Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Help Me With My Colors

I love web and graphics design, but color is not one of my strong points. I'd like to know what you think, so I'm giving you a feedback opportunity. Leave a comment on this post with suggestions for colors for the following items (please use HTML #RRGGBB format):
  • Page Background
  • Text
  • Links
  • Visited Links
  • Blog Title
  • Blog Description
  • Post Titles
  • Borders
  • Sidebar Title
  • Sidebar Text
I'll format the blog with each of the four best suggestions and screenshot them, then put the screenshots into a poll for everyone to vote on what looks best.

What the GIMP needs

I use both Adobe Photoshop and the GIMP, and I can think of two or three things that, if added to the GIMP, would permit the GIMP to become much more widely used for graphic design. As far as the UI goes, they're about the same. I prefer the GIMP for the simple reason that it's what I'm used to. But anyway, those three things:
Clipping Masks
Clipping masks are great for creating logos in Photoshop. Combined with layer effects (see bonus) they permit the creation of great text logos from relevant images. They also are great for keeping adjustment layers (see below) where they should be.
Adjustment Layers
Combined with clipping and layer masks, adjustment layers allow for many image effects. One of the more common is to have a picture of, say, a person, and desaturate everything except their head. While this can be done with selections, adjustment layers and masks provide a huge boost to both ease and flexibility.
Noise Removal Filters
These filters allow Photoshop to transform a mediocre low-light photo into something workable for a composite or logo, if not presentable by itself. Especially useful are the JPEG artifact removal and the color noise removal. I take photographs at concerts for a local band, and the lighting is cool, but horrible for photographs. Every camera I have used introduces a huge amount of color noise, and Photoshop's noise removal filter is wonderful for removing it.
(Bonus) Layer Effects
Being able to emboss or bevel a layer onto another layer is a wonderful effect, especially for text. When combined with clipping masks, it makes for even better text effects.