A New Banner!

by Matt on May 2, 2011

So I’ve been doing some spring cleaning and felt like it was time to update the banner on this here lil food blog! I wanted to return to something a bit rustic and messy that incorporated some of my favorite props as well as photographs recently given to me by my mom. Thanks, Mom!

I realized I hadn’t changed the banner in quite some time and I’m always inspired by Adam Roberts‘ regular changes to his site. Now that it’s complete I thought I’d do a quick behind-the-scenes about it. And by quick I mean really quick; there are only two images (well 3 actually) that comprise the main banner and they’re magically stitched together in Photoshop. I wanted to do it in 1 pass but the background I chose wasn’t long enough. Darnit!

Here’s the view of the left side from above. Using my foba camera stand allowed me to get really really really really high up in the air and also keep things sturdy. I’m a klutz so this matters greatly. Anyway, items were arranged in a very casual, spontaneous manner using a few old books I had. In fact, the book on the right is The American Woman’s Cook Book from 1947 and The Butterick Cook Book on the right. The Butterick cookbook is 100 years old this year and belonged to Adam’s grandmother. Many of her notecards and clippings were inside the books and I happily used them on my impromptu table.

Here’s the image on the right side. I used black flags and large black v-flats to remove some of the light and add shadows. Red wine, dried fruit, some cheese and fresh fruit complete the scene with grapes placed strategically to allow for a headline. The boards were salvaged from my old garage and many of the plates in this shot came from ABC in NYC. The knives, fork and linen are vintage pieces from all over the place. And if you look in the final image you’ll see I replaced the photo with a recent image of me being silly with a wax mustache. I mean, c’mon, how could I be serious?

After both images matched my banner template using an overlay feature I combined them both in photoshop, using a third image (below) to graft any extra surface space I’d need to make it fit. After all the images were layered properly I blended and merged them, cleaned up some of the messy surface and put my logo on top. Voila! New banner!

I hope you enjoyed this post! If you did I’ll make sure to go behind-the-scenes with every banner and write about it here!

{ 3 trackbacks }

Interview : Food Blogger, Professional Photographer & Author of On A Stick! Matt Armendariz | sabjimata
May 17, 2011 at 5:53 am
How to Blog About Food: Useful Tips for New, Emerging and Aspiring Food Bloggers | The Hungry Australian
February 17, 2012 at 1:17 am
Tips og 88 nyttige lenker for nye og etablerte matbloggere « matosofi
July 9, 2013 at 7:11 pm

{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

matt May 2, 2011 at 12:05 pm

absolutely stunning as usual. Love the earthy tone.

Mikel May 2, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Loved the new banner… it’s really really lovely! And loved the post with the behind-the-scene feel to it…

Muchos abrazos.

memur May 2, 2011 at 12:09 pm

it is so cute. great header. i want a header like this.

Dominique (De vous à moi...) May 2, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Beautiful, Matt… I love this new banner, and thank you for the post “behind the scene”… it’s helpful for me… I’ve a new banner too but no so nice!

Nancy@acommunaltable May 2, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Matt I absolutely love it!!! It is so you!!! I especially love the old photos, recipe cards and books and the story they tell in the photos!!! I also love the “behind the scenes” details. I am not well versed in photoshop at all and when I see things like this it just makes me more determined to learn!

So glad that you and Adam had such an amazing trip and very happy that you are back safe and sound – can’t wait to read about all your adventures!!

Jennifer May 2, 2011 at 12:53 pm

LOVE IT! like the layers of food, photos and books!

I am ready for the korea post too ;)

Magda May 2, 2011 at 12:54 pm

I love the new banner! And I think that photo of you in there with the mustache is so cute :)

Caitlin May 2, 2011 at 12:54 pm

So glad I got to see this in person!!

kristina May 2, 2011 at 1:05 pm

I like this a lot. Much better than the last at capturing your personality and spirit.

Melissa May 2, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Great banner! I love reading about how you made it. Honestly I love any behind the scenes posts :)

Prerna@IndianSimmer May 2, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Absolutely adore the new banner and would LOVE for you to share the “behind the scene” details with us in future. Would be great help for photographers like me!

aida mollenkamp May 2, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Bravo, M. Armendariz, it’s positively gorgeous. And, yes, the behind-the-scenes info only makes me admire you more!

Krystal of Mrs. Regueiro's Plate May 2, 2011 at 1:42 pm

lllllooooooooooveee it! It screams Matt, so it’s absolutely perfect. Now..let’s see a Korea post – those FB pics were teasers!! ;-)

Sherill May 2, 2011 at 1:45 pm

What a storyboard….great visuals conjuring up nostalgic memories

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) May 2, 2011 at 1:55 pm

I LOVE The new header!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The slate blue/gray is just perfect! It totally just fits you and your blog style and the vibe and all that…oh wow, I DIG IT!

And I love the behind the scenes info…very awesome. More of this please! Yes, I love to learn how things like this all come together!

Jimena A May 2, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Love the new banner!! And love the behind- the-scene post!

