Issue #5 • May 2017

Design for Non-Designers

These days you don't need years of coding experience or a background in graphic design to make your business look good. This issue is dedicated to helping all bloggers find confidence to think and create like a design pro.

Content is king. The rest is just details.

That’s the kind of thing I’ve heard from one of those epic Internet culture debates. You know: comments or no comments? Do round up posts still work? Pop up forms or no pop up forms?

But this debate has a bit more depth. It’s one about words vs visuals. Story vs style. Attractiveness vs meaning.

Or at least that’s what some would have you believe the debate about content vs design is about.

Here’s the thing: yes, words on the page matter as much as anything else (here’s a compelling case for why). If you’re a blogger, you’re a writer. Hell, if you’re a podcaster or vlogger, you’re a writer too, you just deliver your writing in a non-written medium. The words matter.

The Internet is changing and words are no longer enough. They’re the price of entry for making a living as a blogger, sure. But humans aren’t built with the genetic need to read – we created words as a way to communicate.

Now visuals, however, those we were made to interpret. You see a stunning view of a mountain scape and you feel inspired. You see a small child who’s been injured and you feel anger. You see a shark and you feel scared.

Design adds a layer of context, meaning, and emotion that can’t be captured by words alone.

We see this at work every day. You go to a website or a blog that looks like it was built on 90’s era technology and you immediately put your guard up. You go to National Geographic or The Great Discontent and you immediately feel something. A connection. A stirring. An intrigue.

And you haven’t even read a word yet.

Design matters. Words matter. It’s the marriage of the two that give us story AND style, attractiveness AND meaning, logic AND emotion.

In this month’s issue we’re covering design principles for non-designers. Everything a blogger needs to know to embrace design as a tool for increasing your reach, building more trust and creating more beautiful art from your work… it’s all here.

Our designer, Charli, has lent her years of keen design experience to articles on how to choose the right blog theme, how to create blog graphics, and how to think like a designer.

We’ve got an amazing video from Fizzle’s Chase Reeves on how any entrepreneur can confidently create cohesive design with no previous design skills.

Our new contributor, Kayla Hollatz, tells you why you shouldn’t hire a designer to build your first or even second website.

And our faithful writer, Dani, rings in with articles on color theory, typography, a VERY basic guide to understanding code, and 101 resources to make your blog beautiful.

Will you walk away a world-class designer?

No. But you’ll have an increased sense of taste and a more informed opinion about what makes for great design.

Words are the price of entry. Visuals make you stand out above the rest. You can’t afford to sacrifice either one. Design is a tool for growing your audience and creating great work. That means it’s a tool for earning a living from your blog.

Let’s make the internet a more beautiful place to be, shall we?

-Barrett and the ConvertKit Team

 

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