You don’t have to be a designer to create more beautiful content on social networks, blogs or your own website. You just have to pay attention to a few rules. You’ll soon transform your posts from just “okay” to “fabulous”. In most cases, you won’t even need Photoshop.
What’s important and what’s no so important?
When you create any design you have to think about the hierarchy of the information you are trying to communicate. One easy way to remember the important things is to write everything down on paper, arrange it according to importance, and then just follow your written plan when you start designing. Give the most important things more room, and make them bigger and contrast them against other information.
Don’t use more than 1 or 2 fonts
Despite the countless fonts that are available, thanks in part to Google Fonts, try to keep your design to one or two fonts at the most. This way the information you are publishing will be easier to understand and your design will not appear disruptive or overdone, and ultimately amateurish. Try to select a font appropriate for your business. For example, if you deal in luxury goods you should choose a serif or italic font.
Use contrasting colours
By using contrast you greatly improve the readability of your design. If you want to be sure your text is easily readable, use white text on a dark background. Or, you can use black text on a light background. It’s more difficult when your background is a picture or photo, so if that’s your case try to place the text in such a way that you retain its readability, like maybe in a lighter, empty area of the photo. If that isn’t possible, try adding another layer of colour (ideally your brand colour) with reduced transparency.
More white space
Many designers try to fill in all possible free space with information. This can make essential information difficult for your customer to find. Leaving empty/white space in your layout around the individual elements is a very effective graphic tool to help prevent this problem. A similar principle applies to line spacing – more space between lines and shorter paragraphs makes text much easier to read than extensive, dense segments of text.
Align your layout
One of the most common mistakes made by non-designers (and designers, too) is that they don’t align their layout. Whether text or pictures, it all looks better aligned. Simple advice, but it works wonders visually.
Choose a suitable palette
Your colour palette is just as important as your font. If you’re not sure what your main and complementary colours will be, I recommend trying one of the tools available online. In just a few seconds, they will create a modifiable colour palette for you.
One of my favourites is Coolors.
If it’s suitable for your business, you should also consider using a two-colour gradient. You’ll find beautiful examples here.
Think about what you’re designing for
Do you create different content on various social networks? It’s important to take into account the target group of your posts and banners.
Facebook is the best place to promote and advertise events or make announcements public. Demographic settings and targeted advertising can also help you reach a fairly wide audience. For every link you make public on Facebook, you can replace or modify the thumbnail image that will be visible on your wall or elsewhere on the social network. Consider creating a similar banner thumbnail – all you need is a simple, large headline in the centre of a picture, or a call to action element with your branding.
Instagram is used to sell visuals, beautifully arranged things, good use of instant effects, colours, or inspirational (nicely aligned) quotes. That’s what you can easily “sell” on Instagram.
Although not as widely used in Slovakia, all you need is a visually strong headline or icon. This is a very fast platform where your post has to draw attention at lightning speed.
Learn from those who are better
I don’t mean you should copy some else’s visual style. Just draw inspiration from what already exists. It’s easy, and you will rarely mess anything up. Take a look at how fashion bloggers or others communicate.
If you want to make design even easier, try one of the following online tools – or leave it to the professional designers. It is, after all, our job 😉