Ideas for web site logo/graphics/design

I want to re-design my web site, The J Train, from the ground up. (You’ll note that I haven’t updated the main page in a while, as what little I’ve done has been in The Internal Monologue.)

I like what I have OK, but the whole web design thing is a learning experience for me, and I’d like to do something new (while keeping a lot of the content).

However, I’m just not too hot with graphics or logos. I was hoping some fellow Dopers might offer me some inspiration, advice, etc., in this regard. (Any ideas used or borrowed from will, of course, be fully credited.)

I use Dreamweaver and Fireworks, and I’m only a bit up the learning curve–competent but certainly not a power user–as far as those go. The name, The J Train, will stay, but I’m not married to the train motif for the graphics. I do like the dark background, but I’d entertain good ideas for ditching it.

Dr. J

Well, I’m no web design godess (though I’d love it if I were, I know I’m not) but my first gut reaction is that you need to beef up the color scheme a bit more. Plain black background is OK, but some more color—please! I think the color of the link text could be lighter, too. Blue is too dark to be comfortably legible on a black background.

Also, consider maybe adding a bit of red or yellow somewhere. (Kind of like an accent color.) Or not yellow or red, but some “bright” color.

I like the “J Train” title / logo.

The subtitle’s cute too :smiley:

I don’t like the deep black motif, VERY dark blue links, and stark white text - it’s all pretty hard on the eyes.

Overall, it’s easy to navigate, clear, relatively consise and has some neat content.

On the “about us” page, personally, I’d reformat so that the “A”'s are indented for each “Q” and make the “A”'s a different color, maybe grey.

On the “links” page, I’d center the section titles, make the style consistent (underline, no underline, etc.) and maybe even make the section headers with the same chrome lettering you use for the title and bottom nav bar.

But really, try to steer away from the “all black” motif - unless you’re planning to go goth or offer porn :smiley:

I’m curious as to what you’re using to make your custome chrome lettering? I use Font FX from Electric Rain for the animated “” on my site.

…you might like this…

or this…

or this…

or my favourite…this!

…it may help you out, not quite sure what you are looking for…

That flaming text website is GREAT! I use it for all my banner and button needs. :stuck_out_tongue:

Decide a colour scheme, and stick to it as best you can would be my advice. Choose 3 main colours, two main contrasting colours (say for text and background) and a complimentary colour for highlighting, links, or whatever. Avoid “fun tricks” with javascript, animated gifs etc. Choose 2/3 font sizes to work with, say for main texts and headlines, stick to them. Do not use Times New Roman as your main text font. Serifs (fonts with feet) are harder to read onscreen. Choose a sans-serif font instead, like arial or verdana. They are easier to read onscreen. Avoid using italics, it just makes it even harder to read. Style sheets (CSS) are easy to use, and will help you stick to your design template. Look into them.

As for the logo, this might be one of the few occasions when you can get away with writing the name of your site in the shape of an image. Can be a bit tacky, but for a personal site it might be fun and the site-name is just begging for it :slight_smile:

Thanks for the input. I personally have never found white-text-on-black any more difficult to read than the opposite, but I have had a lot of people say otherwise, so I think I’ll give something else a try. (It’s all for the hell of it, anyway.)

I’ve always been meaning to go back and do something about the links page, and just haven’t. It’ll be part of the redesign.

Iteki–I had always understood just the opposite about serif fonts, but then that was on paper. I can see what you mean. I’ll give that a try.

Dr. J