I think you can see from this chapter that creating truly unique visual styles is a fairly monumental task. A large number of bitmaps and other objects make up the Windows interface. To edit each and every one takes a lot of time, creative energy, and (most of all) patience.
All skin authors are known on the Web by their chosen nicknames. So, if you plan on becoming a skinning guru, you need to come up with a nickname. There is a large skinning community on the Web. A number of the skinning websites provide newsgroups and other methods for communicating with other skin authors.
If you go to the www.themexp.org website (which is associated with Style XP and StyleBuilder), you will find several original and creative themes and visual styles. I suggest you download some of these and examine the design elements, layout, and interface modifications they contain.
You can import an existing visual style into StyleBuilder. Click the Import button on the StyleBuilder toolbar. Consider importing an educational opportunity to examine how other visual style authors have modified visual style elements. Do not modify these visual styles and then claim them as your own, however.
Figures 8.13 (Oldskool created by Navigatsio) and 8.14 (Spirits created by Izagaia) show two visual styles and other theme elements that were downloaded from www.themexp.org and added to Style XP. Note that each skin author has made a number of modifications to the Start panel and other interface elements. Have fun creating your own visual styles and skins.
Figure 8.13. The Oldskool theme and visual style.
Figure 8.14. The Spirits theme and visual style.