When someone lands on your blog what do you think they look for first?
Is it your content? Social media icons? Or the layout?
It’s actually your header!
Every time I visit a new blog, or an old favorite, I immediately look at their header. Why? Because a blog’s header can tell you almost everything you need to know about that brand. So when you’re trying to start a blog, where do you start to create a header that’s both uniquely you and exemplifies your brand?
Well I’m here to help!
Now I know many people don’t have experience working in Adobe Photoshop, but lucky for you I’m going to give you easy to follow steps to creating your own blog header that looks good! If you don’t feel comfortable using Photoshop or have the program you can also use Gimp or Pixlr. Both of these are online programs that have the essentials of Photoshop.
Ok now that you’ve chosen your weapon of choice, let’s get started!
First you’re going to need to go into your WordPress theme and see the dimensions of your header. You can do this by going to Appearance -> Header and it will tell you there, mine is 966 x 266.
When you create a new file in Photoshop, it’ll prompt you to enter the dimensions of your document. This is where you’ll want to enter the dimensions of your header. If there is a resolution or DPI setting, you should set it to 72. Everything on the web is typically set to 72DBI with a white background so everything looks smooth and clean. No one wants a unclean image!
Great! Now that you’ve got your document set to your dimensions lets create your new wonderful header!
Now I typically follow the simple rule of K.I.S.S: Keep It Simple, Stupid! A nice clean header will speak volumes more than a header that is cluttered and chaotic. When I was creating my new header, I wanted something that used my brand’s colors, was chic and sleek in design, and featured a cool font. Trust me, fonts will be your new best friend.
Things to keep in mind as you design:
- Limit your font usage, try to use a maximum of two different fonts.
- Titles should be easy to read. Use fonts that are legible.
- If you’re using a fancy font for one, try using a simple font for the second. Create a balance.
- Make sure everything lines up properly.
- Try to leave equal padding around all the edges.
When I began redoing my blog’s header I wanted to first make sure it reflected my brand. I put my header on everything, so the first time a potential client or brand sees my header, I want them to be wowed. So before you start slapping things around on Photoshop, take a moment and think about what your brand is and how you want to portray that to your audience. Grab some pencils and paper and sketch it out! I can’t tell you how many revisions I went through before I found the right look!
After a few tries this was the final look that I came up with. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter you’ll have noticed that I’ve already made the changes there (the blog will be changed soon!). Notice how I used a lighter shade of gray and kept my font minimal and sleek. That’s because softer neutral colors reflect my brand more and I’m just not the biggest fan of fancy, overly curly fonts. I liked including the simple gray circle to encase my P – plus it makes my header more noticeable and doesn’t get lost in my blog.
But keep this in mind as you design – it’s all about you. I can’t stress this enough! Aside from your header being the beacon of your website and your virtual calling card – it’s all about you. Design something that showcases your wonderful, shining personality.
If you have any questions on how to get started, feel free to shoot me an email! I’m happy to help all my readers learn how to design their own blog header. Which makes me ask, how many of you would like to see a store where you could purchase (cheaply!) templates for making your own header? Would you want to see more ‘how to’ graphic design posts? Creating your own blog header is a simple and easy way to begin the dive into graphic design.