Posted: 04 Jan 2010 05:41 AM PST
Even the most unique blog designs usually follow, at least in part, some sort of predefined or established style. And there are plenty of design styles to choose from if you’re looking for inspiration. Whatever your personal style, there are design patterns out there that can be adapted to suit your own aesthetic ideal and the needs of your site. And often working within a predefined pattern can enhance your creativity by helping you focus.
Below we’ve rounded up eleven common design patterns seen throughout blog designs on the web. But just because they’re commonly seen doesn’t mean they aren’t unique and filled with plenty of individuality and creativity. Figuring out how to make your own unique mark on a widely-recognized style can prove to be a creative challenge for nearly any designer. Read on for inspiration and ideas for your next design projects.
1. Hand Drawn: A Relaxed Yet Artistic Style
Hand drawn blogs are all over the place. Some of these designs are very doodle-esque, while others are more like fine art. They can lend a more relaxed feeling to a blog’s design, as well as a healthy dose of creativity. One of the best parts of this style is that it’s so customizable. The illustrations used can really reflect the style of the owners or writers.
More on hand drawn design:
2. Grunge: Not Just Dirty
Grunge style has been around on the web for a few years now, and it’s still going strong. A couple of big trends in grunge design include minimalist grunge, where the theme is very minimal with the exception of the grunge elements, and more refined grunge that isn’t as messy as early incarnations. Again, this is a style that has tons of room for creativity and individual expression.
3. Minimalist: Where Less is Definitely More
Minimalist designs can be some of the hardest to pull off well, despite their simplicity. When less is more, every single element becomes vitally important. Some of the hallmarks of miminalist design are lots of white space (or negative space), simple typography and few images.
4. Grid and Magazine-Style: Bringing Order to Chaos
Grid and magazine-type themes have also been around for a few years now. They’re excellent when you have a very information-heavy site (like many blogs) and add a sense of order and structure to a design. But they also leave plenty of room for creativity, as is illustrated in some of the designs below.
5. Collage: Unique, Personalized Mashups
Collage styles are as varied as the blogs they style. Basically, these are designs that take a number of elements (often photographs or realistic illustrations) and combine them to form a background that might resemble a bulletin board or messy desk. It’s a unique style that allows for a lot of individual expression through what’s included in the collage.
6. Gallery: For the More Visually-Inclined
Gallery blogs aren’t limited to just displaying images. Many blogs that focus mostly on text are using gallery layouts for their home pages, as a way to fit more information in a smaller space and leave things looking uniform and organized. Of course, there are plenty of sites out there using gallery layouts for what they were originally intended: photos, illustrations, and design work.
7. Beautiful Typography: More Than Just Pretty Lettering
Excellent typography can really set a blog apart from its competitors. Not only is it more aesthetically pleasing, good typography also makes your blog easier to read.
8. Awesome Textures and Patterns: Bringing Life to Otherwise Simple Designs
Unique combinations of textures and patterns can lead to a very creative and exceptionally beautiful theme. There are thousands of textures available out there, many free for personal or commercial use, so this style is largely accessible to all sorts of designers.
9. Bold Artwork: More Formal Artistic Appeal
Bold illustrations and graphics can make a big impact on blog visitors. Bright colors, original illustrations, and vector artwork are hallmarks of these blogs.
10. Transparency: Adding Polish Without Weighing Things Down
Transparency can add an extra bit of polish to any blog design. When combined with a unique background, transparency creates a whole new level of elegance many blog designs lack. Some blogs use transparency throughout their designs, while others use it only in select locations to add a little extra flair.
11. 3-D Designs: Simplified Trompe l’Oeil
The designs featured here use 3-D elements: folded paper, letterpress effects, and similar design elements. This is a newer trend in blog design (especially the letterpress effect) that has only started emerging in the past couple of years. It’s a beautiful style, and can be combined with a lot of other unique design elements (it’s often seen in collage and grunge designs, for example).
Is there any other interesting blog design trend you’ve spotted recently?
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About Author – Cameron Chapman is a professional Web and graphic designer with over 7 years of experience. She writes for a number of blogs, including her own, Cameron Chapman On Writing. She’s also the author of Internet Famous: A Practical Guide to Becoming an Online Celebrity.
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