a new design for ink + adventure

I've been itching for a new blog design for months now - the previous version having been around since last July when I taught myself some CSS basics. every time I go to redesign my blog I have the "hire someone or learn to do it myself" struggle. obviously, I want it to look professional. and I know at least ten blogger friends who do beautiful design work. but I love the idea that this space is something I've created - my words, my art, my voice.

this new design is probably the most labor intensive I've ever attempted. from hand painting the elements to coding research and all the photoshop... I've been busy.

I am not exaggerating when I say that I spent HOURS practicing my brush lettering. I tried seven different brushes/pens before settling on the Pentel Aquash brush. [and started 4 designs with script I ended up NOT using.] I probably could have kept writing until I found something a little more perfect. but at some point you have to call it good and dive into the actual designing.

given the number of branding boards I scoured through on pinterest, I felt the need to make one of my own. you can tell I'm not a pro since I forgot to label the pantone colors and the font [Lato 300.]

my initial color scheme was green and black and gold. I started playing with foil on the lettering. then I swapped out the green for a coral color. and then I went crazy and added little dots that looked like confetti. but the brush lettering plus gold plus confetti was just too much. so I swapped the confetti for some paint splats and nixed the gold foil.

I've also added some brush lettering elements to my travel page, Taiwan page, and about page. [though the about page is still in need of a content update!] I haven't come up will a full set of badges and buttons just yet, but at the moment I'm rethinking my sponsorship strategies so not in a rush.

I feel like there's still something not quite there but I can't put my finger on it. maybe that this design doesn't really say "travel"? though it's tough to get that across without the obvious airplanes, suitcases, globes or maps. maybe next time around? but it's time for this labor of love to be implemented [if only so I will stop making changes!] there will probably be a few tweaks left to make, so let me know if you have any issues with links or with elements displaying funny.

what so you think of the new design? do you design your own blog or hire a professional?

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