Expanding on what I’ve written about working with fonts and building a color palette for your blog, let’s use those two components into creating blog post templates. Blog post graphics give your site visual interest as well as are an excellent resource for social media promotion; they are the alternative to a photograph (or they can complement photography).
One Post but Whole Site
Even though your blog post is just one element of your site (of possibly many), it contributes to the whole feeling of your blog. Graphics and images can attract visitors, convey meaning and enrichment to your users, and keep readers on the page. A blog post graphic is just as important as your overall blog design. Key points to remember about your blog graphics:
- Blog graphics should complement your site design. They should not conflict with it. You want to have a beautiful flow between the blog post and your site.
- If you’ve invested in a blog design, you should make sure that you are getting the full effect by aligning your graphics as closely as possible with the aesthetic of your overall design.
- Blog graphics with your branding have the opportunity to be distinct and convey your brand beyond your site (Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
Variety + Consistency
Most people only need 1-2 different blog post templates for their brand. I use around six different templates for my blog, but my site almost exclusively uses graphics for its post art. When creating templates for your blog posts, you want to make sure that you have a variety, but certain design elements should remain consistent throughout.
- Templates should correspond to similar content, ideally categories.
- Use your color palette and font guide to establishing clear patterns and consistent hierarchy for conveying information.
- Ideally, templates would be the same size. By using a constant ratio for one’s blog graphics, the blog becomes more visually appealing. For this site, I use an 8 x 10 ratio for my graphics.
Information + Iconography
Your blog graphics should include some attention-grabbing information as well as essential details. One of the biggest things to include is your domain name. The graphic might be repurposed somewhere on the Internet; you want to make sure you include the domain name to direct readers back to your site. You also want to include some iconography/visually appeal elements to your blog art. I experimented with using my tree icon on my graphics, but I found it too repetitive and instead have opted for plant-based art. Since I’ve started White Oak, I’ve been all about included plants in my branding. Including this imagery in my graphics works out well.
Different Yet Familiar
If you develop your templates quick and without much thought, they might look nice, but you can run into two different issues. First, the blog post graphics might take away from your blog’s aesthetic instead of enhancing it. Secondly, if you don’t take the time to brand and create templates that align with your brand beyond the visual point of view, you are more likely to see other’s copy the layout and design. I was on Pinterest the other day, and I stumbled upon a template that was very similar to another designer but poorly done. It included the same font and everything. Granted the original template is very easy to do, and I could probably whip up the same thing in less than 5 minutes, which can be an advantage. By not being purposeful, you could open yourself up to be replicated.
I rely so heavily on post graphics as a visual representation of my site but also as a way to connect my posts. What do you think about blog post templates?
Want more Blog Design tutorials? Check out these posts!
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