In order to stay fresh, productive, and imaginative, every artist needs to take a small break from time to time and go on a quest for inspiration. Thankfully, the internet is full of intriguing designs and exciting new concepts that can easily get those creative juices flowing again. If you’re stuck with a web design that just doesn’t seem to work, try to draw some inspiration from these 15 vegan recipe blogs whose clean design perfectly captures the “less is more” principle. Take a look at the list and see if anything sparks your interest.
The first vegan blog on our list is the beautiful Faring Well. The simple and clean design of the blog is evident from the moment you land on the homepage and your eyes divert to a large, high-quality picture of the latest vegan dish. This hyperlinked image is intentionally positioned as the dominant object on the page and aims to spark your interest to read on further. Even the title of the blog is pushed to the right so as not to interfere with the image’s authority.
When it comes to the color scheme, you can see that the blog utilizes the fairly common unintrusive black and white contrast that clearly defines all the objects on the page like the three main buttons. Of course, the lovely cursive logo on the right links back to the homepage to facilitate the navigation. Also, speaking of navigation, notice how the designers consciously decided not to use a traditional navigation bar at the top but opted for presenting various sections on the right, next to the breathtaking images. Overall, the entire website design is clean, minimalistic and, most importantly, appetizing.
Now, let’s look at a website called Jennifer’s Kitchen. The first thing you notice on the homepage is actually the color-scheme. Again, a clean white background that allows all of the elements to stand out and a blue-orange color scheme.
What’s fun about this design is that it works beautifully with the actual images. The orange color is the highlighting color and, since it’s a vegan kitchen, most of the dishes contain orange ingredients. It’s a great choice that paid off.
Unlike the previous blog, this one is a bit more traditional in a sense that it has a navigation bar though it’s not intrusive and still allows for a clean and minimalistic design that’s really focused on the food. In the end, it all comes down to the palatable color scheme here and it’s more than enough.
Most of the time, vegans are perceived as fragile, peace-loving beings, but that’s not always true. Thug Kitchen is a vegan blog whose main mission is to force you to eat healthy with an “in your face” attitude full of informal language and urgency.
The background of the website is basically a slideshow depicting various dishes and recipes. This is a great example of how various font types and sizes can set the tone of a website. Thug Kitchen uses big, demanding block letters as titles followed by short, casual descriptions of each meal.
The beauty of this website lies in its consistency. The visitor exactly knows what he’s looking at and what he can expect, which makes navigation easier and improves the overall experience. The designers also made sure that the visitor doesn’t get overwhelmed with content. There is quite a lot of empty space that is essential for clean design and lets the user focus on every object on the page.
One of the most important aspects of every clean design is alignment and the vegan vlog called Hot for Food demonstrates it beautifully. After the logo and the navigation bar, all that the visitor sees is a grid of various dishes with a fair bit of space between them. The key here is in the perfect alignment of the images. Not only is it pleasing to the eye, but it also creates a sense of order and harmony, often associated with a vegan diet.
Now, we’ve already mentioned the logo at the top but is it actually in the best position? So far in our list, we’ve seen various ideas on where to put the logo, but is there a scientifically proven option that works best? Well, it appears there is. A Nielsen Norman Group research came to a conclusion that the traditional placement of the logo in the top-left position on the website actually promotes better brand recognition and helps with the navigation. Of course, this doesn’t mean that other options are wrong. This simply means that this one is the most effective and probably the best option if you’re going for a truly clean, logical design of your website.
When you’re presenting a food blog, pictures have to be your priority. You need to include high-quality images that offer evidence for the recipes you’re describing.
So, make sure the images are clear, focused, and don’t contain the so-called half-pixels that might result in blurry photographs on the website. The images on the Oh She Glows vegan blog are a good example of perfectly cut and aligned images that are absolutely sharp.
The main part of the website is in the form of a narrow strip on the left that offers detailed recipes and personal stories that follow them. Why is the strip on the left, though? Because that’s the part of a webpage that initially captures the attention of most Western visitors. It has a lot to do with the idea of an F-pattern that aims to describe how people perceive content on the web. They are generally more focused on the left side because of the direction they read and write in. So, when in doubt, always opt for the left side.
Another great thing you can learn from these vegan blogs is the power of gradation. Take Delicious from Scratch as an example. As soon as you land on the homepage, you see a stylized title of the blog written in cursive and three huge images, hyperlinked to specific articles.
