Today’s post has been sitting in my mind for a while. I like to create visually interesting posts when I have the time and I thought I would share some of my favourite layouts with you. I would also like to provide you with some guidance and inspiration for creating your own creative posts.
I keep a folder of images – called ‘Graphic Inspiration’ and as I read various blogs I often save images to this folder for when I need a bit of colour or layout inspiration or influence. The below images are some of those posts from blogs I like to gaze through regularly.
My consulting work often sees me studying layouts and leaving comments commending the post layout and not the actual post topic – hilarious! As you grow as a blogger you will feel an urge to grow your blogging skills and regardless of whether you start in a simply way or if you are a Photoshop veteran – keep it personal and suited to your topics, current colours or inspiration and have fun (my usual advice).
A couple of things to keep in mind for creating creative posts and layouts:
Time: How much time do you have to spend on the post? If you have a good amount of time set aside then get creative, but if not then perhaps leave the design heavy posting for another day.
Skill Level: What is your skill level? Are you a Photoshop magician – well then you don’t need this post. If not – look out for tutorials and be open to learning to create new things. I often look back at old posts and cringe a little – I started blogging before I learnt anything about design, but I didn’t let it deter me at the time. Your skills will develop, but don’t use that as an excuse to not explore or try. Connect with fellow bloggers and discuss useful tips or get a few lessons.
Find your Style: Every blogger should try to discover his or her own personal style. Reading successful blogs is a great and legitimate way to get motivated to create better posts, but don’t copy posts font by font or shape by shape. Analyse why you like a post – is it the colours, the layout, the shapes or the content? As you learn to dissect what you like so your style will develop and improve. Don’t try to take on a style that feels unnatural to you regardless of whether you admire a certain bloggers style or not. For example I love Ana from BlogMilk’s posts, but she has a very defined and linear style which I love, but I can’t mirror. The same goes for the successful South African blog – Miss Moss. Her content for example is visually strong and interesting and although I pour over the images, my personal blogging style is not the same as her’s and that’s okay. I have mentioned this in a previous post, but try to not compare yourself – be content in your style and what comes naturally to you, both in design and topics.
Have fun: Yip – that’s right! All this blogging stuff can get very serious and stressful...post schedules, original content, layouts...you could end up losing sight of why you blog and stop enjoying it due to the pressures that accompany it. Be creative, explore new things and take pleasure in posting.
My few favourites: creative aspirations
*Remember: Magazines are a great source of inspiration too - they do layouts for a living.
As always Katrina from Pugly Pixel is spot on - she has a lovely tutorial up about creating a Photoshop collage.
I hope this gives you some inspiration for new creative posts!