Black & White & Loved All Over Redesign


During Chris’s two and a half weeks of Christmas vacation, we spent our time redesigning a few blogs. WE had a grand time working together & making the interwebs a tiny bit prettier. I’ll be sharing a finished project each week along with a design tip (or two) for a better blog.

Ellen was an absolute dream to work with. She’s been commenting over here on ISLY for some time, so I was familiar with her adorable family-centered blog: Black & White & Loved All Over. When she signed up for her bloggy face lift, I was SO excited to do it for someone I was familiar with!

Her before (above) wasn’t terrible, but it lacked a lot of cohesion. The font she had chosen for her header wasn’t bad & I definitely appreciate that she used it only in the header. With that in mind, I hand-lettered her masthead & used organic elements to keep things cozy & familiar.

I didn’t want to do a literal translation of Black & White the color, so I leaned more towards grasping opposites and mostly in font weight. The color palette we kept slightly muted to create more warmth & I included a large profile picture to add a personal touch. As someone who reads a lot of personal & commercial blogs, I want to know what the writer looks like. I want to see his/her face so I can get a sense of who they are. I love the about picture of Ellen. I don’t know her in person, but I feel like her picture embodies someone approachable, creative & kind. Which I assume she is, since she was awesome to work with.

I’m totally in love with the vintage handkerchief teeshirt update pictured above. Ingenius! I’m a firm believer that clean & cohesive design elements will help make her already awesome projects shine. So on to the first design tip:

• Blog tip #1 : COLOR! •

Don’t be too literal with your color scheme, but not so over the place, either. Find an image that inspires your style & glean your palette from that. I head over to Color Collective frequently for a starting point for color palettes. Lauren is great at picking very inspiring images (she credits them all correctly, too). It’s a fantastic resource for cohesive, beautiful & unexpected color combinations.

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    1. Lucy says:

      This has been so useful, thank you for sharing! I am starting to put together my own blog and website and have been struggling with layout and presentation. I have had just been to look at Color Collective and Ellen’s website and it has given me heaps of inspiration. I am looking forward to your next tips. Thank you, Lucy

    2. Marisa says:

      Gorgeous! What a great change. I love your calligraphy on the word “black.”

    3. This is very helpful! I have changed mine several times over the last few months trying to get the right look. Its harder than I thought it would be and I’m still not 100% happy with it. Haha!

    4. Becca says:

      I love the new look of her blog… and LOVE her blog! Thanks for spotlighting her.

    5. anna says:

      love it so much melissa! and where do I sign up for a bloggy face lift?

    6. Kiki says:

      I’ve been debating between keeping my blog simple with a grey and white color scheme and adding pops of color because I don’t want the color to be too distracting from my post content. That being said, your color tip was very useful. I’ll be checking out Color Collective later today!

      p.s. I love love love Ellen’s new blog look. Love it.

    7. Kristin says:

      I love color collective, in fact, I think I found about about it via your blog, but I can’t remember. Her collections are perfect starting points. I also love going outside to collect color inspiration. Mother nature has a handle on color schemes! Love the blog redesign- the background pattern is perfectly matched with the header and feel. Awesome job.

    8. Ana says:

      This is a great tip and it couldn’t come at a better time…I’m in the process of giving a little face lift to my blog (with the little knowledge of this that I have :P), and I wanted to incorporate (a) different colour(s) besides green in my new design, and the Colour Collective will definitely prove very useful. So thank you!

    9. Great job, Melissa! I should have gotten your help with my blog but I was already elbows-deep into my redesign when you announced you were taking clients. I like the general direction I’m heading but I still have a lot of tweaking left to do. (Blarg.)

      Web design is hard but you and Chris make it look easy.

    10. Lauryn says:

      wow melissa. that is amazing! i love your lettering. like always.
      how do you transfer the lettering from paper to computer? do you have a program you use? i haven’t quite figured out how to master that yet and would LOVE some help :)
      {love} lauryn @

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