Redesigned: The Bridal Recipe


During Chris’s two and a half weeks of Christmas vacation, we spent our time redesigning a few blogs. We had a grand time working together & making the interwebs a tiny bit prettier. I’ll be sharing a finished project each week along with a design tip (or two) for a better blog.

Alex is new to the blogging world. She started The Bridal Recipe to document her wedding plans, weight loss goals and recipes. She wanted the design to read more of a wedding blog than a food blog, so I used feminine and floral elements juxtaposed to cooking tool illustrations.

I used color collective for the color inspiration, mixing the Harper Smith and the Lui H palettes together. I used Business Penmanship for the decorative font, but in the header, I altered the mono-line font to have calligraphic thicks and thins. I think it adds a lot more weight and dimension to the top, while keeping a consistent flow with the rest of the script elements.

Above is what we had to start with. She hadn’t posted anything at that point, and just picked a template and threw it up there. I don’t think she was serious about using it, I just thought it was sort of eye-searingly hilarious I had to share how it started. Which leads to. . .

• Design Tip #5: Less is More •

So, what makes this before template so horrible? The yellow and grey color scheme isn’t bad. The two background patterns are cute, the chevron is cute. BUT IT’S SO BUSY. If you’re going to mix patterns, make sure you change up the scale, so one takes a supporting role rather than the two competing for your eyeballs’ attention.

Rarely have I seen feminine scroll elements mix with geometric patterns in a good way. It looks so wrong here. Add the drop shadow and that funky psychedelic swirl transparency and you have the disaster you see above.

When you have bold patterns and design elements, keep your content area simple. White backgrounds are best and pretty much an industry standard as they’re so much easier to read. You don’t need sidebar and comment elements framed out with multiple lines (or lines at all). If you’re doing the design yourself, adding all of the elements you like is great, but make sure you take a step back and edit down until you get a well-curated design. If you’re hiring someone else to do the design for you (and let me tell you, there’s a reason we charge “so much”, we know what we’re doing) trust their direction. White space is often times more “designed” than the design elements themselves.

Alex was a fantastic client who trusted my skills and opinions and communicated her vision well. I think I came up with something we’re both proud to show off.

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    1. Leslie says:

      Best redesign yet! Love this series. Are you still taking new clients?

    2. Amy says:

      At first I thought the first one was the before and the second one was after. I thought “Oh my gosh, there’s NO way!” because the ending result (first picture) is SOO much more gorgeous.

    3. jenna says:

      Amen!!! I feel like I spend so much time trying to convince my clients that less reeally is more!! Always love your work!

    4. Rhianon says:

      Love this redesign. I agree with Leslie – it’s the best one yet. I think the simplicity of the header is great. What font did you use for “THE” and “recipe” and the navigation links?

    5. Jenny @ Hank + Hunt says:

      The new site is GORGEOUS! I love the little detail in the background. So pretty! You also crack me up with “eye-searingly” on the draft.

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