My Design Journey, Favorite Design Bloggers, & Resources

Monday, February 24, 2014

It's no secret that I like design, whether it's web design or home design. Personally, I like simple, clean layouts and looks, which is probably why I prefer Scandinavian home designs the best*. Charlotte from Gypsy Reviews did a post on her own design journey and while my story isn't the same, I thought I'd share my own story and some resources as well. 

My Journey

I've always loved art and I think that's where my obsession with graphic design started. I've taken art classes from the ages of 6-16 and for a short while, I considered art school. It was all or bust for me and ultimately, I decided that I wasn't talented enough. Also, I think the risk factor was really great and for me to go to art school, I needed to be sure that this was what I wanted 110% and I knew what kind of art I wanted to do, which I had no idea nor was I sure that I wanted to do art for the rest of my life. I'm pursuing something entirely different from art but through my blog, I still get to play around with art. 

When I started my blog in 2009, I was very careful how my blog looked. I was picky with what fonts I wanted to use, what effects I wanted to have. With Blogger's templates, it was hard to make something that I wanted, which is why I started to fool around with the Blogger code. 

In a way, I'm thankful all of the screencaps from 2009-2011 aren't on the computer that I'm using now because I don't want to relive all the moments. I don't regret anything I did though, because it was those mistakes that help me discover my aesthetics and those trials that continue to hone my skills. 

I'm a fan of minimalism and simplicity but I think my design ethos is more or less reflective of what's going on in the design community as a whole. 

Design Blogs

I've said before that I read a lot of different blogs and one of my favorite types of blogs is design. It's a great way to start my morning, with soothing colors and designs. 

Designers I Love

logos via their respective owners

I've listed some of my favorites below. 

Breanna Rose
I'm in love with her simplicity, clean palettes and design aesthetic. I love looking at her design process and moodboards as well. 

She always makes really pretty designs and there's a huge variety to her designs as well. They're all so aesthetically pleasing and soothing. 

Love, love her for her use of color. She's a design/lifestyle blogger and her life is just so freaking colorful. Jealous! 

Eva Black Design
She does a lot of her designs with calligraphy and I love how clean her designs are. 

Emma Dime
She's a knitter and a design blogger. I have her book, Knitting By Design, and I've been meaning to learn how to knit soon. Emma has a great eye for pairing typography and lines. 

Of Trees and Hues
I love looking at Trina's photography and reading her stories. She's based out of the Bay Area and I always wish I could go back to the Bay Area sometime soon everytime I look at her photos. 

Oh So Pretty
I found her blog via another of my favorite bloggers, which I listed under the "Resources" section of this post. I love her use of pale pink and white. Her designs are always so clean that I'm jealous. Her Instagram is gorgeous, too. A little The Pink Diary but a lot more home design/design-oriented than fashion-oriented. 


Designing something is always a team-effort, from typography to orientation to lines. I've shared some of my favorite resources for  free fonts and more. It's important to keep an eye on free resources and their terms of use, though. Some free resources require attribution and some do not. 

My personal favorite is FontSquirrel, since they have a lot of serif fonts, which I love. DaFont is great, too, but I find it overwhelming and the layout a little... eh. DaFont has a bigger library of fonts, I believe, though. 

I like to stick to a group of fonts for cohesion purposes but I do appreciate a good font. 

Design Inspiration
I love and Dribbble, both of which are platforms for designers to share their work. I go on there for inspiration and sometimes I come off feeling inadequate. More motivation to work harder! 

Photoshop Tutorials
I love, love Katrina of Pugly Pixel. She has a wealth of knowledge and resources such as her screencasts, font resources, photo layouts and more. Also, she has such a great eye for design. I'm constantly on her site. 

I just found The Pattern Library, which has so many great patterns. For more subtle patterns , check out Subtle Patterns

Stock Photography
As much as I like photography, I don't have as much time as I would like taking photos so I resort to using stock photos. Quelle horreur! I love Unsplash the best, but after DesignInstruct rounded up 10 free stock-image resources, I've diversified. 

Design Programs

I currently use Photoshop CS6, which I got at a very steeply discounted price through my school. Definitely check with your school or work first if they have any discounts with Adobe because it isn't cheap. 

If your school/work doesn't have any existing discounts but you are a student, you can buy the Photoshop student edition. To my knowledge, it's the same as the non-student edition but it's at a lower price to entice students to buy it. It's still pricey, though.

My high school had the CS4 Creative Suite and we could download virtual desktops to access our school accounts (Our school bought a portal program and told us we could do it. If your school doesn't offer this then you probably can't access your school accounts). It was slow but if you needed Photoshop... well, that was a way to do it. 

I can't speak for Photoshop Elements because I've never used it. I'm sure there are free versions that are similar to Photoshop on the internet. 

I hope that helps!

*Also, it helps that I like Scandinavian stuff because IKEA is cheap. Crate and Barrel is great, too, but not as cheap as IKEA. 

What are your favorite design blogs? Do you have any favorite resource sites? 


  1. I don't follow any design blogs but I'm definitely going to check out the favourites you mentioned in your post because inspiration!! I honestly don't know what's really popular in the design community other than minimalism is still in.

    Thank you so much for sharing! :D

  2. Wow! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thank you! I love following design blogs just as much as I like following book blogs.

  4. This is so awesome! I checked out the blogs you picked and they're all so gorgeous! Thank you for sharing your resources, they're super helpful for me. ESPECIALLY THE STOCKPHOTO SITES. I NEED THEM. :D

  5. Thanks for sharing! I love finding out what others use for design inspiration. I have all of the resources/abilities to do graphic design, but I haven't actually done anything in that vein in a REALLY long time. I'm such a perfectionist when it comes to graphic design and I get so frustrated when things don't turn out how I want that I end up just giving up and avoiding it altogether. You and Charlotte have inspired me a lot, though, so I'll have to play around some again.

  6. You are absolutely so sweet to include me in this amazing list of creatives! I, too, wish you would come over to the Bay Area soon.:P


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