New blog design! Help me decide!

Nov 3rd, 2011

For the last few months, I have been working on my blog design. In fact, it has needed this makeover for a LONG time! I hired a graphic designer named Jana Laidlaw (janalaidlaw11 (at) gmail (dot) com) to design the header, and she did a great job. I am working closely with Julie from Deluxe Designs to help with the layout, overall page design and migration from Blogger to WordPress. Stay tuned for the official launch coming up soon. There were a couple of other layout issues that also needed to be fixed, so I also hired Shannon from Eight Crazy Designs to help, and she was great.

I had no idea that changing my blog would be so time consuming and complicated!!! But it is definitely necessary. I want my you to be able to find past projects easily, and since I have 516 posts (what the H have I been writing about!?!) it has taken a little longer than I originally expected. HA! That’s an understatement.

So, as I got more and more excited about the new look, I started showing a few close friends and family. Their reactions made me wonder if I was going in the right direction. It is a LOT different than my past design, and I know that. I WANT that. I want All Things Thrifty to reflect several things.

COLOR!- As you all know, color is a big part of my life, and I love to use it in bold ways. Heck, I have an ORANGE wall in my kitchen for heaven’s sake!

UNIQUE-I want the site design to be something that is different. I create unique items to decorate with, and I like to use different approaches to decorating, and I wanted the site to reflect that.

VINTAGE yet new-I love to take vintage things and incorporate them into my home, but I want them to be funky and edgy. That is why I like to take old furniture and give it a bright shiny coat of HOT PINK (or other colors) to give it some spunk.

FUN- I want my site to be a fun place to be. I try hard to create fun content, and I want my site to reflect that.

EASY to NAVIGATE- This part has been very challenging, but we will keep working at it until the past posts are not buried into the abyss.

So, with that being said: Here are two versions of All Things Thrifty that I have ended up with:

Contestant #1: This is the one that Jana designed the header for:

Contestant #2: I designed this header myself.



What do I need you to do, you ask? VOTE for your favorite one. Look on the top right sidebar for the poll. I have been staring at them both for far too long to make a the decision myself. I need some feedback! Pretty please, with a cherry on top!?!?
xoxo.

Comments

  1. #2

  2. I love the green!

  3. #2 is fresh, new- yet warm, fun, & easy clean
    A no-brainer for me! Número dos!

  4. I love them both. The first one seems to draw me in more though… not sure why, just does;)

  5. #1 is my favorite

  6. Number 1 is beautifully designed, but the style of the header just doesn't seem like you {just from what I have observed of your style from the blog}…so I guess I'm voting #2 :)

  7. Number two is much better. Seems more you, even though I only know you from the blog :)

  8. #2 :) Love it!

  9. #2. Great color combination and it isn't too busy!

  10. #2 for sure

  11. #2- It is clean and fresh and shows that it is a modern site. If I came across the other one, I would not spend much time on it. I don't think it reflects today's style…. In my opinion it is a bit dated… Not that you asked for a book, but those are my thoughts.

  12. 2 for sure – it seems more 'you'. The first one is really cute, but it reminds me a lot of the pioneer woman website. The 2nd one is more original. Plus I love the colors and it's super cool that you designed it yourself! :)

  13. #1 (although I like the font in #2 better).

  14. Number 2 for sure- Very cool.

    Number one has too much going on visually. Nowhere for your eye to rest.

  15. From a color theory perspective, #1 uses complementary colors (green/pink) which makes certain elements pop. I think that matches your description of what you wanted.

    #2 seems too monochromatic…and the spacing of the elements is off to me. There is odd negative space and weird overlapping on the text.

    You paid for an excellent design, I say use it! :)

  16. #1 :) Love pink

  17. I like #1

  18. Definitely #2. If you focused on only vintage stuff I would say #1.

  19. Love love love #2!

  20. #2

  21. I love both

    #1 has more of a vintage feel
    #2 has more of a clean look

    but I think I would pick #2

    Meg:)

  22. I love #2, Fresh and new, more memorable, original and more you. The first one is too common or similar to other pages I think. Also it's more old fashioned romantic-feminine, where #2 is really more universal and would appeal to a wider variety of people. Although if the words on the first one weren't pink that might make a difference.

