I’ve designed blogs since the early 2000s and I’ve gone through many design transitions until I found my style. Even so, my tastes and trends change and they have to in order to keep things exciting and fresh.
At one point, I thought my blog needed to be universal in its look in order to attract a wider audience, mainly men and women. But, no matter how many designs I went through, I seemed to always come back to girly colors. Then one day, it became crystal clear…this really is a girly blog and that’s okay.
With that vision, I knew I wanted a “pretty blog”. Meaning that I want to use neutral, clean colors with plenty of whitespace, rose gold, pink blends, and pastel colors to express the qualities of a grand lady: elegant, classy, and sophisticated. Now, everyone’s idea of a pretty blog differs especially depending on the audience the author is trying to attract. This is just what I wanted for my own blog.
I also have seen a minimalistic look on fashion, beauty, and lifestyle blogs and I knew I was onto a new trend. There’s something about neutrals that I really like and I believe it’s because it evokes emotion. When I see a photo of an all-white, silver or gray living room, for example, it makes me want to be there having tea even thought I don’t drink much tea!
Good placement of items along with the neutral colors makes the picture interesting as well as girly!
I’ve talked about having good photography before, but I just can’t stress enough how having just the right images really can improve a design look.
Pretty fonts make a difference too
A pretty blog also requires good fonts. I searched for weeks looking through hundreds of typefaces to find the ones I chose to use on this blog. I recommend using no more than three different fonts, because too many gets confusing to read and makes the design look jumbled.
For the page headings, I’m using Playfair Display. I have fallen SO in love with this typeface. It is so classy looking in my opinion. For the menu at the top of the blog, I use Oswald. It is a great font for headers/titles, but not so good as a body copy. For that, I use Lora. I had never used or heard of this font before and I’m not even sure where I first saw it but I was happy that I was able to get it from Google fonts too. It makes a really nice readable body copy.
Graphics/Ads need to match the design.
I display ads on my side column, but I’m really particular about two things: (1) the ad is something I want to promote; and (2) that the colors match and blends well with my blog design. So, I’m really choosy which ones I showcase. I’m the same with any type of graphic and even if I use one inside my posts. If I can’t find the right image for my article, I don’t use any.
At the end of the day, I want to love my blog…everything about it: content, functionality, and design. I have found myself on blogs for a lot longer than I thought even if I knew very little about what they were writing about. It was because I liked their design. Having a pretty blog is very much like eating. The way you arrange a plate can make your mouth water, because it is visually pleasing and if you come to a blog that you like the way it looks, you stay longer.