So we covered one of my favorite subjects in school the other day: page layout. Rather layout sins- there were 13, but I narrowed them down to 10 (mainly because 13 wouldn’t fit on a graphic and because I think these 10 affect bloggers more).

10 layout sins to avoid

Here are the sins:

1. No white space
White Space is not Your Enemy (this book is the best for wannabe page designers)! Seriously, white space allows the eye of the reader to rest between text, graphics, pictures etc. Just space your page elements wisely (this is why I like Canva).

2. Centering everything
Centered body text says one thing about your design: amateur. I made this mistake loooooads of times when I started designing and when I started blogging. Tip: Align any body text to the left.

3. Too many colors
Especially when designing your media kit, stick to 1-2 colors at most (your brand colors work best). Using too many colors makes your layout busy.

4. Busy backgrounds
Speaking of busy, stay away from backgrounds with patterns or images that distract from your main text.

5. Trapped white space
Yes, white space is good and all, but trapped white space is like a giant hole in your page layout. It’s like you have a great design going then BOOM- a giant blob of white. All white space should be to the outside of your design.

6. Dis-proportionate photos
Have you ever stretched a photo to fit a specific spot in your design? Yeah me too- just don’t do it. It makes the photo looked warped and the subject wacky. If you increase the width of a photo by a certain number, be sure to increase the height by the same amount!

7. Too much text emphasis
Emphasis like underlining, multiple exclamation points and all caps. AND DON’T USE THEM ALL TOGETHER!! You’re not in middle school anymore (unless you are, and if you are stop doing this. immediately, Please.)

8. Lots of different fonts
Using 1-2 is usually best. pick a decorative one then use a simplier one for the main text. Once again too many different fonts make your layout look busy and overwhelming.

9. Cheated margins
Having a little space around photos, text and graphics is needed.

10. Tacky text
Meaning using highlighted text, too much text in a themed font, reversed text (light colored text on a darrk background), bullets that aren’t simple and of course using a script font as your main body text. Just stick to simple texts.

Have you committed any layout sins?



10 Layout sins
Pin this for future reference!
 photo APSL_sig_zpsn5rl7d1e.png

  • Oh gosh this post is so on point! It’s strange after a couple of months or years, the things you begin to notice when you’ve become a seasoned blogger. Though content is key, layouts and ascetics are equally as important in getting your message across. Thank you for sharing your points 🙂

    With Love, Fatema |

    • So true! It’s the first thing people notice.

  • Sarah Jean

    These are great tips! And many of which I had to learn the hard way. haha

    • I did too! Easier to remember them that way haha

  • Brigette Collins

    These are great tips! I am guilty of a few of these, especially when I first started blogging the second go around.

    • Omg some of my old designs make me cringe haha

  • Bonnie Marrow

    My first blog had a patterned background and people hated it! Great tips!

    • When I was younger I had pattern backgrounds everywhere!

  • Brittany Wise

    These are wonderful tips! I am NOT a designer, so any guidance is always appreciated! 🙂

    • Haha I’m slowly learning! Feel free to ask for help.

  • Candy Kage

    Of course I have and so has everyone. Great and useful tips.

  • MJ Puertas

    These are great and helpful tips! I remember when I first started out, I was afraid of white space, but now I embrace it .

    • I did too! I thought white space was boring.

  • Neely

    I agree too many colors can be so distracting

  • jennadesigns

    White space is huge – embrace it people!

  • i do #2 centering everything on my wedding website but it’s not a blog.

    i don’t completely understand what you mean by “cheated margins” – can someone show me an example where someone committed this sin?

  • These are SPOT ON! It’s so easy to have too little or too much of any given element but when you get the balance just right it really works!

    • Finding the right balance is so key.

  • Great tips! I’ll have to remember these!

    | Diary of a Southern Millennial

    • Pin the graphic for further reference!

  • All so so true! I always have to tone myself down cos I can get…excited. haha! But yup, white space is a GOOD thing sometimes!

    Coming Up Roses

    • Haha that’s easy to do! I always enter multiple exclamation points and I go back and edit.

  • Great tips. I like that they’re all very simple and easy to fix. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen people break these and their sites become tacky, cluttered, and over all just overwhelming. But of course, it’s all a learning curve and luckily there are tips out there like these that can help everyone get on the right track (:

  • Claire Melzer

    I’m redesigning my blog now so thanks for the tips! I don’t know much about design and need all the help I can get!

    • Feel free to contact me with any questions!

  • i actually think i need to work on centering everything, for some reason i feel like i learned to center things in school and tend to still do it a lot!

    • I did too, and I thought it looked so professional haha.

  • I love this! I am planning to re-vamp my blog design this year and all definitely remember to focus on these things!

    • Yay! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

  • I’ve learned most of this myself, I feel like a cool girl now! Haha. Also I had a little help in school 😉

  • Great post! Luckily I learned the white space trick early on. I think its very important to have white space in order to make your blog look professional.

  • MonChicStyle

    This is so helpful thank you for sharing. 🙂

  • Really really really agree!

  • Patricia Conte

    Great tips! I’m soooo guilty of overusing centered text 😳

  • Great tips and agreed for all of them. What really drives me mad is the script or scrolly font. It just gives me an instant headache if I have to squint to try and read what you’re writing.

    • Omg I always think “is this legible?” when I choose fonts.

  • Good tips! Dark bakcgrounds drive me crazy. Also lot of capitol letters, it is so hard to read!

    • Capitol letters always make me feel like I’m being shouted at haha

  • Lynn

    This is great! I really like your images. Do you use Photoshop to make them? I like your colors, too. Mine are pink, but I haven’t figured out how to use the same color pink in Canva yet. Thanks for the great read!

    Lynn N.

    Pinterest/Twitter: @emmaandrose

    Instagram: @emmaandroseblog

    • I use Canva! To get the exact color, find the color code (mine is this: #f995b0) make a new document add an element or text then change the color. There should be a place to plug in your color code where the color wheel is.

      Hope that helps!

  • Emily Bendler

    These are great tips. I hate dark backgrounds.

  • Really great tips! I guess we all make mistakes at the beginning, but this blogging community is so generous with hips and posts like yours! It’s great to be a part of it! Thank you!

  • Cassidy Slockett

    Thanks for sharing this. I actually need to work on fixing my sidebar right now to make it more clean and organized like yours is. Any tips?

    • Really, the ones I shared here! Feel free to contact me with any more questions you have.

  • malak1357

    Thank you for these tips! I didn’t realise I was making some of them

  • I think I am doing pretty good. At least I hope I am LOL

  • I learned about this in undergrad and it was super helpful.

  • I’m giving my blog an entire makeover so this is extremely helpful right now! Thanks for the great advice!

    • No prob! Feel free to ask me any more questions.

  • shootingstarsmag

    Thanks for sharing! I’m sure I’ve done some of these …I’m hoping to move my blog to WordPress soon and make it look nicer though.

    Did you change your blog URL? I couldn’t find you for the longest time!


    • I did! I had this whole mess of switching hosts, domain providers and all that jazz haha. Sorry to trouble you!

  • This is so helpful! Definitely easy to neglect some of the best practices when you are cranking out work under deadlines.

    • OMG don’t get me started on deadlines.

  • Taylor Smith

    YES! These are awesome. I did so many when I first started blogger. YUCK!

    • Haha some of my early designs are totally cringe-worthy also!

  • Taylor Smith

    Blogging* lol SOS

  • “White space is your friend” is what a wise and more seasoned blogger once told me….so true and important. Great tips!