  23. #1 just seems dated to me, rather than vintage… I love #2 and especially like that you designed it yourself!

  24. I really like the banner in #1, but prefer the color and design in #2. #1 just does't seem to scream you, from what I know about your design style from your posts. I think you need something funky and eye catching, just like your furniture and decorating style. That's my two cents. Good luck! :)

  25. Definitely number 2.

  26. Contestant #1

    ~Mrs. Delightful
    ourdelightfulhome.blogspot.com

  27. #2! #2!

  28. Definitely #2! It seems more your style. Also, all I can think of when I see #1 is that it looks just like The Pioneer Woman's blog. Go with #2! :)

  29. number 2!!! it's so much more modern, your work is modern, you aren't taking your beautiful furniture and making it look like grandma furniture. that's what number 1 reminds me of, go freash and new and choose number 2!! lov ethe blog btw!

  30. I love the vintage feel of the first one, but the frilly pink doesn't seem like you… and the flowers seem entirely too "Pioneer Woman." I voted for #2, but I think the words "all things thrifty" should all be the same size/text. It would flow easier to the eye. Could you take the text banner from #1 and put it on #2? and change the font from pink to turquoise? either way, they're both great designs. i bet you weren't expecting so many opinionated ladies! do what YOU want! it's your blog!

  31. I'd go with #1 for Vintage feel but maybe go with a vintage yellows, turquoise, and reds instead of the pink?

  32. I love the colors in number one.

  33. #2
    It's simple and beautiful :)

  34. I like the colors in number one and the style of number two. Number one just seems a little to much like a county fair and that's not usually how I think of you.

  35. I say: No. 2!

  36. I like both designs.

    #1 seems to fit your specifications MORE, more color, more unique, and more vintage, but I personally prefer #2 according to my personal style. I like graphic elements mixed with natural lines and those colors, but I really like the banner on the pink yet I love the font on the blue one.

    Tough decision

  37. Okay Brooke I LOVE you! so don't hate me…I love the main background but the headers ??? I think you should have her go back to the drawing board. I don't necessarily think either of them represent YOU….ya know?? Again…sending my honest love girl.

  38. #2!!

  39. Pioneer Woman was my first thought! Love the 2nd one though!

  40. #2!!!!!

  41. I love the fonts and colors of #2. #1 I would say isn't "vintage" it's more old lady style, and that's not you. #2 could use a little more color… like add some orange or yellow or green. But it's definitely the one I'd choose!

  42. 2! ;)

  43. #2 – 100% You did a great job on the header and I love the colors!!

  44. I love #2!

    Jordan
    elizabethgraceblog.blogspot.com

  45. #2

  46. #2, but that's just my style

  47. I really like the IDEA of #2, but as already mentioned, there is too much "dead space" with the header, and I don't like how the "G" in "Things" is hidden behind the banner below it.

    I think if #2 were modified just a little bit, it would look MUCH better than the first one, and it would be the obvious choice.

  48. Lovely Day Photo says:

    I like #1 WAY better!! #2 is using annoying fonts. I also don't like all the negative white space in the header.

  49. I like #2 better, but I think you could even go louder with your colors. You use a bright teal alot, so that's seems like your color to me :)

  50. MiriahHelen says:

    I'm digging #1, it's far more of a vintage feel with the updated pop. I see nothing really vintage looking in the second one.

  51. #1 looks more professional and I find it engaging, but it doesn't seem to reflect your blog or your style as well as the one you made yourself (which is also well done, just not quite as "polished"). #1 is *too* vintage, in more of a country/shabby chic way, and also seems too much like Pioneer Woman's headers, with the vintage floral clip-art collage type look (hop on over there and take a look http://thepioneerwoman.com/). You're too original for that!

