It’s Day 3 of the DYOB Relaunch week and today we’re talking about the design process. All week long I’ll be walking you through my redesign story, the reasons behind some of the decisions I made and also what went wrong.
The idea was to create one big epic post but I realized it was going to get too cumbersome for you all to read. So I’m just gonna break it down into 7 parts.
Here’s the agenda:
Day One: What’s the Point?
Day Two: The Design/Branding Process (below)
Day Three: Font Palettes
Day Four: Design Mockups and Why I Chose My Theme
Day Five: Turning Your Blog into a Business/Making Money from Your Blog
Day Six: Newsletters
Day Seven: Social Media
Note: Some links (with a *) are affiliate links which means I may receive a small commission should you purchase something using my link. Read the full disclosure here.
One of the hardest parts of redesigning is trying to figure out which design style to go with, am I right? As a designer, I appreciate and love so many different styles of design so it’s difficult to narrow down the endless choices to just one style.
This is kind of how I ended up with my last design not really being me. I don’t think I took enough time to really flesh out my style and sort of went with what I thought was cool at the time. Here’s how I handled that this time:
A Design Inspiration Board
For about a year now, I’ve had a secret Pinterest board where I had been throwing in all kinds of ideas and inspiration for a redesign. Every time I came across a site or blog that I liked, I noted things that I thought would work well for DYOB. I uploaded screenshots and color palettes like a fiend.
Now of course not everything was the same style or even color scheme, but that was fine. I was just looking for some patterns. I never really “looked” at my board, I just added everything I liked and thought would suit me.
Eventually some patterns did start to emerge and I could begin to see which design direction I was leaning towards. A few months ago when I got serious about really getting into the process, I went through and copied all of the images from those patterns I saw and threw them into a large blank document in Photoshop to see how they looked together. Here’s that inspiration board:
Mood Board #1
From this inspiration board, I sampled colors to create an initial color palette and I quickly threw together a mood board to see how it would strike me:
At first I thought I really liked it, but there was something nagging me about the color scheme. It just didn’t feel quite right. So I kept playing with color blocks in my Photoshop document. I also used color tools like Adobe Kuler to introduce new colors into the scheme.
I’m lucky because as a design blog for women, I have a lot of freedom when it comes to colors. My favorite color in the whole world is aqua and another fave is coral, which just so happen to be colors from my happy place: the ocean. Gold has really been striking my fancy this year so I knew I wanted to have some touches of it sprinkled within the design.
Knowing I wanted to start with these 3 colors, I now just needed to find the right shades that spoke to me. The aqua in the mood board above was too dark I realized. It just didn’t have enough oomph for me, so I looked to my Pinterest inspiration board again for some new hues. When I found the one (#1bded1), I knew that was it. It was bright and happy but also dark enough to be used in text over white. That’s the problem with some colors, you have to make sure you can find the right ones that contrast well with lighter backgrounds.
The next issue was finding the right coral. I was sampling colors from the dress I wear in my sidebar profile pic but they were turning out too dark. Of course I still wanted the dress to look right within the design, so I had to really play around with it quite a bit to get it just right. Eventually I found the right match (#fb7358) and you can see the two colors at play in the logo.
The right gold was difficult to find too. All the colors I kept sampling from photos were turning out too beige or too yellow. Then one day I discovered a color palette on Pinterest that had the gold I was looking for! I tried it in the palette and it was a winner (#d6bf67)!
Need help discovering your own color palette? Check out my Ultimate Guide to Colors for Your Blog.
There wasn’t really anything wrong with my previous logo, but I thought it needed a little update too to something a little more modern. I noticed that my inspiration board had a lot of the offset outline type and even though it runs the risk of being a little trendy, I think having a flexible logo style that can evolve keeps your logo looking fresh. Just look at Pepsi’s logo and how it’s evolved over the years.
At first I toyed around with some wider fonts for the DYOB logo but considering the length of the name, a condensed font worked best. I upgraded the Oswald condensed font to Bebas Neue because I thought the character shapes were cleaner.
The script I was using for the word “lovely” also needed an update. Sacramento is a nice font but it looked strange within content as an accent, so I wasn’t using it. I had been using Jenny Sue throughout the site instead. But Jenny Sue didn’t look right in the logo. While it’s usually fine to not match your blog’s fonts with your logo, I personally never liked the disconnect.
I played around with a bunch of the script fonts I had bought from previous Design Cuts deals* to see which worked best in the logo AND in the blog. Very Berry Pro* has been one of my favorites for a long time and I was so happy to see it not only work well within the content, but look simply AWESOME in the logo!
Mood Board #2
After finally narrowing down the color palette and logo, I used 0to255.com to pick out a few tints and shades because you always need those in a design. I then went out and found some more images and patterns that seemed to fit the style and palette I was going for and came up with the final mood board.
So that’s it for Day 2 of the Redesign Recap. Tomorrow I’ll talk about my font selection process.
The Day Two Giveaways
Your brand is super important to your online identity. Putting your best foot forward and making great first impressions when it comes to your online face is crucial to your online success. I want to help 3 lucky winners move forward in their brand and blog designs today! We’ve got 3 amazing prizes going on right now that you can enter for.