Banner insecurity

Look up at the top of the page. Now back to me. Now back to the top of the page. What do you see? It’s a banner. It’s not a particularly nice banner (although made infinitely nicer thanks to the hard work of reader aspidoscelis, for which I am very grateful). I would very much like to have a spiffy banner. However, I have no graphic design skills to speak of. I am hoping I can prevail upon you, gentle readers, for some assistance in this regard.

I have no particular requests or ideas for what a banner would look like. I know that it must measure 300 cubits by 50 cubits by 30 cubits… wait no, that’s idiotic. It has to be 728 x 120, and it has to have the title of the blog in there somewhere. My old site had the black power fist:

And this quote from Christopher Hitchens: “The stubborn persistence of chauvinism in our life and letters is or ought to be the proper subject for critical study, not the occasion for displays of shock.”

Either or neither of those things could conceivably be worked in. I throw myself upon the mercy of the internet.

Wow, that sounds like a terrible idea…

The person with the design I like the most will be rewarded in some way that I have not figured out yet.

EDIT: Reader Zugswang has helpfully provided me with this most awesome tweak to the image above:

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  1. Zugswang says

    What about a slight tweak to the black power fist?

    (If you guys like this, feel free to use it for whatever banner ideas you get)


  2. Crommunist says

    It’s a good image, but I am uncomfortable hosting a blog where I talk about racism whose banner image is an ape. Wires cross in ways that make me uncomfortable.

  3. Tony says

    I like small creative projects like this. Put together a simple banner with just the elements you mentioned and came up with this: {TCM draft image}.

    If you like it, it’s yours in exchange for some credit/recognition in some form. I am happy to tweak it a bit if it’s close to what you are looking for.

  4. Aliasalpha says

    Yeah I was thinking the present one is nice and distinctive in its simplicity.

    Personally I’d avoid the fist as well unless perhaps it was modified to be giving the finger

  5. noisician says

    What about throwing in a few Cyrillic letters in place of the usual Roman letters? It could give a nice Russian feel.


  6. Crommunist says

    The fist is meaningful to me, and relevant to the subject of the blog. I’d like to include it if possible, but am obviously open to ideas that may not include it.

  7. Crommunist says

    Looks fantastic! I will wait for a couple days, as people have indicated that they want to take a stab, but are currently a bit busy.

  8. says

    As it stands, I’d be interested in seeing some combination of MZeora’s design and the one by Herr Mann. I like the font choice and modified fist from the first, and the vibrancy and “kick” of the second.

  9. Dorset Troll says

    Communism does not work. I was taught that at school, and having taken time to read up on history I can say that is a fair comment. However, Capitalism unleashed, as we see today, needs a comeback of communism show the other side.

  10. Crommunist says

    But those aren’t our only options. A market economy balanced by a political system that is responsive to the needs of the people is what we should be striving for.

  11. Daniel R says

    But the above examples using Cyrillic letters are pretty, but not so good ideas, after all, Russian implementation of communist not having been a success.

  12. Crommunist says

    Hitch is my favourite writer, the topic of the quote pretty much describes exactly what I try to do on this blog, and I might be conceited but I am nowhere near conceited enough to quote myself like that.

  13. Tony says

    Thanks, Kamaka. My version goes for the simple/clean look.

    I’m impressed with others’ contributions – Morby’s #16 is a nice bold look, and michaelcrowley’s #6 is simple with a “pirate-y” look to it.

    I will off a version with the new A-fist tomorrow.

  14. Daniel R says

    Hi Cro,

    The management of subscriptions does not work. I subscribed to this post, and received e-mail for each new message posted, that’s OK.

    But I changed my mind and decided to remove that subscription and clicked to the “Manage” link. It told me to send my e-mail address to send me a link to access to my subscription management page.

    I received the link, but it does not work, and I understood why.

    It’s because it contains:

    instead of:

    When changing by hand “reasonabledoubts” into “crommunist” in the link address, it worked.

  15. says

    Hitch is my favourite writer.

    The Hitch is one of the best writers ever. So you aren’t saying much.

    Conceited? Oh, please, presuming to blog is conceited.

