Work It Like a Boss / Blog Design

Hi!

Blog DesignThanks for your patience through our blog hiatus! We returned from our fun-packed family vacation in Virginia last week, and the two of us are now preparing for the fall issue launch and our upcoming school years. Needless to say, we are excited to be posting once again, and we’re looking forward to the weeks ahead.

One of the most common topics of question from DM readers is blog design, and Lulu and I can understand the anxiety! Like the cover of a book, the design of your blog is key to making an excellent first impression. For this month’s Work It Like a Boss, we’ve chosen to finally address your questions – and what better way to learn than from the experts?! Below are five doll blog designs that earn the DM stamp of approval. Use our observations and apply them to your own site, making the Internet prettier one blog at a time :)

Alex D. PerreaultAlex D. Perreault

One of the first elements to determine when designing your blog is the method in which you want to deliver your content. Here at Doll Mag, we are text-driven, using graphics as support to each post; in contrast, eighteen-inch style blog Alex D. Perreault has pictures supplemented with a short sentence or two. It’s fitting then that the blogger strays from the typical two-column design and picks a photo grid structure instead. Your eye is immediately drawn to the pictures, and the handwritten style of the title has a lasting impact. Furthermore, both color and white space are used well, making this site a visual winner all around.

Simply DollightfulSimply Dollightful

Another way to approach your site design is to work it around your strengths as a blogger. Both Lulu and I have an eye for graphic design, so we utilized our favorite fonts and bright color palettes when formatting the Doll Mag site. This is consistent with the content we produce: an online publication! At Simply Dollightful, readers can expect gorgeous photography just by looking at Christina’s header. As her blog is primarily photo stories, snapshots from previous posts is a an effective way to design the site. This is also a good reminder that simple is usually better; Christina uses two colors and the same font throughout, and trust us, that’s all you need.

Clarisse's ClosetClarisse’s Closet

Next question to ask yourself: how do you identify yourself and/or your blog? Are you an Etsy shop owner looking to promote your store? Are you a longtime doll fan in need of a creative outlet? Are you a budding doll collector who likes to review different products? It may seem unnecessary, but determining why you blog makes the process of designing a logo and brand all the more easier. Doll Mag is a hobby for the both of us, but we attempt to be professional, using the same typefaces in our graphics and high-quality files in our design. Clarisse’s Closet is excellent at this step as well – we can always tell Clarisse around the web with her signature hat logo!

From Echo with LoveFrom Echo with Love

One of the easiest ways to take your site design from good to great is to analyze how you use white space. Contrary to the name, white space doesn’t have to be white; it is merely an art term used to describe the space between design elements. Too little white space looks unprofessional and cluttered {the sidebar is the usual culprit here}, while too much of it can distract your reader. Echo, blogger at From Echo with Love, finds the perfect balance, using pops of color against a clean white background. We love how the design fits her artistic personality, and it goes to show that a white background is not as boring as it sounds.

Doll StarsDoll Stars

Finally, there’s only one mantra we can’t stress enough: less is more! Your background, header, and fonts should support the amazing content you produce, not overwhelm it. The design of Doll Stars does this well; the chic, minimalistic structure allows Elly’s colorful photos to pop, and its professional look upgrades it from the typical Blogger template. Elly didn’t do this alone, however, which leads us to our final note. If you reach a creative rut and can’t seem to get out, finding a free or inexpensive blog designer to assist you will help you and your site in the long run.

What do you think is most important when designing a blog? {And please note that there are plenty of other well-designed doll blogs we could have highlighted! We just felt that these five best fit our particular tips}.

Happy Monday!
Bella

Psst. The next Anne of Green Gables discussion will be posted tomorrow. Some DM team members slacked on the next section while on vacation – not that we know anything :)

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18 thoughts on “Work It Like a Boss / Blog Design

    • That’s a constant struggle! I think if you’re on the fence, it’s best to do a few small updates rather than a complete “do-over.” With that said, we love your site, especially the purple background! :) If you’re looking to switch something up, however, you could always add a tea-themed header {similar to the design of your blog button}.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Oh, a new design, how exciting! I think you’re right in choosing a lighter background; it will allow everything else to pop off the page, and you can have more fun with the header that way too.

      Side note: I JUST read your post, and I adore your ice cream shop! It is so cute – you did a terrific job setting it up :)

      Thanks for commenting!

      • Thanks so much for replying to my comment! And I’m so glad you like my ice cream shop! :)
        Thank you for your thoughts on my blog design, too. I have a couple more questions, if you don’t mind.
        For headers, what do you think about WordPress text vs text that’s part of the header image? I’m thinking about using my own text, because there aren’t many options with WordPress text.
        Also, I was thinking about making a header with a few pictures instead of one. What do you think a good background color for the header would be?
        ~Christian Homeschooler

      • No problem! I think using your own text is your best bet. As you said, WordPress doesn’t give you very many options, so doing it on your own allows you to go crazy with creativity! And I love the idea of using several pictures versus only one. Personally, I would match the color of your header to the color of your new background. It will look cohesive and tie everything together! If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to ask :)

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