So what do you think of the snazzy new banner?
Seems a bit busy. If the the thought bubble was not translucent that would help. Make the back drop design translucent a and the bubble more solid and I think it would be good to go. The back drop is taking attention away from the foreground. Otherwise, good job.
*Love* the cow/mouse/wombat thing peeking in from the corner...
Looks sharp, I'd lose the opacity on the bubble though
I agree that it's too busy. I wanted to work in the Twain quotation, but that just adds to the busyness.
Greenish background with blue type is hard to read (and may be unreadable for folks with color blindness)
Ditto for the map at left.
hope this helps!
I hadn't thought about the color blindness issue. Red-green colorblind people will still be able to read the map, but blue-yellow color blindness could make other things tricky.
I like, on the whole. But that thought-balloon: the way it's rendered now, it looks more to me like a gust of wind emanating from Douglas County. "Hot air," in other words.
Are you able to render the emanating part with gradually-larger circles, as thought-balloons usually get rendered?
The satellite photo of the irrigation circles is my current desktop image.
Two big reasons it looks busy are the irrigation circles (well, that's what it looks like to me) background, which you should replace with something bland and boring, and the glaring red pixels of the Kansas state, which you should replace with state filled with (again) something bland and boring. The viewer's interest would be better drawn to (a) the quote and (b) the relationship between the various elements, rather than any individual element. Finally I suggest you reduce the transparency of the thought bubble, possibly to zero.
By popular demand, I've reduced the opacity on the bubble, turned it into a thought bubble rather than a hybrid thought/speech bubble, and tweaked the colors to (hopefully) improve readability. I left the county blue/red map, but pushed some of the state out of sight, reducing the clutter without undermining the message. That also freed up space to make the quotation a little bigger, which makes it more legible and less busy.
I'm from Iowa. Looks okay to me.