I used to have a sidebar overloaded with a ton of buttons, badges, icons, and bows, linking to feeds, feed readers, site submission services, links, social networking services, translations, and other goodies. Want some buttons and bows, and a few icons and badges associated with blogging and online social social networking? I’ve uncovered a wide collection to help you build your own cluttered gallery of icons and buttons, including building your own from scratch.
Free Buttons, Badges and Icons
Here are some resources to download and save for pre-made and free icons, buttons, and badges. Also included are a variety of graphic icons. Different from buttons, these are icons that you can use to spice up or help categorize your posts with graphic elements.
- GT McKnight Buttons
- Cool Archive Icons
- Zwahlen Design Buttons
- Debi Dawn’s Free Icons
- Icon Bazaar
- Icon Archive
- Big List of Clip Art, Buttons, and Graphics to Everything
- Little Oslso Sticker Map
- Intersmash – Icons and Graphics
- FamFamFam Web Icons
- Disability Icons
- Web Clip Art Icons List
- Technorati Buttons, Badges, and Icons
- Icon Pot
Building Your Own Custom Buttons and Badges
There are a variety of online icon, buttons, bows, and badges you can get for your own blog. Making your own with any graphics program is not as easy as it seems, but online programs make the job simple, fast, and easy.
The rectangular buttons in the sidebar are probably the most common format. They are 80 x 15 pixels in size. The most common font used in the buttons is called “Silkscreen”, though Verdana is occasionally used.
- Brilliant Button Maker by LucaZappa.com
- Kalsey’s Button Maker – Custom Feed Icons
- Glassy Button Maker
- Online Button Maker
- Feedforall RSS Graphic Button Maker
- Flicker Badge Maker
- Cooltext Button, Title, and Logo Maker
- Blogflux Button Maker
Making Your Own Buttons, Icons, Gravatars, Avatars, and Badges
Many bloggers like to share their blog’s brand identity graphically through buttons, icons, favicons, gravatars, avatars, and badges. These are often surrounded by a link, such as the Lorelle on WordPress logo shown here:
<a href="http://lorelle.wordpress.com/" title="Lorelle on WordPress" rel="tag"><img src="http://lorelle.wordpress.com/files/2008/07/lowgrav2.gif" alt="" title="Lorelle on WordPress logo - copyrighted" width="291" height="305" /></a>
These types of badges and icons are typically featured in the footer or on the blog's About Page, requesting visitors and fans to help promote the blog by showcasing the logo and links on their blogs.
In Adding Avatars and Gravatars to Your WordPress and WordPress.com Blog, I discuss how to create an avatar for Gravatar and add it to your WordPress blog, including specifics on image size and dimensions. Image sizes for avatars and Gravatars must be able to range from 128 pixels down to 16 pixels. Gravatars and avatars appear in blog comments, profile pages and panels, on forums, and in a variety of social networking and online communities as a visual representation of you and your blog.
Icons used for blogroll links are typically 80 x 15 pixel rectangles, though there is a growing trend for small 16 pixel square blogroll link images. Even at 80x15, the ability to get much information into the tiny size frustrates many designers today, but it can be done.
However, the 128 pixel square logo, the most common new advertising format size, allows for a lot more room in which to put information such as marketing your blog and blog content. There is more room for text, messages, and attractive content that could be used in trade or pay to help promote your blog.
Use your imagination to come up with fun and inspiring graphics for your blog identity and brand and include these in your sidebar, header, footer, or on your about page to help others spread the graphic word about your blog.
Stop Content Theft Buttons and Badges
For those determined to remind the world that their blog content is theirs and not available for the taking or stealing, check out the variety of buttons and badges to Stop Content Theft. Spam Blogs, known as splogs, are grabbing content from your blog feeds and using it as their own on blogs, aggregators, and "search services" surrounded with advertising, comments, social bookmarking service submit links, and making your content earn money for them without your permission and in violation of most copyrights. Spread the word to protect your blog's content, and encourage people to ask first if they want to use it.
Learning More About Icons, Buttons, Bows, and Badges
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