After talking about blog first impressions (which we discussed last week with choosing your blog name), I recently decided that I want to give my blog header a revamp. Your blog header is the first thing a person sees and in many ways it is your blog’s branded logo, so plain ol’ text straight out of WordPress isn’t exactly going to cut it.
While on the subject, I decided to ask Chictopia’s Style Icons how they designed their blog headers and what advice they had for the rest of the Chictopia community. Here are tips on how to create a very personal and totally DIY’d blog header that’s 100% you. Just pick what type of header you’re looking to create and read our tips below!
You’ll need: an oblique penholder, nibs, ink, a scanner/camera and Illustrator/Photoshop
If you’re looking to create a handwritten header with your own calligraphy, get some inspiration from blogs such as The Tart Tart (how cute is that simple orange “t”?) or the official blog of illustrator and Style Icon Kelli Murray. There are many different calligraphy styles to choose from (I particularly like the copperplate styles seen on Laura Hooper’s website, but there are a lot more you can find with a bit of research) so find one that fits your style. If you’re a beginner with no calligraphy experience, you’ll want to start out with a calligraphy kit such as the starter kit by Laura Hooper. If you’re not looking to add calligraphy to your list of hobbies, you can create your own handwritten header by playing around with a pen and paper to create a header like on devil in the detail. After practicing, write out your blog name a number of times and scan or photograph the final choice. You can clean it up and play around with the color and size in Photoshop.
→ Arizka of devil in the detail: “I [drew my header]. It naturally evolved by itself over time. I started out with a large bold script, but realized I wanted something more minimal and with a cleaner aesthetic. It will probably change again sometime in the near future only because I always change my mind. I went for a more simpler concept just because it was more clear and straightforward. I didn't need and want all the glitz and crazy designs. Find something that you can most relate with and something that represents you thoroughly. Headers are your brand, and it's something that should be carefully thought out and essentially meaningful to what kind of market you want to convey. I would play around with different shapes, fonts, colors, and sizing until you really find something that not only stands out for you, but meaningful as well.”
You’ll need: Illustrator/Photoshop
You can skip the handwritten header and find a typeface that fits your blog. Many fashion bloggers use popular serif fonts such as Didot and Times, or sans serif fonts like Helvetica and Futura. There are thousands of fonts to download from on dafont and you can easily find one that fits your style. If you’re looking to create a very classic header that doesn’t interfere with your blog posts or photos, try a simple header like the ones on Neon Blush or Stop It Right Now. You can also create your own logo like Tommy’s of MYBELONGING. Just make sure to think about whether or not you want your header to stand out or sit more in the background of your blog.
You’ll need: Photoshop
You can easily incorporate your photography with your blog’s header, or find an image online and use that (be sure to have permission first though!). You can also do a combination of photography and typeface like in the headers of Love Aesthetics or Disarming Darling. Just choose the image you want to use and edit it to your liking in Photoshop.
→ Breanne of Flattery: “I had experimented with several different looks for my blog, but kept wanting to go back to something simple and neutral so that the photos on my posts could stand out and never clash. I was browsing the vectors on a stock photo website when I came across the feather. It was exactly what I wanted. It was white yet detailed, and just simple enough for my blog. When it comes to designing your header, think of what brand you want to create. Sometimes it helps to spend 10 minutes scribbling down words that remind you of your own style. Did you write down, "Simple, Minimalistic" or "Eclectic, Fun"? These words can translate into different designs, and it's important to make sure your blog design resonates with your style. Mood boards or collecting images that inspire you is another good place to start, and from there you can come up with a colour scheme, choose your fonts and define your style!”
You’ll need: Pencil/pen, watercolor/paint, a scanner/camera, Photoshop and Illustrator
For those with a background in painting, sketching, or illustration, you should try a hand at drawing your own blog header. We’re totally in love with the illustrated headers seen on Mermaidens and The Pineneedle Collective. After drawing your header, you'll want to scan it and clean it up in Photoshop. If you're looking to create a customizable header from your illustration, you can turn your sketch into a vector image in Illustrator following the instructions in Smashing Magazine. For more inspiration, take a look at the adorable illustrations by Kelli Murray, Eri Wakiyama and KT Smail.
→ Annika Victoria of The Pineneedle Collective: “The illustration in my blog header was actually drawn by a reader of my blog (this is her illustration website) about 2 years ago. She sent it to me as a nice surprise, and I loved it so much that I asked her if I could incorporate it into my blog header! I was also really interested in a kind of "retro comic book" aesthetic at the time, so I based my header design around that. Using photoshop, I spent hours making a header that fit with that aesthetic! My top tips for getting started on making a good header is to visit the website Pugly Pixel and learn some basics of HTML and editing software, and learn how to Image Map!”
→ Tonya of The Mop Top: “I actually asked one of my good friends to make a header for me. She drew it by hand herself. I wanted it to be simple and memorable, and I think it fits me and my blog perfectly! I would advise other bloggers to obviously stay true to themselves. Pick something you feel really represents you and your blog. I also think that simple is the best option!”
Want to get your header designed or have any more questions on the subject? Post to our Blogs forum board and talk with the Chictopia community about your blog.
Images courtesy of The Pineneedle Collective, Devil in the Details, Flattery, and The Mop Top