The explanations in this HOWTO have shown how to make PS1 environment variables, or how to incorporate those PS1 and PS2 strings into functions that could be called by ~/.bashrc or as a theme by the bashprompt package.
Using the bashprompt package, you would type bashprompt -i to see a list of available themes. To set the prompt in future login shells (primarily the console, but also telnet and Xterms, depending on how your Xterms are set up), you would type bashprompt -l themename. bashprompt then modifies your ~/.bash_profile to call the requested theme when it starts. To set the prompt in future subshells (usually Xterms, rxvt, etc.), you type bashprompt -s themename, and bashprompt modifies your ~/.bashrc file to call the appropriate theme at startup.
See also Section 2.6 for Johan Kullstam's note regarding the importance of putting the PS? strings in ~/.bashrc .