Guten Blog Y’all is now The Overseas Escape!
After nearly a month of research, designing and lots of learning, The Overseas Escape is now live and I’m so incredibly proud and excited about this new online space.
Comparing to Guten Blog Y’all you’ll find there’s a few things that are different, mainly formatting, organization and a general cleanliness that I just found impossible to achieve in Blogger. For the most part though, I have no intention of changing my tone or content. What you loved about Guten Blog Y’all you’ll love about The Overseas Escape.
There’s a long list of reasons that I chose to change the name, the number one reason though – it was a tongue twister! Hard to remember and harder to say. On top of that, my content isn’t German-focused, it’s Europe-focused, so while the ‘Guten’ is charming, it secretly drove me nuts because at first glance I’d always saw ‘Gluten’ and not ‘Good’. Since my college degree was in Marketing, I knew I could come up with something better. Aligning this change with a migration to WordPress was the perfect excuse and has allowed me to have a great test environment for the past month.
I won’t touch on the technical details of my migration to WP but I will share the most productive steps I took to complete this rebranding:
1 | Take Blog Design Love 2.0 by the ladies of A Beautiful Mess. Top to bottom, this got me thinking of my space as a whole and what it was that I wanted to achieve. With helpful Photoshop tutorials, site mapping recommendations, and layout design, it was a great foundation for planning.
2 | Create a Mood Board on Pinterest. This took my a long time to develop and with the pointers from the Blog Design 2.0 class I made a focused effort on procuring the right images to display the mood I was seeking. This later aided tremendously when I was evaluating the look and feel of the space in the following steps.
3 | Identify a WordPress Theme. True story, I bought 2 other themes before settling on my current one, Hemlock by Solo Pine. I was really set on finding something that contained all the functionality that I was looking for but in hindsight, if you can’t find something with all the pieces, buy a high quality theme and add the plug-ins you want through CodeCanyon. Most importantly, ensure you buy a theme with superb technical support. I can’t speak highly enough about the team at Solo Pine.
4 | Develop the look and feel of the blog. This is definitely one of the more time-consuming areas of my process. I took SO many Skillshare classes on branding, these were some of my favorites:
- Typography That Works: Typographic Composition and Fonts by Ellen Lupton
- Brand Identity: Designing Adaptable Branding Systems by Paula Scher
- Beyond the Logo: Craft a Brand Identity by Courtney Eliseo
If you haven’t checked out Skillshare by now, you are missing out. Skillshare is now FREE and an amazing resource of anything and everything, especially for creatives. I’ve also taken numerous iPhonotography and Lightroom classes on this site.
As you can probably tell from my mood board, I really love the look of brush lettering so I wanted to include this element in the title. If I had a nickel for how many times I wrote the words “Overseas” or “Escape”, I tell ya.
I used Kuler to develop my color palette – a warm, happy sea-foam and maritime blue complemented by clean neutral grays.
Finally, I wanted the serif body text to jive nicely with sans-serif headers. I chose Intro for its clean, Kate Spade-esque look and Josephin Sans for readability and flexibility in sizing and weights. As a trio, they work well with each other but also each has the strength to stand up on its own.
5 | Get feedback. Before going live I reached out to a variety of people who have a great eye for design. Hat’s off to Tee Tran and Laura Wyatt, talented graphic designers, for their support, constructive criticism and feedback.
6 | Let it marinate. After completing the look I wanted to rush over and make the switch immediately. Of course, spending a few nights thinking over the different elements, walking through the site with my parents to test navigability, testing the site from various internet browsers, I noticed lots of little pieces that needed to be cleaned up. Don’t rush it.
7| Listen to TSwift’s new album and make the switch!
So, dare I ask, what do you think?!