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This is proposal number one:

enter image description here

This is proposal number two:

enter image description here

In terms of aesthetics, professionalism, and balance of colors, and ui-design principles, and how it fits the current layout.

Which one do you think is the best option?

PS: Sorry I don't know how to migrate questions so I just deleted this question from graphicdesign.stackexchange.com.

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Just an opinion: First one please, in the second one the busy-ness and "loudness" of the banner detracts from the clean look of the rest of the page. –  Marjan Venema Feb 22 '11 at 7:43
    
Bad example; the banner one is not necessarily bad in principle, it's just bad there (as in badly designed). Also, how exactly is it a logo? the inconsistency between the two would suggest that's not an official logo, otherwise it should have been present in the banner. –  srcspider Feb 22 '11 at 10:00
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You must really like people, you've got it listed twice :) –  Berin Loritsch Feb 22 '11 at 20:19
    
@Berin Loritsch they are just test images of a lazy developer. –  janoChen Feb 22 '11 at 20:53
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5 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The banner could work if you simplified it greatly. For example, the orange square frame does nothing but crowd the header. Without it, the header would settle down. Also, there's too much going on in the background--if you remove the rainbow on the left and the trees on the right, the resulting image would still be fun but not as busy.

As far as branding goes, you do need to consider what the message is you are trying to send to the viewer. Here's what the two alternatives tell me:

Proposal #1: Brian is a respectable person with good taste. Not sure how fun he is though.

Proposal #2: Brian is a load of fun. Not sure about his taste.

If you clean up the banner you'll eventually converge on a happy medium where you are a lot of fun and you have good taste.

Recap:

  • Remove the orange around the banner, the irregular shape and cut out for the hands will make it look a lot more interesting.
  • Either tone down or remove the rainbow on the left
  • Do the same for the trees on the right.
  • You don't want two major block elements right next to each other. Removing the orange will provide a bit more separation from the big pictures underneath.
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this client do voice demos, recording for enterprises, kids shows, jazz shows, and plays in a wedding band. It is a bit hard to reflect all that ('fun' and serious services) in a header. –  janoChen Feb 22 '11 at 20:56
    
Understood; however, my point had to do with finding that balance. Taking the bannerless option removes all the fun he wants to convey. As is, it is too busy. –  Berin Loritsch Feb 22 '11 at 22:50
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IMO, the banner-like header is very busy and distracts greatly from the rest of the page. The logo-like one is nicely designed and flows well with the rest of the page. Much classier too.

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I vote for proposal one, definitely the best.

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Generally I would avoid using Banner like headers becase of banner blindness.

The first option which you presented is clean, nice, fits the design, does not derive attention from other elemnts of the page! So that's it! Stop thinking and try the first version! ...later you can adjust it if necessary

And if you are planning to use human faces as 'design elements' read this article on this topic:

http://usableworld.com.au/2009/03/16/you-look-where-they-look/

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I agree. The top logo can be mistaken for a commercial banner and might be overlooked. And it feels a bit distracting, makes the page a bit cluttered. –  Henrik Ekblom Feb 22 '11 at 9:52
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I'd go with option 1. The second one gives the appearance of being an advert rather than a page header so users will just ignore it. (Banner Blindness coupled with Advert Blindness would probably be in affect here) - If it looks even remotely like an advert then viewers will treat it as such. http://www.useit.com/alertbox/banner-blindness.html

Proposal 1 shows a logical visual hierarchy - what the site is, followed by what the site does.

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