Posted on Tue - December 11, 2007

All sizes of badges

Graphic experiments

I still use TypeStyler for most of my web graphics. Unfortunately the author seems to be taking forever to update it for Mac OS X, it has to run in Classic (OS 9 emulation). And of course, Apple's "Leopard" (10.5) no longer supports Classic. So when I upgrade in a couple of months after the first few rounds of bug fixes, I'll probably have to have one partition of an external drive that can boot into 10.4 just so I can keep using TypeStyler.

The other issue with TypeStyler was that I could not control the size of an exported GIF file. I was using the ruler in TypeStyler and coming up with a rough approximation of pixels. I wasn't as successful as I could have been, and it made the graphics look really strange if I wanted to put them on anything but a web page.

So when I was stuck without internet for a couple of days, I started experimenting. TypeStyler can also export in Photoshop format. And Graphic Converter can handle that and let me scale to the size I need. The old Eyeball Mark I still lets me get fairly close when it comes to proportions, I think the most I have been off is about 12 pixels. That let me create bigger GIFs for my banners.

Graphic Converter is a little tricky though when it comes to specifying the transparent color for the GIFS. If you don't know, the transparent color is the thing that lets your graphic look like anything other than a rectangle shape. Some of the highlights that TypeStyler generated became transparent when the file was converted from Photoshop to GIF in Graphic Converter. The solution was to scale back the intensity of the highlights and use another image that didn't have quite so much white.

After the banners, the next project was blog badges for the NeoWayland NetWork page. The one for Pagan Vigil will have to wait until I get MaCei (iMac) back from it's memory expansion, but I had the copies of the original files for the other two blogs. After I had something that worked, I would then use HTML to scale down to replace the titles in the NeoBlogs section of the sidebar on each blog. It looked okay in Safari, but when I remembered to double check with Opera, it looked pretty bad. Camino looked just as bad. It turns out that Safari scales images better on the Macintosh. So back I went to create a scaled down image for the two blog badges I have done. Of course, looking at it, I will have to do the same on the KYFHO Gadsden thing on Pagan Vigil, but that will also have to wait for The Return of MaCei.

Here are the badges.

The lesson here is to always test your page in more than one browser.

Another advantage of using TypeStyler to export the files as Photoshop format is I can think seriously about CafePress. When I originally designed the banners, I thought they could do double duty as bumper stickers. The new blog badges would look pretty good on coffee mugs, and the KYFHO Gadsden thing would look pretty good on a hat or maybe the back of a sweatshirt. Anyway, it's a possibility now.

© 2005 - 2008 All Rights Reserved