Social Media Icons & Image Map
Custom Buttons & Social Network Icons
One of the things I've been having a lot of fun with is making my own buttons. Specifically, social media buttons.
Making custom buttons can add a more visually appealing element to your site or blog; matching them to your color scheme, using themed icons, arranging them in a unique way, using a color scheme to make them stand out are but only some ideas when designing your buttons.
For my female themed blog I chose to use nail polish bottles as the platform for my social media logos and colored each differently.
I also made a set of handbags as a platform for the logos to use on my fashion themed blog.
The creative ideas can be endless, turning any object into button.
My Custom Social Media Share Buttons
How can I make these myself?
The gimp. The gimp is a free open source software that is most commonly used as a graphics editor.
Other things you can use GIMP for:
- free form drawing
- changing image format
- combining images
GIMP's product vision is that GIMP is a free software graphics application for the editing and creation of original images, icons, graphical elements of web pages and art for user interface elements. -wikipedia.org
How do I use my custom icons?
First, host your icons at a free online hosting site. I use photobucket.
Next insert an html widget into your site or blog where you want the icon to appear.
An example of the html code that I use to link to my Pinterest page is:
<a href="http://pinterest.com/girlfriendshoes/"><img src="http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j376/girlfriendshoes/My%20Homemade%20Buttons/PINTEREST-1.jpg" /></a>
The bold text is where I want my link to go to and the img src is the direct link to where I host my image (icon).
A simple Google search will give you easy instructions on how to link your icons to all the different social media sites. There are many to choose from.
While making my own buttons I wondered how to make a single picture of my social media icons but link to all the social media sites in the image.
This is called image mapping.
An image map is so you can link various parts of your image to different destinations without having to separate the image into single image files.
There are many free online tools to make an image map. I used image map editor. It is very easy to use.
GIMP has the capability of making an image map also but I found using the image map editor was much easier.
I used my custom image to the right to link to the different social media sites using an image map.
Now when each different logo is clicked on it will bring you to the specific destination to bookmark or follow my site.
Rather than having multiple single links, they are all in one file. Also, I get to arrange them in a flower shape :)
Ideas here area also endless, I hope to get more creative than a flower shape.