What’s a mood board???
Until three months ago, I had no idea at all…. but I’m learning.
Mood boards are a big part of the design and photography course I’m studying, and I’d done one as part of the creative process of planning a photo shoot.
So when it came to making a new design for this blog, I thought I’d give a mood board a bash. The aim being to give it to graphic designer Kelly Exeter of Swish Designs.
In the past, I’d felt so clumsy when planning the look of a blog. It was hard to know what I wanted myself, far less to brief a designer. This sort of thing felt really unnatural and awkward… that’s why I’m doing the course I’m doing, to upskill.
Anyway, here’s the mood board I sent to Kelly, and below it are some thoughts that Kelly has offered to anyone thinking of designing a blog or doing a makeover.
(NB If I was doing this mood board again I would use a different font completely. Have a look at Butterwick’s Practical Typography.)
That’s it, just five pages done excruciatingly slowly using InDesign, but you could easily do this in Word or Powerpoint.
Later on, I asked Kelly to have a wee think and come up with her top tips for bloggers planning either a new blog design or a revamp of their blog.
Here are her tips.
Six Top Tips on Blog Design From Kelly Exeter
1. Create a mood board
Rather than just saying ‘I like this website,’ which is what everyone tends to do, do as Seana has done with her mood board and say: ‘I like this website because of this and this’ and/or ‘I like this particular element on this website.’ This is immeasurably helpful for your designer!
2. Home Page
The inside pages of pretty much all blogs are going to have a fairly standard layout:
Header > Nav > Content/Sidebar > Footer.
So it’s the home page that all the thought needs to go into – especially given the current trend towards ‘magazine style’ home pages.
You can really help your designer out in this regard by finding a website with a home page layout that is similar to the one you’d like to have. Sometimes that home page layout is the result of a custom design (like this one) in which case – you’ll also need a custom design (expensive) to make it happen.
More often than not however, the blog you like will be built on an ‘out-of-the-box’ theme your designer will be able to purchase and customise for you (much cheaper than a custom theme!)
There are a billion fonts out there and they are highly personal things. So asking your designer to choose the fonts for your website is like asking them to choose your engagement ring. Impossible!
Once again, if you see a website out there with a font combination you like, point your designer to that website. You can also visit Google Fonts and select fonts from there. Oswald and Raleway are currently quite popular fonts for headings while Roboto, Lora and Open Sans are popular body fonts.
A personal favourite combination of mine at the moment is Lato for headings and navigation; Lora for body text.
This is the same as fonts – it’s impossible for your designer to choose the colour scheme of your website for you. So again – either point them towards a website with a colour scheme you like or go to a website like Design Seeds and choose a colour palette you like.
When it comes to backgrounds, keep it simple. In my mind you have two choices:
- Go white. White is clean and classic and will never go out of fashion. Especially when it comes to reading on the internet.
- Go with a simple light coloured background (like right here at http://www.hellosydneykids.com.au/), or light striped background. This can have the effect of framing/defining the website content area if you feel your website is ‘floating’ in all the white.
If, however, you have your heart set on a wild and funky background, I beg you to please let your designer talk you out of it.
Remember – your background should not distract from the important stuff on your site – the content.
This is the bit of your site that tells new visitors what your blog is all about (for instance Seana’s header makes it pretty clear – this is a site about ‘Sydney, Kids, Food and Travel’.) Your header area also brands your site – so make sure any imagery or logos you use are in keeping with the way you want people to feel when they visit your site.
And here’s Kelly’s own blog design. I can really see what she means about ‘the way you want people to feel’ as Kelly’s header always makes me feel calm.
For great tips on how to make mood boards, read this post.
Hope this is helpful to you at some stage in the future.
I wish I’d read it myself about six weeks ago!
Hope you’ve had a happy week and that the weekend ahead is full of fresh air and fun.
Take it easy