My Personal Graphic

July 29, 2008

I’ve been designing my site (from which I hope you’re viewing this blog) lately, and today I decided to make my own “favicon” with the GIMP.  First, because my online identity is “Jesdisciple” (“Jesus’ disciple” abbreviated as a computer-generated username suggestion), I decided to show a slightly elevated, capital ‘J,’ a forward-slash, and a small ‘d,’ after the style of hand-written mathematical equations.  The basic idea is that Jesus is “over” (divided by) His disciple (me), and that the smaller I am, the more accurately I view myself, the more powerful the result of our relationship becomes (2 Corinthians 12:9).

First, I had to choose a background color.  I like purple, so I started with full red and blue (hexadecimal #FF00FF or #F0F), but that was too bright, kind of pastel. So I went progressively darker until it conveniently looked royal, and it was then hexadecimal #430049 (or something like that).  In observance of the web-safe colors (3-digit hex numbers), I reduced it to #404; 404 is an error code which conveniently means “Not Found” in the HTTP standard. (I know, I know… I’m a hopeless geek.) The significance is that I don’t fully realize the above basic idea, i.e. I consistently view myself as more than I am and therefore limit my potential in Christ.

Then I needed a text color.  The GIMP had already selected white as the default background color and I had set the foreground to #404.  White text sounded fine to me, so I switched them.  (Actually, being an amateur GIMP user, I first clicked the wrong button and reset them to black on white…)  Do you think I should use some other color, maybe yellow?

I naturally tried typing “J/d” into my image, but the text was too big and I couldn’t find a way to resize it.  I tried drawing the characters 1px wide but didn’t like them very much.  Since I participate in a few forums and needed a larger original image anyway, I looked up “Avatar (computing)” on Wikipedia for the common size of forum avatars.  The article gave the range of maximums as 96×96 and 100×100 pixels, so I decided on 96×96 because any forum within that range would accept that size.  But then the text as written by the GIMP was way too small, and I still couldn’t resize it. So I decided to write the characters by hand; I do not have a steady hand, so it came out looking like a child’s crayon-art. This is convenient because it reiterates the basic idea from a slightly different perspective: No matter how sophisticated I think I am, I’m always a child in comparison to God.

As of early August 2008, I’ve added my name “Chris” in the bottom-left corner.  I used the GIMP’s text tool for this because 1) it’s the right size, 2) it should be legible, particularly on forums, and 3) it’s easy.

Being pleased by how many “happy accidents” (probably all intentional on God’s part) I’d had, I used Dynamic Drive’s Favicon Maker to generate the 16×16 version you should see in your browser.