Designing a new blog header

July 25, 2016

After spending hours trying out font after font for my new blog’s title, I went to Canva to see if they had a template for creating blog headers. Turns out they do (“Blog Title”). You can see the results at the top of this blog. 

Now, when I look at it, I don’t think, “I’m really not sold on that font.” I have the font I wanted – the one I’ve used many times in my blog graphics and which I also use in my (current) favorite design for my book’s cover.

And here’s that latest design – in two colors: red and turquoise.

BookCovers3

 

As I’ve said before, I’m not married to either book cover (though I’m partial to the red). I just really wanted to play with the ideas I had and see what I could come up with on my own before consulting a professional cover designer.

I’m still as committed as ever to consulting a professional cover designer for my book, because I fully expect that someone with more experience and artistic talent — and who comes highly recommended by my fellow Self-Publishing School members — will create something that will blow these experimental designs out of the water.

Update: I’ve contacted someone who designed a gorgeous book cover for another SPS member: Happy Self-Publishing.

Update #2: I’ve also found a formatter: Andrew Purdum, who also comes highly recommended. Some of the other authors at the SPS Mastermind FB page were praising him and his work. So, of course, I checked out his website and contacted him. He’s officially on my book’s “dream team.” 

I’m looking forward to creating the Acknowledgments page for my book, giving credit where it’s due and showing my readers just how not alone I’ve been in making this book. 

I don’t have a college degree (or years of experience) in graphic design – nor am I ambitious enough to undertake designing a cover for someone else – so I’m learning what I can (for my own selfish purposes) from helpful sources on the internet:

  1. Derek Murphy of CreativeIndie
  2. Book Cover Design School at Canva
  3. Canva Graphic Design Tutorials
  4. YouTube videos about designing book covers with Canva
  5. a brief but helpful tutorial on IndiesUnlimited (also using Canva)
  6. “How to make your own free book cover in MS Word” on TheCreativePenn.com
  7. Joel Friedlander at TheBookDesigner.com

There are more out there. The more I learn, the more I’ll share.

After creating a header for my new blog, I hopped over to my free blog and looked into whether I could add my own custom-made header to that, too.

I could. So, I did. Here’s my new header:

Write it (4)

I used the “Inspect” feature on Google Chrome, by right-clicking on the title of my blog, to get the six-digit color code from the CSS column on the right. Then I copied it and pasted it into the Canva font-editing box for the word “Anyway,” so the turquoise would match the turquoise on the rest of the blog.

Don’t tell me you wouldn’t have noticed if it didn’t. I’m not known for being good with details, but stuff like that is hard to miss.

Anyway, I’m liking the new header a lot better than the default formatting for the title and subtitle. The more Canva design tutorials I take, the more I feel compelled to play with what I’ve learned.

I honestly don’t know what a professional graphic designer (with more experience and talent) would say to me about what I’ve made so far, but I’ll get a chance to find out when I’ve finished the first draft of my book, which is the soonest I’ll be contacting anyone about designing a book cover.

In the meantime, I’m having way too much fun with this.

What about you? Any graphic design hacks you’d like to share?

Or what projects are you working on right now that make you want to learn at least at little bit of graphic design to make something (your blog, your book, your business cards, etc.) more appealing?

I look forward to your comments. Thanks for taking the time to read this, and have a great week! 🙂

By Sarah Lentz

Writing books and designing book covers are two of Sarah Lentz's favorite things. She lives in Minnesota with her husband, their four kids, and a messy but adorable guinea pig.

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