Blog Design

Back at it after a nice break.  The first thing I get to tackle is to create a new design for one of my blogs. Over the years I have tried many different art forms; doesn’t matter much to me what it is.  I just like the process of learning about them; figuring out the techniques involved and how to solve the design and image problems associated with them.  As I have not really thought about blog design before, it will be interesting to see what I can come up with.

I currently have 2 blogs.  One for Coetail and the for my ES Art room.  As I only started keeping these this year I have not given much thought about what they should look like.  I kind of just threw them together just trying to keep my head above water.  BIG MISTAKE!  One of these days I will move on from Japan and both of these blogs could have a big role to play in helping me get a new position.  I will need to make my blogs show who I am, what I believe in and what I can do.  So how do I go about doing this?

Since I am new to blog design I started by talking to our tech people and doing searches on Google trying to figure out what makes the design of a blog great.  I looked at a number of sites.  All of them had some commonalities and some great examples.

Great Blog Design
Key Tips You Can Use to Design Your Blog
What makes a good design blog ?
10 Essential Design Elements of a Blog
7 Elements to Make Your Blog Look Great
27 Blog Designs With Amazing Design And Functionality

So here are some of things I found out.

  • Keep the designs simple and clean

When I was in art college my professor would always tell me to use the KISS (keep it simple stupid) method.  I still follow this rule and teach it to my classes in a modified form.  A clean, uncluttered look with a unified color scheme and simple navigation is a good place to start.  Blogs that are too busy and cluttered are easy to get lost on.

  • Use images that represent your brand, what the blog is about and who you are

People will quickly get confused as to the intent of the blog if you are just using pictures to fill up space or “decorate” your blog.  Use images that are interesting and unique to you so it will help people remember it.

  • Use fonts and type size that compliment/reflect what your blog is about

It can be difficult to read blogs that use types that are too small.  It is equally difficult to read blogs that use a font that is to fancy or decorative.  People want to read your postings and they will quickly skip over your blog if they can’t decipher what you are saying.

  • Limit the number of widgets in your blog

Widgets are good and serve a purpose in any blog.  However, too many can become a distraction and make navigation difficult.  As with everything else keep it simple and don’t have too many.

For me designing something is not a fast or easy process.  I come up with a number of ideas, think about them, sketch them out, look at research, modify things, learn from them and think about it again until I come up with what I want.  It takes time and in the process I often come up with new ideas that can give me new directions to try out in the future.  I love this process as I feel that is part of what makes me a good art teacher as I am constantly willing to learn.

The redesign of my blogs will take time, but at least I have some things to keep in mind.  I leave you with some images I hope to use in my Coetail blog as I develop it.  Stay tuned to see what I can come up with over the next little while.

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2 responses to “Blog Design

  1. I appreciated your post. The links to blog and web design suggestions will be invaluable as I continue to work on my blog, too.
    Have you been visiting blogs and ‘sites to look for elements that you liked and didn’t like? I found that helpful. Once I began to notice the designs that I preferred then I had a model to take back to my blog. Are there two sites or blogs that you think you will take as examples in the future?
    Good luck. Look forward to the new, improved look.

  2. Great points to remember as you redesign both spaces. The widgets is a big one with me. So often I read blogs with multiple sidebars cluttered with widgets and links and it makes me kind of crazy. I know the feeling of wanting to include everything, but that’s the whole purpose of design right? Selecting what must be included and leaving some things out to highlight what you really value. Looking forward to seeing your blogs continue to develop!

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