One of the hats I wear at Landscape Projects is that of newsletter editor. About four or five years ago, its design got a long-needed update from a graphics designer who is a friend of our company president. And one of the things he did that pleased me the most was to use my photographs in “slices” at the top of several of the pages. You can see a sample of the newsletter here. So, for example, a rather routine photo of the base of a beech tree
could be used as a graphic element that could set off a “slice” of another image with some of the same colors. (To see these two photos side by side, go to page three of the newsletter link here).
I loved the way he used my photos and it inspired me to shoot with an eye for images that would look interesting cropped narrowly in a horizontal format. So when I started a blog at WordPress, I knew I wanted a theme with a customizable header that I could change whenever I felt like it, to take advantage of the same idea.
If you’ve been reading this blog (and my thanks to those of you who have!) but have come to it only recently, you may have missed some of the first headers. Here’s one I used around the holidays.
I use WordPress’ ‘Sapphire’ theme, which calls for images 740 pixels wide by 180 pixels high. I find a photo I like that has a background where type will be readable, crop it to these dimensions in Photoshop, and put my “Garden Shoots” header text on it. Then I save the cropped image as a low-resolution JPEG file and upload it as my header.
From the outset, I wanted to use headers that more or less corresponded seasonally to the time of year when I’m writing. That probably means fewer header changes in winter, and more in spring, summer & fall. I also decided to use a simpler font, and stick to white typeface whenever I can, although on lighter backgrounds I sometimes have to get creative, as with the iris header that was up last week:
Here’s one from early spring in the DC area, when the dogwoods were in bloom:
The next one is one of my favorite headers so far. I took the photo at Brookside Gardens and cropped it so the the Nectaroscordum siculum is primarily on the left with space for the text on the upper right-hand side.
Another spring favorite was the allium with baptisia, a shot taken in a client’s garden.
The possibilities are endless, and can include larger garden scenes.
I don’t want to give away what’s in store for the upcoming months so I will close here.
But here’s an offer for anyone with a customizable header and a photo you like. Send me your name, either by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by leaving a comment on this post, and I will randomly select one entrant as the winner of a custom header for your blog. Details to be worked out later, but I promise to get it done within a month of the drawing. Deadline for submitting comments or sending e-mails is July 10, 2010. And thanks for reading!