How to make a Good Blog Header with Bad Clip Art

In Thursday’s post, Five Tips to Customize Your Terrible Blog Theme, I suggested that if you don’t have graphic design ability to make a cool header for your blog, then you could make something cool with clip art and text.

A lot of you disagreed with me on this.

Chris wrote:

Clip art? Funky fonts? Those things have nothing to do with good blogging. Great content is important. So is an easy to navigate layout. A less-than-sexy theme? Not that important.

Lisa agreed and wrote:

Definately no clipart please! Clipart screams old, has been, fuddy duddy. Please direct people to the Creative Commons on Flickr.

So, I issued the following challenge, I would make a header with anyone’s selection of clip art and font. And then Brad answered my challenge with the font Olde English Text MT and this abomination of clip art.

Horrifying Clip Art - Good job finding this monster Brad.

I threw up a little in my mouth when I saw that monstrosity, but I like a challenge. So I set forth and within twenty minutes I came up with the following two headers.

Paper Training - Example 1

Paper Training - Example 2

I used an old copy of Adobe Photoshop I’ve had for years, but I could have accomplished the same thing in the GIMP. The changes I made were to eliminate the border around the art. I then made a more stylized black and white version of the clip art just for kicks using a simple filter effect. Then I added the text to both. (Note: If you’re wondering why the text placement is different, it’s harder to read the black text on the black and white version when it overlaps the art.)

Keep in mind that this was designed for fun and wasn’t made for any existing blog. If you have your own blog customize, you have an idea of what you write about, or at least you should have one. You’ve got a much better idea of what your style is. You can find something much more to your liking than something random people just throw at you.

Using someone else’s art is not the ideal way to make a blog header, but it is a method to have something unique and eye catching that can make your blog stand out. Make sure you have all the necessary permissions before you go ahead and make something and then find out you can’t use it.

And if anyone wants to start a blog and use the headers I made, go right ahead, but tell me you’re doing it. I want to see what kind of blog uses that header.

7 Responses to “How to make a Good Blog Header with Bad Clip Art”

  1. Brad January 9, 2011 at 11:02 am #

    I’d like to point out to the internet masses that appears to be available for purchase.

    Just in case you have an incontinent granny and/or puppy to care for.

    • Jay January 9, 2011 at 11:50 am #

      I don’t, but I hope someone takes this advantage quickly.

  2. Lisa January 9, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    Well you did it! The key here is to make it not recognisable as clipart but most people don’t have those photoshop skills. Great domain name, always hard to brainstorm a unique domain name, no at least I know who to turn to!

    • Jay January 9, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

      I tried to keep my photoshop wizardry to a minimum, thus using only one filter and just cropping out the border.

      And yes, I’m great at coming up with weird names.

  3. John M. Hoyt January 10, 2011 at 5:09 am #

    Cute… I had my doubts until I read the article and saw your result. Congratulations. haha =)

    • Jay January 10, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

      I aim to surprise and bring a laugh.

  4. Brankica from Live Your Love January 10, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

    I am sorry to say that I have not ran into this blogger earlier. I can’t believe I haven’t cause it rocks. Well, actually this post rocks, but I will be snooping around.

    I just saw a list of best social media blogs on Social Examiner and had to check them out. Well, the point of a comment on a blog is to add value, but what to add to this?

    I don’t think clip art is outdated if it is used properly and you have proved it. Creating a cool header like that from those elements, lol, I wish I had a blog about paper training!!!

    And as much as buying that domain sounds great plus the fact that I have a two months puppy, I keep taking her out to do the business so I am not using any paper :)

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