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What are some basic design elements I should know?

This article was written by Jules at Everyday Mommy (who also designed our header and buttons).

When you’re composing the design and layout of your blog there are a few design tips that you’ll want to bear in mind. 

1.  Narrow your focus.  When choosing a design theme focus on one element that really communicates what you’re all about.  While you may have multiple interests, to include all of them in your design is confusing. 

Choose one strong element and emphasize it.  For instance, you may love reading, hiking, sewing, cooking, coffee and blogging. Put them all together and you end up with no clear message.  Walt Disney was famous for trimming the content of his world-famous animated films.  If it doesn’t add, it detracts. 

2.  KISS – We all know what that acronym stands for.  Keep it simple silly (my substitution).  Nowhere is this more true than design.  Most bloggers will tell you that it’s the content that keeps them coming back.  To make your content shine, keep the layout and design clean.

3.  Less is more. Don’t make your readers search for your content.  When we view pages, whether online or in print, our eye has a natural tendency to start near the upper left corner.  That is the way we read.  Size your mast head design so that it does not fill the entire screen. When your blog is opened your readers should see your mast head AND your content.

Remember that blank space is as important as filled space. The eye needs a place to ‘rest’ when viewing anything, whether on screen or in print.  Don’t overload your page with items like links and buttons.

3.  Color my world. Color is fun and color speaks volumes.  Choosing the right color scheme can tell your readers so much about you.  Choosing the wrong color scheme can chase readers away.  Because the colors we see on our computers are illuminated you’ll want to be very careful about what you choose.  A good rule of thumb is to have your main content in black type on a white background.  This is simply easier on the eye and easier to read.  Avoid white type on a black background or any vivid colors for your main content column.  White on black tends to ‘burn’ the image onto our eyes and you’ll continue to see the image even after you look away from the computer.

When choosing a color scheme over all, 3-4 colors total is best.  For a fun exercise in color go to Color Schemer Online (