How ‘cool’ is your blog?

Posted on May 14, 2010

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As far as I’m concerned, design is always a marker of distinction.

This ‘marker’ can sometimes be design’s most practical and often equally impractical function.

For my blog, being a food blog, I wanted to create a clean and simple look, perhaps a variation on the ‘minimalist’ aesthetic.

I chose the understated ‘Inuit Types’ template as the solid black and white design immediately appealed to me and the ‘look’ I was going for.

For me, it was important to be able to contrast the simple black and white layout with the vibrant colours of the food photography which is of course the centerpiece of my blog.  The photos express exactly what my blog is about whilst giving the audience a visual ‘taste’ of the types of cuisines they could expect from such restaurants.  So it was imperative that a fussy background and style did not interfere with what I was actually blogging you see?

I did find this particular template slightly restrictive as it is exactly that, a template, which gives little room for movement as a background or header cannot be incorporated.  Basically what you see is what you get.  Luckily for me, after fiddling around with many different styles, I still reverted back to this clean style as it seems to work best in all aspects – that is, layout, colour, contrast, format, etc.

In choosing and tweaking my design (as much as was possible), I feel it emerges as a marker of distinction as well as allowing the food to speak for itself.

My favourite thing about my particular template is the way the blog entries are presented on the front page like individual articles with feature pictures that give you a quick summary of the blogs rather than one big long page.

As far as widgets and tagging are concerned, I’m the first to admit that these concepts still bamboozle me a little but I have finally and contently managed to work them into my blog.

Currently only two categories exists and few tags, so I’m leaving a bit to the imagination, but, as my blog starts to further evolve, and I post more, the use of categories in particular will come in quite handy for those viewing my blog.  I’ve divided the categories into countries and continents of the restaurant’s I’ve reviewed.  So for instance, at the moment, I’ve only visited restaurants which have a Middle Eastern flavour, so those looking for Middle Eastern food will find the list of blogs I’ve posted on those restaurants like Yemeni  in the ‘Middle Eastern Food’ category.

As I continue with this process, I’m aiming to incorporate perhaps an African category with African restaurants in Melbourne and I plan to follow suit with other weird and wonderful cultures.

I’ve tried to draw on other blogs that I regularly read or have just stumbled across when choosing and comparing blog styles.

I’m a huge fan of all things New York and so often read the New York Times online and their food blog section.

I’d like to think that the ‘Diner’s Journal’ and my blog are similar in their understated design techniques.  Like my blog and the ‘Inuit Types’ format, the ‘Diner’s Journal’ incorporates a lot of black and white with only a hint of colour used for headings.  Also like my blog, the food photography plays a key role in the aesthetic of the blog as the vibrant photos slot in between chunks of text.  This blog is obviously very professional and much more original in its style and is not limited by templates, but this is the basic look I’m going for, with my own twist of course.

Perhaps there is something slightly ‘anti design’ about my design style in terms that it’s rather unstructured and not overly fussy in the way it looks.  Despite this, this ‘plain’ and not overly complicated look is highly structured in it’s purpose to seem unstructured.  Does that make any sense? I think I understand what I’m trying to say…

Anyway, I’m still trying to find my footing in this blog world but I’m also loving getting lost along the way.

Keep in touch to see my next blog on an Afghan restaurant in Fitzroy I visited this week.

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Posted in: Elucidation