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There are two main reasons people utilize the web: to share things and to be informed. Sure, we could pick up a newspaper or switch on the television, but I'd argue that it's much easier to whip out your phone or laptop to find info.
The wonderful thing about the web is that you're never alone. No matter your interests, there's probably a group of like-minded individuals who have made your interests available online. The most popular way of doing this is via blogging.
With news websites and most blogs, you don't need a journalism degree, you just need an interest and a passion. Other than specific interests, blogs show their personality in their layouts and designs. Today, we want to showcase some of these wonderful blogs that have amazing and beautiful designs.
Let's start off when one of the blogs that many of us know. Abduzeedo is a guy who really wants to spread creativity amongst his readers. His blog recently got a fabulous redesign that cleaned up his look and used a responsive grid.
The Advertising Federation of Minnesota is a professional organization for those in the advertising industry. What caught my attention about this website was the header. Many blogs serve dual purposes but have a hard time figuring out how to balance those two purposes. Ad Fed understands that they are not just giving out info, but looking to add members to their organization.
Many professional graphic designers and artists are familiar with the American Institute of Graphic Arts. They promote professionalism and enhancement for all graphic artists of any form. Their blog is a typical grid and block based blog with some wonderful, modern stylistic components.
It's amazing that one thing that someone thinks isn't really that big of a deal can create an entire sub-culture. Much like skateboarding, bicyclists have created their own subculture that is becoming very prominent now. Cycle Love is an image heavy blog that covers this culture through events, product reviews and more.
This online magazine is very popular amongst those in business and those starting businesses. Their content caters to new trends in business while promoting innovation in brand development. This is a rather content heavy website that does a wonderful job of using design to make sure everything is still understandable and not cluttered.
This is a blog/hub for all things Frieze — they are a magazine that deals mainly in the area of contemporary art. They publish magazines, create events and much more. This hub integrates Frieze stories alongside social media announcements and images.
Good is a community of people who have come together to collectively promote progress. If we're honest, most times you have some sort of community based blog of 'do-gooders', it comes off really cheesy and cluttered. Good has done a great job of using blog basics with some awesome design and art direction.
Editer is a blog that likes to think of themselves as a community, a resource and a style notebook. They give lots of information about new fashion trends, good eats and whatever's new on the art scene. The look of Editer is very high fashion and luxurious which seems to go with the well-informed, insider content that they produce.
More bikes! Deaf Pigeons seems to focus a little more on the parts of a bike — I think they really want to promote the idea of suping up your own bike. Still a neat concept, Deaf Pigeons has a closer to standard blog feel. However, the art direction and graphical elements really bring individuality to this clean blog.
This is another website many of us are familiar with, and if not, you should get to know it. Mashable is a hodge-podge of any and everything news worthy. They've recently redesigned and have since come into 2013 with a responsive grid system that features different stories.
While I cannot tell you exactly what this blog is about, I can say that this blog design is innovative. And it's not because of the actual art direction, but because this blog scrolls horizontally. Any horizontal site can be a pain to make, but a blog is a different level of difficulty. Kudos to these developers.
While many of our examples find ways to reduce the clutter, The Verge seems to really love it. Let me also say that they do a great job of putting it all together. If you continue to scroll throughout their site, you notice they cover a lot of technology and use a lot of words to do so. The Verge does do a wonderful job of designing so that it's not too overwhelming and still enjoyable.
SC Arts Hub
Well, we can assume South Carolina has a pretty legitimate sized art following thanks to this blog/hub. SC Arts Hub is dedicated to making everything related to the art scene visible and within reach. This grid-based blog takes a little from magazines and blog standards to create a very unique feeling hub.
Showtime Sports is a blog that's dedicated to the sports and shows that come on this channel. This is a very unique set up that feels a lot like television and news in tandem (which makes tons of sense). The dark theme and huge slider are staples of this modern, new idea for blog design.
Another blog many of us may be familiar with is Smashing Magazine. They really care about the reader and user experience as you can tell. You have easily readable headlines along with very specific and easy to understand categories, which are visible to the readers.
Spilt Milk likes to think of themselves as purveyors of all things beautiful. There's no set niche, just awesome stuff. What I like about this site is it's doing something different. While all websites are kind of going for the bold look, Spilt Milk tones it down and creates a really individualistic look for their blog.
As an avid watcher of the National Basketball Association, I've made great friends with SB Nation and their child sites. SB Nation has done a great job of creating a very modern theme that's reliant on images on quick lines. They've also done a wonderful job in keeping the themes consistent amongst all the sites they seem to manage as well. Reading from SB Nation is so easy.
It can be hard work to create a blog or magazine site that stands out from the many that are found online. There are so many standard layouts built with columns that make it really hard to branch and even want to be different. The key is to make sure all content is presented and organized well so reading comes easy for your audience. Never over complicate designs just to make a 'sweet' blog design. At the very least, keep it simple.
What are some of your favorite blog designs? Have you created a new blog design lately? Let us know in the comments!
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