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Quick Tips for Creating Social Media Graphics

Graphic Design for Non-Designers

There are so many types of social media graphics that need to be created for a successful social media strategy. Graphics help to engage your audience and illustrate your point. They can also be used to help sell your products or services.

Check out our quick tips for social media graphics to learn how you can create beautiful graphics for your company’s social media pages. From choosing images to finding font pairs, you won’t want to miss these tips. Learn more in the video below.

9:15 Beginner
Video Transcript

Hold on one second, just trying to find the right angle here. There it is. Smile! Post that to the ‘gram and hopefully I get my most likes yet.

Now, just as I’m marketing myself personally, businesses have learned that marketing through social media can lead to more success. But as we all know, there is an art to our posts. What demands the most attention?  What might even stir a little bit of emotion? 

Hello world, my name is Mike Ploger with Visme.  I am here to show you some tips and tricks to help you create social media graphics like a pro. Let’s get started.

How to Choose the Best Images

Whoa, whoa, whoa … We all know that rule number one is you can’t have any low resolution images.  Bring me back to focus, please. Come on. Much, much better.  

We want to make sure that you’re downloading high resolution images from dependable websites.  Or even better yet, you can hire your own professional photographer.  

The overall composition of an image is important as well. You can crop an image to sensor the important elements, which is exactly what Ryan Reynolds did here when wishing his wife, Blake Lively, happy birthday on Instagram.  This is a funny example, but it might not be ideal.  

This image here is cropped well as the person is center aligned, but it could be done even better if you apply the rule of thirds. If you undo that crop, you apply the rule of thirds, the individual now becomes one of four focal points in the image, and this image now achieves attractive asymmetry.

Beware of the size of your image. Square works best with Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.  But if you’re posting to Pinterest, all graphics must be vertical.  You can check out Sprout Social Size Guidelines for constantly updated posting sizes.

You want to try to implement your brand’s color as best as possible. It’s a very subtle way to establish a brand identity. You can adjust the color by adjusting the tint of your image. Or you can do a very simple search at kaboompics.com for images by color.  

What’s your story?  We all have a story, and our images represent who we are.  Know your target audience and post pictures that appeal to them.  If you’re a scarf company, you probably don’t want to be posting pictures at the beach.

Have you ever seen that water mark on an image?  If you have, do not use it. Seriously, you can get sued and I don’t want that for you. Asking permission from online publications is always necessary.  A simple search on Google might not always be safe.

So, why use other’s images when you can use or design your own?  The best way to avoid copyright issues are using your own designs.  Which is exactly why I want to tell you to try Visme’s online tools to see what you can come up with.

How to Choose the Right Fonts

Now just as your image should, your font should match your message. For example. There are a number of antique serif fonts that are available. But if the demographic that you are trying to reach is the preteens, you want to go with something else.

Find the font that doesn’t contradict your message and make those words come to life.  

On that note, fonts have feelings too. Well, kinda. Think of a font as a person, even with personality.  Fonts have a size, a weight and even gender preference that should match your brand. Do you have a delicate brand? Then you should have a delicate font.

Is your font hard to read even for even you, the person who wrote it? If so, that’s a problem. Social media is no place for fine print. Header should be the biggest text on the image, and if you have lots of text, go to sans serif. Trust me.

Be careful being too font happy as well. Too many fonts can make an image often look unprofessional or even sloppy. Start with two fonts. Never go above three. If you have time, read about font pairing right over there to get it just right. 

How to Pair Images with Text

What’s more important? The image or the text? Well, that’s for you to decide as you try to balance your image accordingly.

I will say that if you read it, you should probably see it. The two go hand in hand.

The color of the text should also be easy on the eyes. For me, that’s like cheese fries or a brand new car.  But if you have light text, you should have a dark background image, and vice-versa.  

Pick colors out of image so the text matches.  That’s exactly what happened here with the Nike basketball color being the same color of the “Never Give Up” text.  

When choosing text, decide whether it should complement the image, or if you want it to cover the image completely.  Don’t cover the important points, and stay away from text over faces. Get out of here…  

While staying away from faces, backgrounds of landscapes and wildlife often work great.  Use strong fonts, short phrases. And for an added design technique, add some transparency, which we’ll cover later.

How to Use a Background Instead of an Image

If you prefer design background, well, there’s two ways you can go.  

Colored backgrounds give a clean and minimalist look.  

The background color takes a backseat to the text but you want to make sure that the two don’t conflict one another.  

Give the image balance.  

Meanwhile, graphic backgrounds can be manipulated to accommodate your text. Use shapes and patterns to complement your text, and balance the color so the text doesn’t appear as just another shape.

How to Establish a Focal Point

There’s a focal point in every image. The question is, how do you establish it? Well, you want to make sure it’s visually present and only incorporate what you really need. Too much clutter is often distracting.  

You can also help the reader glide through an image. Logo should stand out, but you don’t want it to be the focal point. You can use bold fonts to give importance to words, which exactly what happened here.  Everybody loves a good sale.

And I can’t emphasize enough the importance of balance throughout your image. If there’s no balance, the viewer experiences visual rejection. And trust me, not everybody handles rejection well. Sometimes, taking a break away and looking away from the image or going elsewhere can often help you come back with a clear mind and fresh ideas.

You can also create contrasts in your image with much more than just black and white. These colors here are too light together. Remember, a dark background means a light text, and vice-versa. Contrast also works well with pattern.

And as I continue to look right, I am providing direction with my eyes. The same can be done in images.  

By creating lines, you’re directing a viewer on where to look. The most common tool for doing this: arrows and triangles.

Once again, stay away from unnecessary clutter. Empty or negative space can even give breathing room to your image. It also allows for more text.  

Don’t get sloppy on me, either with your alignment. This here is not center of the line.  

This is much better. Use grids and snap to grid tools in most design softwares.  

Spacing should also be, you guessed it, balanced. Don’t let a “g” hang over an “i” that’s below it.  Make sure you keep the images within the border.  

It’s exactly why we lowered this bakery logo, to keep it a third of its own length away from the edges.  

Sticking with margins, keep margins the same all around. One way to do this is by creating a box outline to keep things neat. This, again, much better.  

The bleed off the page effect is an added design element, but it must be done right. Only use large capital letters. Make sure you keep it legible. Don’t use it for every piece of text.

How to Use Design Techniques to Create Visual Effects

Lastly, how can you use some design techniques for some added visual effects?

You can start by adjusting the opacity to change the transparency. If something is set at zero percent opacity, that item is invisible in your image. If something is set at a hundred percent opacity, it is fully clear. If your text and image are competing with one another, try adjusting the image to 80% like you have here to make the text pop just a little bit more.  

The same technique can actually be used for text. The lower the opacity, the less visible it becomes. But don’t go too low to where it’s too difficult to read in your image.  

The collage technique also adds shapes and illustrations to your image to resemble a handmade effect.  Images can be overlapped, separated with color, or mixed for a complex effect.

And if you’re not the collage type, try using a shape as a frame for your text. You can separate sections with lines, create borders, or go freestyle. Just make sure you maintain, you guessed it, balance. 

That’s gonna do it for this video. It’s now time for you to go create social media graphics like a pro.  Before you do make sure you subscribe to our channel and until next time, I am Mike Ploger with Visme helping you make information beautiful.