Client Feature: Joys of Josie

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Last updated on December 25th, 2019

I am so excited to share this custom blog project with you! Instead of just showing you some images of the final product, I’m going to walk you through the steps that I take to make sure that what I’m designing is going to be perfect for my clients.

Josie came to me because she knew it was time for her blog to be updated and finally reflect herself as a blogger and a person. This blog design reminds me of a warm sweater paired with your favorite hot beverage. It is cozy through and through!

Branding isn’t just an exercise of choosing your favorite colors and calling it a day. I thought it might be fun to walk you through the steps I take to build out a custom blog design, all the way from color palette development to typography.

First things first: when I begin work with a client, I send a questionnaire that helps me get to know their blogs as well as their personal style, preferences and goals for their blogs.

I also spend time reading their content and going through their social medias so I can get to know them as a person. Blogging is super personal, so I need to be able to feel like I know my clients as well as I know my best friend.

I’ve developed my questionnaire over the last year and a half, making tweaks and perfecting it so that the questions on it are exactly what I need to know to get going.

I also set up a secret Pinterest board and ask my clients to begin pinning images that they feel reflects their brand or that catches their eye.

Anything from textures, to quotes, to color to images: you like it, you pin it!

This takes a few days to compile everything and go through it all. Once we have everything, I began my color palette development and start looking for the perfect fonts.

When Josie first came to me, I knew instantly I wanted to find a typewriter font. Her Instagram is full of books and she often blogs about the books she’s reading.

The old typewriter typeface makes me feel like I’m hoping straight into a book! As I was going through Josie’s questionnaire, she actually mentioned something about wanted a typewriter font – so I knew I needed to find one, and preferably one that wasn’t too outdated, but also not too modern.

I also needed to find a font that would not take away from the typewriter font. I settled with Cutive Mono and Montserrat for the main two fonts.

When I pair fonts, I always stick to two or three fonts and my rules are as follows:

  • one needs to be serif
  • one needs to be sans-serif
  • if there is a third it needs to be handwritten

These are just my personal preferences!

You can see my font choices below:

 

After that, I had to develop a color palette. This process can take upwards of an hour as I tweak the colors to find the perfect hues and shades of each one.

We wanted to make Josie’s blog inviting and warm, so the deep browns were perfect for that! When I create color palettes, I try to stick to three colors. This might not seem like much, but once you begin designing a website, it becomes hard to try and incorporate six different colors without everything clashing.

My philosophy with design is: “less is more” – I’m not here to crowd up the internet with complex color palettes (but I do appreciate those who can tastefully do so)!

After the color palette and typography are complete, I put together a mood board to send over to the client for approval. We always have one round of revisions in case any tweaks need to be made.

Next, I make sure that the media my client has up is going to look good with what we are creating.

I require high-resolution images for anything I’m adding in. If your images don’t match the look you are going for, you’ll need to get stock photos!

Take a look at Josie’s website above: the main image has lots of browns and warm colors. This image totally fits with the overall design of the website (as do the rest of Josie’s photos). Imagine now, that instead of that image, there was a picture of Josie in a bright pink polka-dot dress on a sunny day. Would that fit the theme? Absolutely not. It would also make the design look off. Your images are super important!

From there, the rest of my job is super easy! When I design websites, I make sure of a few things:

  1. the website will be mobile friendly
  2. the website will be user-friendly
  3. the website will be optimized for search engines

Here are Josie’s kind words!

I reached out to Dana to give my website an actual design. I had been operating on a free WordPress theme and trying to handle all the design duties myself and it was time to stop pretending I knew what I was doing.

Having never worked with a web designer, I was unsure of how the process would work. Because I really didn’t know what I wanted (design wise), I was a little nervous about actually getting something I liked and would be happy with. The only thing I knew was that I wanted my blog to represent me.

I was completely blown away with how Dana took a questionnaire and a handful of pictures and turned my blog into something that absolutely represents me. I told my husband, “it’s like she knows me better than me.” and he completely agreed.

Truthfully, I expected there to be a lot of back and forth and me saying no, I don’t like that or please change that. There was none of that… only me picking my jaw up off the floor because I was astonished with what she came up with. Dana knocked it out of the park.

My expectations were beyond met and my only regret in this whole redesign process is that I didn’t contact Dana sooner.

Check out the fully redesigned Joys of Josie!

If you are passionate about your blog and are wanting to create something that is unique to you, please contact me for a quote! I’d love to design you a blog that reflects and embodies your vision!



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About the Author

Dana Nicole

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Dana Nicole is a freelance content marketer. She has a Bachelor of Business with a major in marketing and has over 10 years of experience in marketing. She's passionate about Instagram marketing, blogging and SEO. Dana currently works with B2B and SaaS clients and uses her blog to help small businesses and bloggers learn online marketing!

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