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A New Look for ProBlogger – Coming Soon (Very Soon)

Over the last month or two I’ve mentioned on a number of occasions that I’ve had a small team working on a redesign of ProBlogger.

I’m happy to say that some great progress has been made and we are aiming for a release of the new design tomorrow (all going well).

While the current ProBlogger design and logo has served me well (thanks to the talent of designer Rachel Cunliffe who designed it – and who I might say came up with a very innovative design for the time it was done – over two and a half years ago) I’ve increasingly become aware that it’s become a little dated and tired – particularly as I’ve added new features such as a job board, b5 blog roll, new ad formats etc.

While I’m sad to see the old design go and I’m a little fearful of how the new direction will be received I’m also excited to show it off as it marks a new beginning and direction for ProBlogger.

As a result I engaged the services of Ben Bleikamp to redesign the template and Mike Rohde from MakaluMedia to redesign the logo.

Ben and Mike have both worked hard at their tasks and together I think we’ve come up with something both fresh and functional that will hopefully see the site through for some time now.

The Logo

While Ben puts the finishing touches on the new template I thought I’d start the show and tell sessions by revealing the new logo.

So without further ado….

Logo

A few notes/thoughts on the process:

  • You’ll see that it’s a real departure from the previous logo (and you’ll get a hint at some of the colors of the new template).
  • The brief I gave Mike was that I wanted something simple and clean – yet something with symbolism.
  • We wanted to retain a ‘P’ but also keep the word ProBlogger.
  • The colors are more subtle (no more bright orange/gold – a color that some readers struggled with depending upon their monitors). Having said this – the coloring isn’t a complete departure from the current design.
  • The ‘atom’ like design is about community/network (although some who I’ve shown it to have read into it that it’s about the ‘energy’ of the ProBlogger Community)

I’ll be honest in saying that the design of the logo (and the overall redesign of the template) was not an easy process. Not because of the guys I was working with but because there were so many possibilities and potential goals. ProBlogger has come to mean many things to many people and to come up with something that summed it all up was impossible. My hope is that rather than the logo bringing meaning to ProBlogger that ProBlogger will bring meaning to the logo (for more on what I mean by this check out a short piece that Seth Godin posted a while back on Logos – thanks to Seth both for the post and for his feedback on the logo during the testing process).

The template – Teasers:

The new blog template will hopefully be launched in the next 24 hours and once again is another departure from the current design in many ways. I’ve been testing it with a number of readers and the reactions have been encouraging – although some have been surprised by the extent of the changes.

  • The new design features no AdSense and will be monetized only by 125 x 125 ads (enquire about being an advertiser here) and a few affiliate programs/recommended products
  • The blog itself will be fresher, cleaner and less cluttered
  • We’ll be utilizing a footer area to de-clutter some of the sidebar
  • The front page at problogger.net will look and operate radically differently – but there will be an option for people who just want to see a more normal looking ‘blog’

The new template is just one step in the evolution of ProBlogger and I’m certain that in the days, weeks and months after we launch it this week that there will be numerous changes, tweaks and new features added – many of which I hope will be a result of your comments and suggestions. I’d love it if you’ll beta test it with me over the next few weeks.

Thanks to Mike and Ben for all their work on this – particularly Ben who has been on the job for weeks now and has poured a lot of time and energy into the project. Thanks also to the numerous people that I asked to look over this logo and template design – your feedback and critiques were all very helpful in refining what we have produced).

So now it’s over to the ProBlogger community to have your say about the logo. As always, your opinion is valued and will be heard – all I ask is that you be constructive with your critiques so that we can continue to improve what we’re building here with the site.

PS: stay tuned for the new template design in the coming hours.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. I really like the new logo! The color scheme and professional look of it are really great, I cannot wait to see the rest of the new design!!!

  2. Deelip says:

    Current design of the site sucks.
    you took right decision to change it . I hope I will see the new site when I wake up, gonna sleep now. :)

  3. Grant says:

    Deelip – i don’t think the current design ‘sucks’ (no more than your own one does with that pixelated picture of you). It is in need of update but I think it’s distinct and works pretty well.

