Design Kongming’s Archives’ New Link Button!

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Design Kongming’s Archives’ New Link Button!

Unread postby James » Thu Dec 13, 2007 12:07 am

Emperor Wu had a fun idea. He observed that the Kongming’s Archives link buttons were starting to show their age—they are (though I still love the larger ones, even if the portraits are old). He went on to suggest a contest or event in which forum members design some new buttons for KMA. I think that might be a lot of fun! It is always fun to see what other people might manage to dream up.

Here are the old link buttons:

88x31
Image

120x60
Image Image

And here is a graphic I was playing around with earlier!
Image

Scholars of Shen Zhou (The only type of button for SoSZ)
Image

Other Common Sizes
234x60 and 100x25
468x60 = standard banner size.

Photoshop Link Button Guide
Image
>>>> Download <<<<

I made this snazzy little Photoshop link button guide to help anyone interested in this project. And no, it isn’t instructions on how to make your buttons—it is just a handy little working space for comparing the different link buttons as you work on them. It also includes all the forum signature graphic effects pre-applied on layers to save you pain and trouble. The document is also pre-sliced for easy exporting. This would be the best way to deliver submitted buttons, too. They could be stacked in one document or delivered in several if there are multiple sets.

(You will need your own fonts, of course—search for “pixel fonts”).

Suggestions?
I am not ‘hip’, nor am I ‘with it’, although I am ‘down’ with the web.
I know there are all sorts of new link banners and such out there. I know there are those goofy forum image strips that everyone seems to get. I don’t know much at all about any of these things, though. Does anyone else here know something about them? If anyone wants to make something like that, and they can make an image that looks, feels, and smells like KMA, SoSZ, or SimRTK, I’m interested to see it.

Alpha-Transparent PNG
They are in! If you want to include drop shadows and the like to make things snazzy, they are now a viable option. Old school is, of course, encouraged in addition.

What is needed?
What are the standard image formats? What are the standard dimensions? If anyone has this information and wants to share, I would be thrilled. I don’t really use link buttons on any of the pages I make, so I don’t really know! If I get this information, I’ll outline the details!

The graphic should mention the site's address (kongming.net) and should use the site’s name in English or Chinese (as appropriate for the design). I like to use the Chinese name in many cases as it has a cool feel to it, and I always use the site’s full name in any button but the smaller ones. It should be noted, though, that creativity can win out. If you have a wonderful idea that needs to break some rules, try it out. :)

Kongming’s Archives in Chinese
孔明案卷

What do I get?
I’ll solidify the ‘event’ rules in short order, but I’ll probably pick out at least the top entry. If several people make beautiful graphics that remind me of the Three Kingdoms and Kongming’s Archives, I would be thrilled to give people a new selection—and I would be thrilled to select several ‘winners’. At the very least, each of them will get Odds & Ends access and perhaps a soundtrack request of their choice (in addition to what is found in Odds & Ends).

When is it due?
We’ll go with February 1st for the time being!

Feedback and thoughts are welcome!
Last edited by James on Thu Dec 13, 2007 1:47 am, edited 3 times in total.
Kongming’s Archives – Romance of the Three Kingdoms Novel, History and Games
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Unread postby Kong Wen » Thu Dec 13, 2007 12:11 am

Are we allowed to use Koei's art (concept or in-game) in our images?
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Unread postby James » Thu Dec 13, 2007 12:12 am

Yep! I don’t mind, and they certainly don’t.

Heck, I don’t think I’ve made a link graphic without Koei art…  :lol:
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Unread postby EmperorWu » Thu Dec 13, 2007 12:17 am

It seems the standard size for the strip ones is 350x19/20.

Also must they have Kongming.net? I know some people just put in the code so that it's a click-able link.

What would you consider the limit, size wise? Strips don't allow for much creativity. :)
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Unread postby James » Thu Dec 13, 2007 12:20 am

The forum strips are an entirely different matter. I’ve never really experimented much with them. As they are supposed to always be contained within a link there would be no need to include the address—especially with a limited canvas upon which to work magic. Forum strips like the one you created would be just fine (in terms of meeting any so-called requirements).

I’ve also noticed that people tend to give them that glossy look, like you have. I’m having a hard time remembering if I’ve ever seen one that wasn’t glossy. Is there some master file or standard people stick to there? Educate us! :)

It would also be great to find out which height is most common—20px or 19px.

Edit: I edited the first post to point out that creativity can also trump design rules. If something really cool is created, and it is familiar to KMA in some reasonable regard, but cool enough of its own accord, it will be welcomed.
Kongming’s Archives – Romance of the Three Kingdoms Novel, History and Games
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Unread postby EmperorWu » Thu Dec 13, 2007 12:24 am

There is pretty much 5 basic steps (layers) needed to make a good looking strip, although you can add more to it. But I'll post a link to a tutorial that explains them.

http://dubird.deviantart.com/art/User-Bar-Tutorial-27886574

It's pretty easy, but if anyone runs into any trouble feel free to drop me a PM.

EDIT: 19 is more common, I just refuse to ever make anything with an odd number of pixels, I'm kind of weird I guess. :lol:
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Unread postby James » Thu Dec 13, 2007 1:50 am

Thank you, Emperor_Wu!

I created this to save people time in Photoshop. The forum signature banner inside this PSD file includes all the typical visual effects on separate layers for easy editing.

Of course we would want to stick to regular standards, which means a height of 19px rather than a height of 20px. Even though it is odd, you might be surprised how many people are annoyed by variations in these things—and we don’t want to annoy people with them!

Remember, SimRTK and SoSZ are also fair game.

Photoshop Link Button Guide
Image
>>>> Download <<<<

I made this snazzy little Photoshop link button guide to help anyone interested in this project. And no, it isn’t instructions on how to make your buttons—it is just a handy little working space for comparing the different link buttons as you work on them. It also includes all the forum signature graphic effects pre-applied on layers to save you pain and trouble. The document is also pre-sliced for easy exporting. This would be the best way to deliver submitted buttons, too. They could be stacked in one document or delivered in several if there are multiple sets.

(You will need your own fonts, of course—search for “pixel fonts”).
Kongming’s Archives – Romance of the Three Kingdoms Novel, History and Games
“ They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
  — Ben Franklin
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Unread postby Jeremy » Thu Dec 13, 2007 5:05 am

A good font is perfect pixel. I think I might do some during Winter Break if I can.
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Unread postby James » Thu Dec 13, 2007 5:16 am

I think I know why they are 19px tall.

Most folks’ favorite pixel fonts are about 5px tall in height for the average character. Having an odd number, like 19, gives them some extra creative space, and also allows them to center such text vertically without it looking odd. (5px is about the smallest height possible for clear English letters).
Kongming’s Archives – Romance of the Three Kingdoms Novel, History and Games
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  — Ben Franklin
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Unread postby Foif » Sun Dec 16, 2007 3:18 am

Ill give it a try...

Do they have to be animation...?
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