It feels really good to be blogging again. I wasn’t sure I would ever come back to it. There were other things in life that demanded my attention. Let’s face it, keeping a food/life blog is a bit more time consuming than a diary type blog where a large portion of the time is consumed with taking photos, processing photos, uploading photos, styling food etc. But, while I was away I realized I had given up one of only things in my life that I did for me, for my own joy. Blogging was, and again is, one of the few outlets for my creativity.
I used to be a very creative person. Being extremely left handed and right brained I almost didn’t have a choice. I used to draw, paint, write stories and poetry, do crafts, scrap booking, screenwriting etc.. However as the demands of family, full time work, living, moving etc I found myself indulging less and less in my creative outlets. In doing so I found creativity, like most learned skills abandon or neglected for too long, is lost. The abilities become forgotten and must be learned anew.
I realized I missed and loved blogging. So when I decided to come back to The Butter Dish, I resolved it was time for a new look. I started with recoloring or at least fine tuning the colors of The Dish and found a couple of great online tools that made is fun and easy to do.
Believe it or not, the simple colors you choose for your web page can make a big impact on the traffic you gain, first impressions and how long your visitors are going to hang around. Let’s face it, you can have the greatest blog or web page in the world but if it’s black with neon green and pink fonts, it can be painful to the eye and I’m not sticking around for long. If neon green and pink are your favorite must have colors, then using a tool like a color scheme designer will help you find the best way to incorporate them into your space where your visitors won’t skiddadle the moment their retinas start to scream.
Color Scheme Designer and Colors On The Web are two of the niftiest tools out there for helping you choose the best colors for your website. In this post I’m going give you a tour of Color Scheme Designer.
The main page of the site takes you to your palette; a workspace environment as it will. It’s broken down into four main sections.
At the top left you can choose your color logic. This helps you choose complementary colors, based on color theory, specific to how many colors you want to incorporate into your webspace or blog.
The first three color logic choices are fixed. You choose your primary color and the other two points will rotate in a fixed relationship to the first. The last three however offer more variable and let you really have some fun with colors. In the example above I chose “analogic” and set my primary (the black dot) to a spring green. By default the corresponding two colors are relatively close giving you a monochromatic palette.
However, I can drag one of the white dots away from the primary color and the other moves in tandem. This allows me to change the color scheme based on three analogic complementary colors. You can see now I have a green, blue and yellow palette now although my green never changed.
The color wheel in the bottom left provides you the primary color RGB number and the percentages of your corresponding colors. The three tabs across the bottom are the “Hues” palette, your play area, “Adjust Scheme” and the “Color List” which gives you the RGB numbers of all the colors provided.
In the “Adjust Scheme” you can drag the points to fine tune your colors to brighter, darker or more muted tones. Perhaps you’d like a little bit more grey or pizzaz pink. Play around.
Once you have the number of colors and hues to your liking, the top right gives you you primary palette based on the points from the color wheel and your color logic. Here I chose a four color scheme.
At the bottom right you have your working palette. Your primary colors are stacked in the middle with your main point (the black dot) set as your dominant color. To give you maximum creativity it also gives you corresponding hues for your palette for ultimate creativity in your webpage without creating a big color mess. You can have six, eight or twelve colors on your site and they’ll all play nicely together.
Your palette preview also gives you the opportunity to see what your color scheme may look like on your page. Here is an example of a light page, white background.
If you click on certain aspects of the example the colors will flip flop to give you a different view. In the top view the menu is blue where in this view the blue and yellow have switched.
If your prefer a darker scheme, by all means go for it. I’m not crazy about the super green page here, but hey… changing it up takes only seconds.
Ok, you have your colors, you have your scheme, you know exactly what you want in your site, let’s get those colors shall we. On the top right of the page is a menu to export your palette into all formats you need.
Or simple text.
I knew for “The Dish” I wanted to keep my teal, purple and yellow (butter is yellow after all). I played with adding a fourth color (my love of lime green, and orange was nice too). But in the end I stayed with the three and several variations of them. WizKiz preferred more of a blue teal than the green blue so I tuned that a bit.
The Dish has changed a few times since I started it about two years ago and I’m sure it’ll change again. When it does, I know I’ll have the tools to make any cosmetic changes easy.