As blogs continue to grow in popularity, the demand to make one design stand out from the next grows as well. Using Photoshop, you can create a unique header for your blog that will make it stand out from the crowd. It only takes about 8 steps, and the best part of all is that blogs are one place where you can express your own personal style like nowhere else. Ready to dig right in?
One: The easiest way to begin is to install a layout that you basically like, and grab the header from that layout. For my examples, I’ll be using the standard header for the Nucleus blog. Open your default header in Photoshop, create a new layer (Layer, New, Layer), and fill it with white.
Two: Your next step is pretty simple: locate usable artwork. Make sure that you use artwork that won’t land you in a copyright battle – there are plenty of sites that offer free-to-use art. I’ll be using this piece, available at www.clantemplates.com (I’ve sized it down considerably.)
Three: Once you’ve found your art, you need to clean the background off of it. The easiest way to do this is by using the magic wand. So, duplicate the original layer your art is on, and hit the background with the magic wand tool. Then, click the backspace key on your keyboard. Just like that – the background is gone. You may need to zoom in and use the eraser on some small bits.
Four: Now, just drag your artwork onto the default blog header. This is where you’ll probably want to do some resizing of the artwork. Click “Edit”, and choose “Free Transform”. Then, hold the Shift key down on your keyboard while you resize – this will keep all proportions perfect.
Five: We’re ready to start really making this a header. To start, fill your background with a color that compliments the artwork and will work for your blog design. Then, grab a lighter shade of that color to use drawing a long circle that goes outside the lines. Change this layer’s mode to “Overlay”.
Six: Now to add some visual interest – because, let’s admit it, this is kind-of boring. First, select a contrasting color for your foreground color. Then, use your rectangle shape tool to draw a thin line along the lower 1/3 of the header. Finally, use a darker version of this color to create a slightly-thicker line along the left of the header. Add a 1-pixel stroke to each of these rectangles.
Seven: We’ve nearly got this baby done! We’re going to do one more thing for visual interest first. Turn off the artwork layer by clicking they “eye” icon beside it. Then, right-click one of your other layers and choose “MergeVisible”. This will place all the background layers on one single layer. Now, turn your artwork back on, and select your background layer. Select white (or, if the color of your blog page is something other than white, match that color) and draw a thin rectangle of this color behind the artwork on top and bottom, which will make it appear as if it is popping off the header slightly.
Eight: Finally, we’re ready for text. Try adding more than your blog’s title to the header – maybe a favorite tagline or quote, or a slogan-type text. Also play around with the font style you choose. Different fonts will create a different atmosphere. Keep the number of fonts down to three at the most.
Once you’ve added text, you’re ready to save and upload to your blog!