But everyone who has ever managed a social media account knows how complex and time-consuming it can be to plan, design, and create social media images across platforms. Do use color to influence attention Establishing mood and conveying emotion isn’t the only way to use color on social media. They’ve cleverly applied this design principle to many of their social media images. You can apply this same principle to create effective CTAs in social media ads. So to sum up : pick a color scheme with one warm highlight color, and use that color with restraint. Focus on one single font for all of your social media images. And in terms of font style, sans-serif fonts are generally seen as more casual, more approachable, more laid-back than serif fonts. Place important text at the top left of an image, and place your CTA or branding towards the bottom right of the image, where your reader’s eye is likely to linger. So here’s a quick recap: Do use color to convey emotion and set the mood Do use color to influence attention Don’t over-complicate with multiple fonts Do use natural reading patterns as a framework Don’t forget about whitespace All of these design tips add up to one thing: visual consistency. By applying these design tips consistently across your social media visuals, you can create a recognizable visual brand experience that will keep your customers coming back for more.
The power of visuals for online marketing is undeniable. A 2016 survey of online marketers revealed that over 90% of marketers use visuals in over 50% of the articles they published. But everyone who has ever managed a social media account knows how complex and time-consuming it can be to plan, design, and create social media images across platforms.
There are so many factors to juggle–should you include branding in your images? What color scheme will best connect with your audience? How can you work in a CTA? Should you use stock photos, or hire a professional graphic designer? Should you overlay text, or make it all about the image? It’s time to get back to basics. To return to the basic principles that graphic designers have been relying on for decades to make beautiful, impactful visuals.
Today, I’m going to give you my top tips on using basic design principles to create better social media images. I’ll give you 5 key do’s and don’ts for designing great visuals for social media.
1. Do use color to convey emotion and set the mood
Studies have consistently demonstrated that color affects consumer perception and behaviour when it comes to sales, branding, and marketing. You can take advantage of this on social media by using color to establish a sense of style, personality, and tone for your platform. Use it to set the mood and create a predictable brand experience for your users.
Take the mattress company Casper, for example. Their instagram feed is characterized by a consistent color scheme featuring cool, neutral shades that evoke the feeling of serenity. Appropriate for a company that’s selling the better sleep, right?
They’ve taken their core brand color (a deep, stately blue), built an analogous color scheme around it, and applied it across all of their social images.
They’ve used color in a way that reflects their brand personality, to reinforce the feeling of tranquility that they know will resonate with their audience.
2. Do use color to influence attention
Establishing mood and conveying emotion isn’t the only way to use color on social media. We can also use it to influence the attention of our viewers. Believe it or not, we can use color to control where our viewers look.
Research on visual perception has revealed that humans tend to pay attention to warm, bright, saturated colors before we look at cooler, more subtle colors. Warm colors are naturally more salient–they tend to feel like they are “advancing” towards us, while cool colors appear to recede into the background. That means we can use bright, warm colors to encourage our viewers to look at specific areas of our images.
Let’s take a look at Endy, a direct competitor of Casper in the Canadian mattress-in-a-box business. They’ve cleverly applied this design principle to many of their social media images.
They use a bright, saturated pink hue as a feature in almost every one of their Instagram posts, keeping the backgrounds of their images subtle with neutrals and whites. Our eyes are instantly drawn to the pink areas of the image, which tend to contain either direct Endy branding or feature intimate interactions among happy people. Unlike Casper, Endy’s color use is…