Note the importance of microinteractions here as images slightly expand and fade when you hover your mouse over them. They give the user some feedback and improve the overall experience. Below these images are slightly smaller ones that offer vegetarian tips and they are followed by even smaller images that link to Instagram. This type of gradation guides the user and tells him what he should focus on first.
The use of generous spacing in this blog is what makes its clean design so successful and improves on the gradation. All of the elements are separated into distinct groups and arranged in a logical manner. Although the names of the recipes could have been a little bit enhanced, it was obviously a conscious decision from the designer to keep the focus on the actual images. In any case, it gets the job done.
You may have noticed that a number of vegan blogs out there use a grid design to present their recipes and there’s a good reason for it. It’s simple, clean, and easy for navigation. Again, it’s all about the consistency as 101 Cookbooks might show you on their blog. Their catalog of recipes always uses groups of six perfectly aligned images depicting various dishes. Each group is thematically connected so that the visitor can focus solely on, say, soups or drinks. The great thing about this structure is that you get a chance to introduce ads between them without annoying the user.
Curiously, the website uses the left side of the webpage for navigation and About Me sections although they’re obviously not the main focus here. This might be a better option if you’re looking to improve navigation on your website, but what you really need at the start is an attention-grabber. You probably shouldn’t waste the chance to intrigue a visitor immediately.
Now, Deliciously Ella is something of a textbook example of a clean blog design.
The black font on a white background always gets the job done, especially if the font is clear and somewhat casual. The first thing you’ll notice as you land on this webpage is the spacing. There is plenty of room, not only between images but also between all other elements on the page. This way the visitor can easily find what he’s looking for and not get distracted by the unnecessary navigation design. It’s colorful, elegant and straightforward.
One thing that might further improve this design would be dividing the page into two sections as we have seen in other blogs. Although this centralized approach is no doubt clean and direct, it does not really help the reader focus on specific articles. Instead, his eyes wander all over the place and he might miss out on some great content because of it.
A lot of designers think that you have to choose a white background in order to have a clean design, but that’s simply not true. Take Isa Chandra’s blog, for example. It uses a grey and purple color scheme, yet the blog looks clean and simple. How come? It actually has everything to do with the layout and the arrangement of the elements. A huge title at the top and clearly defined recipes on the left. It’s a good, clean option.
So, how can this blog be improved? First of all, there should be more emphasis on the images. Right now, it just looks like a list of products where nothing is singled out or emphasized. The readers really want to be guided sometimes and offered personalized recommendations. You can look at it however you want to but at the end of the day, you’re selling something and need to explain to your potential customers why they should spend their time on a recipe.
Let’s look at the great blog with a clean and beautiful design that might have made a couple of bad choices, though.
The black and white color scheme is, of course, always a safe choice. The problem here lies in the fact that the designers chose to put the ad for their cookbook on the left side and the main content on the right. It makes sense – they want to sell the book so they prioritize it by placing it closer to the visitor’s first glance.
However, as you scroll down, you see that the left part quickly runs out of material and all we are left with is the main content that is now off-center and there’s nothing you can do about it. That is why most of the other designers choose to put the main content on the left. It looks more natural and instinctive to the user. That being said, The First Mess is certainly a great blog with high-quality images that immediately grab the visitor’s attention and inspire him to give veganism a try.
There is something quite beautiful about Keepin’ It Kind food blog. The kindness they’re referring to in the title seems to reflect in the website’s design choices somehow, which means that they did a great job. When you scroll through it, all you see are various squares, content divided into different boxes, keeping everything clean and clear. The most recent recipe is given a prominent position at the top along with other essential elements like the logo, navigation bar, and the About Me section.
If there’s one thing that’s stopping this blog from truly achieving its full potential, it’s the color scheme. The contrast could be a bit more obvious and the text following each picture seems to be unnecessarily pale. All of it needs to be just a bit more demanding. Otherwise, it’s a beautiful design that really reflects the author’s kindness.
One of the biggest advantages of clean design is that it is content-oriented, and The Plant Philosophy is a perfect example of this. Web design is much more than beautiful shapes and colors – it’s about making your website user-friendly and making the most important pieces of content easily accessible. This is what The Plant Philosophy does best. It has got the most popular articles on the right hand side and newest recipes and posts on the left.
Furthermore, clean design is about finding the right balance when it comes to categorizing your content. Having all your content uncategorized makes it more difficult for users to find what they’re really interested in, yet too many different sections can lead to confusion and make your site look cluttered. And it seems like the designer of The Plant Philosophy has found just the right balance. Posts are divided into just a few obvious and intuitive sections, making it easy for users to find their way around the blog, without making the whole thing unnecessarily complicated.
