Lab Assignment: Creating a Banner for Your Ning Site

For this assignment, you will create a "banner" image for use on your individual Ning site. You'll use Photoshop to create the image, then you'll save the image at the proper dimensions and resolution for use on the web.

To complete this assignment, follow these steps:

1. Login to your individual Ning site as the site administrator. Once you're logged in, click on "Manage," then click on "Appearance." On this page, you can select a "theme" for your site. Since the theme you select will influence the colors you choose for your banner image, spend some time testing out the different themes to find one that you really like.

2. Open Photoshop (the blue square logo with a "Ps" in it) and create a new document. Since this image will be used solely on the web, set the resolution to 72 pixels per inch. Depending on how big you want the banner to be, select dimension of 50-100 pixels tall and 500-800 pixels wide.

3. Your banner image will replace the text for the title of your site, so your image will need to include the title of the site. Use the type tool in Photoshop to create the site name. Again, play around with your font selection until you find a font (and size and color) that you're happy with.

4. Using the other features in Photoshop, add a background color to your image, import a photo as a new "layer," or experiment with gradients, shadows, outlines, etc. Several members of the class are Photoshop experts, so don't be afraid to ask for help from your neighbor. ATTENTION PHOTOSHOP EXPERTS: Please do whatever you can to help your classmates get comfortable with Photoshop. If one of more of you would like to conduct a mini-tutorial session on the projector screen, that would be great.

5. When your image is complete, save it as a .PSD file for further editing (make sure you keep this file), then do a "save for web" (under the file menu) and export the image as a JPEG or a GIF. Save this web-ready image to your desktop, then upload it to your Ning site on the "Appearance" page.

6. Once your image is uploaded, you'll see whether or not it "works" with the background color and theme you've chosen for your Ning site. You may need to tweak the theme settings or go back to Photoshop and modify your image. Keep working on it until you're satisfied with how it looks.

7. Before you leave class, upload the web-ready image using the box below. If you're not completely happy with what you've done, that's fine -- we'll keep working on this stuff next week.