It’s part of a new look I’ll be rolling out in the coming weeks right before… THE SITE MOVES!
I’m currently in the final stages of reorganizing The Athletic Nerd which includes clearing out old posts and graphics. It’s all in preparation to finally move this blog to it’s rightful home: www.theathleticnerd.com. I’ll have more on the big move soon.
In the mean time, I’d also like to announce that my other blog, People Tales, is no more. I’ve taken the site down in an effort to better focus here and on my screenwriting. It was fun to write my little short stories and you never know, a few movie related tales may pop up here in the future.
I don’t tell people I’m good with Photoshop. I tell people I don’t suck at it. Give me a blank canvas and an idea within my area of skill and I’ll probably come up with something decent. The graphics on The Athletic Nerd certainly haven’t gotten worse as my Photoshop skills improved over the years.
Take the graphic above for example. I was just messing around with different options for the upcoming 1000th post. From a traditional design standpoint it’s probably garbage. But I think it looks pretty cool considering I’ve been teaching myself in my spare time. It’s definitely a step up from one of the original logo I posted on this blog:
Now, this is not a blog about Photoshop so why does Photoshop matter? Because this blog is about the freedom of creativity.
WHAT DOES BASKETBALL HAVE TO DO WITH IT?
When I was growing up, we had a gravel basketball court in our back yard. I loved that court. I played out there for hours especially when something was on my mind. It became my quiet place to do something I loved and think. It was my escape. Eventually, I moved away from home and I haven’t had access to a basketball court that offered the same peace and quiet I once knew. Photoshop filled that void. It’s my creative escape. It’s where I go to think about screenwriting or life in general. Photoshop is therapeutic.
I love looking back at my progress. I’ve become a lot better at creating more detailed images. Since this blog relaunched after The Summer of Screenwriting on September 15th, I’ve been adding and updating graphics. Here are a few of my recent favorites. Click any of them to be taken to that section of the website.
Today, I spent some time creating two new graphics. The first is an updated REVIEWS logo that may or may not replace the old one.
I also created a new customizable ‘Features’ graphic that debuts in today’s Screenwriting post. Speaking of which, check out this pointless screenwriting animation I did. I say pointless but I definitely had fun creating it.
Most of my inspiration comes from sports broadcasts. I love when networks debut new looks. I’m surrounded by sports at work everyday and every once in a while I see a graphic that looks achievable. So I take a shot. Sometimes it works out. Sometimes it doesn’t.
The point is, I love this blog, I love to write screenplays and I LOVE movies. But every once in a while, it’s nice to have a hobby that’s as pressure free as they come.
A BLANK CANVAS
The bonus to my Photoshop addiction is the benefits it brings to The Athletic Nerd. I’ll never stop trying to make this site look as pretty as possible. It’s an easy task to accomplish because it’s so much fun.
I’ve been working in television for years and I absolutely adore my job.
On a daily basis, I’m surrounded by promotion, marketing, graphics and more crucial elements needed to pull off successful live shows.
I applied one big television lesson when this blog first began three years ago. In our shows, every segment is packaged with unique graphics and specific formats. That was the birth of the 620×300 pixel banners I designed to kick start every post I write. I wanted readers to be able to scroll and instantly recognize the types of posts they liked to read.
These banners have evolved as my knowledge of Photoshop increased but lately, I’ve been heavily influenced by new graphics I see during sporting events. I’m also a big fan of CNN show packaging and the design of their promos.
I want to raise the bar when it comes to how I package this blog. So I’ve attempted techniques I’ve never tried before. So far, I’ve come up with some pretty interesting stuff. Then I thought about animating some of them. This was my first attempt:
It’s amazing how much you can learn about After Effects and Photoshop when you see something on television and give it a shot.
Beyond graphics, I want to start making better use of the promotional tools at my disposal. So I reworked the amount of ADs I display, I’ve created new ones and I’ve got a better strategy for inter-linking my posts.
Television shows can make statements like “Coming up next…” Why can’t blogs?
That idea was the genesis of my new posting schedule. Instead of posting 6 new articles a week, I’ll be posting 3. On one hand, it gives me more opportunities to work on my screenwriting. On the other, it’s an opportunity to structure this blog a little better so post topics don’t seem so random.
Later, I also hope to include more custom graphics within specific posts. We just got a new camera and I’m very excited to snap some new images and see what I can do with them in Photoshop. I’m hoping that more and more posts will have supporting graphics throughout the content and not just a title graphic.
All of this has been fairly easy to implement thus far, I just hope the result is a better blog that looks good. I suppose my main concern is overdoing it. I don’t want the graphics to become a distraction after all. We’ll see.
A COMMERCIAL BREAK FOR BLOGS
Earlier, I talked about how working in television has influenced my blogging past time. While I was taking time away from this site, I started thinking about ways to implement the things I’ve learned in the TV world. Obviously, you can’t make a blog a television show but there are certain fundamentals that you can apply.
Like a commercial break? Clicked is a new feature on The Athletic Nerd that will promote posts either from this blog or other interesting places around the web.
In order to make this work, I had to increase the number of posts per page to 7. (Up from 5) I did this so I could update the ‘Clicked’ post and it would stay on the front page for two weeks.
The plan is to continually update the post and raise it to the top to effectively promote the best content I can come up with/find.
The Athletic Nerd is now close to 3 years old and has evolved a ton over the years. Slowly, I’ve carved out an identity for this blog and the graphic look has been gradually improved along the way. Regular readers probably hopefully noticed a couple new banners, ads and post headers popping up over the last few months.
Branding is definitely key when it comes to first impressions. Long ago, my blog was hideous… It’s okay you can say it. With so many fantastic looking blogs out there, you have to be able to compete when it comes to design. So today, I’m unveiling the one thing I felt The Athletic Nerd was lacking. An official logo!
Graphic design is a tricky thing for someone with no training and no ‘official’ experience. For years, I’ve relied on tutorials online and my obsession with Photoshop to get by. I’m sure design professionals will spot flaws I’m unaware of but I like it. I wanted something simple that could be implemented in a variety of ways. For now, I’m sticking with the header image above and the odd advertisement but you’ll see it all over the place in time. In the end, I wanted something that could stand up next to the blog’s tagline:
Movies, Screenwriting & Independent Film
Hope you like the new logo. Stay tuned for a more updates including a brand new series which should be unveiled towards the end of next month!
Click here to check out my about page and email me at email@example.com with any comments, questions or suggestions.
Director David Fincher and his team are doing a fantastic job marketing their upcoming adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Their newest promotional release is a video that shows how a metallic poster is created set to music created by Trent Reznor… Nice!
Their last collaboration resulted in one of the best ‘nerd’ movies of all time: The Social Network.
Watching that video made me think about the work I’ve put into my own film’s posters. Obviously, I don’t have access to that type of equipment (or a graphic designer for that matter) so I have to figure things out on my own. At the end of the day, you have to figure out the best way to generate interest for your film.
A while back, after I created the second poster for ‘The Climb’, I asked myself if it was good enough and the answer was no. It wasn’t until a few months later when I finally created something that reflected the story I want to tell. The point is, there is a lot that goes into each and every piece of artwork for a major motion picture so why not equal that effort and passion in your own promotional efforts?
Check out more posts on creating posters and artwork below: