Sometimes, Eight Headers are Better than One

A believer in continuous learning and self-development, I signed up for an e-course on blogging. Inspired by what I learned during week one, I revamped my blog header to better reflect my developing “brand.” If you’re new to my blog, I’m an on-a-career-break-to-see-more-of-the-world finance pro who quickly launched this blog in mid-August.

While my finance role required a great deal of creative thinking – my team and I found clever solutions for and provided insights into challenging business issues, working with the limited level of resources and tight time constraints that are all too common in today’s corporate environments – as a blogger I have the freedom to be artistically creative.

I thought it would be fun to share my blog header design evolution with you. Directly below is my inspiration photograph. I’ll come back to the story behind it in a minute. As you scroll through the header iterations, I think you’ll agree that I’ve come a long way from the blurry first one.

The image below shows my first header attempt…a scribbled mess.
Header 1 Aug 2013
Re-scaled and lightened…a smidgen better.
Re-scaled again, tried to pretty it up with a deep teal border…still looks like a scribbled mess.
First major change…
New font and and more colour…
At the end of September, it looked like this…
cropped-header-faded-updated-with-new-compass-rose-in-colour3.pngThen bye-bye colour…
cropped-header-faded-updated-with-new-compass-rose-grey.pngAnd now…

My husband and I were travelling in Spain on our honeymoon when I took the photograph. It was my first visit to Spain, a country that I had long wanted to experience. Weeks after returning home, we put our home on the market, packed up the two cats (but not my live-at-home daughter who was attending university), and headed off on the first of two corporate relocations, from Toronto, Canada, to St Louis, Missouri in the United States. Then three years later, across the “pond” to Switzerland (now with three cats). Each move was life changing (a mix of pluses and minuses) for my husband, me and our family (including the furry family members).

The photo, taken at Reales Alcázares de Sevilla, shows a small section of a Flemish tapestry.  It depicts an exciting era. European led explorations of distant lands were underway. Queen Isabella I of Spain was at the Alcázares complex when she agreed to finance Columbus’ expedition to find a new route to the Indies. As we know, he bumped into the New World on that adventure. In the spirit of exploring the world, I chose this photo as the basis for my blog header.

Columbus Before the Queen. Painting by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze

Columbus Before the Queen. Painting by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze

Columbus' map, ca. 1490.

Columbus’ map, ca. 1490.

My “header” experience involved learning how to use GIMP and Inkscape, which are open-source illustration and graphics tools. I sliced and reversed the tapestry, re-scaled it, played with colour, fonts, the layout and re-drew and re-positioned the all-important compass rose four times. In my latest header re-do, I used CSS code for the first time to modify the header and menu bar.

As for my choice of the style and colour palette…at times, the world is a difficult and dark place. Hence, the Gothic styling and dark background. However, one finds incredible brightness in that darkness. Beauty, synchronicity, multiculturalism and connectivity are what I post about. They form the bright and colourful content; the beauty that I encourage you to bring home.

Will this be the final header? Stay tuned.

Image credits above: top photo and header graphics: Sara Lynne Moffatt, all others via Wikipedia.

12 thoughts on “Sometimes, Eight Headers are Better than One

    1. Sara Post author

      When I look at the chain, I have a mixed reaction: pride, horror and laughter. Your comment means a lot to me. Thank you!

    1. Sara Post author

      Thank you! The inspiration came easily. Sorting out how to create the look that I wanted was, well, a learning experience. I was ready to hire a graphic designer to help me with it. However, I really wanted to create the design on my own. Enjoy your day! xx Sara

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