Jarett May 2, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Great detail yet not too busy – I wanted to just explore the whole photo, and the how-to also was nifty. So glad I made this one of my daily reads – you’re helping an FNG to this world. For that I thank you.

Broderick May 2, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Thanks for the BTS! So jealous of your Photoshop skillz

Maru May 2, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Congratulations on your new banner!!! Loved it and loved the behind-the-scenes post!

food librarian May 2, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Love it! And the behind the scenes is fab…thanks! I’m hella clumsy too.

Linda May 2, 2011 at 6:40 pm

I love that colour of blue….so evocative and calming. The red text punches it. The added bits of recipe cards and books speak of the process. I like that..makes it more real- congrats, it is beautiful.Talented man!

Belinda @zomppa May 2, 2011 at 7:27 pm

I love it! And I love the behind-the-scenes creative process.

Kristen May 2, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Very cool – love it, Matt!

Katie May 2, 2011 at 8:25 pm

This is great! I love the new banner and all the info. Now I need to find someone to do this for me.

I love the slate blue color too. My favorite color of all time!

Jun Belen May 2, 2011 at 9:30 pm

I’m in love with your banner! So very cool!!

sally cameron May 2, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Really interesting Matt. Completely different feel. Like the colors. Cooler,richer, more rustic yes. Such a departure, really neat. Warm, More you. Congrats. Updates feel good. Will you still include the photography and travel aspect, or less so? Lots of nice nostalgia, which I love. Good for you.

Wendy @ obesebaby May 2, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Wow learn alot from u, it’s abt time to change mine too !!

Koshar Restaurant May 2, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Pretty beneficial post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have extremely enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I will be subscribing for ones feed and I hope you post again soon.

heidi leon May 2, 2011 at 11:05 pm

argh, just gorgeous like todo lo que haces!!

Simone May 2, 2011 at 11:29 pm

Love the new banner!! And great to get the behind the scenes look too!!

Esther K May 2, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Love the new banner! And the post as well. Great work! :)

Stacy (Little Blue Hen) May 2, 2011 at 11:51 pm

Love both the banner and the behind-the-scenes glimpse.

Side note: I have The American Woman’s Cook Book too! My mom had two — one from her mom, one from my dad’s mom — so I brought it home after my last visit. I guess it was pretty ubiquitous back in the day.

Stephanie May 3, 2011 at 4:04 am


Maggie Drake May 3, 2011 at 8:17 am

Wowie Zowie I want to have a bite of each of the scrummy yumptious items pictured in the article. Stick food is my kind of food; I am rather barbaric and embarrass my husband often when we are out by picking up whatever I can with my fingers. My favorite summer dinner is eating skewered bbq-ed yummies and throwing the empty sticks in the open fireplace–dishes done!

Stacie Capone May 3, 2011 at 8:32 am

So beautiful and interesting! I’m constantly amazed by the talent and vision of others. Your work is stunning!

Serendipity is Sweet May 3, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Love the new banner, and so cool of you to share the process.


Renee May 3, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Love the new banner. Would love to win the book!

Renee May 3, 2011 at 4:16 pm

THAT is so awesome!!!! Love, love it!!! The site looks amazing and I really thank you for the “how to”! Inspired! :)

Mary @ stylefyles May 4, 2011 at 12:10 pm

love the new banner! and it was a cool how-to post as well!

Nicole Franzen May 5, 2011 at 10:04 am

super creative and your a master, can you teach me everything please. When you come for a visit to NYC, maybe? pretty please

Ken Burke May 5, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Very cool and very informative. Great outcome with a “skinny” background. Question: How useful do you find the camera stand for food (and 0ther) photography? Did you buy it with a specific purpose in mind or is it one of those things that got “accumulated” and then became a useful addition? Thanks!

Heidi / foodiecrush May 5, 2011 at 9:44 pm

New book, new look, and I love it. And although you have killer skills as a photog, you’re a typographic mad man. Once an art director, always an art director. What font is the sketch text? Fun post.

Katia May 6, 2011 at 5:30 am

Wow the banner is stunning! Love it. I just changed my food blog layout! I would love it if you had a look and leave a comment for improvement, as I’ve only just started blogging.

Irvin May 6, 2011 at 11:27 am

I always love the “behind the scenes” posts and this one is no exception! Fab new banner. It’s very you.

Tyler York May 6, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Wow, you made your own header? Good stuff

Austin @ Best Tennis Rackets Headquarters May 6, 2011 at 11:41 pm

Great looking banner! I always struggle to find the right stock image(s) or creating a good looking banner in Photoshop… I have never really thought about using props and creating my own banner the “easy” way by setting it up and taking pictures of it.

Thanks for sharing!


Julie May 7, 2011 at 10:15 am

It’s deliciously, tastefully amazing banner – please keep posting these awesome behind the scenes!!! I’m so happy I found this blog !!!

marla {family fresh cooking} May 8, 2011 at 5:23 am

Love the new banner & so fun to read the behind the scenes!!

Drumsticks May 8, 2011 at 1:47 pm

The new banner looks very neat and clean. Love it.

Gretchen May 9, 2011 at 7:06 am

Wow! . . . food on a stick! I love this – what great ideas!!

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