    So I like #2 better — but though I love the color palette, it doesn't seem like it's perfect for your site. Too cool-toned and sedate. I'd expect to see something BRIGHTER like a bright pink or yellow mixed in there. Also, I think you should keep the "by Brooke" tagline, too, to continue branding yourself along with your blog. I like that the "Decorating can be inexpensive" tagline is bigger and more clear on #2, because that's what your blog is all about (not really ALL things thrifty, since it's not about how to buy secondhand clothing for your kids, or how to save money with coupons, or how to make your own Windex, etc.)

    Sorry to write a book, but as a SAHM formerly in advertising/marketing, I often miss taking part in these types of decisions. I think you're headed in a great direction and I can't wait to see the changes go live. Good luck!

  52. um…I think you should go into blog design!! I LOVE #2!!! Perfect!!

  53. #2, but brighten up those flowers a bit.

  54. #2!

  55. Brooke @ www.allthingsthrifty.com says:

    I never even THOUGHT about it being like Pioneer Woman's site, but you are RIGHT! Number 1 does give that vibe. Keep the comments coming. I love the feedback!

  56. 2 seems more original. Very nice!

  57. I like No. 2 out of the two, but I really don't think either speaks YOU! I thought for sure there'd be a choice that was more colorful & clean.

    Whatever your decision, I love your blog & will always follow! You rock, Brooke! ;)

  58. #2 for sure!

  59. #2 all the way for me!

  60. I like number one, for visual purposes. It just looked more clean and organized. The colors of number two are great, but the design is far too busy. My eyes hurt after looking for a while.

  61. #2!!

  62. Hey Brooke…liking #2 better, but I agree with a few of the comments above. How about same font & size for Header with a bit brighter teal & a pop of orange. I'd also add a bit of texture/subtle pattern to all that white space. And the fact that you designed #2 yourself, well…don't we tend to design what we like and are more comfortable with? That's my 2 cents!

  63. With just a little tweaking, I think #2 looks like a winner.

  64. Definitely #2! I agree with the comments that #1 is a little old ladyish/pioneerish. I love your heading, it just seems more like you. Probably because you made it!

  65. I"m sad that #2 is winning. I love the top one. It reminded me immediately of those vintage post cards.

  66. I all around just love No. 2…love the font, love the colors, love the flowers. Vote #2!!!

  67. I like how #1 draws my eye in and I know exactly what site I'm on. #2 – the title of the blog is completely lost in all the white space – I just see white space with a mass of blue in the corners. The font is harder to read and I don't think that helps in making the title/first info POP!

    I don't think the pink/vintage is your style in comparison with what I've been reading in your blog. I love the idea of using color – but I would think along the lines of the bright chairs from your dining room table or the turquoise/orange and other brighter colors you seem to favor. #1 looks like something my grandma would love. I like your idea of vintage, but I think you need to think more "repurposed" not vintage. Not sure how to put that in a graphic, but good luck! :)

    #2 – I just don't think this is you either. Too monochrome. I like the more "modern" feel without being too crazy edgy. But, there's nothing in it that makes me want to click on your site for the excitement/love you generally generate in your posts regarding your refabs.

    Honestly – I don't meant to be harsh, but I don't think I'd vote for either. I really think there's a better solution out there for you! Best of luck!

  68. #2 for sure!!

  69. Do I even need to say? :)
    #2 is JUST what I was thinking (from our past convo) I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! It's perfect! Good luck with everything :) LOVE YA!

  70. Number 2, number 2! Definitely number 2.

  71. #2. More modern. #1 isn't as much vintage chic to me as it is old granny pooped on my bed linens so mot chic. That doesn't makes sense, but I'm just not feeling it. With that said, your blog will still be fab no matter which header you choose. :)

  72. #1!!

  73. #2. #1 looks like an old grandma with all those flowers. ;) Plus, I hate pink.

  74. thecollettes says:

    Both are great! My vote is for #2. I like the darker color for the tabs and think the pink is too bright on the first. I think #2 would look even better with a different font and banner for the title.

  75. can I vote NEITHER.. I dont think either of them reflect the site! yikes sorry to be mean.

