Thank you to my colleagues who provided me with constructive feedback on my typography page! Following your comments, I created more subheads in order to fully utilize my heading font. I also put the names of the fonts used in the footer. I adjusted the line height and tightened up the body text a bit. The navigation bar is now left-justified and I attempted to make the navigation font bolder. After playing around with the CSS, I was able to make a subtle change to the font strength, and even after putting in extreme amounts (like 1000000px) there still was not a dramatic change. Perhaps the font family does not lend itself to looking especially bold? I removed the quotation marks from the pull and block quotes, and I italicized  the titles of the journals and magazines in my references section when appropriate. The image from Frank Leslie’s Newspaper is now centered and larger, which I hope fixed the spacing/margin/padding issue.

If you couldn’t already tell, color is not something I’m particularly comfortable with when it comes to design. I tend to favor greys, blacks, and off-whites – all the neutrals. Neutrals are always a safe choice, though they are bland and unexciting. I’m not skilled at understanding when and where bold colors are necessary, or when it’s okay to have a pop of color. My idea of being “bold” with color is using that shade of green for the rulers in my typography page and on the navigation bar. Perhaps part of my problem is that I can’t seem to figure out which colors to use in my project. All of the sources I’ve looked at so for for the Capitol Disaster are newspaper articles and microfilm, all of which are in black and white. The scarce number of documents I’ve been able to look at online are also, unsurprisingly, black and white. I have no sense of what a good color palette would be for my project. What colors do you think of when you think of the 1870s?

Williams’ definitions of complementary colors, primary and secondary triads, split complements, analogous colors, and the differentiation between shades, hues, tints, and tones definitely made up for all of the art classes that I did not take. I especially liked her tips on steering away from using too many warm colors and her suggestion to stick with a RGB color scheme on the web.  Golombisky & Hagen’s chapter was also useful in learning more about color, illustration, and images. I never understood the difference between JPGs, PNGs, GIFs, and SVGs. If I want an image to be transparent, I should save it as a GIF or PNG, but never a JPG. I found the section on photo alternatives to be particularly helpful to me, since my project focuses on 1870 and unfortunately none of my primary sources are photographs. I am a bit overwhelmed by all of the options listed by Creative Bloq. I had no idea any of those tools existed! For those of you that have tested them out, are there any that you especially like?

So I think that for the rest of this week and weekend I need to think about my project, decide what colors are suitable, and sit down with all of the color tools and determine my color palette.

My comment on Steve’s post


  1. Hi Alyssa,

    I think your issue with the bold font could be solved by applying your font-weight style to the list item, rather than the sidebar. Firebug shows that the li is not inheriting the font-weight parameter. Unknown inheritances sometimes explains why something refuses to implement a style change.


  2. I liked your “bold” green rulers on your typography assignment. The whole page is looking really good.

    Creating a color palette for a project is hard. It takes a lot of time and then you end up revising it later as your project develops in content and style. My suggestion for colors from he 1870s is think about the specific area you are focusing on. What colors would be found around the capitol building? Is there a lot of vegetation so greens and browns could be useful? Were there a lot of red brick buildings? I think recreating the colors of the town itself would be a fun and historically compelling color palette. Hopefully that helps..

  3. Ben


    I think you’re typography project is looking pretty good (although to be honest, I actually really enjoyed the gray background you had before, even if it didn’t necessarily fit the topic).
    Colors are hard, so I can sympathize with your struggles there. I think Jordan has a good point…are there any colors you associate with your topic, even if they are not in any of the existing images? For example, I’ve used blue and gold in my pages because those were some of the colors of Army uniforms during the period, even though they don’t show up in the black and white photos. Alternatively, you could try using an actual image for your background…even if is in black and white it will bring some “boldness” to your page in a way that solid or pattern backgrounds don’t.

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