From Board to Blog | Color Pop

Before we get started today, just a quick reminder to enter our giveaway here.  It ends tomorrow!

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Today’s Board to Blog is all about COLOR!  We love seeing blogs that have a strong pop of it somewhere.  It doesn’t have to be a ton, just one or two bold statements that say that you are daring and bold.  The color pop style is for trailblazers and creatives – those who aren’t afraid to put themselves out there and say “look at me”.  People who gravitate towards the color pop style know how to mix patterns and colors and know how to play up those features without going overboard.  If you like this style, you might like a blog that resembles this.

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Site Launch + A Giveaway

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Happy Monday!  We are over the moon excited today to share our re-launch and newly branded site with you! Because we spend so much of our time making killer blog designs for you, our new design has been in our queue for quite some time, but we think you’ll agree that it was worth the wait!

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Our new design features a crisp, clean layout and a modern, black, white and gold color scheme.  We think this will allow our portfolio to shine and our offerings to be the stars of the show.

We have a new fully-stocked Blogger template shop and our premade blog themes are better than ever.  We’ve listened to your feedback and now each of our blog templates and blog themes now come with a built-in navigation bar that you can layout any way that you’d like! Awesome, right?

With the site launch, we are going to be blogging loads and loads; offering you great tutorials, fresh new downloads, and a monthly giveaway with great products that we know you will love!

Let’s start with a giveaway right now, shall we?

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This month’s giveaway features some of our favorite gorgeous items that we keep in our personal offices.  Every girl needs cute office supplies, am I right?

In the package:

– gold leaf embossed notebook for jotting down thoughts and blog post ideas
– sleek black office tray for organization and collecting odds and ends
– stylish black pencils
– lip balm (because you need to think about yourself each day while you are creative blog awesomeness)
– gorgeous gold stapler (because functionality should never be boring)

To enter:

Leave us a comment below letting us know your favorite blog template in our new Blogger template shop.  You can earn an extra entry by following us on Facebook and an additional entry by sharing on twitter with the hashtag #designerblogsgiveaway.

Winners will be announced this coming Friday.  (US residents only please).

GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED

August Desktop Wallpaper

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How is your summer treating you, friends?  It’s August and that means a new desktop wallpaper is coming at ya!  Download it here and enjoy some bright summer color all month long.

Trending: Tribal

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Have you noticed the tribal trend everywhere you look lately?

Tribal design is hot right now. Inspired by the southwest, tribal style is comprised of the colors of the desert – sun, water, desert plants, sand and clay. Mix in basic shapes like triangles, circles and simple lines and you have a million tribal combinations.

We want to know.  Do you love the tribal trend or have you moved on?

Links To Love

linksjul25Happy Weekend!

Here a a few links we are loving this week:

– This print shop

– Famous art pieces recreated with Legos

– A well-designed summer movie night

– How do you decide who to follow on Instagram?

 

Printable | Summer

summerpostIt’s Wednesday!  How about a free art print to get you through the rest of the week?  Our summer art print is an 8 x 10 and can be downloaded right here.

Enjoy!

 

Cleaning Up Your Sidebar

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One of the biggest disadvantages that bloggers can create for themselves is the aesthetic of their blog.  Readers will judge your blog within the first few seconds of looking at your page.  You could have the best content in the world, but if your blog looks sloppy, readers aren’t going to want to stick around.  Here are a few tips on how to clean up your sidebar to make it more appealing.

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Take the above blog.  The basic design is clean and straightforward.  The post image is nice.  The content is promising.

The sidebar is a distracting mess.  The widgets don’t line up, the media buttons are awkward, the ad doesn’t fit.  It needs some work.

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The about section should match the overall look of your blog.  I know there a million great fonts out there and you want to use them all, but DON’T!  Use the same fonts that come with your blog design.  If you don’t know what they are, ask!  Ask your designer.  Use font identifying sites to see if you can get a close match.

You can see on the example above that example on the right is justified to the left instead of being centered on the page.  One of the easiest ways to clean up your page is to make sure that all items are centered in your sidebar.  Simply putting <center> before the widget code and </center> after the code will give you a nicely centered item.

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There are hundreds of different social media icons available on the web and it is tempting to use some on your blog that stand out and make them different from other sites.  DON’T!  Try to find some simple icons that match your site.  You want these to blend into your page.  The icons themselves are recognizable enough for them to stand out on there own.  This is one area where it is best to be understated.

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One of the biggest blunders I see with blog sidebars is poorly sized advertisements.  Generic ads come in several preset sizes and many bloggers, not knowing the dimensions of their sidebars, put up the ads they like best.  This can leave ads that are cut off.  This looks terrible and does a disservice t0 the companies that you are representing.  Try to place ads that are the width of your sidebar, or a bit smaller so that they fit nicely and can be shown in their entirety.  If you don’t know the dimensions of your sidebar, ask your designer.  They would be thrilled to help.  If you don’t have your own web designer, try downloading Firebug for the the Firefox browser.  This plugin allows you to hover over web elements to find out information about them;  information like width and height.

A few other sidebar foibles you would do well to consider:

– Limiting blog lists.

If you want to make a list of favorite blogs or websites, keep it short.  And endless scroll is annoying to readers and is an unwise use of space.

– Removing blog counters.

You should care about how many people visit your site.  Your readers should not.  They should appreciate you for your content, not your popularity.  Blog counters can come off as desperate and you aren’t desperate!

– Removing blog badges for your friends’ sites.

We know that you are well-intended supporting your girlfriends’ blog – but endless amounts of linky buttons clutter your sidebar and distract from your aesthetic.  If you really like a blog or product, write about it.  It will be flattering to the subject and will drive more traffic to their site than a sidebar link.

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Ah! Now doesn’t that feel better?

 

Links to Love

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The weekend is here!  What will you be doing to beat this summer heat?  Maybe a dip in the pool or a bowl of ripe summer cherries?

If you get to enjoy a lazy morning in bed, here are some links to love:

– what typeface are you?

– a lovely summer inspired pinboard

– a site dedicated to all things organization?  be still my heart!

– do you envy other bloggers?

Happy Weekend!

 

From Board to Blog | Modern Neutral

We know how exciting it can be to get an updated look for your blog. You’ve found your designer, you know you’ve seen a thousand other blogs that inspire you and yet, you can’t quite put a finger on what it is that you want in your new design.

To help, we are starting a new series called From Board to Blog.  One of the easiest ways to nail down your style is to look at the images that you’ve pinned over time and to recognize recurring themes in those pins.  We’re taking images from your most popularly pinned boards and showing you how you can use them to show your designer exactly what you are looking for.

Today we are starting with MODERN NEUTRAL.

After gathering a few pins, we go from this:

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to this:

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With modern neutrals, color takes a back seat to clean, crisp lines & great typography.  This motif is a great way to show off your photography, especially if that photography is black and white, muted or nature photography.  Modern neutrals are up your alley if you are no-nonsense and drawn to beauty through simplicity.

 

Happy 4th!

4thFor our awesome clients in the States, we wish you a fantastic Fourth of July!  We’ll be celebrating around the country today with our families and friends.  Whether you are parading, grilling, camping or fireworking, we hope you have a fantastic weekend.

P.S.  Save us a burger!