We’re diving into another series here at The Savvy Solopreneur, and this time we’re focusing on graphic design for bloggers. The best graphic designers often possess natural talent, along with years of specialized training, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create lovely images for your blog as a beginner. With super intuitive online graphics software like Canva and PicMonkey, you don’t even need to be a PhotoShop aficionado.
One key to producing professional looking graphics is to understand the fundamental concepts of design. Knowing these rules will help you to avoid obvious mistakes that could make your blog look amateur. Incorporate these basic graphic design principles for bloggers into your images, and you’ll soon be producing images you’ll be proud to share.
Alignment refers to the way in which the text is arranged on your canvas. It’s often tempting for new designers to align everything in the center, but this can produce a result that’s lacking visual appeal. Play around with alignment using left, right or vertical alignment for different blocks of text to find unique arrangements that work with the other elements of your design.
The way in which different elements are grouped together is proximity. Choose the location of design elements strategically to guide the viewer’s eye to where you want it to go. You can do this by placing text into shapes to create a border that breaks things up or by getting creative with linear position, such as situating text on an angle.
You’ll want to incorporate your color palette into your images to keep your branding consistent. You can do this by choosing photos or artwork that reflect or are compatible with your color scheme. It’s also possible to place a semi-transparent colored overlay on top of your art to add a hue that works. Do a little research into color theory and pick a color that elicits the response you desire.
Line plays a significant role in design. Whether used as a border or to break up text, the type of line you choose conveys a message. Straight, clean lines give a sophisticated and modern feel, while curves add softness and warmth. Squiggly lines can be whimsical or fun. Even the width of your lines can have an impact.
Another important aspect of design is shape. Using hard-edged, straight-lined shapes like squares and triangles often gives a masculine feel, with curved circles or rounded corners fitting well in a more feminine design. Straight shapes can imply seriousness, sophistication or stability. When you want to create a relaxed vibe, go with softer shapes.
Space, or white space as it’s often referred to, provides purposeful blank areas to allow the viewer’s eye to relax. One of the biggest mistakes made by amateur designers is to use too little space. Avoid trying to cram too much into your graphic, as it can look messy and hard to read. Too much white space is a hazard also because it can have an unfinished feel. Experiment to discover what works.
There are a host of other design concepts that are important producing professional looking graphics, but these basic graphic design principles will get you started with creating visually appealing images that add interest to your blog and encourage others to share on social media.
A shortcut I love…
You can always take a shortcut my using ready made templates. I love these ones from My Life’s Manual. Especially because they can be used in the free version of Canva. If you’re comfortable working with PhotoShop, Creative Market have some beautiful PSD templates (they even give them away for free sometimes – subscribe to get free design goods every week). And if you’re not comfortable with PhotoShop but would like to be, try this simple Get PhotoShop Friendly online course.
Have you downloaded our FREE printable workbook and other goodies to help you run your online biz, yet? Just click here to tell us where to send it.