Updated: Sep 11, 2018
When I first started studying design, all the foundational guidelines sounded like Greek to me. What is "White Space" and how do I use it? How do I know what fonts to choose?? I can truly say that the best way to learn design is by doing it. This way, you will quickly begin to develop an eye for what works and what doesn't. Many designers can spot those little amateur mistakes from a mile away, so I have compiled a list of 5 things you can change about your design to make them look like a professional did them!
All the graphics below were created in Canva. I find that it is an awesome way for faux-fessional designers to create amazing designs, and I wanted to show just what is possible when using this program, as opposed to something more complex like Photoshop. So i want to help you create content for your social media platforms. and No you don't have to be a graphic designer to create graphics you just need to know how to do the basics. So here goes:
1. Pick your main social media platforms and know the correct sizing!
in order to create graphics sizing is everything, you don't want to have some things that's too big or too small. so ask yourself the following questions: What social media platforms do you use the most often? Or if you are just getting started where do posts often go viral? Look you created an awesome post We don't need your awesome graphic being cut off because you have the wrong size. So here are a few sizes you need to know and work with
Instagram 1080 x 1080
Pinterest 700 x 1200
Facebook 940 x 788
Twitter 1024 x 512
Instagram Stories 1080 x 1920
2. Brand your graphics! If you are struggling to define your brands style then check out my new post on how to style your Brand ! If you already know then here are several things to add to your graphics when it comes to branding your stuff.
3. Find photos that match your brand! These images need to be high quality and speaks to what you're design is about.So make sure those images are high quality and relevant. These are 2 places where I normally get my photos!
Haute Chocolate (which may be a bit on the pricey side)
Canva (they have awesome free images and some for just $1!)
4. Create Templates with variety!
To make things easier and faster why not create templates as a designer i use Adobe Suite Collection or for beginners you can use Canva with doing so you're allowed to create up to 30 at a time.. I have create several different templates for myself for all of my favorite social media platforms using either of the two above. It saves me so much time and as a working woman on and off line I have to be as productive as I possibly can be in the little time that I have! Templates will save lives!
Typography is basically the science of font selection. I can always tell when graphics have been designed by a professional, because they use great fonts, and know how to mix them up correctly. Instead of using typical fonts like Times New Roman or Open San Seriff, try to incorporate some newer, hotter fonts like Playfair Display, Raleway & Bodoni (examples below.) Choose 1-2 fonts for your branding, and stick with them!
If you really want to take things up a notch, mixing fancy script fronts with more readable display fonts really adds some awesome variety. Check out a site like dafont.com, or befonts.com which is packed with some great free script fonts. Make sure you check to check the details on the font, to see if you can use it commercially, otherwise you may have to buy rights to the font.
Opacity is a term for how transparent or "see through" an object is, my designs use to look so bland but once I take the opacity or transparency down a bit, things seem to blend right in. If something doesn't feel right in your design, consider adding a shape, and then adjusting the transparency a bit! In the example below, you can see that I took the opacity down to 81%, compared with the other example that is at 100%. Now you are able to see more of the image beneath it, and it all blends nicely!
Icons I recommend using icons anywhere you can. They really illustrate the "Call to Action" and they break up the monotony of text. Canva has some awesome selection of icons that you can use as bullets, or as markers for your projects. You could choose one icon that resonates with your brand, and repeat it throughout your design. You'll notice I use the heart icon for bullets quite often, because it exemplifies the "Luxe" brand that I want to portray.
I hope these tips will help you on the way to creating awesome graphics for yourself. For all my designers: what are your go-to guidelines when you are putting graphics together?