Your blog design should look professional, be attractive and most of all it should reflect your brand. Once you have set design standards for your brand design you should stick to them either if it’s your business card, product packaging or, what we will talk about today, your blog design. Consistency is key in branding! If you want to know more about why you should be consistent in your branding, click through to read more: Why brand consistency matters
Logo and tagline
If it’s your main logo or a variation of it, it should be prominent on your blog. You have to position it where people look first when they come to your site which means above the fold, top left or center depending on your layout. Most people put their logo in the header part of their blog; so this is where people look first out of habit.
This is also a chance for you to make sure people know your brand purpose. You can add a tagline or short mission statement right with your logo in the header. This way you attract your ideal audience and let them know how you can be of help to them.
Favicons give you the possibility to add a small form or variation of your logo right to the browser tab. If you don’t know how to add one to your blog, you can find out here: How to add a favicon to your blog
It’s all about first impressions. Keep your overall layout simple. This way people can easily navigate your blog and find the things they are looking for. Your layout should underline your brand design and don’t distract from it.
By keeping your layout simple and clean you make a professional first impression on your audience. You can add branded accents, e.g. choose brand colors for navigation, buttons and so on, but don’t overdo it.
This is a good example of a simple + clean layout. The Higgins Creative uses a lot of whitespace to create this minimalist design. There’s nothing distracting and the reader can focus on what’s important.
My recommendation is to choose 2 colors for your brand (never more than 3). This might seem difficult to some of you to stick to a certain amount of colors but it’s actually not as difficult as it seems. You can always use black and white to create contrast in your designs and you can use different shades of your two main colors to switch things up a bit.
Colors evoke emotions and each color transports something different to your audience. You need to make sure, the colors you pick, reflect your brand and your brand values. Red, for example, is associated with energy and passion but also with danger. Think stop signs and flashing red lights.
Fran @freeborboleta gives us an excellent example of using colors. She uses one + different shades of it. This way she guides the reader through her blog by making important elements stand out.
Colors are an effective way to guide your audience through your blog. Using your brand colors for buttons, links or menu will show your reader how to navigate your blog. You can also create contrast by using your brand colors in your header and blog post images. For body text, though you should stick with black or dark gray for readability reasons.
If you’re not sure how to choose brand colors here’s a tip: Choose what values you want your brand to stand for and what your brand purpose is. Then do some research on color psychology to find out which colors fit your values and purpose. Make sure the colors you pick work well together. Good is if your colors build an attractive combination but also bring contrast to your designs. Bonus tip: Complementary colors can have this effect. These are colors which are opposite to each other on the color wheel e.g. green and red or blue and orange.
The same goes for fonts. Stick with two or three tops. As for colors, fonts create emotions. Serif typefaces e.g. are traditional and reliable and sans serif typefaces are modern and clean. Start by picking your body text font. This one should be easily readable and a sans serif font is always a good pick when it comes to readability. For your headings, you can choose a different font or a different style like bold or heavy of the same font. This creates contrast and again guides your reader through your blog post. This font can also be used to set accents. You can use it for your menus and buttons too. If you want to learn more about combining fonts read this post: How to find the right font combinations
Tip: Google fonts offer you a large range of good quality fonts and they are easy to install on your computer and on your blog. Learn how to install a Google font on your WordPress blog in this article on wpbeginner.com.
Photography and images
If stock photos or your own, images often say more than words. Take advantage of this by choosing only photos that provoke emotions that align with your brand message. For blog post or promo images you create, always use your brand colors and fonts. This way you stay consistent and they integrate easily in your overall layout. Consistency is very important when it comes to your blog design. Make sure to read this post as well: How to stay consistent
Take the blog post images by The Blog Market as an example. The image design is consistent and instantly recognizable.
Icons, patterns, style elements
Icons, patterns, and other style elements are amazing to break up your design and set accents but I urge you to use them sparingly. Use them where they are needed and have a reason to fulfill like icons that link to your social media accounts or where they add meaning to your design.