  4. I like the bold font and the darker, earthy colors. I look forward to the new design.

  5. The amount of information you give is incredible. Congratulations! I can’t wait for your new blog design.

  6. Veronica says:

    Regardless of my opinion of your new logo (I do like it), I’m glad you’re changing. Your old logo is nearly identical to the logo for Planned Parenthood here in the States- I never thought it was copied on purpose, but I could never get out of my head that I’d seen it before.

  7. HolisticGal says:

    I’m also curious to read your blog posts regarding the ”no adsense change will make. I know you can sell enough ads to make up for it, – it’ll be interesting to read the posts around advertising in the future.

  8. Rich Owings says:

    Oooh! Can you offer some t-shirts for sale?

  9. Chuck says:

    This should be interesting, Darren. I must admit, I find your blog a bit cluttered and the colors somewhat anemic. I suspect some of this is due to my partial red-green colorblindness.

    But you consistently have spot-on content…so I think a more robust template should suit it well. I’ll be back in a few hours to check it out! ;-)

  10. I think it is really a bit dangerous changing the trademark. Changing the site design is one thing but changing a logo is another.

    Do you think it will have any negative results Darren?

  11. Johnny says:

    can’t wait to see the new site design although your blog would rock just as much as is.

  12. Mindanao Bob says:

    The new logo is GREAT! I look forward to seeing the new site!

  13. elizabeth says:

    I like the logo. I’m fond of red on websites.

  14. Balajoe says:

    Great logo – prominent word “BLOGGER” strike out.

  15. Webd360 says:

    Great logo and this post got me excited to see the new design

  16. David Mackey says:

    I like the new logo. Very nice.

  17. Ari Shohat says:

    Darren, the new logo rocks and will serve you and yor instant recognition for years to come very well!

  18. Angel says:

    Can’t wait.

  19. Love the new logo! The colors pop, and the atom makes me think of working together in a sphere of influence. Great job.

  20. Ian says:

    The logo looks too similar to a few I’ve seen, people will think you’re ripping off these site, or at least your designer.

    http://makalumedia.com/images/theme/logo.gif
    and http://www.blogbullet.com/wp-content/themes/anaconda/images/logo.png

  21. Jim Moon says:

    Hey Darren, I love the new logo… It really seems to project a good sense of the Community Spirit whilst still holding fast to the Problogger name.

    Awesome, I can’t wait to see the new site.

    Jim Moon

  22. John Bennett says:

    I think the logo looks good. Looking forward to the update.

  23. ameh says:

    Great logo and this post got me excited to see the new design http://english.oooooa.com

  24. Jason Heath says:

    Great logo, Darren! Looking forward to checking out the redesign.

  25. BRAVO!!!!
    I can’t wait to see it!!!

  26. kapy says:

    eagerly waiting for the all new look ProBlogger

  27. Lorna says:

    WOW! Your new logo looks mighty impressive! Kudos to you and the designers; I eagerly anticipate the launch of your blog’s new look.

  28. Truden says:

    Oh, no!
    BogBullet’s logo design (comment 70 – Ian) should make you reconsider your logo, Darren.
    Is that logo made from http://www.makalumedia.com/
    Too obvious similarity.

  29. Oyvind says:

    I like the direction of the logo, but I think it’s too complicated. Too many elements. As it is now, it has four, maybe five parts:

    The circle (with three circles on it)
    The P inside the circle
    ProBlogger – with two different colors and sizes.

    I would have considered using just the name, the “ProBlogger” part. That is the best part of the logo as it is now. Just ProBlogger in black and red.

    The P inside the circle looks like it’s falling down because it’s lower than the P in ProBlogger. It’s probably because the P in the circle is lowercase, but it still looks strange. Also it looks strange that there are two P’s after each other, looking different. One is lowercase, but is positioned somewhere between where a lowercase p would normally be placed, and where an uppercase P would go. The P in the circle has a gap inside, the P in ProBlogger not.

    The tree circles around the P. Because the P inside the circle has a downward stem, that makes the lovest circle “stick” to the p, while the other two are “floating” (difficult to explain).

