F12 Projects: GarnerStyle

When Chastity Garner of GarnerStyle messaged me about web design for her blog, I was ecstatic. Being a long-time reader and follower, I was ready to jump at the chance to work with her and was happy to give her blog an update.

The important thing I did was take a look at the current layout. Here I can assess what was working and what wasn’t. What I noticed, when using Blogger, it’s very easy for your design to look like it’s on Blogger, and we want to prevent that as much as possible.

(Before)

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(Isn't she beautiful?)

Here were the goals:

- Create a clean layout. This is always the goal when I design, because your content should not compete with your design, and I’m a firm believer in less is more. This is not limited in how you design, believe it or not. It’s more about creating a flow if you will, and what I kept in mind.

- Make opt-ins available in more than one space.

- Utilize the footer. What an underrated yet highly important part of your blog. From opt-ins to archives, there are a number of ways to utilize this section and shouldn’t be neglected (Read Krista Rae’s post on how to make it right for you!).

- Add a read more button to go to each post

- Make each post shareable with social media buttons under each post.

Getting to work:

After creating a mood board and a few mock-ups, I updated the template from the classic template (the OG Blogger template) to Simple. This, to me, is the best template to use if you’re going to do a lot of customization on Blogger because it’s the most generic (hence its name, Simple).

Photos and content were here, so we didn’t have to do a lot, if anything, with her content. We did make sure her photos were auto size as well as any video from YouTube. This helps with consistency throughout the blog.

The footer was one of the biggest, if not the biggest change from her old to new site. Making it a different for it to stand out, categories, links and opt-in was placed here.

The header combines a serif font with a script font, with the script using a glitter pattern I created in Photoshop, then making it a clipping mask.

And plus-plus: Her mobile site design is more custom to her web design so the branding isn’t lost.

(After)

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VISIT THE SITE!

Overall: GarnerStyle now has a cleaner website that is updated and functions as a better “blogsite” than a blog. Working with Chastity was great because she gave me the main things and goals she wanted, then allowed me to use my skills to get to work. Lastly, customizing in Blogger is always a challenge because while most find it limiting (for valid reasons), but I was able to push it to its full potential and create something we both loved.

*Are you running your blog on Blogger? Read up on my Blogger tips:

1. For Bloggers Using Blogger 2. Do Not Copy From Word to Blogger