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JamiGibbs says

Hey Everyone! I’m really new to the ThemeForest crowd so I expected to get rejected but would like to have some feedback if possible.

The theme is based on the NFL and American football teams and will allow the user to change color templates between the 32 different NFL teams. It’s for professional football fans/bloggers, affiliate marketers, fantasy football leagues, etc. and I think it’ll be a great asset for ThemeForest since the 2010/11 season is going to start in a month and everyone is going to be football crazy in the states.

I think the theme I submitted is a great improvement on the only other sports theme listed on Themeforest (I’d link to it here but I’m not sure what the etiquette is for that… just search for soccer) in terms of options, flexibility, and overall graphics. I ‘d also guess that my theme would be refreshing to sell in a mountain of portfolio and business themes.

The rejection email says:

1) Your template has a good start but, as we have high standards, you will need to make some additional improvements in overall aesthetics and aspects such as graphics, layout, colors, etc.

2) Overall template typography needs additional refinements and improvements before it will be ready for ThemeForest.

3) The template needs improvements in visual hierarchy primarily using typographic elements such as headings.

One thing I agree on is that I can probably work a little hard on the H1, H2, H3 fonts to make the typography more consistent throughout but what other “additional improvements in over aesthetics” does it need? I wish I could get more specific details. Any suggestions from you guys?

http://jamigibbs.com/preview/ultimatefootball/

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VisualSharing says

Welcome to ThemeForest. :)

  • The first thing I spot is that you use too much fonts – try to stick with two.
  • The bold headings (Impact font) are a bit hard to read.
  • The visual hierarchy in terms of colors is king of strange, besides those headings – you used light shades where it’s important (Testing The Theme Elements and More News containers) and darker shades where it should stay quiet (The footer).
  • Visual hierarchy also means font size and in your case it’s an issue. For example, make the footer font smaller.
  • Get rid of those shdows, use them wisely – you need a crisp and clean layout in order for your template to look premium.

By the way, in the future, try posting such threads in the Item Discussion section of the forum. I believe a moderator will come and move this one there.
Good luck!

Further reading: Visual Hierarchy in Web Design

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JamiGibbs says

Thank you so much for that concise feedback, cmt! It’s exactly the sort of stuff I need to hear and I agree with what you’re saying. You’re feedback is a great jumping off point for me to make improvements.

I’m the kind of gal that’ll keep submitting even if it takes me 20 rejection emails but hopefully I won’t need to if what you’re saying will help. :)

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VisualSharing says
I’m the kind of gal that’ll keep submitting even if it takes me 20 rejection emails but hopefully I won’t need to if what you’re saying will help. :)

That’s the spirit! :P Many authors here get rejected the first time, even top-selling, so never give up and improve yourself.

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booktalk2008 says

I would ask a attorney if you can do this. I know for a fact the NFL will not allow you to use it’s logo or its teams logo for profit. Your basically selling a NFL blog. The NFL is extremely strict with anyone using it’s logo or its teams for profit and they sue over anything.

Second thing, as soon as I saw your site. I instantly thought it was Woo-Themes – Bueno theme. Their are some similarities.

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JamiGibbs says
I would ask a attorney if you can do this. I know for a fact the NFL will not allow you to use it’s logo or its teams logo for profit. Your basically selling a NFL blog. The NFL is extremely strict with anyone using it’s logo or its teams for profit and they sue over anything. Second thing, as soon as I saw your site. I instantly thought it was Woo-Themes – Bueno theme. Their are some similarities.

First of all, I’m not including or selling any NFL logos or team icons in the package. I’m only using team colors for the different templates and there’s nothing legally wrong with using color combinations. Just because my demonstration blog uses the NFL logo in a blog post doesn’t mean that I’m selling it with the theme… obviously.

Second, I had to look up the Woo theme you’re talking about and the only similarity I see is the navigation font. This is a sports font which makes sense to use on a SPORTS theme. Regardless, if you say that it looks like a Woo theme then I’ll take that as a compliment but I believe my theme stands on its own in originality.

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VisualSharing says
Second thing, as soon as I saw your site. I instantly thought it was Woo-Themes – Bueno theme. Their are some similarities.

Yes, the navigations are identical, but it’s just that, so I think we can put it it the inspiration part.

@JamiGibbs: What booktalk2008 is talking about is the overall navigation style – it’s not just the font, but the way of underlining and even the RSS icon color.

They’re even named the same – ico-rss.png. :)

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booktalk2008 says
First of all, I’m not including or selling any NFL logos or team icons in the package. I’m only using team colors for the different templates and there’s nothing legally wrong with using color combinations. Just because my demonstration blog uses the NFL logo in a blog post doesn’t mean that I’m selling it with the theme… obviously.

In other words you want to sell your blog theme to have the “look and feel” of each team. You want them to be associated with the “team from each city.” That is trademark infraction all day. You are intentionally trying to infringe on their trademark without infringing on their trade mark. That can’t be done. Sorry.

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JamiGibbs says

Inspiration comes from many different places as most designers admit to but my intention was never to make it look like something else. It’s my bad if I had forgotten where I had seen the navigation style from and my stock icons are named similarly. It’s just irritating to generalize the entire theme because I see them as two completely different designs (and the amount of work I put into it can attest to its originality).

Thanks for the responses though.

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vegapunk says
Inspiration comes from many different places as most designers admit to but my intention was never to make it look like something else. It’s my bad if I had forgotten where I had seen the navigation style from and my stock icons are named similarly. It’s just irritating to generalize the entire theme because I see them as two completely different designs (and the amount of work I put into it can attest to its originality). Thanks for the responses though.

I think you have used more than 1 place for inspiration ;) for example, the post style looks exactly like this theme from elegantthemes :) http://www.elegantthemes.com/preview/Polished/

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