I’ve Had A Makeover & My Tips For Planning One For Yourself
If you have seen any of my Monthly Review features lately you will know I have been counting down with much excitement until my new blog design would be complete. To put things into perspective I put my deposit on the work for Helen Braid from Ellie Illustrates at the beginning of March and have had nearly a 3 month weight before Helen could fit me in. But I loved her work so much and wanted it to be right so I decided to wait.
And wow was it worth the wait, I am so thrilled with it.
What Have I Had Done?
I’ve had a package of work drawn by Helen which includes:
- A blog header design
- A background design
- A grab badge for my blog
- A favicon
- Re-sizing the blog header for social media and for use in my media pack
- A design for a new section I want to launch on my blog to reflect my total bookworm-ness ‘Laura’s Book Corner’.
Here’s my fabulous new grab badge, feel free to grab it 😉 :
My Blog Header Design
The biggest part of my design work was my banner design. I used to work in marketing, but I also have quite a strong vision in general of what I want things to look like. This often causes my husband many a pained moment when we’re decorating!
I created a brainstorm design document (see my tips below on how to do this) and sent it over to Helen as part of my design process. While I did have a vision I was very conscious of not wanting to be too prescriptive on the design and take away Helen’s interpretation as a designer.
She sent through the first draft and while it was fab, it also wasn’t quite right. But Helen told me this might happen and was fine and just to let her know anything that I might want to change.
Helen was amazingly patient and gracious as it took us two more revisions to get it perfect (sorry Helen), as I will admit I can be fussy. But for me the design work is a lot of money and it was so important that I got it right. But I am so delighted with it now.
It’s got so many elements that I feel capture both me and my blog. My love of stationery with the pen and my beloved filofax, I adore the diamond ring in the ‘Lovely’ of the blog title showing my love of lovely things. As well as a book and of course a handbag (how could there not be?). The milkshake for a nod to my Cambridge Diet experience and a make up brush. I honestly couldn’t be happier.
What do you think of it?
Laura’s Book Corner
While I do a lot of my book blogging over on BookChickCity.com, for a while I have wanted to add more bookish content to my blog. Be it about what I’m reading or what I am reading with my children. Reading is such a fundamental part of my life I wanted to write about in on my own blog too.
So I wanted Helen to design a banner for this area too. I told Helen about my large dark purple armchair that I can often be found reading in, but also my dog’s habit for leaning on chairs or sofas when we’re sitting on them and sent her pictures to show her what I meant.
This is what she came up with, isn’t it fabulous and she has captured my dog Florence perfectly.
To give you an idea of how we tackled amends. There was only a minor revision to this design. Below is be first draft and I asked Helen to simply add the heart necklace I am wearing in the header design – see the second picture. Which is how we ended up with the final design.
The final version:
Look out for Laura’s Book Corner coming very soon :-).
Some Top Tips If You Want To Redesign Your Blog Too
If You Do Anything, Pay for a Premium WordPress Theme
I didn’t do this at first. I kind of thought as there are some great free themes out there why pay for one? But the more I have got into blogging go and watched bloggers I admire, researched different designs and things I wanted to add to my blog, it became apparent that a free theme wasn’t cutting it.
You can read more about my decision process when I took the theme live (I’ve Had a Mini Makeover). But the more I use it and see how I can customise it I know without a doubt it was the right decision. I’d definitely recommend you do the same.
Planning Your Own Blog Redesign
- Put together a mood-board, a brainstorm design document all about what you want your blog to be and look like.
- What is your blog about?
- What key words would you use to describe yourself?
- What things do you love?
- Do you have a tagline – if so what elements would you like to draw on that for your design? Or is it time to change it entirely?
- Look through istock images and screen grab images you like and reflect your blog put them all in a word or power-point document.
- Create a gallery of blog designs you love. Again screen grab the headers you like and put them all in your brainstorm document. You will soon begin to realise there is a theme. In actual fact one of the reasons I chose Helen was because of the blogs I selected that I loved more than half of them were hers!
- Look through all of these designs and images and think about what reflects you the most and what you would really like to include in your blog design – what is the most important? What absolutely has to be included? Then make a list of your essentials.
- What colours do you love and what colours would you like your blog to be, equally what colours do you hate and definitely do not want included?
You will then find you have quite a comprehensive document and pulled together a clear vision of what you want to achieve to discuss with a designer.
Good luck! x