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(Re)Designing Woman

September 9, 2010

With the generous help of Redlami all three of my blogging sites have been revamped! I am thrilled with the results.

Similar to decluttering and redecorating a space, redesigning a website can create a renewed sense of ownership and inspiration. Despite being adventurous as it relates to painting, I was feeling overwhelmed by the process of reconfiguring my sites. I kept hoping that either I’d find some magical template that I didn’t have to customize or I become wild about the template I was already using. Neither happened; I decided to consult Redlami who generously offered to help a sista out.

Snarky’s Machine was up first.I knew what I wanted, which according to Redlami was nearly half the battle:

But even though I rarely have to do it for my job, I still enjoy firing up Photoshop to make the occasional icon or logo. Which is why I was so enthusiastic about helping Snarky’s Machine work on redesigning two of her fabulous blogs: Snarky’s Machine and Does This Pen Write? It turned out to be a great partnership: she picked the fonts and colors (and quotations) and roughed out the elements she wanted, and I made some design suggestions and put them all together. After going back and forth a bit, here’s what we came up with.

He makes it sound like I actually did some work. While it’s true I conceived some very rough elements – remember took graphic design courses in college for the art supplies – Redlami is being modest about his level of involvement, which I feel was pretty substantial. I didn’t always know how to explain what I wanted and he’s quite skilled at teasing out ideas and turning them into tangible design elements.

I wanted simple, graphic and evocative of the Snarky’s Machine spirit. He gave me back the perfect combination of store brand food wrappers, clean lines and pretty colors. This song was playing in my head while I was trying to sort this out.

For Does This Pen Write? I wanted something that evoked my love of 70s game show musical cues, turquoise ink pens and my favorite teal sketchbook. I found a cool font, sketched out some rough ideas (in a notebook, no less) then translated those ideas into a few design parameters and Redlami interpreted those elements into exactly what I wanted. I love staring at the logo and header. LOVE.

I Fry Mine in Butter was trickier. For starters, despite being its founder, I’m not its overlord. There are 10 other people whose opinions matter, because they are the wonderful writers who have taken ownership of this labor of love and make it a fun place to blog. All I had to work with was the template – Vigilance, which everyone seemed to prefer. The chief problem was of my own doing – the title. The title, “I Fry Mine in Butter” is a nod to Kurt Vonnegut and not the delicious act of frying things in butter. From his novel Timequake

That the impulse to laugh at healthy people who nonetheless fall down is by no means universal, however, was brought to my attention unpleasantly at a performance of Swan Lake by the Royal Ballet in London, England… A ballerina, dancing on her toes, went deedly-deedly-deedly into the wings as she was supposed to do. But then there was a sound backstage as though she had put her foot in a bucket and then gone down an iron stairway with her foot still in the bucket.

I instantly laughed like hell.

I was the only person to do so.

A similar incident happened at a performance of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra when I was a kid. It didn’t involve me, though, and it wasn’t about laughter. There was this piece of music that was getting louder and louder, and that was supposed to stop all of a sudden.

There was this woman in the same row with me, maybe ten seats away. She was talking to a friend during the crescendo, and she had to get louder and louder, too. The music stopped. She shrieked, “I FRY MINE IN BUTTER!”

Fry Butt is often about rewarding the lovers of the obscure and the fatuous gems that pop culture has to offer. After test driving a bunch of fail concepts on Tasha Fierce, she directed me to Colour Lovers, which is now my freaking addiction. Armed with only a font and a dream, I ventured over to the site and began creating palettes. I cannot tell you how enjoyable the site is! I created a palette called Wonderwall – no special reason behind the name, just the first word that came to me – and thought that would convey the 70s basement rec room feel of the thing we call Fry Butt. Fry Butt is like a daily trip to a 70s basement rec room, complete with all the passionate debates, opinions and preternatural knowledge of trivia and pop culture. Orange always screams, “Rec Room” and I wanted to accent it with an avocado, but instead opted to temper it with some gorgeous shades of dark blue. Two actually, and I got to name them – “Night Fever” and “Angel in the City”. Again, I went with the first word/phrases that came to me. The latter is definitely a nod to the 80s action flick Cobra. Well, more like its awful soundtrack.

The former should be pretty self explanatory.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. September 9, 2010 9:47 am

    You’re good at seeing the big picture; I tend to excel at the little details. Okay, maybe I’m OCD but it does have its advantages sometimes.

  2. September 9, 2010 10:17 am

    Yes, but you were able to help me create three blog designs that I don’t hate and haven’t caused riots in the street. It’s a pretty big deal in my book.

  3. hsofia permalink
    September 9, 2010 11:51 am

    When you mentioned Colour Lovers, I had a mental headsmack moment. That is SO up your alley! Even if you’re not renovating websites. Back when I used to fiddle with websites, I’d just use other people’s palettes because I found all the choices overwhelming. And I have a problem differentiating between reds.

  4. hsofia permalink
    September 9, 2010 11:53 am

    Is it “differentiating between” or “distinguishing between?” I think the latter.

  5. KellyK permalink
    September 9, 2010 12:58 pm

    hsofia, I think you’re right. I*think* differentiating is making something distinguishable from something else, while distinguishing is spotting the difference.

  6. September 9, 2010 1:31 pm

    @hsofia I have a problem sorting through reds too. I wish I liked red better, since as an aries that’s supposed to be my power color.

  7. September 9, 2010 2:52 pm

    LOVE the new designs! All three sites look great, and I Fry Mine in Butter is especially joyful in its color palette. Great job, all.

  8. hsofia permalink
    September 9, 2010 9:28 pm

    I like them all, but Does This Pen Write’s design really speaks to me. I am finally giving in and going to read the blog (I’ve been avoiding it because it took me years to break myself of frivolous office supply shopping.)

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