If you’ve read any of my recent blog posts you’ll have seen that I was talking about how working on the shop got my creative juices flowing and gave me so many ideas for ilovealist.com
It’s funny how sometimes taking a step back from something can help you see everything more clearly, because I’ve been spending every day working on the shop for the last few months, my blog felt more like a hobby again. Something I was doing for fun and I realised I hadn’t felt that way about it for some time.
For a while now, I’ve felt like something was missing from my blog and strangely, I think that thing was me. I’d tried to keep it more professional and informative but now I’ve realised that it lacked personality and it also made it harder for me to think of new content when I was trying to keep my personal life at a distance.
I decided to re-think it all and over the last few weeks, I’ve re-designed the whole site including my logo. I’ve also re-designed the planning pages and have taken away some of the products that I don’t have time to work on right now.
And I’m already feeling so much happier with it, I have tons of ideas and a whole list of content which is awesome.
I will write some more detailed posts about design and branding because it’s the centre of every business no matter how big or small and can’t be covered in one post but I can talk about the inspiration for my new website.
Because I have graphic design experience and build all my own websites it comes in super handy whenever I decide I want to make changes as I can do it all myself and save money on paying someone else but that does also mean that I have to spend a lot of time gathering inspiration to make sure my designs are original and reflective of my brand.
Firstly, I changed the logo. I still love the name but I wanted my logo to stand out more with an easier to read font and show more of my personality. I asked my talented sister to take some photos of me and I had one of them turned into a sketch to use in my logo and I’m thrilled with the outcome.
I spent a long time thinking about how to lay out my home page. After all, it’s the first page most people visit on a website so it needs to be visually striking but also user friendly. It’s great to look at other websites that appeal to you but I often find that by doing that I can block my own ideas somewhat and I really wanted the site to be original. Whilst I was planning layouts for the shop and trawling pinterest for inspiration, I found one of my old boards that I had created to pin gallery wall ideas and suddenly realised that this would be perfect for my homepage.
So I created ‘image buttons’ that direct people to the different pages on my website but laid them out like photos on a wall. I also added a few other decorative images and a photo of myself to further the gallery wall style and I think the effect works really well and makes my homepage much more interesting as well as making my brand clearer.
My main aim for the site was to split my one page blog into multiple sections so that people can easily find the blogs they are most interested in reading and that is exactly what I’ve done. The shop is a big priority right now and put simply I just don’t have the time to consistently work on new designs and hand make lots of products but I really enjoy writing and am working hard on improving my photography which is a challenge in itself so rather than spread myself too thin and not feel like any of it is getting my best efforts, I decided instead to just concentrate on the areas I enjoy the most and I really hope that comes through in my more recent posts.
I’d love to hear what you think of the new site and if you’re running your own website do share your design inspirations with me.