Wednesday, July 27, 2011

After sharing 3 years of blog headers with you yesterday, I thought, let's talk a bit about graphic design and then....let's have a contest!!

First off, I'm not a graphic designer. My dad is. Not me. But I like dabbling in that world and trying to pretend like I know what I'm doing.

Would it surprise you to know that all my "design" stuff is done in Microsoft Word? Yes, WORD. Maybe that doesn't surprise you since my headers are fairly simple and straightforward (and now you know why). One day I'll learn Adobe Illustrator like my sister. But for now, I'm making it work.

And you know, that's really what this blog is all about....Tim Gunn's famous words: "Make it Work."

Over the years you guys have sent emails saying how much sewing has inspired you to think creatively, it's helped you think outside of the box, or until you started sewing, you didn't realize how much artist was really in you! Those kind of emails make me smile. Because yes, the more we explore our creative sides the more we realize, I can do that! Can't find the right shirt in the store? Make it! Need a cool coffee table? Find a discarded one and spruce it up. Need a new button for your blog? Make your own! You. Can. Do it.

You don't have to be a graphic designer to create a spiffy blog. Most of what I've done to my site, I learned by reading online tutorials about html, how to tweak it, and how to add things to make the blog just what I want. Of course as soon as I'm "done", I'm ready to change it up it up again, because I get bored. So it's a forever work in progress. But that's also part of the fun.

Okay, cut to the chase?
I'd like YOU to design my Header!

Don't think you have that "design" sense in you? Don't worry. You just might! And over the next week, I have some professional design and photography experts lined up to share tips with you! I'll also be sharing my own tips and images of my favorite blog headers from other sites.
So we won't leave you without inspiration.

Okay let's talk about what you'll WIN, and then I'll lay out the rules...

Once the entries are closed, I'll share roundup posts showcasing my favorite headers from your entries.
Then I'll narrow it down to my top three.
And finally, I'll announce the Winner.
The two Runner-up Winners will get:
* $25 gift card to Joann

The Winner will get:
* their Header on the MADE blog for 2 weeks!
* a button on the sidebar that says "designed by____"
* a button for their own blog that says "I designed on MADE"...or something similar
* a huge pat on the back for making something really cool!

* fresh, clean looks; not too cluttered
* pretty colors but also "white space"
* cool fonts
* photos...or no photos (am I confusing you?)

Mostly, I'm looking for something that I just look at and say, "ahh. I like that!"
How's that for vague?
But you guys have a sense for my style and flavor.

* The contest runs from today 7/27 to Saturday 7/30/11 at midnight.
That gives you a week and a few days to enter.
* Final Winner will be announced on Monday 8/8, with their new header on the site. It will stay up for two weeks after that time.

* Only 3 header entries per person
* the header image must include the blog title:
MADE (in any style, size, font you like)
* the image needs to be at least 1000 pixels wide.
If you have no idea what I'm talking about, make something as big as the header you currently see on my blog. The shape can be whatever you'd like....I'm open to your creativity. But I typically go with long rectangular headers.
* the image should be in jpg or png format (please no illustrator files, etc)
* You may use ANY images or photos from my blog that you like! I often use a photo in my header and since it's for the MADE blog, I thought I'd offer you the same. You may tweak the images however you like! Change the color, stretch them, scribble on them, whatever! If I don't like I won't pick it. But I'm curious what your creative minds come up with.

I've created a specific FLICKR group for the contest, called Design My Header.
* Join the group.
* Add your image to the group (each person is authorized to add 3 images)
* In the notes of your entry you must include:
- Your name
- a link to you site, blog, or an email address. I need some way of getting ahold of you!

And that's about it.
Come back tomorrow for our first guest post with tips and ideas to help you in the design process. Ready, set, go.
The contest is open now!

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