Build Your Site: Quick Design Tips

jpapadpapa

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Build Your Site: Quick Design Tips

Quick Design Tips

Not a designer? Few people can afford to hire a professional designer, but as Ted S points out in his article, Why branding your forum means making a winning forum, having a well-designed site should not be overlooked as a key to success. Here are a few tips for the design process to help anyone create a "snappy" website with a professional feel.

Logos

Logos (a picture that represents your site) and logotypes (text that acts as a logo--e.g. the Coca Cola logotype) are key elements to a well-designed site. Here are a few tips to help you design a nice logo and/or logotype:

1) Before you design it on paper, have a direction in mind of what you want it to look like.

2) Brainstorm by looking at many different professionally designed logos. Analyze what makes them good.

3) Sketch, sketch, sketch!

4) Only after you basically know what you want to do should you go to the computer to create it.

5) Keep in mind that logos/logotypes do not have to be complex to be effective. Consider the logos and logotypes for Nike, Target, Shaklee, etc.

6) Use a font that fits your topic in its feel. For example, look at the BigBoards.com logotype. It is larger and fatter and conveys the right feel without being melodramatic.

7) When in doubt, use a simple font instead of something popular or "cool."

8) Move the letters close together to create a unified feel. Not doing this makes your logotype look like plain lettering banged out on a keyboard instead of your "brand." For example, notice the Admin Zone sponsors on the bottom of the homepage. In particular, extremepixels.com uses a very simple font, but having the letters close gives it the look of a logotype. Also, the larger "x" adds a little interest to the design.

Site Design

If you have a well-designed logo, it should not be hard to design a site around it if you keep things relatively simple. Here are some tips:

1) After brainstorming and designing your logo, you should have a direction in mind for the look of your site. Refine it in your mind and then sketch again.

2) Choose colors and fonts that go with your logo and that will not compete. They should also be soft on the eyes and readable. They should fit your topic, as well. For example, don't choose black and red as your color scheme if your site is for seniors. It just doesn't fit and would also probably be...

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