Creating visual blog branding helps your readers recognize your brand before they even see your blog name on a graphic. You should definitely figure out your blog branding if you want to set yourself apart from the crowd and create a more consistent feel for your blog and the images you create for posts and social media. Let’s dig into how exactly we can do this.
What is blog branding?
Branding can involve things like the overall feeling of a blog to the colors, fonts and style of images. For the purpose of this post, we will just talk about the visual aspect.
Why do you need blog branding?
Creating a visual brand helps things feel consistent. If you’re good enough, readers might be able to pick our your images in a lineup without necessarily seeing your url or blog name on the photo. This helps set you apart and get noticed.
Blog Branding in Graphics
Let’s face it, readers have a short attention span these days. That’s why it’s so important you create graphics or images. You can use these images to break up some of your text in online articles or posts, not to mention the fact that there are entire social media channels focused solely on images (hello Instagram and Pinterest).
But you should also take it one step further—making sure those images or graphics are all somewhat cohesive and go along with your blog branding.
This isn’t something I always understood, though. I’ve been blogging almost 6 years and you should see some of my first images that I tried to edit and watermark. The fonts were all over the place, I used allthecolors (okay, sometimes I still do) and I added all kinds of weird overlays that were fun, but weren’t helping me at all in creating that consistency.
How can you create blog branding?
I’m going to let you in on my process on how I create visual blog branding. I’m not the ultimate expert, but I have learned A LOT over the years and I’ve created at least a dozen different visual blog brands for some awesome blogger friends (yes we are friends once I’ve spent 10-15 hours obsessing over your blog and exchanging a zillion e-mails).
My Blog Branding Process:
1. The first thing I do when I do a blog makeover is figure out colors. If the blogger already has a header they want to use, I pull colors from there (check out the section below for how I develop a color scheme). And for all of us color lovers out there…less is more. I know I know I’m totally with you that it’s so fun to use tons of pretty colors, but after 2 or 3 main colors, it starts to look a tad busy. Make sure once you pick the colors, you have the exact colors so you can copy-paste the exact html color codes (aka that combo of letters/numbers after the pound sign like white is #ffffff).
2. After picking out colors, we work on the header slash fonts. I try to pick fonts that I can use both on the blog theme I’m using AND in the photo editor I use like picmonkey or Canva. And again…less is more. 2-3 fonts max. (I’m silently crying over here because I LOVE using different fonts, but I know it just doesn’t help with a consistent brand to use so many.)
3. You can also take the design one step further and add some sort of creative element to your images. You might be able to guess what I’m going to recommend here, but I recommend keeping it simple. These elements can be textures you consistently use or a graphic or doodle of some sort. In my current blog design, I use a couple of elements: black dots, a pink paint splash and a simple blue mouse. I also like using a simple rectangular overlay in cases where the photo needs some sort of title and the text wouldn’t be visible on the image. I’m not perfect (you get that by now, right?), but I even try to use the dots for backgrounds in my Instagram photos. (example below)
Check out how I used the same stock image to create two different graphics for my blog link-up pages:
ALB Designs vs Diary of a Semi-Health Nut
Isn’t it crazy how just using each blog’s visual branding can change the way the graphic looks…even though I’m using the same words and the same image?? This is just one example of how important it is to figure out your blog branding so you can implement it in the graphics you use.
Bonus: Some tools I use for creating color palettes //
It’s no joke that I take picking out colors seriously. It’s usually the first thing I do in my blog makeovers, after all! I decided I also wanted to share some tools I consistently use to pick out colors for blog branding.
–This amazing color inspiration Pinterest board (if I do say so myself). There are 164 pins as of today and I can guarantee I will keep finding new ones to pin. It’s much easier starting from here then just thinking of them on your own. This board is also coming in super handy for picking paint colors for my new house AND for wedding planning. I heart colors. And this Pinterest board.
–Colors Pallete Generator. I download a photo from the above board and plug it into the Colors Pallete Generator. This is kind of a cool thing where you upload a photo and it picks out colors from the photo. It will give you that specific html color code that you wouldn’t know from just looking at the photo (I suppose you could guess, but that seems like A LOT of work) so you can implement it throughout your site and images.
–Coolors. Once I grab some colors from the Colors Pallete Generator, I plug them into another handy app and it will help you find more colors that go together. You can lock the colors you want and just keep hitting the spacebar until you find more colors you like. I like finding a shade of black and white or gray that go with my colors for blog text and backgrounds respectively.
I hope this helps if you’re working on creating your own blog brand (and I hope I didn’t put myself out of a job). If you want some more help or just don’t want to deal with it at all, I can definitely help! Just head over to fill out a form and we can work together on your blog brand so you can start kicking butt at being consistent with your visual blog branding.
Question of the day:
Do you like using allthecolors and allthefonts in your graphics? I have to seriously resist doing it myself.