March 10, 2011

Creating My Blog Banner {Adobe InDesign Love}

I put up a new blog banner just after Valentine's Day. Here's the lowdown on the images I used. The first one is a closeup of the tabletop chandelier on my desk from my Glam up the Desk post. I love the sparkle on the facets of glass. I bought the lamp last year at the Grayslake Flea Market from a cute outdoor vendor. I wish I could remember the name of the dealer... I also bought a cute little vintage suitcase from her.

The second shot is a closeup of some vintage jewelry from that same flea market. It was all in a smelly little box, but I liked some of the stones and it was only $1. I thought I could use the pieces for crafts or magnets, many of the pieces are missing stones but there were a few good ones in the pile. It's actually in my hutch in a glass jar--a sort of "eye candy!" The pink rhinestones are perfect for Pink Saturday!

 The third image is part of the wrought iron arch in my garden. I just love the contrast of the black against the fall sky. I am a wrought iron junkie... not sure yet how to go about mixing it with the lighter palette I'd like to bring into my home.

The last picture is a beautiful home on Chicago's north side. I was in the city to see Million Dollar Quartet at the Apollo Theater and had some time to kill before the show. The theater is really in a beautiful neighborhood, so many old buildings and they are so well maintained. Each one is a work of art and you can tell that the people who live there enjoy taking care of their homes. On this day I only had my camera phone with me. When the weather warms up I am definitely heading back down their with my sweet Nikon.

I chose these photos for their muted colors and bits of sparkle. I cropped most of them quite heavily. They all seemed rather timeless to me.

I prepared the banner, as I do most of my blog buttons, in Adobe InDesign. It's a lesser-known component of the Adobe Creative Suite. Most people have heard about Photoshop and Illustrator, it's companions in the suite, but InDesign is less talked about. I don't know why, to me it is the easiest program of the three to learn and when you are particular about element layout and type in particular, it's the most flexible. You still need Photoshop to fine tune your photos but nothing beats InDesign for layout.

To make my blog banner, I just created a new document, placed each photo (file, place) and then cropped and aligned the photos. Then I created the type--the name of my blog, a tagline {decorate, celebrate, inspire...} and another tagline {vintage with a modern twist}. I can change placement, colors, alignment of each photo and type element really easily. Then, I export the InDesign file (file, export, jpg) to make a jpeg (photo version) of the file. Done! And very easily changeable should I desire to change out a photo or line of type, add color, etc... Also, I don't have to rely on HTML {good thing because I am just learning this!} or the design limitations of blogspot templates.

I love this program and use it every day at work and many days at home! I have an older version at home (CS2) that doesn't do nearly all the fabulous things the newest software does, but it's still my favorite.

When you check out the prices of these products you will see why I haven't upgraded at home... However, note that you can download free trials of each of them to try them out on Adobe's site. You can also buy Photoshop Elements the less powerful version of Photoshop. There are also education versions of these programs if you are a student and you can't beat this pricing. I did a quick search for "buy Creative Suite 2" and found that there is some great pricing on the older software.

This post is not sponsored in any way {don't I wish!}.  Just telling you about some of my favorite things and the Creative Suite is definitely one of them. Any other InDesign fans out there? How do you create your blog banner?

 Be sure and stop by my Share the Love link party, there's still time to link up for this week!

Linking this post to my favorite parties and a new one I found at Dittle Dattle--check out the whole list HERE

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