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Did you use a generic template? Have someone custom design it? How did you decide on your design?? I have a freebie template right now but really want something my own! Most blogs I've visited don't list the designer anywhere so I'm wondering if all you people with these great blogs are talented in the designing aspect too??? If so....pffftttt! lol

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I use the minima template from blogger, then changed it to 3 columns, and I designed the header myself using photoshop. When I see people charging close to $100 for web design, I think "Wow! Really? I can do that!"
I use Wordpress I am using a free theme - the simplified theme by Just Skins combined with a couple of the themes from Scribblescratch.com. I don't recommend the simplified theme because there is a major bug with the comments.php file. I fixed mine, but not everyone will know what to do.

Scribblescratch has some awesome free themes for wordpress if anyone is interested.

I tweaked mine quite a bit taking the best of everything!
I bought a pre-made template from Custom blog design by Michelle @ Shabby Creations. She changed a few things for me and set it up for me. Plus it was a great deal!! Go check her out - her link is on my blog too.
My website began with my logo so I could create a recognizable brand for myself. I hired the talented Staci at Quirky Bird Designs to do my logo. (She doesn't really do logos anymore, mostly boutique sites now.) From the logo's colors and characters I created the rest of my site myself. My husband is programmer and built it for me.

If I had to create a blog without my husband I would have probably hired Girly Blog Designz or Ohmystinkinheck.com.

The design of my site is very important to me. I want it to be clean, load fast, and standout from all the other blogs. I firmly believe in you get what you pay for. If you want to grow your blog, then pay for it. But if you have a site just for family and friends then a free theme is just fine. I use a modified free wordpress theme on my personal blog. One great place I have looked for WP themes is Smashing Magazine.
www.goofygirl.org ! I took a stock design that she had and just tweaked it a bit, but she also does some awesome custome designs. She's a 4th year med student, so if she is in the middle of an exam crunch you may have to be patient. but when she did my design, it was very quick.
My brother did all the graphics for me (he's awesome!), I did the layout using a minima template...I love it...for now ;)
I actually hired a very popular mom blog designer, but she dropped me, and never got back to me again. It was really weird! So I learned how to do it, and started my own Blog Design business. www.reallifedesign.net.
I designed all of my blogs, but, well, that's one of my jobs :)
http://www.urbanblissdesign.com if you want to check out my general design work. there's a LOT you can do with basic templates on blogger, typepad and wordpress to give them your own unique branded look.

I try to stick to the same clean, modern, fresh & fun design principles for my own blogs that I stick to for my clients (cluttered up blog designs drive the pr/marketing part of me nuts).

http://maternitytomadness.blogspot.com ; http://urbanblissdesign.blogspot.com; http://www.mamapreneursinc.com ; http://www.mamalit.com. perhaps my fave blog design is one I did for my personal family blog, but that's password protected :)
I did mine w/ a generic template... booooring, but it does the job.
I downloaded mine for free and it actually says on the bottom of the page. And I kinda arrange everything to my preferences.

I don't have to time to design my own; run scripts, design the buttons, etc. Forget it.
I always design my own blogs, have since 1990-something. I love designing websites, there is nothing like it. My design site is: http://Uniquehorn.net & my blog is: http://pepper.uniquehorn.net
I use the free ones and then change headers, colors, etc., to suit myself. My personal is, um, let's say eclectic and mercurial so I haven't settle on any one design. How do you do that when your blog is supposed to reflect you and you're different day to day? Argh!

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