First off, why do graphics matter?
Short Answer: Because design matters.
Long Answer: Graphic design is also known as communication design. As a blogger, how do you get your message across? How do you connect with your readers? By communicating.
How do you communicate?
- You write blog posts.
- You produce content.
- You express your thoughts & experiences.
Graphic Design enhances all of that. Visually. Subconsciously. Imagery and design bring your content to life.
One of the biggest things that turn people away from blogs is bad graphics. Bad design is distracting and unsettling. Some people can’t focus on the content (regardless of how good it is) if their eyes are constantly trying decode the graphics surrounding it.
The bottom line: Bad design interrupts your user’s experience.
Your graphics should be there to enhance your message; to engage the user; to tell a story...not make your readers run the other way.
Here are 5 tips to help you create great graphics:
1. Brand Colours
It’s important to stick with your brand colours in your graphics so that your blog looks consistent. You want your readers to start recognising your brand on all platforms.
How does that happen? Visual consistency.
If one of your readers is scrolling on Pinterest and they come across one of your blog graphics...you want it to be COMPLETELY obvious that it’s your brand.
More brand recognition, means more trust. More trust, means more traffic.
Sticking with brand colours is also important so that your blogging graphics don’t stick out like a sore thumb on your website. You want everything to flow smoothly.
Along with branding colours, you probably have 2-3 fonts associated with your brand – Make sure these fonts are paired well together. If you have more than that, I would highly suggest reevaluating some of them.
Not sure what fonts go well together? Search “Google Font Pairings” and you’ll get a ton of font pairing examples!
Besides font faces, you can also play around with font sizes and weights to create visual hierarchy. The bigger sized font might be used for a title and the smaller size can be used for the content….play around with sizes and see what you come up with.
Just remember not to make your graphic too chaotic….when in doubt, subtract elements.
The easiest way to ensure a good blog graphic...use a good photo. High quality images are very important. You don’t want your graphics to look all grainy and pixelated.
Where can you find high resolution images for your posts? All over the internet. You can find really nice ones for free, but they usually take some time to find, or you can buy stock images.
Besides the quality of the actual image, it’s important to keep your image relevant to your content. Blog images that don’t match the brand/message can become very confusing to readers. You want your graphics to drive the message home...not end up producing more questions.
No one likes graphics that are too busy. It hurts your eyes...literally. If you’re using a stock image, try to balance the design on the image with the text. Don’t make one area look heavier then the other.
Another part of balance is white space. What is white space? Exactly what it sounds like, blank space. It gives the readers eye somewhere to rest while still enhancing the users visual experience. Just remember, simple is better, especially when an image is being thrown into an already crowded sea of text.
Not sure if your graphic looks too busy, or unbalanced? Ask someone, get a second opinion on your design. Sometimes brains can be put into overload mode when designing. Take a break and come back to the image with a clear head. A fresh look never hurt anybody!
Don’t know where to even begin when it comes to designing your own blogging graphics? I have good news for you...you’re not the first one to start creating them.
Before you start bashing your head against the wall for ideas, spend some time taking a look at other blogger’s graphics, especially in your niche. It can help you get an idea of what your target audience is used to seeing.
Now, I’m not saying copy anything, but use it as inspiration. Maybe try to remix it, and add or subtract something from their design. Twist some colours and fonts. Combine a few ideas. Think outside the box without reinventing the wheel. Go on Pinterest and take a look at all of the different blog post graphics on your feed. Take note of things you like, things you don’t, things that work, and things that stand out. Try to figure out the feeling that image gives you. Graphics are ALL about emotion. You want your readers to FEEL what you’re saying. You want them to pick up what you’re puttin’ down.
After you have some ideas...go create something. You learn by doing. Practice makes perfect!
Did you know that visual information (like graphics) are processed 60,000 times quicker than written information?! Crazy. I know. So be strategic with your blogging graphics. Let it bring your content to life.
Mariah is a freelance web designer/developer who specialises in WordPress. She used to focus on the fine arts, like drawing & painting...until she fell in love with the digital world of designing and coding. She blogs over at Mariah Magazine where her topics are geared towards helping bloggers and small business owners understand the internet a little better...one post at a time.
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