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Why Your Blog Needs Visually Appealing Graphics
The guiding philosophy in blogging tends to be the idea that content is king.
While it remains true that quality content is essential, today’s bloggers need to consider other elements of their digital space to gain traction in an overcrowded market.
Blogs can be effective tool for relaying information, developing a loyal customer base, creating a platform for your freelance work and asserting yourself as an authority in your field.
However, to achieve any of these goals, your content must be seen by the right people. The creation of eye catching images is an effective method to help you get noticed. Keep reading to discover why your blog needs visually appealing graphics.
Build Brand Awareness
Even if the purpose of your blog isn’t commercial, it’s still in your best interest to create a personal brand. Your brand is the feeling or message people get when they see your blog. For example, if your niche is all about makeup, you’ll want to consider the kind of image you wish to portray.
You could aim to portray yourself as a high-end, sophisticated cosmetics expert or aim for the vibe of a fun, eclectic instructor. You would then determine the colors, typography, symbols, logo and other elements that lend themselves to creating such a feel.
By using these elements consistently when you post anywhere online, you are building brand awareness. Each time that someone sees your sites or products and are exposed to these visual representations they will begin to recognize that as you. That is called branding.
Professional Appearance Is Everything
Adding graphics that incorporate elements of your brand also makes your blog look professional. Be sure to choose high-quality images, rather than blurry photos or ones that appear overly promotional.
We’ve all seen graphics that contain photos that are clearly outdated, generic stock images but there is no need to use those when there are plenty of sites that provide access to free images that are beautiful and well-done. If they allow commercial use and modification, you can add your own special touches such as overlays and text to customize them.
Make sure you check the licenses to see exactly how you can and can’t use the images.
Social media posts that contain a visual image are shared far more than those without. People relate to photos. Quotes elicit emotion. Infographics provide easy-to-digest content in a quick, visual manner. It makes sense that such images would be shared more readily than simple text. Social media is one of the quickest ways your content can spread, and attention-grabbing graphics will surely boost the sharing. This is particularly true for a platform like Pinterest that relies on images.
Hopefully, it’s clear to see why you need images and/or some type of graphics for your website. The right images will not only help you get noticed but help others identify you with your brand.
Familiarize Yourself With These Graphic Design Terms
Whether you plan to hire a graphic designer to create visuals for your blog or you want to learn some basic design skills on your own, it will benefit you to gain an understanding of the terminology used in the profession. Learning the lingo will help you to communicate clearly with your designer or to grasp the fundamentals of good design prior to attempting to give it a go. Take time to familiarize yourself with these graphic design terms to lessen the overwhelm and give you more confidence to bring your ideas to life.
RGB is a model of using color in which red, green and blue are used exclusively in the creation of new colors. RGB is a system that is used in digital design, rather than in print.
Opacity refers to the level of transparency in a design element. At 100% opacity, an object is solid. As the percentage gradually decreases it becomes more transparent.
A logo is an important design element that is a visual representation of a company or, in this case, a blog. There are two main types of logos. A logotype is the company’s name designed in a way that is recognizable. A logomark is a mark or symbol that comes to represent the brand.
Texture refers to the characteristics of a design’s surface. Various types of textures are used to add dimension or to provide a particular feel to a design. An example may be retro textures that are incorporated into a project to give it the appearance of a vintage poster or a document produced by ink press.
This is also commonly referred to as negative space. This is the portion of a design that is purposefully left blank. Despite the name, this empty space can be any color. Ample whitespace is encouraged in good design.
A style guide is a document that contains the specifications that are to be consistently used when displaying your brand. It specifies the exact colors, typography, sizes and other such criteria so that the look of your brand is the same across various platforms.
A raster is a type of image that is comprised of pixels. Such graphics do not conform well to changes in size, as they will usually become distorted and lose their original integrity. The popular graphic design software Photoshop uses raster images.
The opposite of a raster image is a vector. Rather than being made of pixels, this type of graphic is formed with actual lines, points and curves to form shapes. They can be resized without losing their original form.
Typography is the way in which letters are presented, either digitally or in print. Commonly referred to as font, it provides a particular look to your text. Types of typography include serif, sans-serif and script.
The hierarchy of a design is the way in which it is laid out. Such layout is purposeful in order to create a path for the eye to follow, to improve navigation or to designate importance of design elements.
The color palette is the combination of colors used in your brand. The colors should work well together and provide a feeling that is reflective of what your offer. Color psychology is important to reaching an audience.
The terminology offered here only scratches the surface of those you’ll find as you pursue the art of design. Hopefully, they will allow you to communicate effectively with your designer or to begin to understand the very basics of graphic design for your own purposes.
Choosing a Color Scheme That Works for Your Blog
Color is an essential element of your blog. The palette you use is a representation of your blog’s brand and is actually the first thing people associate with your name. Your colors should match the message you wish to send, and they should be consistently used in all promotional materials. Social media imagery, post graphics, blog banner and other promotional materials should carry out variations of the same color palette. With all of the colors available to you, choosing just a few can be a daunting task. Follow these tips to choose a color scheme that works for your blog, and you’ll soon be taking the first step toward developing your online image.
Set the Mood
A good way to play with various combinations and to narrow things down is to create a board on Pinterest. You may set the board to private if you wish, and then start pinning images that create the tone of the vision you have for your brand. If you have certain colors in mind, use them. Otherwise, just start pinning images that interest you to see if a pattern develops. You can then discard pins that don’t make sense and use what remains to pull from. If you have Photoshop, you can create a mood board with that software and use the eyedropper tool to grab colors from the board. If this step is too advanced, look for websites like Adobe CC or ColourLovers to generate your palette.
Basic Graphic Design Principles for Bloggers
The best graphic designers often possess natural given talent, along with years of specialized training, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create lovely image assets for your blog as a beginner.
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 scheme. It’s also possible to place a semi-transparent colored overlay on top of your art to add a hue that works. Just remember to use color theory as your guide 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 lends to a masculine feel, with curved circles or rounded corners fit well in 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 whitespace as it’s often termed, provides purposeful blank area 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 whitespace 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. Adhere to these fundamentals to create visually appealing images that will add interest to your blog and encourage others to share on social media.