Thursday, July 14, 2011

Texas Cryptid Hunter Site Revamped

To state the obvious, I’ve made some changes to the look of the website. The changes were brought on by a couple of things that I'll outline below.

I had grown a bit tired of the dark look of the old design. I thought it looked pretty sharp but began to worry about it having too much of a Halloween look. The black background along with the burnt orange (I am from Texas) and white lettering certainly contributed to this look. What I did not want was for the site to come across as creepy or spooky. A lot of the sites that discuss the bigfoot phenomenon and/or other cryptozoological topics have gone with the dark and scary look. I wanted to avoid that. I actually received an email from a reader who complained that my blog was “more like that of a naturalist than a cryptozoologist.” This woman intended to insult me with that comment but I took it in quite the opposite way. You see, that is exactly how I see this blog. It is about the natural world. I just happen to believe that the sasquatch and other topics considered strange by most fit into that natural world. I find just as much pleasure in writing about an out of place alligator as I do about black panthers. It is all fascinating to me. I wondered if the predominately black look of the blog was sending the wrong message to potential readers as to what kind of content they could expect here. That being the case, I decided to lighten things up a bit. I wanted the site’s look to more properly reflect the content readers could expect to see on it.

I also thought that, since the site was called The Texas Cryptid Hunter, there should be more of the Lone Star State reflected in the site’s design. I am unashamedly proud of being a Texan and wanted the site to reflect that. I had attempted to do this by simply using an image of the Texas flag as the de facto logo for the site but never really felt it worked alongside all the black and burnt orange. I wanted a logo of some sort. I knew what I wanted was beyond my own capabilities of producing so that is why I put out the call to graphic artists for help. I received several submissions and was shocked at the outstanding quality of them all. I was really surprised at the level of interest that my request generated. I do want to say that if you are still working on a submission please do go ahead and finish it. I may go with a rotation of some sort if I really like multiple designs. You will receive full credit for your design and a link on the site to your business or personal site (whichever you prefer).

Some of the outstanding designs for a logo or masthead/banner for the site are below:

The extremely cool masthead/banner design above comes from Cullan Hudson. Cullan is an accomplished author and writes the Strange State blog. His is an outstanding site and deals with all manner of paranormal and cryptozoological topics. Cullan’s site is definitely worth a bookmark. Cullan also runs Fresh Eire Design. If you are looking for design work at affordable prices, Cullan may be your man and Fresh Eire Design may be your company.

The logo design below comes from a gentleman named Jimmy Denzlinger. Jimmy simply sent me an email saying he enjoyed the site and attached this very nice logo. I really liked how he incorporated the red, white, and blue of the Texas flag in it along with the sasquatch footprint and the pterosaur. Outstanding job, Jimmy.

Only one person has submitted a logo AND a matching masthead/banner. That person would be my friend Angelo Landrum. Angelo is a long-time reader of the site and someone I’ve corresponded with regularly over the last couple of years. There is a lot more detail in this logo than might at first meet the eye. The big toe on the sasquatch footprint is a silhouette (minus an eye-socket) of the skull of a Gigantopithecus blackii. Look closer still just below the big toe and you will see Angelo’s interpretation of what a sasquatch might look like in profile as it looks to the left. Other more obvious, but still very cool, features on this design are the sasquatch walking inside the “C” of the logo, the paw of a big cat, and a star placed in the location of my hometown. Angelo used a font called “Blackoak” for the “T” and the “H” in the logo. It was meant to reflect a western and athletic flair as my day job is a teacher and coach. The “C” was drawn by hand in what Angelo calls his “Cryptid” font using Adobe Illustrator. Angelo initially submitted his designs using the original black, orange, and white colors of the site. You can see these designs below.

I loved the design but, as I stated above, was ready to leave the black and orange behind. I asked if he would be kind enough to change the colors to reflect more of a Texas theme and he kindly obliged. He went red, white, and blue and even placed the actual Texas flag in the background. I think it is simply outstanding and want to publicly thank Angelo for taking the time to submit both a logo and a masthead/banner.

I may not be completely done tweaking things but do very much like the lighter look and feel of the site. I hope you do, too.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never sbo
    seem to get there! Many thanks.