Today is Day 9 in the 10-part graphic design for bloggers series, and we’re discussing where to go when you need design inspiration. 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 browse through 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 bloggers seem to be using them most effectively.
You all know what a big fan of Pinterest I am (read my 10-part Pinterest series here). The site has imagery as its very 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 (feel free to connect with me over there – I have a board called Beautiful Blog Graphics you might want to check out).
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 and online magazines to see how 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.
My re-theme/re-design of this blog earlier this year was a result of me wanting a slightly more ‘magazine-like’ feel, especially for my home page. 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 and GizMag.
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.
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