[identity profile] mmrobitussin.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] mmrobitutorials
So in celebration of making 1,000 icontest banners I'm actually going to tell you some helpful hints in making banners.

Icontest Banner Making Rules

1. Try to use the original image if given. They took the time to tell you what image they used, so use it. That also means use the textures and stuff that's given. Unless otherwise stated.

2. Make sure that all lines go in the same direction. It's really annoying to have the slashed lines go in the opposite direction of the image. To fix, you should probably use a horizontal or vertical flip.

3. Color the banner to match the icon. Use good judgement! If the image is pink, dont paint it green...


5. Try not to use the complete icon in the actual banner itself. Some people don't mind, but others do... it's just to be safe. It is possible, however, to use bits and pieces of the icon in order to create a connection between the banner and the icon.

6. If the original icon has text, make your text match their text. Nothing is more annoying than when your banner has totally off and weird looking text. Try to make them the same color, same format, but LEGIBLE. You must make sure you can read the information.

7. When useing brushes, textures, gradients, etc. Make sure they match the icon in some format. In other words, don't use a frilly flower brush on an icon with someone being stabbed. That's just insane right there.

8. Use the same border as they do. If anything, just copy the border off the icon.

9. MAKE SURE THE BANNER IS PLEASING TO THE EYE!! [Even great banner makers have trouble with this sometimes.] Remember what looks good to you might really look bad to someone else and vice versa.

10. USE THE RIGHT TECHNIQUE Some banners look good with completing the icon, but others just look weird with it. Other banners might look nice with a brushed background, but some might just be really dull.

11. The more time you put into it, the better or worse it might come out. There is no time limit, dont rush yourself. If you spend to much time nit-picking, you might make it look worse. If you spend to little time, it might come out ugly. Finding a balance between them is the key.

12. Try different things and different variations to make it match. If you have too, make 5 different banners and present them all... That way they can choose. It also gives you experience in what people like.

13. The use of brushes on a graident background is almost always a must. Very seldom is it common to see a banner without some sort of brush on a gradient.

14. If the icon is ugly, don't make the banner look like it. Duh. If they won, "Most Ugly Icon". Dont make the banner like that. -_-' Use common sense.

15. Better redo it if you don't even like it. Chances are, it might not be appealing to them either.

16. If they have instructions, use them. If they say that they would like a brushed banner, make a brushed banner. If they tell you to make their banner as a .png, make it as a .png.

17. Exclusion layers are common. On most occasions, people will tell you they used an "exclusion" layer. It's probably #00074F. Just set on exclusion and fill with #00074F and fiddle with the opacity.

18. Knowing where to get images if key. Best go back to the same places that have alot of pictures, than a place where you only use on picture. My list is:
Aethereality [Search: Series or Author]
Google Image Search [Search: Character, Series, or Character and Series]
Photobucket Images Search [Search: Character, Series, or Character and Series]
Animepaper [Search: Series or Author]
Minitokyo [Search: Series or Author]
deviantart [for textures, brushes, etc.]
Papersweet [for brushes] -owned by [livejournal.com profile] ca_pris

19. Certain photos get used more than others. In order to save yourself time, keep photos that reappear alot on your computer. It saves time and effort... and alot of headache.

20. NEVER GET BEHIND. A very common thing to do is to slack behind in your banner making. Not only does it give you stress and a headache, but it also makes people quite angry when you have banners from 3 months ago to make. It causes people to think you stopped carring and that's never good. ^_^ Stay ontop of your banner requests. [Trust me, [livejournal.com profile] mmrobitussin makes 3-4 banners a day]

21. Make the banner, no matter what it looks like. Even if you hate the banner just keep telling yourself, "Well they won because people liked their icon." Basically, if you didn't vote in that contest, your opinion didn't count. Just make the banner. -_-' Also, don't tell someone their icon sucks. That's just rude, inconsiderate, and they'll probably end up hating you after.

22. Your photo editing skills have days off. If you can't do anything on photoshop because nothing looks nice, go out for a bike ride. If you can't do anything for a few days, it's time for a week away from home.

23. YOU HAVE A LIFE. Making banners is not your life. [Yes, i forget.] We are meerly volunteers to this, we have lives too.

24. Be proud of what you create. People can read you, even if you're typing. If you hate your banner and you show it, most likely people will hate your banner too and attempt to redo it themselves. Don't feel bad when people replacec your banner with their own or someone elses... it just means that they're being nit picky.

25. ALWAYS INCLUDE: NAME OF ICON MAKER, PLACEMENT, ICONTEST, WEEK NUMBER, and THEME.. You must ALWAYS have those things. If not, what was the point of the banner? ^_^

Tell me if these rules are as helpful to you as they are to me. ^_^ ... or if i'm getting too bigheaded.
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