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Squidoo Graphics: Colors, Themes, Black Box Tips

I’ve been thinking. Try as I might, I’m a journeyman when it comes to Squidoo SEO: I have the basic techniques down, I know what I’m doing, but I’ve got the online equivalent of an undergraduate college degree rather than a PhD. Whereas I’ve been doing computer graphics and layout since 1980, HTML since 1993, and CSS since–well, whenever it first came out.

So I should share more of my tips on graphics and webpage design. Here’s a few!

First, I just posted a lens on Squidoo’s themes and text colors, giving all the HTML color codes for each Squidoo theme (themes, not co-brands — I need to do co-brands too, don’t I?)

Second, I like jeffreyv’s tip to drag this Find Stock Photos link into your toolbar (or bookmark it) to use Yahoo to search for stock photos. In fact, I like it so much that I may have to hack the code to add my own favorite ways to search for images. For a first try, here’s a Google Creative Commons search, which doesn’t just search Flickr (unlike the default Creative Commons website), but searches for ALL images with Creative Commons licenses. More on this later.

Third, if you haven’t gone there already, go to my Free Web Graphics: Where to Find them (Legally)! lens. It really is possible to find good graphics without breaking copyright, but it helps to know where to look!

And fourth: did you know you can change the color of black boxes, and even add a background-image? It looks gorgeous. It also makes a great frame for ads, but you’ll need to trim it severely.

Here’s how. First, get a Static Link to a single poster. Change it to “Large Image”, and choose “No” on every single radio button that you can.

Tournée du Chat Noir, c.1896

Buy at

Second, take the code that they give you, and trim what’s not essential so that you can fit within the Black Box’s 500 character limit. Red parts can be deleted:

<a href= target=”_blank” title=”Tourn&#233;e du Chat Noir, c.1896″><img src=\20\2032\9IE4D00Z.jpg” alt=”Tourn&#233;e du Chat Noir, c.1896″ border=”0″ height=450 width=332></a>
<img src= border=”0″ height=1width=1>
<span style=”font-family:verdana,arial,helvetica;font-size:10;” >

<a href= target=”_blank” title=”Tourn&#233;e du Chat Noir, c.1896″>Buy  at</a><BR>

You don’t have to delete all of that, but watch your character count and delete until you’ve gotten under the 500 character limit. The black box will then make a dramatic and sharp-looking frame for your poster, something like this (only with rounded corners, which WordPress isn’t letting me do, #@$!):

Here, Kitty, Kitty

Tournée du Chat Noir, c.1896

Buy at

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