5 Award-Winning Classic Movie Blog Designs (and the Patterns Your Blog Can Use)

Competition is increasingly stiff for the annual Classic Movie Blog Association (CiMBA) Awards ceremony, which occurs in the fall. Each member of the association nominates her/his own blog post for each category and other members vote. There are several categories, including Best Blog Design. I've never won for Best Blog Design, so let's study the winning patterns for this category.


CiMBA Best Blog Design 2010 - Classicfilmboy’s Movie Paradise,http://www.classicfilmboy.com/

Classic Film Boy
This blog has since changed its design, but in 2010, this was the first winner of Best Blog Design CiMBA category. It's light and inviting with little pops of pastel color. It is a classic Blogger.com template.  There are photos at the top of the post and then strewn throughout the text underneath.

Explore more of the 2010 winning design with the Way Back Machine here: http://www.classicfilmboy.com/

CiMBA Best Blog Design 2011- Via Margutta 51, www.via-51.blogspot.com/

Via-Margutta 51
The next year saw another light and airy design win. Via-Margutta 51 maintains the white background with spots of light green and a unique, personalized font. There are helpful navigation buttons on the sidebar that take you deeper into the blog. This design features large photos not only in the posts but on the header as well. I recall the header changing with the seasons or the mood. It also uses gifs.

Explore more of the 2011 winning design with the Way Back Machine here:  www.via-51.blogspot.com/

CiMBA Best Blog Design 2012 - Sittin' On a Backyard Fence, http://sittinonabackyardfence.com/

2012 saw a change. Light and airy was out,  noirish was in. The dark background allows the photos to stand out. The blog has the sidebar which tells you more about the author, what she's reading lately, helpful links.

Explore more of the 2012 winning design with the Way Back Machine here: http://sittinonabackyardfence.com/

CiMBA Best Blog Design 2013 - Pre-Code.Comhttp://www.pre-code.com/

Pre-Code's header for its win clearly delineates the specific topic,  boasts of large photos with rounded corners. The posts have one large photo at the top and a little cast of characters list with photos  -screenshots from the film- next to their names. Then comes the most of the text.

The blog breaks up the black and white with colorful fonts and splashes of color in the posts.

Explore more of the 2013 winning design with the Way Back Machine here:

CiMBA Best Blog Design 2014 - The Blonde at the Film, http://theblondeatthefilm.com/

This blog won the CiMBA Blog Design with a main page which shows photos that take up most of the blog page. Each photo has the name of the movie reviewed and a "Read More" button. This blog tends to stick to reviews (as opposed to musing on the state of the film industry, reviews of film festivals, etc.) and each post has plenty of screen shots from the film.

Explore more of the 2014 winning design with the Way Back Machine here:  http://theblondeatthefilm.com/

To Sum It Up - The winners for CiMBA's Best Blog Design have some of these 5 elements.

  1. Photo-heavy - Screenshots from the movie itself are best. Publicity stills are second best. Photos should be large.
  2. Sidebar - with lists of popular posts, recent posts, recent comments. It seems you should share links within your own blog higher up on the page and in your high traffic areas; people want to know you and what you have to offer that's different from anyone else. Links to other websites should probably be placed farther down.
  3. Color - The background can be dark, as long as there are lighter colors popping in the foreground. Color palettes are simple and not busy, allowing the film's screenshots to stand out.
  4. Except for the 2014 winner, their main page is open, meaning that the top post is ready to be read immediately and in its entirety without  clicking "Read More."
  5. There is something instantly visually unique about them, even if it's just a weird font .

Ultimately, there is no formula to guarantee winning CiMBA's Best Blog Design, but you and I can incorporate some of these elements into our classic movie spaces.

How is your blog designed? What tips can you offer us to improve the reader experience?


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"Java's Journey: A really fun, informative well-written blog that explores all of the things - and I mean all - I love about classic films."-- Flick Chick of A Person In The Dark Email: java-rush@hotmail.com


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