Let’s start out by me telling you who this post is for.
This is for the people – the creatives without a lot of experience with Photoshop or image & design – who KNOW they are in a bad rut and need to get themselves out of one. This post is NOT about the people who continue to use Monotype Corsiva and Papyrus as font combinations and red text with a white outline against black background combined with a hint of bright yellow and think it looks good (I know, I know… beauty is in the eye of the beholder – but c’mon). Or yellow against a black background with red. And if you’re doing this, please know I have a HUGE font & typography board on Pinterest that you can use to get beyond the standard fonts and guess what – a ton of them are FREE!
No matter how many posts graphic designers put out there about quality images and use of color, there are still going to be those people living in the early 90’s of “design”. Not saying it wasn’t good – just saying we’ve evolved from the 90’s and are well into 2017, and some people didn’t get the memo. Graphic design trends change every 6 months and you have to stay on top of your design game in order to stay competitive and visually desirable. And I have to wonder sometimes how badly people want to succeed when their images are dated and just… like they’ve given up?
What’s a bad image & design rut, you ask? Images that don’t help sales conversions. Images that are so widely used on the internet we practically know the photographer or creator on a first-name, household-name basis. It’s using what everyone is doing, and not seeing results. It’s using all the “great” photos available, but not having a strategic branding game behind the use. There’s no color coordination, no firmly-set branding standards, typography or font decisions… let’s face it… you might be winging it and throwing darts at a board, hoping one will stick.
I think we all go through growth periods where we realize… you know what… this just isn’t working for me. And you decide to change – implement something new – even more stylish than before. And you sit back, and admire your work. (Or maybe you haven’t had one of those moments yet.)
Regardless of where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing, I’m going to give you a few pointers that will get you back on track, and it starts with taking a few hours and really thinking about your style, use of color and your “rules”:
- Create a moodboard and put together a themed “concept feel”
- Establish a defined style guide complete with font choice, weights and attributes, including glyph usage
- Stick to 5-6 base colors used from one of your favorite photos that represent what you do and who you are
START WITH A MOODBOARD.You can get mine for free. I’ve used this one for branding and such just as a starting point.
Go through this exercise. This will help you:
- Identify what you as a blogger are drawn to (for me it’s the ocean)
- What colors you naturally go for
- See what textures (denim, floral, silk, etc.) your website could use
…and it’ll get you out of your image and design rut. Dream up something new and exciting! Be bold with some new colors!