Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Blog Design Basics: Intro

It's the first day of Blog Design Basics, are you ready? :)

The first thing that we need to decide is a theme.It's rather hard to come up with a design without a theme. So, we should begin by asking some questions:

  • What are some of the things that you blog (or want to blog) about? 
  • What kinds of things define you as a person? 

Now, let’s use the answers to those questions to fit ourselves into a “Blogger Category.” I know, it sounds so stereotypical. But, what kind of blogger are you?
  • Cutesy
  • College/20 something
  • Mommy
  • Married/Wedding
  • Photography
  • Crafty
  • Writing
The kind of blogger that you are will likely influence the kind of design that you are desiring. It will impact the fonts that you will use, the colors that you will use, and the graphics that you will use. So, take a minute to think about what the "theme" of your blog might be.
Once we have a theme, I like to start the design process by thinking about "Color". Color is a huge part of blog design. Sometimes, our color choices are influenced by our favorite colors. A few months back, I had a blog design based on the colors in Option 1. With this theme, I started with the color pink (my favorite color) and worked to find some other colors that went well with it.
Sometimes the color is influenced BY the theme. In another scenario, I was designing a blog with more of a "preppy" theme. I knew that I wanted to use navy chevron as the background, so I selected other colors that would complement this theme as seen in Option 2.
A third option comes from the seasons. Sometimes, a blogger might want a "Christmas-y" layout (red and green) or a fall layout (orange and browns). Option 3 comes from a fall-based color board.
In the end, it's up to you (the designer) to come up with a color scheme. I normally like to work with no more than four colors. Some people say three, but I like the flexibility that comes with four. You may not actually use all four colors, but at this point, you want options. If you are having trouble coming up with color schemes, check out Colourlovers or 100 Layer Cake for ideas. Go ahead and pick out the shades that you're interested in and find out the hex codes.You can use a tool like ColorPicker or you can just google the color name with the phrase "hex code" (for example, you could search for "tiffany blue hex code" and it would give you the code). Write these numbers down in a safe place that you'll remember, as you'll need them when we start designing next week!

Come back tomorrow for a lesson on picking out fonts!

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