There are just SO many things to think about when you start a site and it can be utterly overwhelming. So many decisions to be made, many of which you might have to live with for a long time once you get established.
‘Branding’ is just one of those decisions and it’s so much easier if you can get the job done properly at the start and not have to revisit things later to do the work again. With that in mind, I wanted to decide on a blog color scheme early in the site’s design so that sidebar graphics, headers, logos etc. could all be designed using those same site colors for a cohesive look.
What is branding? Branding consists of your ‘look’. The color scheme that you use, the fonts you prefer, the layout, logo and headers that all create a cohesive look for your site and the associated properties such as your social media accounts. Something that is recognisably you/yours.
How do you decide on your color scheme? Well if you are anything like me, you might be graphically challenged. I’m not color blind but I don’t seem to be able to match colors easily when starting from scratch. The good news is, you don’t need to start from scratch. There is a beautiful site out there with hundreds of perfectly matched color schemes ready for you to browse through and jump on the one that’s exactly right for your mood. Introducing Design Seeds.
Is picking a color scheme for your blog important?
We all know that color does affect mood, and instantly when someone arrives on the site they get an immediate impression based on your layout and colors before they have even read a word. So getting it right is really important. Obviously, no dark backgrounds with light text, or no flashing colors, music that plays automatically etc. but other than that, you can pick any color scheme that matches your topic.
- Baking? Making cupcakes and other sweet things? Go for candy colors.
- Business-like? Want to create a professional image? Then go for darker and more neutral colors.
- Building a site for kids or a much younger audience? Then go for bright colors against a white background with lots of contrast.
- You get the idea.
My new blog color scheme
This is the one I went with. I wanted something with a variety of different colors, not all shades of the same so that I could create nice colorful blog buttons and banners. I’m still not 100% sure because I really do like my bright colors, but I’ll go with it for a while and see how I feel. I want something reasonably gender neutral, not too ‘sweet’, and that gives the impression of professional authority. All in a color scheme!
Now it’s time to implement the color scheme in your theme. Most themes usually allow you to change up the colors on various parts of the layout such as the menu bar, the sidebar headers, the footer, background and even the text. Just to get me started, I’ve added in these colors to several areas of my theme and also made some sidebar buttons, as placeholders for upcoming site content.
Now I can audition it for a few days and see how I feel about it before jumping in with two feet and designing everything around those colors, and then changing my mind right afterwards. That graphic design work, color scheme etc is something you ideally only want to do once when designing your site at the start, and not have to redo all of your logos, graphics, banners, business cards etc again later.
I’ll follow up with a video later on how to use your chosen color scheme and bring those colors into your design software. I’m using the Royale paid version of PicMonkey for my graphics – very easy to use. Check it out if you’ve never seen it before.