    I do like number 1 better. If going with number 2 the fonts have to change and the green ribbon 'decorating can be inexpensive' need to go. The flowers, font and ribbon dont match in my not worth much opinion.

    I do agree that #2 is more different as alot of blogs have that vintage look of #1

  76. Number #1 is lovely but it's not very 'you' and looks like a million and one vintage blogs out there.
    I like number 2 better but I agree with the poster above that the ribbon 'decorating can be inexpensive' needs to go , it looks like its been added as an afterthought.

  77. #2!!! =D

  78. #1 is great! The colors really pop and it looks clean. #2 – is distracting to me. I keep getting lost in the green "cabbage" looking flowers. If you traded those out it would be better. I vote #1!

  79. I like #2. Number 1 looks like what you said you wanted, vintage & colorful, however I don't think it reflects your decor style….Also #1 reminds me of another blogger's page.

  80. #2

  81. #2

  82. #2!

  83. I'm all for #1!! So fresh and pretty!! Go for it!

  84. I like both, however #1 would be my choice …more color.

  85. #2!! Don't love the flowers on #1… the ones on #2 are cuter!

  86. Shelly Traveller says:

    #1 is beautiful but #2 calls out Brooke to me!

  87. #2!!!

  88. When I saw #2 I thought it "felt" more like you! :) So exciting!!

  89. I voted for #2 but I'm not sure I really love either one!

  90. I like #2. It feels more like you. :)

  91. 1 catches my eye much more than 2 but it does look like Pioneer Woman's header and it's a little too vintage for what I'm use to seeing on your site.
    2 is nice but it's almost to subtle. It needs a little more color and would look awesome with the same wavy banner as 1.
    Good luck with your swap! WordPress is much "cleaner" than blogger. I think you will be so happy you made the switch!

  92. Both are great… but I vote…

    #2

  93. #2. Number 1 is adorable, but seems to me to be more sweet than edgy. What you describe you want I think is much closer to #2.

  94. #2

  95. I do like number two, but I really like your current page setup. It't nice to see pics in the header of some of your projects, rather than flowers. Choosing between the two> No. 2, but perhaps just updating yours a bit would do the trick as well, as it is lovely as is.

  96. #1 overall…but I do link the larger links in #2.

  97. #2- seems more "you"

  98. Love #2!

  99. # 1 by far.

  100. Ty and Whitty says:

    I like them both but #2 is my favorite and seems more like you but that's just what think

  101. No. 2

  102. Go with #2!!!!
    (#1 reminds me of Pioneer Woman's site, not a bad thing, but it's just too similar to hers, and seems a little too country for you)

  103. #2 for sure. #1 seems really country and dated to me….

  104. #2 FOR SURE!!!!

  105. As a full time graphic designer and website designer, I have to say, "sorry, neither one represents your site or what you do". I love your site, I visit just about every day and have made several projects of my own.

    I believe you made the mistake of telling people you designed number 2. Most people are sweet and nice and voted for the one you said you designed, I don't blame them, it's what most people would do:). Unfortunately it isn't well designed with a hodge podge of fonts and trapped white space. I don't mean to be harsh, but the elements of design just aren't there.

    The first one is a boring design with no pop. looks very 'cute old lady' style and not what I pictured of you at all.

    I think you will be doing yourself a disservice is you choose either one. Neither work for your blog. There are better designs out there.

    Sharon

  106. Brooke @ www.allthingsthrifty.com says:

    Sharon,
    You want to give it a whirl and see if you can come up with something that fits? Send me an e-mail at allthingsthrifty at gmail dot com, and we'll chat.

    The white space is there for a specific reason. I plan to float an advertisement in that spot. (FYI)

  107. Amy Ritter says:

    Honestly I don't love either one, but if forced to choose hands down #2

  108. # 1 has more dimension. Maybe there is a way you can add dimension to your #2 design that you made if you like it better.

  109. i buy garage sale goods all the time in hopes of finding crafty things to do to them, this is a great site!!

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