    C’mon, give us a double-down hard-ass quote.

  16. Zugswang says

    If you’re curious, you could head over here to look at different shareware fonts. There’s literally thousands of different fonts there, and you may find a unique one that you’d like to have in your banner.

    In the meantime, here’s a couple other banner designs:

    Link 1

    Link 2

  17. Diane G. says

    (@ 8 ) Yes, except to anyone who knows Cyrillic. Because what you’re using for “r” is “ya,” for “a” is “d,” etc. 😉

  18. nazani14 says

    I would say the Soviet Union was a totalitarian state far more than a communist one, and I don’t think there has ever been a state that closely followed the formal definition of communism. I do feel that something akin to Euro-socialism could work in the US. I do not think the US public, having never studied philosophy, political science, etc., is ready to try to wrap its head around the ideas of Trotsky, for example.

  19. Michael Zeora says

    Full Disclosure on the Fonts:
    the Top Font on my design is from 1001 free fonts (called Kremlin)
    the other is Lithos Pro which came with my current variant of Photoshop or Windows (I can’t remember which)

    More “Kick” I think I can do something about that.

  20. Crommunist says

    I will probably not make a decision on my favourite ones until the weekend, and then I will likely throw open the selection process for you to vote on a handful.

  21. Crommunist says

    I really like the book. It’s a really cool idea, and if I ever DO write a book that will probably be what the cover looks like 😛

  22. Crommunist says

    It’s a cool idea. I like the brick backdrop, but I’m not so much affiliated with Cuba (or Russia, or Texas… I’m not sure which red white and blue flag that is) 😛

  23. Crommunist says

    What is that in the backdrop? It looks like crystalized maple leaves (or maybe that’s just a Canadian Rorschach test)

  24. says

    Well, thanks! If you decide on it, I can work the Hitchens quote in somewhere, though it may be more of a design element than something super-legible.

  25. theophontes, feu d'artifice du cosmopolitisme says

    I cobbled this together: Linky.

    I don’t know where you stand vis-a-vis teh kittez (for my part they is to few on FTB). The quote is from somewhere on scienceblogs.

  26. Michael Swanson says

    “Fully anti-cat”? Now I can’t trust your opinion on anything, as you’re obviously suffering from serious emotional and cognitive issues.

    Such a shame…seemed like such a nice young man…

  27. Crommunist says

    My favourite part of that image is the juxtaposition of the two ads on the page.

    The banner looks excellent.

  28. Michael Swanson says

    Well, in all honesty, you strike me as a pretty nice guy who refuses to take shit from anyone, and who can become–forgive the religious overtone–righteously angry. It’s certainly possible to be both nice and assertive.

    But then there’s the problem of this simple formula: Cats = Awesome. Like 2+2=4, if a person has trouble comprehending that…well…it’s pretty hopeless, man. 🙂

  29. Michael Swanson says

    For what it’s worth, this is my favorite one. It’s very clean, but has a sense of power.

  30. Ross says

    If up to a vote, I’d back vacuumslayer. Excellent work, very stylish.

    And it has no backwards “R”. Even having taken only one year of Russian many years ago, that still derails my mental train every time I see it used for sounds other than “ya”

  31. Crommunist says

    I have been trying to duck the appellation “nice” since high school, but apparently I will simply have to resign myself to “nice guy” status for the rest of my life. I prefer “good guy”, because a lot of being “nice” involves false modesty and tact bordering on dishonesty.

    Cats… ugh. Never seen the appeal. They’re needy jerks with no sense of personal boundaries, alternating between aloofness and clinginess. It’s like what I imagine living with a Pick Up Artist would be.

  32. says

    Wow! Awesome job!

    This is my favorite.

    I would, quite possible, get on my knees and beg you to do mine, even try bribing you with food, if I had a banner.

  33. Herr Mann says

    It’s refreshing to see so many (different) banners… I really like #30, the one with the quill.

  34. Eric Paulsen says

    It’s supposed to be a close view of the American flag (one red stripe next to a blue field nut below a white stripe) but since there was no context I completely understand the confusion. I wasn’t going for a Cuban feel but it kind of reminded me of that too when I was done.

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