Info about the author and links to her social networks are just as they should be – discreet but visible. Blank space is mostly used in a clever way, although once you scroll down below the favorite posts there’s something that seems like an unnatural gap on the right. This is one of the few flaws of this design. Whitespace on the right doesn’t look planned, but more like it’s there merely because the blog runs out of content. It disrupts the symmetry of the design and leaves users with a feeling that there’s simply something missing.
Olives for Dinner is simple, neat and beautiful. The page is separated into two columns, with blogs on the left, various different elements on the right and what seems to be the ideal amount of whitespace in between. This is a nice way to put the focus on the content, by using the abovementioned left-side bias and leaving enough breathing space to make sure that the elements on the right don’t mix up with the posts.
Just like with The Plant Philosophy, once you scroll down enough you’re left with some blank space on the right. Yet unlike The Plant Philosophy, this space doesn’t strike the user as unnatural. The symmetry remains intact and that’s why it seems planned and reasonable. It doesn’t look like something’s missing, but like the designer wanted to leave it blank for a purpose. And this makes all the difference.
Traditional placing of the navigation bar, white background with just a bit of neutral olive color at the top and the heavy use of straight lines are all handbook examples of clean design. If there’s anything that could be criticized in Olives for Dinner, it’s the asymmetry of descriptions included in blog previews. The difference in their length is something that strangely sticks out in a page otherwise based completely on straight lines.
The thing with clean design is that it sometimes looks way too simple, almost as if anyone could come up with it and make it look right. Just put some straight lines there, upload some nice photos, leave a lot of whitespace and it’ll do the job. Of course, it’s much more complex than that. The real trick is keeping the design minimal while at the same time being user-friendly and making sure that content is visible and well-partitioned. Oh Lady Cakes does just this. At the first glance, it’s just a bunch of well-aligned photos on a white background.
But if you look into it in more detail, the whole secret is being practical with the way you organize sections on the page. Being minimal yet comprehensive. Oh Lady Cakes has basically three sections – Latest, Food and Stuff. This is a great way to keep the focus on what the blog is about – recipes, yet clearly stating that the blog has more to offer than that. And further categorization is intuitive, helpful and self-explanatory. If you’re ready to scroll further you’ll get to the favorite articles and check what people like the most at the website. Putting your best pieces of content right in front of people’s faces is always a clever way to make them interested in what else is there.
The message of Oh Lady Cakes is simple – people are here for the food. You give them beautiful large photos of food to grab their attention and then direct them to the recipes in order to keep them coming back. Just keep it simple and give people what they want.
Now, let’s finish it up with a vegan blog called The Full Helping. This might not seem like one of the latest website designs, but we certainly believe is, at least when talking about clean design. Quite often, the greatest design is the one you don’t even notice because it looks so natural, instinctive and completely functional. This might as well be one of them.
Looking at the landing page of the blog, you can notice that all the elements are immediately there with a very generous spacing. The traditional top-left position for a logo, the elegant and non-intrusive navigation bar, and a couple of highlighted dishes with high-quality, appetizing images – it’s all there. If you scroll down, you’ll stumble upon the most recent posts and a short and sweet About Me section on the right. Even if you’re not a vegan, you might think about becoming once you encounter this beautiful design.
Clean Design Tips
So, if you’re planning on improving your own clean design, there are just a couple of things you should always keep in mind. Simplicity always works but it doesn’t require any less effort than more complex options. In fact, some might argue that it’s harder to create a simple yet effective blog, so be patient. Despite it all, when you’re stripping down your overly complex design, don’t get rid of the small details that can immensely improve the user experience.
Now, regarding the positioning of the elements, it’s all up to you. The most important thing is that there’s enough room in between and that they’re not overwhelming. Use high-quality photographs and align them the best way you can. Also, note that the westerners have a tendency to focus on the left part of the website first so use it to put the emphasis on your logo or, even better, on some of your best articles. Finally, pick a color scheme that goes either with your website’s theme or with the tone you will be using. Combine it with a font of your choosing and remember – use different sizes to guide your users and show them exactly what you want them to see.
In the end, the most important thing is that your design serves a purpose and offers the ultimate customer experience because that’s the whole point. If it doesn’t, maybe it’s time to rethink your elements and make some changes.