In today’s competitive economy, having a blog is an essential tool to set you or your business apart.
Although companies often create blogs to attract traffic to their sites and generate more leads, blogs are also a great way to communicate company culture and expertise and grow a large community of loyal followers.
But, with all of the blogs out there today, yours needs to look and feel the part in order to survive. A good blog layout is fundamental to not only attract visitors, but to also help them find, share, and interact with the right content.
If you’re designing your own blog or looking to refresh your old one, checking out some inspirations can be a big help. To get you started, I’ve collected some of the best designs from around the web.
An example of bold and sleek design, the creativity blog Fubiz has mastered the art of personalized content. To appeal to its broad audience, the blog features a Creativity Finder section that allows visitors to browse content catered to them based on their unique personality and location. Visually speaking, the beautiful imagery and thoughtful palette of bold colors help capture the eye and draw readers in.
Medium has achieved a great balance of simplicity and boldness. The layout is extremely minimal without being dull. The right sidebar shows the Editor’s Picks and a smart feature, the Reading Roulette, displays the articles that readers might have missed.
When logged in the readers have also the option to immediately start writing an article through the “Write Here” input.
The article feed shows the latest articles based on the user’s likes, and each article has an avatar of the author as well as the number of likes and responses, which are all great features for building a community.
99u, an online blog for creatives, uses a very simple layout to highlight its posts. The top menu – which appears when scrolling down – is perfect for showcasing the different sections of the blog and topics.
The posts are also neatly positioned and easily accessible to readers. It reminds us of editorial print design and the photos and illustrations add dashes of colors throughout the site.
Freunde von Freunde
Everything about the German blog Freunde von Freunde says “clean,” “sleek,” and “welcoming.” It’s free of clutter, which makes the content more digestible.
The subtle use of vibrant green for categories and highlights gives a fresh touch to the layout without taking the attention away from the peaceful and attractive imagery.
Not your typical blog layout, Tokyo Soup makes great use of white space and clever micro interactions. The title can only be seen when hovering on top of it and the search feature is embedded in the entire site, you just have to type anywhere in the blog to activate it. The blog limits the use of copy and embraces negative space at its best. The subtle post movements are a great example of how clever and subtle interactions can give a simple page a strong personality.
We Heart explores the intersections between art, design, lifestyle, and travel. A lifestyle curation blog, the site makes great use of pastel colors to highlight each different blog section, such as “Latest” or “Staff Favorites.”
The layout manages to show seven articles above the fold without feeling cluttered and drives attentions to the top stories through the clever use of color.
Kekselias proves that even blogs with subjects outside of lifestyle and art can benefit from bold layouts designs as well. The blog makes great use of accent colors and eye grabbing typography to draw attention to the content. The left sidebar lists the topical categories with the number of articles per topic, giving an overview of the entire blog content.
Adidas Stella Sport Tumblr
Addressing a younger audience, Adidas Stella Sport Tumblr blog, makes great use of flashy colors, fresh illustrations and bright photography to stand out from the crowd. This blog has a particularly interesting mix of featured illustrations, photography, and neon colors. What could seem overbearing instead gives the blog it’s unique character. This design is a prime example of how a brand blog can convey a certain brand message with both its aesthetics and its content.
UCD School of Architecture
In the previous examples, we have seen a lot of blogs using photography, but here is proof that great typography can go a long way. The blog of UCD School of Architecture shows just the essentials to spark the reader’s curiosity. Sometimes, the best designs are also the simplest. With this, it works – everything about this blog’s design is clean and legible.
Not a blog per se, Techies is a project that focuses on sharing the stories of tech employees in Silicon Valley. What’s to love in this design is the consistency of the photography, the editorial layout of single articles and the great use of iconography to highlight information before each interview. The use of strong masculine fonts in a bold shade of blue creates a great contrast with the delicate background and highlight colors, giving the site a distinct personality. Finally, on the homepage, just under the title, the “filter by” feature cleverly collapses on the hover to reveal all of the possible topics to filter filter the content.
Give Your Blog Some Character
No matter what type of content you intend to produce or why, for your blog to develop a readership today, it must be well designed. I provided a range of layout styles and content types to get you started on creating the best online platform for your voice, or your company’s.