Thursday, 22 July 2021

A New Look - Finally Updating the Blog Header


The eagle-eyed of you might notice a new header for the blog. This is LONG overdue! This is actually the fifth banner that I've had since I started the blog in 2013. I orginally named the blog due to the idea that I had a magpie-type approach to hobbying - collecting and hoarding shiny stuff, whilst also flitting from one thing to the next! 


Banner 1 (the amateurish original)

Banner one was based on one of my Brat gang characters - who I named the Magpie Dandy of the Sutter Dukes. When I started the blog, I wanted a model to be shown in the header, but for lack of a suitably interesting model, I elected to show the silhouette of my then unpainted (and unnamed) Magpie Dandy. The silhouette is shown against an old notebook, and some uninspiring text thrown on to the image.




Banner 2 (now with stylish font!)

Not much has changed from the original banner, except a little bit of editing to sharpen up the image (I think I knocked the contrast levels up). The new font was Woodcuts from Copyfonts.com. I can't get it to work on my laptop any more!



Banner 3 (looks like it belongs to an arts and crafts blog)

Very short-lived - this was my first attempt at making the banner look like a woodcut. I didn't like it as it didn't really fit the subject matter of the blog.



Banner 4 (the long-serving veteran)

The longest-lived of the banners, having headed up the blog since September 2015. This followed on from the design cues of banner 4 by attempting to look like a woodcut. Not very convincing really, but it does have more of a graphic feel. With nothing more than Photo editor and Paint to hand, I ran the Magpie Dandy's shadow through some filters and spliced it to the woodcut text. 



A new modern age

Fast-forward to yesterday, when I had an hour or spare. I decided I was going to spend that hour doodling to see if I could draw something a little better for the blog. I wanted to have a magpie in the image, and I wanted to carry over the prominent feature of the previous 'logo' - the caryatid's wings.

I was pretty pleased with the results, drawn with some nice fine line black pens and a black Sharpie for the block shadows. I asked for some feedback from some buddies, and promptly ignored the suggestions because I liked my version better (even though some suggestions were funnier than mine, and others came from actual graphic artists!).


Banner 5

I thought finding a new font was going to be challenging, but I found a nice and easy text generator with a range of futuristic fonts over at Font Meme. I selected the font I liked best (Deathstar), which just so happens to be a close family relative to the font used in the original Rogue Trader advert. I figured that was job done!

The original advert for Rogue Trader from the First Citadel Compendium (1983).
Image from Stuff of Legends




I guess all in all, this is probably not hugely interesting to anyone but me, but I'm very pleased with the new banner and ticking one well overdue task off the list. Hope you like it!

16 comments:

  1. It's always a fun time sprucing up the blog.

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    1. It's like redecorating, or buying a new pair of shoes ;)

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  2. This is very cool. Everytime I feel like I should do one for my blog it overwhelms me...and I've been stuck now with the same one for 10 years now.

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    1. Thanks! I suspect a lot of people are in the same boat. It's easy enough to just keep what you already have.

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  3. First off, love the new banner. Very cool to know it was hand-done and keeps the history of your blog. It's awesome.

    Funny story: My blog was re-named a week in. I just didn't like the original name, and when I told my buddy the current name he said "Oh man! I have the perfect logo for you!" Seven months in and I'm still using the basic blogger font. I think I'm just going to have to follow your lead and make my own!

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    1. Thanks Hobbs! It was important to try and keep a little continuity I thought.

      I'm with you on the re-naming. I should have renamed mine for something a bit snappier, but I think we're too far along now! Looking forward to seeing that logo 🙂

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  4. One of these days I'll maybe get to my own banner. I've the same blog format since I started in 2011, should probably spruce it up sometime, eh? LOL

    I like the new banner though mate. Seems you're a dab hand with a sharpie, eh?

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    1. We all fall into a similar trap I guess. I updated the theme a little while ago to just clean black on white as it turned out my original theme was causing issues on mobile devices.

      I can wield a fine liner and Sharpie pretty well I guess! I don't draw as much as I probably should though.

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  5. Seeing your process is actually pretty cool. I do a bit of amateurish graphic design myself. (For my own projects and for a couple of small organizations.) I think we've even played similar tricks from time to time. (Sharpening silhouettes with contrast and filters, for instance.) Anyway . . . the new banner has a very solid RT feel to it. The font choice is excellent and the graphic is great. Well done!

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    1. I'd love to be more competent! I keep thinking that there is so much more I could do if I only knew how! Glad you approve of the new banner 🙂

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  6. It's hard not to get inspired and filled up with funny ideas from reading this. Hmmm... I'm so happy you wrote this post because I noticed the logo change before seeing the inclusion of the old version here, and worried I might not remember it. Very interesting to put some lore behind it!

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    1. I really wanted to preserve the process so that I could remember it! Really glad it's got some ideas sparking for you 🙂

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  7. Damn I knew that font felt familiar

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