The last thing that I want to do today before I go home today (where my kittens who are not used to me being away so late will kill me) me is a unified header to glue together the CMS and the Blogger pages. A single graphical header going across all the pages will go a long way towards unifying the two systems (blog & CMS) and catalyzing my vision as to what the site is to become. Happily, I have a logo all ready. Rarely do I embark on graphics projects anymore, even though that is my training. I’m tired of the subjectivity of graphic design. Everyone is an expert, everything is subjective, and fashion rules.
None-the-less, I dusted off my sketching skills and doodled out a design that I hope my old instructor, the master of ambigrams, John Langdon, who did the work in Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons, would be proud of. My logo is not an ambigram, but it uses the principles I learned in John’s typography class, of how the strongest logos often zero in on a letter that says something about the overall word, and exaggerates it just enough to turn it into a sort of onomatopoeia—a word that represents the meaning. Words like Bam and Sniff are onomatopoeias. It’s so much stronger than just adding the latest swoosh that is so prevalent in logos today.
Ambigrams are double-whammy design, because they work for more than one reason, but it can be done without making it readable upside down. There was once a magazine named Family, which accomplished such design by dotting the “l” and a few other characters. Very effective. When I can, I try to make a logo work for 3 or 4 reasons. I think I nailed that here. First, you’ve got humor: what is “my long tail?” If that’s not an ice breaker, I don’t know what is. Second, you’ve got echoes of the ubiquitous logo that has been burned into all of our retinas: Google. I tried to make the placement of the “g” reminiscent of Google (although, it’s a wholly different typeface). Thirdly, I exaggerated the g so that its tail literally becomes the tail. I could go on, but 3 reasons it’s such a strong logo is enough. I’ve got it up on the site.
OK, so I’ve uploaded the logo and put it at the top of both the CMS template and the Blogger template. I also took the step of unifying the styles from the two systems. That way, I won’t end up maintaining two sets of CSS, and I can just edit a single external linked file to tweak the overall look of the site without re-generating the static pages. It will also help enforce a unified look between CMS and blog.