to be common across quite a number of blogs.

The 5 Pointers

  1. Take care with your logo. A fast-loading blog is important, but not everything is worth forsaking for its sake. In particular, a lot of bloggers have compressed their banner images to a point where pixelation around the letters is noticeable. Your logo is too important for this.

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Elements of a Uniquely Personal Blog Design

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Unique In yesterday’s post I discussed how the design of a personal blog can be an enjoyable experience because of the many design freedoms it offers. The key with a personal blog design is to let your personality shine through.

There are a number of ways in which this can be done through your writing and commenting style, but it can also be done in your design. Listed below are just some of the different might use to go about making a design that little bit more unique.

  • Header design. The blog’s heading is arguably the best place to be creative. Let your heading reflect who you are. What are your hobbies and interests? Why not put photos of them in your header?

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Tools For Choosing a Color Combination

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Color choosing tools. Guest post by Steven Snell.

As new visitors arrive at your blog, color is one of the most important design aspects for creating a positive first impression. Last week Michael wrote about the importance of making your blog template unique. Effective color modifications can be a quick, easy way to help your blog stand out from the crowd, especially is you are using a very common theme.

Fortunately, there are a number of free tools available online that can help with finding the right color combination. We’ll take a look at a few of them and hopefully you”ll find something that you would like to use for your own color decisions.

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