Template Faerie

How NOT to Design a Blog

Published on Friday, July 08, 2011
By Sarah Payne
Mo's ugly blog
Have you ever visited a blog with high expectations, only to throw up on your keyboard when you see the shocking combination of colors and fonts cluttered onto a sloppy layout? If so, you're not alone. It happens to me and many others every day. It's a sad fact that a majority of blogs are horribly designed.

How ugly a blog is doesn't necessarily have anything to do with a bad design, because even the most gorgeous templates can be turned into a horrendous horror by a lazy or ignorant blogger. To prove my point, I'm going to take the Atlas template, which I gave away for free in my last post, and I'm going to turn it into an eyesore. This is going to be fun...

(Click on the images to get a full view of the ugliness!)

Ugly blog preview

What makes it ugly...

Besides looking like ketchup and mustard, the colors of this template are too contrasting to be readable, and the small font size doesn't help matters. It definitely needs a larger variety of fonts and more muted tones for the backgrounds before it begins to be appealing.


Ugly blog preview

What makes it ugly...

This template is in desperate need of a header image. It would also benefit from some color. The links and images add some, but it's not enough to keep people from thinking they've gone colorblind.


Ugly blog preview

What makes it ugly...

While this template is readable and not so much on the ugly side as the previous examples, there is only one color that makes up the template, and even though the shades vary, there isn't enough contrast between the main elements. I like monochrome color schemes, but I have to be careful not to make my designs too boring, as in this example.

These three templates are illustrations of some common design mistakes: too much contrast, a bad choice of fonts, not enough color, and not enough contrast. There are many more mistakes bloggers make, but it would take me millennia to name them all.

Now I want to hear from you!

What's the scariest blog you've ever seen? What do you think are the most common mistakes bloggers make when it comes to design?

By the way, don't forget to check out the Atlas template. It comes with multiple variants and header images!

About the Author

I'm Sarah Payne, the author of this blog. I'm an amateur writer and template designer, an avid Blogger-user, and a reptile lover. One way or another, I ended up creating TF to show people that blogs don't have to be ugly and to share my unavoidably opinionated rants. You can also find me on Twitter and Google+.