Gah, sorry for the late start, it has been quite a day for me. This morning I locked myself out of the house with little B in tow, boohoo :( We are back in now, thank goodness my Father in-law was able to rescue us with a spare key on a break from work! Note to all of you out there: hide a spare right now! Don’t make my mistake! Anyway, back to the business at hand, DIY web design! I think it is so sweet that many of you have taken the time to write me and comment on my blog redesign, I really appreciate it :) I thought since many of you are also bloggers, it could be helpful to share some of the resources I used for snazzing up my site.
First of all, let me say that while I have taken a few basic web & graphic design courses now, I am still very much a beginner, so when I decided to redesign my blog I needed to find free or cheap tools I could use that would make the best use of my (limited) skill set. The first resource I would like to share is Pugly Pixel. Run by Katrina, Pugly Pixel is both a blog with loads of web design freebies (like the felt textures above) and tutorials, as well as a shop with blog bling for sale.
Next up is a site my web design instructor tipped us off to called Font Squirrel, which if you haven’t visited yet you must! It’s a font resource where all of the fonts are FREE and licensed for commercial use. A few of my favorites, pictured above, are Ostrich Sans, Blackout, Learning Curve, and Quicksand. P.S., even if you are not designing a blog or website, it can be fun to download some fresh fonts for using in DIY print projects like invitations, birthday banners, and the like.
Okay, so now we get more serious…If you really want to start changing some things like, in the code, you will want to download a tool called Firebug. It is pretty amazing, in that it lets you peek at the code on any website – HTML, CSS, and even the layout. This is not meant to be used to literally copy someone else’s work, but it can be a lifesaver if you know what you want to do but are unsure how to go about it. I admit it can be annoying to use at times, but if you actually kind of enjoy geeking out on code like I do, it is worth it! Oh, and it’s free :) Above, you can see what it looks like opened on my site.
And finally, one tool that was essential for me in designing many of the elements for Lolalina, including the banner and background pattern, was a subscription to Adobe Illustrator. Adobe is now offering the whole Creative Suite in a month-to-month subscription format – which was great news for me, because the Adobe programs cost major bucks to buy outright – definitely NOT in the budget right now! So if you have at least a tiny foundation in using Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, etc., you can now feel free to dabble and practice a bit without shelling out a month’s worth of rent money :)
Well, I hope you found something helpful/interesting here to bookmark for the future! I’ll see you back here tomorrow :) xo Laura