Kate at Scathingly Brilliant
Ideally I think blogs should be clean and uncluttered with a cohesive theme. Although I'll be the first to admit that sometimes I kind of like blog designs that are just totally covered in pretty colors, glitter, 20 different fonts and fun, crazy sidebar images. Personally I like having a toned-down design so that my posts don't have to compete for attention with my background, but really any design that accurately reflects the personality of the blogger is pretty awesome in my opinion ;) I'm immediately sucked into blogs that have pretty pastel colors or a vintage/kitschy look to them.
1. How to make letterpress effects in photoshop. I used it for my blog header!
2. How to make your photos more vibrant.
3. How to make fake chalkboard effects in photoshop is awesome too!
Crystal from Billie Jean
The look & design of your blog is very crucial. This is your first impression on potential readers & this is whats going to pull in your readers and keep them engaged. Anytime I stumble upon a new blog, if their layout is poor, I don't even waste my time. Without even hesitating, I quickly click over somewhere else. If a blog has a strong aesthetic then readers can't help but to be curious & interested in who this blogger is, what they blog about & what else they can find that is visually appealing. The design says a lot about the blogger.
I worked for over six months on my layout. I spent a lot of hours brainstorming on themes, ideas & logos. I treat my blog as a brand & as a business. I knew that I didn't want just some pretty artwork or banner, I knew that I wanted an actual logo. I wanted the theme & look to be a very strong resemblance of who I am & what I like. I love vintage & I wanted to use a "bee" theme. After a lot of research, I finally came across the idea of doing a retro lady with a BEE-hive hairdo, that way I could incorporate both the bees & vintage in a clever way. Everything with the design, the font, colors, placement & header all need to be cohesive. They need to blend & make sense.
I worked closely with a designer, Natasha Daly, to come up with my layout. She is the one who should get all the credit for the actual artwork itself & she was very, very helpful in deciding on other factors of the design. It is always great having a second opinion & eye to help with the minor details. I was very involved with the process, I knew exactly what I wanted & tried to explain as best as I could to her. It was to my benefit to work with someone who is as talented as she is. Having one part of your layout (more than likely it will be your header) should be the main focal point, which is essential. Every tiny part of your layout doesn't need to be a "wow factor." As long as one part of your layout is bold, the rest just needs to be simple & compliment it.
I can't respond to the photoshop aspect of this interview because I don't use Photoshop! I was trained in traditional Black & White film, I took one digital photography class in college and hated it!
Kailey of Mermaidens
Don't overwhelm your readers with a bright background and pink colored text in a fancy font - you want them to be able to read what you are saying, so make sure your background is a light color and use a dark readable font! Also, don't over saturate your blog sidebar with millions of unnecessary buttons, bling, and animated gifs - it's so distracting!
What I love most in blog layouts is when you can just tell it really fits the person's aesthetic 100%! My style is colorful, kitschy, and cutesy - and my blog layout reflects that; my friends can always tell when it's my blog based on just how the layout looks! Also, I LOVE seeing a little "about me" in the sidebar - it doesn't haven't to be very long, but I think it looks really nice!
1. How to put a stroke on text in photoshop.
2. How to crop pictures in a circle.
3. How to use the magic wand tool
Feel free to tack on your own thoughts or advice in the comments! Happy bloggin'!