Whether you’re just starting out or have been blogging for a while, developing creative blog graphics can be a struggle. If you’re new, you may not even know how to start the process. If you’ve been around the block, you may discover things are getting a bit stale. It’s easy to become overwhelmed or fall into a rut in a creative profession like blogging. Taking some time to peruse visual sources and do some research may just be the key to providing you with a boost of creativity and optimism. Read on to learn just where to find design inspiration for your blog.
The first place to begin may be with blogs in your niche. Seeing what others are doing in their design can provide you with a slew of ideas. Just be sure to add your own unique touch to your designs, as mirroring the design of another is counterproductive and unoriginal. Viewing the work of others can also give you some ideas of what not to do. You’ll get a feel for the kinds of colors and imagery that are being used and which authors seem to be using them most effectively.
Pinterest is the social media site that has imagery as its foundation. You probably already know what a time suck this treasure trove can be, which is just proof of how effective visual images can be. Search for terms like “blog header” or “blog graphics” to produce a ton of ideas to fuel your imagination. This is a great way to keep up with design trends, as well. A visit to Pinterest should be a regular part of your evolving design process.
A perfect place to get design inspiration for your blog is by checking out the work of professional designers. Graphic design professionals almost always have a portfolio of their work on their website. You can do a Google search to find designers that do blog work or look at your favorite blogs. Often, you’ll find the credit of the designer at the bottom of the page. While the techniques of the pros are probably beyond your skill level, you can modify ideas you love in a way that is within your abilities.
Check out both print magazines and ones online for ways in which design is being used in various formats. It’s true that print and digital techniques often differ; however, you may be able to draw on some fantastic color combinations, layouts or headlines found within real, hands-on pages. There are also plenty of design-specific digital magazines that can guide you on the latest trends in web design, along with tried and true foundations. Some names to look for include Smashing Magazine, GizMag, Lovepic, Magwerk and Komma.
Enjoy your search for design inspiration with these resources. There’s no end to design ideas. Sometimes you just need a spark to move you in the right direction.
Must Have Graphic Design Elements for Your Blog
While there are tons of creative ways to use blog graphics, there are some that are more essential to your success than others. Customized images can serve many purposes in efficient ways, and the importance of using them can’t be understated. Creating templates to use in branding, titling and promotion doesn’t need to be overly complicated, though. To lessen your overwhelm, let’s break things down to the absolute must-have graphic design elements for your blog. Once you learn and feel comfortable in creating these, you can expand your skills.
Sharing who you are is paramount as a blogger. You share your knowledge, experiences and opinions throughout your content. Your audience will get a sense of your personality as they browse your posts or become regular readers. To increase your chances of encouraging them to stick around, you’ll want to create a bio photo section in your sidebar with your picture, a summary of who you are and a link to your more comprehensive about page. Remember, people are quick to leave a website if they don’t immediately see something of interest. Capture their attention with a photo introduction.
Your blog header is likely the first thing readers see when they visit your site. It’s at the very top of the page and lists the blog’s title. This can be done simple with text only, but a design that incorporates a bit more can go far toward developing your brand. Be sure to check your blog’s theme to determine the size your header will accommodate, otherwise, your design could look distorted or simply not work at all. Go with simplicity because you don’t want to distract the viewer’s eye with too many aspects. Choosing a few colors, with no more than two fonts for your blog’s name and tagline should suffice. You can add a shape or uncomplicated graphic if you wish.
Your logo is an essential piece of your branding kit. This small design element packs a big punch when it comes to recognition. It can be used on social media, business cards, your website, stationery and promotional items like t-shirts or magnets. Creating a logo is possible even if you’re not a graphic designer. Just be sure to keep it simple and not too busy. Choosing a shape and adding your blog’s name in your signature font can be enough at the beginning. Try to elicit the feel of your brand. You can do this by a shape with soft edges and lighter hues to create a relaxing feel or by going with a bold image in bright shades to evoke energy.
A post header is the graphic that introduces your blog post. It is usually a photo or illustration with a filter overlay and the title of your post. A shape can be used as a text box to make your words stand out. Your chosen filter overlay should remain consistent for every post, as should your font. These things will soon become recognizable when seen on social media as your readership increases. Be sure to leave enough white space around the edges of your graphic so that the text is legible.
Social Media Images
Your social media shares should always include an image. It’s been proven that graphics substantially increase click through. You can use your post header as a template, but each social media site has its own recommended sizes. Once you’ve determined the current size being used by each site, create a template that can be customized with new photos and text for each new post.
These graphic design elements are the must-haves for your blog. Their creation is the foundation you need to feel confident about presentation and promotion. Taking the time to develop these assets will put you on par to joining the ranks of other successful bloggers and give you confidence in your professionalism.
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