Designing graphics isn’t hard when you know a few tricks. Here’s how I make the graphics I use on all my social media with the free Canva program!
Designing Graphics in Canva
Designing graphics isn’t as hard as you might think. Every blogger uses graphics for one reason or another, but you can also use graphics for websites, brochures, invitations, print media such as letter head, business cards and more. Graphics are easy to make for any purpose with a free design tool like Canva. Canva requires you to create a free account with a valid email address. I love this tool for a number of reasons. Here’s how I make all of my graphics here on the blog.
I am not a graphic designer, although I have considered taking graphic design classes many times. I get hung up on fonts, there are so many beautiful ones to choose from! The best graphic designs for blogs and social media are easy to read with simple text. I recommend that you find one font that goes with the general design of your blog and stick to it. You can certainly change it down the road, but it pays to be consistent with your look and develop your brand identity.
How to Use Canva
Canva.com has beautiful images and graphics all put together for you to choose from. This is a huge time saver. Every social media has it’s own image size. This makes a nightmare of different sizes to remember when you are trying to design a different image for every type of social media. I find that I can make 2-3 graphics for each post that can be used for all my social media needs. You could make more, but these are the ones that get the most use.
Top 3 Social Media Graphics
My top social media platforms are Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook.
- Graphics for Pinterest: I usually make two different Pin graphics for each post. The first one is 735 X 1102 Pixels. This is also the graphic I choose for my featured image on my blog posts. The second Pin graphic is a long Pin 800 X 2000 pixels. This graphic is what I use at the end of each post. If you would like to see how they look, you can view my Pinterest page here.
- Facebook: Each post I write contains a separate image for Facebook. When someone shares my posts on Facebook, this image will appear in place of the featured image. I have tried a variety of styles but the ones that do the best are photographic images with text overlay. Facebook graphics should be 940 x 788 pixels.
- Twitter: I admit I don’t make many separate graphics for Twitter. I probably should. Posts with photo graphics to far better than those without. Recommended graphic size is 1024 x 512.
17 Awesome Tips and Tricks
- When you are designing graphics, there are a few different ways to go about it. The easiest way is to use a predesigned template, and just change the text. You can still change font styles and colors to go with your brand as needed. Graphics without photos and just text are fine to use, but be sure that they are colorful and interesting.
2. Graphics with beautiful photos are great eye catchers for social media, especially for use on Pinterest. If you use stock photography you can easily upload the stock photos and add text overlays in Canva.
3. Upload your own pictures. It’s always safer to use your own photography than risk getting into trouble for using someone else’s photos. Use vertical or horizontal photos depending on the type of graphic you are making. For my long Pins I use a vertical photo at the top and a horizontal photo at the bottom. Then my blog name and logo between the two. For Facebook and Twitter posts I use a horizontal photo.
4. Not good with photography? Choose from Canva’s extensive collection of predesigned graphics with stock photos. All you have to do is change the text to suit your needs.
5.Make your own graphic templates to share with your team or reuse them over and over for your own cohesive look. This is a big time saver. You don’t have to start from scratch every single time. Canva remembers each design you make it, you can copy it and use it again as a template. I have several template designs that I customize repeatedly to fit my blog posts.
6. Change the fonts. It’s easy to highlight text and change font style, size and color. Not sure what works best? Share it with someone else via email or social media to get their opinion before publishing.
7. Colorize your graphics to match your brand. You can change the background color to highlight your text.
8. Move text around for the best look. This is particularly important when using text over a photo. I prefer my photo to be the highlight of the graphic, often I will move text to an opportune location so you can see the best part of the photo.
9. Add your URL to the design. Social media shares are great, but if your URL isn’t on the graphic it won’t do you any good. Be sure to place it in the center so that hackers can’t crop it off from the bottom and steal your work.
10. Use your logo in your graphic. Every website has a logo or logos that identify their brand. By adding your logo to your graphic you will increase your brand awareness.
11. Use colored filters on your photos behind your text. This helps the photo fade into the background and makes your text stand out. Quotes look amazing on these types of photos.
12. Keep words to a minimum. Graphics with quotes are the only exception. Generally speaking fewer words are better. Most graphics are viewed in seconds on social media. Save the details for the blog post when people click through to read it. The idea is to make your graphics LOOK interesting enough to read without giving away too much information.
13. Use several different size fonts in a single graphic. The most important word or words should be the biggest. Save the descriptive “How to” or “Tutorial” words for the smaller fonts.
14. Keep letters in sharp contrast to the back ground. Often I see graphics that are hard to read because there is not enough difference in value between the font and the back ground photo. Black and white is the easiest to read and definitely the most popular.
15. Design all your graphics at one time. This is a huge time saver. I often design graphics for 4-5 posts at once by copying a template over and adding new photos and text. That way I can just write the post, upload the graphics and publish.
16. Share your graphics with your team. This is a paid feature on Canva. I have recently started using it and it’s great. I can share my templates, blog logo, fonts, and colors with my team members so they can make even more graphics that relate to my brand.
17. Another paid option that is worth trying is that you can design your graphics with a transparent back ground. This means you can create beautiful text in a format to use over photos in Photoshop, Photoshop Elements or other design program.
I decided to make several videos of how I work through the entire design process on Canva, leave me a comment if you have any questions.
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