I have been asked a few times if I designed my website. Yes. I am cheap and SUPER picky. No designer wants to work with me on this. I know enough about usability and design to be reckless and question authority. I bow to designers all day in my day job (and they are THE BOMB and I love them to death). I let them do it all…so this is my outlet to do what I want. All me and Photoshop with some 5 minutes consults from my graphic designer friends. Also the few Photoshop tutorials I have had to ask for since I has the dumbs. The next question is usually “How do you come up with a design? Colors? Etc?” Well that was the hard part. I have to say I was inspired by Pinterest. I fell in love with all the clothing of gray and yellow. Part of my love is that I can’t wear yellow with my skin…so I wanted to use it somewhere. That is where Adobe came to the rescue. My coworker/graphic designer friend showed me Kuler. A community area to share color palette. It’s like those little paint chip things times a million! Basically I started going through and found some similar palette I liked. Then you can go in and tweak the colors to more of what you want. You can also save favorites (with an Adobe ID account) and create your own! I find this is a great tool for all kinds of things. Picking house colors. Web design. Art projects. And just plain fun to look out and you don’t have to have a kitchen drawer full of paint chips 🙂
As for the rest of my design (for anyone who cares), I googled around for a PSD template for a nice tileable background image. It had some built in effects and layers to work with and I just had to play around with the colors. Slapped a gradient on it and had the HTML background image repeat-x and no repeat-y with a background color of the same gray so it “fades” into it. The banner was my desire to have my photography showcase our lives and what “mannlymama” means. It truly is the trickest part because of the dimensions of the picture I need to put in there. I usually don’t leave a lot of negative space in my photos to work with. Anyway, that is the general gist. I constantly tweak but I have been happy with my color scheme all year. I even have matching business cards! Also a shout out to JP at Japster Inc. for the conversion from Blogger last year and the very versatile Thesis theme. It really saves me some time because it is so widely used and I can find new RELIABLE code snippets all over the web to customize it.