Welcome to the GC Design Kitchen! 👨🍳 Today, we’re teaching you how to cook up some delicious social media graphics that will satisfy everyone’s craving for great content.
If you have ever asked a graphic designer about their process, then you understand that — like baking a grade A cake 🎂 — there is a good deal of knowledge and work that goes into creating any type of graphic. Social media post graphics come with their own set of challenges. Since companies have to be continually churning them out to make their social media pages shine, knowing how to make them quickly, while maintaining a high quality level is a necessary skill to have in today’s world of ever-hungry news feeds.
Software: If you think of your graphic image as a cake, then the software you use to make it is your kitchen. In order to prevent yourself from accidentally setting everything on fire, choose a program that you feel comfortable working with. If you don’t have a go-to application, check out pixpa’s 2021 list of the best graphic design softwares.
Brand: Make sure your digital cupboard is stocked with the correct logos, past graphics and any other work that references your brand, so you are always ready to create graphics.
Assets / Images: If you have been provided with company assets and images, be sure you keep them handy. However, if you have the freedom to choose the images you want, there are plenty of sites that offer professional photos that are free to use (royalty-free). Two of our favorite royalty-free websites are Unsplash and Pixabay.
Color: First and foremost, use the color palette of the brand for which you’re creating content. If the project allows, you can add complementary or analogous colors to create a visually appealing image. Check out this interactive color wheel from Canva to find the perfect color combo.
Size: Social media platforms typically have very specific size restrictions for graphics, so make sure yours are the correct size for the post you’re producing. It’s also a good idea to create different versions of the same graphic that are pre-fitted for the social sites where your company regularly posts.
1. The brand should be visibly present in the design, and can be represented through the logo, color palette, voice, and tagline (slogan)
2. Social media posts are typically consumed by folks very quickly, while they are scrolling through their news feeds. The rapid consumption of these messages necessitates a hierarchy of design. The first detail that viewers should see clearly is the post’s central message, which is then followed by the Call to Action (CTA). Any other info — disclaimers, product details, the time/location of an event — should be included near the bottom of the graphic. The effect of this organizational flow is to first capture peoples’ attention, and get them to take action, before providing them with the details.
3. Since our eyes notice a post’s image before they take in the content, aka copy, the image you use for the graphic should also convey the message. In short, your copy supports and clarifies the message the image conveys.
4. When composing your graphic, make sure that the image, secondary designs, and text are visually balanced. Check out this article about the “Rule of Thirds” for some in-depth info on how to craft eye-catching images.
5. Take advantage of templates, which are often available in programs, like Canva. Templates are not only a time-saving tool, but can be a life-saver, too. However, try not to rely too much on templates, since your content might begin to feel generic and expected. Your unique touch will often be more interesting than something pre-made, since people are probably consciously or unconsciously used to seeing popular template designs.
Although these instructions are a recipe for success when it comes to social media graphics, we encourage you to check out this crash course on graphic design from Canva for a more in-depth look at design basics. Graphic design is one of those skills where you can find unlimited online and print sources that can help you constantly improve your techniques.
If you have too much on your plate to learn an entirely new skill, consider hiring a professional designer. If you would love for a pro to spice up your socials, we have great news, Get Community offers professional graphic design services! In fact, all of the graphics featured in this article were created by our talented team of designers. Feel free to contact us next time you’re in a design dilemma.