In this highly saturated blog world, comparing your blog to another is like blogger suicide. There’s always going to be someone out there who can draw a new reader into their story, make them laugh out loud, cry and get this: even comment {what?! commenting is a dying art, people.}. Guaranteed there will always be a site you think is more visually appealing. Their roundups are so beautiful – where did they find those heels that would have been SO perfect in your post last week, ugh?! And let’s not even talk about how overall-dreamy blog a, b or c’s site re-launch is – it must have cost them a million dollars – and let’s REALLY not talk about how you’ve been painstakingly working on yours for the past nine months. See? Blogger. Suicide.

d7a3e70323c74e0dcb0ea97a4dca7d01

But do not fret – there are actually some simple ways to make the most of your corner of the blog world – entirely on your own! It comes down to rules, graphic design rules actually. Sure some are blessed with a freakishly genius eye, but we’re the first to admit, we do not have one. But thankfully blog rules can learned over time. So instead of sulking and saying, “I wish,” take some action! If you’ve been looking to give your blog {which is probably so good – don’t be so hard on yourself!} a little spring upgrade, here are three graphic design rules you’ll want to adopt now!

white-space

#1. Be generous with your white space. You can never have enough! It’s not necessary to fill every nook and cranny of the page. Allow your audience to have some breathing room so you’re not overwhelming them! It’s enough to process new information, and if it’s even more grueling to navigate through a crowded post – that’s why most people just skim! This is where the phrase “form follows function” comes into play; if your design is aesthetically pleasing, but no one can unscramble the pieces, what’s the point!? Remember that using white space is as much of a tool in design as the other elements in a graphic – think of it as it’s own product you want to highlight!

example-3

In the example above you can see the width of this design is 2/3rd’s white space – that’s a lot of white, but it makes the content stand out and your eyes know exactly where to focus. This is your goal.

edit

#2. Never fall in love with your first idea. It will not be the only one you have! We cannot stress the importance of editing. Whenever you’re designing – well anything reall –  the first goal should be to put something on paper, simply to make your ideas more tangible. You want to give your ideas a chance to play out. You never know where something will lead and trying to skip steps in the process will only lead to frustration!

example-2

Hard to believe the above graphic was the first draft of our recent Pretty in Pastel post, right?! It clearly went through several phases before reaching its final layout which you can see here. While the first draft played well on the blue pastel color theme, the organization was difficult and the added elements distracted from the actual product we wanted to highlight. Since it’s hard to separate yourself from your work, having a second set of eyes to give their opinion is always a plus! If you don’t have an extra pair of eyes, think of editing the layout down to the true essentials of the post. That said, don’t be afraid to go too far; it’s better to give yourself the option to dial it back!

consistency

#3. Find what works and stick with it. When you’re creating weekly posts that incorporate different color, sizes and shapes, consistency plays a huge role in your designs. While changing things up and customizing each layout gets the creative juices flowing, it’s important your designs remain related to one another.

Subtle customizations are enough to keep your readers interested; more than anything, you want to make them feel comfortable. Since you want your audience to be able to distinguish you from the thousands millions of other blogs out there, curating a certain style with your work plays as a huge advantage. It’s also easy to get buried under tons of work, so keeping things effortless {save a few templates on your computer!} is always a bonus!

example-1

In the examples above, we maintained the same color, typeface and essential layout for each roundup yet we were still able to switch up the presentation of the titles to better suit each post’s subject matter. So you see? Updating your blog’s graphics doesn’t seem to daunting of a task now does it?

We’ve been slowly incorporating these rules into our posts and we like to think it makes the world of a difference. We love the fresh and clean look simple upgrades can make and even better, they don’t require hiring a web developer. After all, the first step of avoiding the comparing game is to be proud of what you create, right? So we say, go out there, give these tips a try and come back and share with us your favorite post you’ve worked on lately!

For our archive of tips on the business of blogging, CLICK HERE!

original graphics for apartment 34 by Brittany Teng, image via 

What do you think?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

7 Comments

  1. Great post! I feel like blogging has thrust me into the world of graphic design without any idea what I’m doing! I definitely need to embrace a little more whitespace in my life 🙂

    COOCOO FOR COCO

  2. Excelent tips! nice!
    white in the blog and white at home! more space and clarity! 🙂

  3. Thank you for these tips! 🙂

    Nina xo | littlepinkcactus.blogspot.com

  4. I’m not a blogger, just a reader of blogs and this is one I never miss. Great job!