    The space around the P in the circle I feel is too small. It looks as it’s trapped. I would consider leaving space at least as big as the thickness of the lines of the P on all sides. Especially in the upper right part of the P, I think there’s too little space.

    And finally: The spaces between the grey circle and the red circle, between the red circle and the grey balls, and the grey circle and the ProBlogger are not in harmony (in my opinion). It looks like the left grey ball is closer to the red circle than the other two.

    I like the direction, but there are things missing in the execution.

    All these are just details, details, details. And it’s very hard to make an amazing logo. And secondly: There are just my opinions, just that. :-)

    I’m looking forward to see the new site design! Thanks for making an excellent website. I’ve been reading ProBlogger for several years, and while other so-called “blog help”-sites just turn the deck every six weeks, you manage to crank out new interesting material all the way. Brilliant.

  30. Jeffro2pt0 says:

    I think the new logo looks damn sexy. A hell of alot better than your current one.

  31. Aaron James Cooke says:

    Not keen on the logo, seems a little to 1999 to me.

  32. Very impressive logo, Darren.

    What I’m more looking forward to is the overall colour scheme of the blog – and if a lot of the colors are taken from the logo then I’m sure it’ll be a winner.

    I like your hint that the new design will be less cluttered -sometimes less is more.

    Also, very glad you’re dumping the yellow/gold. :-)

    Really looking forward to the new design – bring it on ;-)

  33. CatherineL says:

    Great logo Darren – although there was nothing wrong with your original one either. I’m curious. Why are you removing adsense? I thought adsense was one of your biggest earners. Do you do less well with adsense on this blog than on your other ones?

    Looking forward to seeing the new design.

  34. Darren Rowse says:

    CatherineL – AdSense performs pretty averagely on ProBlogger. I earn more from it on other sites where i’ll keep using it but here on ProBlogger I’m finding a better earning potential from the 125 x 125 pixel ads.

  35. MDB says:

    Looks like you are going corporate with that logo… not just pro. I am looking forward to the new look.

  36. Uzair says:

    Nice logo…But the graphics around P mimic those of Ubuntu

  37. Frankly, it’s not much different from the present one. The color TONE is still the same. Mid-dull shade. The typeface for the name ‘PROBLOGGER” is also rather SIMILAR; rounded edge and “widen or flat” font. In fact the letters “PRO” is the same as the present logo, only now it is in big cap.
    It’s a good design, but nothing spectacular.

  38. RYan says:

    Bringing sexy back with that logo Darren!

  39. I like it a lot. I’m excited to see the new layout – in fact, I’m all sweaty with anticipation to tell you the truth.

    Actually, if I’m being completely honest – I don’t usually read your posts from the actual problogger.net site. I read it from Google Reader, and then open the original item if I want to drop a comment. Nevertheless, I’m still excited to see what you’ve got brewing.

  40. James Joyner says:

    I like the new logo and freshening sites is usually a good thing although, like Alan Bradford, I generally read you via RSS and click over only to comment.

    I gather from your other remarks that you’re moving to a non-traditional “magazine” format vice the standard “blog” reverse chronology. That seems to be a trend, with a few major blogs headed in that direction. I’m still not persuaded that it’s more beneficial.

    I’ll be interested to see what you do with the footer.

  41. Oyvind says:

    I made a suggestion. Hope I’m not offending anyone, designer or you, Darren!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/brandnewbrain/1058497101/

  42. Zac Davis says:

    I actually like Oyvind’s logo a bit better, because it seems a bit more simpler. Regardless, I like the new style and new color scheme. I can’t wait until it goes live. IT will add a little more spice to your blog.

  43. Doug says:

    The new logo looks good Darren. It has a very ‘new’ look to it. Keep up the good work.

  44. Adriaan says:

    Mike Rohde has designed all my app’s icons (including the one for ecto3, forthcoming). He’s a great guy and he made you another fabulous icon. Good choice!

  45. Index.com.my says:

    woww… looks very professional …. congrate!! Darren

  46. Dacha says:

    Great logo, excellent neat design – now you talking with a style ;)

  47. Liz Strauss says:

    Fabulous, Darren! Bravo all around!