Longtime readers - hi, Dad - know that the layout and format of my corner of the Internet has remained widely static over of the course of my eight-and-a-half years of blogging. It feels like so many of the components that make up its foundation have grown over time, and yet, there's so much of it that has continued on throughout its near-decade without meaningful development: for instance, one of my favorite parts about looking back on posts is observing how my writing style and critical voice have expanded, my graphic design skills have altered alongside talent and trends in design, and my book choices have even grown up as I have... but in its total history, the actual layout and look of my blog have only changed twice.
At first, Playing in the Pages was a pre-set design offered by Blogger, light pink, and one of four of its kind to choose between. As I got older, got a laptop, get more interested in how I can customize this platform to my own tastes, things got a little cooler around here: creating a logo on my phone, from a picture taken of my own bookshelves, I wiped the slate clean with an all-white background, smaller type in a font I thought was a little more hip than your average Times New Roman, and started mocking up interesting headers in Canva, rather than relying on photos in the posts themselves.
But that was back in college, and I've been doing a lot more different work since then. I've gone from a design Newbie to adequate Novice, and I have maintained my blog-adjacent Instagram profile (@playinginthepages) with its own kind of theming. I pay a lot of attention to how others promote and style their own platforms, and over the past year or so, I felt a growing sense that mine wasn't as cohesive as I would have liked it to be.
Sure, there were elements that I had a tendency to rely on in my own work - I had preset headers for things like "Bits of Books" and "Top Ten Tuesday" posts, and an affinity for a particular lighter shade of red - but nothing felt all that cohesive, and it was beginning to affect my excitement for generating content for both of my platforms. I wanted a sense of "Savannah" that felt consistent whenever I talked about books, and it frustrated me that I couldn't narrow things down.
Obviously, the right thing to do was switch it up.
|"Style Inspo" (aka, some of my fave #bookstagrammers), clockwise from top-right: @ejmellow, |
@thebiblionet, @literatureandchill, @thebiblionet, @literatureandchill.
I've created a new Style Guide, and the blog's layout has gone through a bit of a makeover, much as it will continue to do as I try to decide on what look translates myself and my thoughts best across the Internet. I've got a comprehensive color scheme, a new profile photo, a large-and-in-charge logo, and font choices that speak in my voice. I've got series headers set in place, and a clearer vision of what kinds of photos I want to be taking.
With any luck or decision-making on my part, this will all not only beautify my blog, but also make it easier for me to make graphic design-oriented decisions, instead of taking forever to put together a good-looking header, or agonize over what colors to use in a post.
Not exactly starting the new year with a new look, but having found one just the same, I'm happy with the current version of the "new and improved" Playing in the Pages. I'm excited to put it to good use in the coming couple of years, too!
So, what do you think of the new design? My favorite part's the new font choice. Let me know, in the comments below!