The New Design with Help from IRockSoWhat

Let’s get something stated right off the bat here. I’m type A and a web developer. I started this blog over 5 years ago. When I bought my own domain and fired up word press, I did all the design myself. I couldn’t fathom paying money for something a) that made no money and b) was kind of my day job. I’m not a graphic designer (just a design school reject) but I had the technical expertise to do it, so I did it. I picked a palette based on the fact that I like day glow yellow and can NEVER wear it. I learned Photoshop enough to make headers and buttons. I pinged my designers at work to help me learn channels and patterns. While it took me YEARS, I made it a learning experience and I can’t regret that.

With all that said, I wanted something more polished. Something unique. Something I couldn’t do myself. I started looking around at blogs I liked and what I thought I might want and I as quickly exceeding my skill level. I spent MONTHS looking at fonts because I am too damn picky. I wanted to stick with similar colors because I just like them and black and white photos slide right in so nicely. No hours in PS for me. I talked to many of you internet folks. Then I started pinteresting and landed on IROCKSOWHAT’s stuff (she is the pinterest master, y’all). I already followed her and such so I reached out about what I wanted. I didn’t want a full design. I just needed pieces parts. I could do all the code and CSS work, I just needed art. After hemming and hawing, I found my own inspiration…my kids:


I loved the look of sidewalk chalk. I found some fonts I was in love with that ran with it. I played around on my own and realized my big lacking point was the actual drawing part. So cue Jess and her awesomeness. I asked for doodles with a small list of things that represented me and the boys. Trains, technology, monsters, sneakers, etc. In no time, I had a folder of adorable doodles that I was in love with. Voila:


BAD ASS  right?

Next I found some concrete background images for free and adjusted the color and contrast to get the background I wanted. Tiled that bad boy as a background image and focused on a “see through” header.

Then I used my connections and  bugged my designer at work(Hi. Christine! She was the Stark Industries’ receptionist in Iron Man 3…you see her for like 1 sec but still) to teach me the ways of channels in Photoshop and I made those cute ass doodles look like sidewalk chalk ::brushes shoulders off:: Then I found my fonts after searching free fonts all over the place. KG Cold Coffee and KG Makes You Stronger ended up the winners. I am quiet pleased.

Many thanks to the truly talented Jess from I Rock So What. If you are in the market for some design help, I can’t recommend her enough. She has even been uber patient with me being such a slack ass. Gummi bear explosion to her. Her prices are great for someone starting out!

So yeah, that was a lot of rambling but a number of people asked me about design and concept privately and I thought I would explain my process even if it bored you to tears :).

P.S. I dropped the moonshine tag line because while true, it didn’t give the right first impression about what I write about. It fit Twitter more to me. I never shine much on the blog but I mom the shit out of 2 boys 🙂

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