How long do you need to make the first impression?
Just a few seconds! Even 2-3 s can be enough.
Now, imagine …
You visit the online store. The products are poorly visually presented. The logo of the store is a photo from a brochure. The banners for the campaigns are completely unreadable, the buttons are bad, and then you discover that they also use Instagram and Facebook. Click. And what you find are bad photos only banners with buy buy buy messages.
Do you dare to buy something?
Most of us would probably say “NO”, but I did not even talk about the product, it can be the best one!
And the same goes for blogs and other businesses. The first impression is important.
If the idea of using Photoshop makes your head spin or hiring a graphic designer isn’t an option, in this post, I help you with some tips, low-cost alternatives that will help you to create graphics for your blog and business.
1 | Where can I use graphics
Where can you use graphics? You can use them in blog post, ads, banners, buttons, icons, printables, templates, business cards, brochures, wallpapers, invitations, thank you cards, bills, slides for presentations, labels, stamps, signatures in an email, infographics, logo, Instagram Stories, Facebook posts, cover images…
The graphic elements you can use are:
Stock photos: free or purchased photos, which you then use in your graphics. It is important and necessary to check the licenses – for what purposes the photos can be used.
Your own photos: photos you take yourself (but of course they must be quality). The advantage of these is that they are part of you, they are part of your story and probably they will not be found elsewhere.
Vector graphics: like photos, vector graphics are not created from pixels, but from vector curves. This means that when changing the size the quality doesn’t change. Most often vector graphics are icons, banners, materials that do not contain raster elements …
2 | How to get started
The easiest way is to start with a ready-made template. This is a pre-prepared template that can be prepared by yourself or prepared by the designer. Every time you need new graphics, you only replace text and photography (or elements in the template), and then save and use it.
If you’re trying to create a template for yourself:
1 – Define dimension or ratio. The ratio between width and length (eg for Instagram is 1: 1 or 4: 5).
2 – If you don’t already have: choose a primary and secondary color, font, style …
3 – Create all the necessary elements (icons, photos …)
4 – Create a template.
5 – Check that it is usable for different purposes.
6 – Save, optimize, and use new graphics.
3 | MY FAVORITE PROGRAMS
My favorite programs are part of Adobe family and are the most used programs on my computer:
Adobe Photoshop, Bridge
Photoshop is probably one of the most well-known photo editing apps. I use it for both photo editing and for certain graphics that contain photos. Eg in templates, where every time I just change text and photos.
I use Bridge to organize photos, add metadata, edit raw photos (with Photoshop) …
When I create graphics (not a photo), I always use Illustrator, which allows me to works with vectors. For both Photoshop and Illustrator, I have a pre-prepared template for blog graphics, which I then just edit and save. Templates are not only useful, but they are the big time saver when creating new graphics.
InDesign I most often use in combination with Photoshop and Illustrator. First I prepare individual elements in Photoshop (photos) or Illustrator (illustrations) and then combine them into InDesign, where I also add other elements. This is especially useful when I work with brochures, documents that contain multiple pages.
The above programs can be a bit expensive, especially for those that don’t need it so often. There are some free alternatives that of course not so powerful, but can help you a lot: Inkscape for vector graphics – as an alternative to Illustrator, Gimp: as an alternative to Photoshop and Canva: as an online editing program. Since I have not been using these programs for quite some time now (I have in the past), there are probably some new alternatives.
4 | WHERE I CAN FIND INDIVIDUAL ELEMENTS
For the graphics you create for your blog or business, it’s important that they look as a part of your blog/business, they match, and the readers/customers will know you by graphics. If you don’t create individual elements yourself, you can also find them elsewhere.
Photos you can find on:
Fonts you can find on Google Fonts. Make sure that the selected font is legible and contains all the necessary symbols.
You may also be interested in:
3 EASY WAYS TO MAKE YOUR WEBSITE/BLOG MORE COHESIVE + FREE TEMPLATE
5 | Do’s and Don’ts
- Use what works: if you have prepared template for graphics that work, edit and use it as needed (for example, replace text and photography only).
- Use only suitable and quality photos.
- Use the same colors, fonts, style for all your graphics.
- Buy what you can’t create.
- Invest in a template that’s prepared for you and you can always use it over and over again.
- Use your own photos (high quality and suitable), invest in hiring a photographer or buying stock photos. Free photos are great, but they can give you a “cheap” look if they are very often used and the visitors or customers already know the photo very well from other sources.
- Don’t use items for which you don’t have rights.
- Don’t use unreadable fonts without all necessary characters.
- Don’t use poor quality photos.
- Less is more. Don’t use too many elements.
But now I’m really interested: how do you prepare graphics for blog/business/social networks?