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If you haven’t seen it already, last week I wrote all about why I’m OBSESSED with the design program Canva, and why it’s my ride or die when it comes to creating all my blog and Pinterest graphics. I recommend checking it out here before diving into this post, as I go into a lot of detail about some of my favorite, secret Canva tips and tricks that I use to make my designs pop.
When it comes to crafting post graphics for your blog, you obviously want them to stand out on Pinterest.
When creating blog graphics, you want them to stand out & be poppin'.Click To Tweet
As we all know, Pinterest is one, big black hole of cray cray. But like, in a good way. In a really good way. And if you’re a blogger, you want all your blog posts all up in that bunch of cray cray.
But if you’ve been blogging for awhile, you’ve probably noticed something. There are, literally, hundreds of thousands (more like millions) of blogs floating around in the interwebs…and on Pinterest—it can be difficult to stand out anymore.
Which is why you want your Pinterest blog post graphics to be poppin’. I’m talking on point like your manicure on a Monday morning.
With that in mind, let’s get some specifications out of the way first.
Elements of a Perfect Pinterest Blog Post Graphic
—A good maximum pin height to keep in mind is 2.5 times the width of your pin. So, if your pin width is 600px, you’d want your height to be (max) around 1,500px (source).
—Keep things vertical. For Pinterest (which is the platform we create our blog images for), vertical images do much better. Because Pinterest is organized in a column (or grid-like) layout, vertical images stand out much better in all the clutter.
—Minimal backgrounds and a lotta red seem to do well on Pinterest. Photos with predominantly red or orange hues often get repinned twice as much. But hey, if red isn’t your favorite color, I say just do you, boo. I’m not a huge fan of red (or orange), so I stay in my lane and do what I like. You can’t always follow all the rules. I’m a rebel, go with it.
—Don’t include faces. Apparently, pins without faces get shown a lot more love—23% more love, to get super technical. (source)
—Less is more. I mean, I’m a sucker for a minimal design aesthetic, so I’m more than a little biased here. But really, one tip I try to tell myself when I’m making a new graphic is: “Is there anything else I can eliminate from this design?” You wouldn’t wear every single ring, bracelet, or necklace that you own at one time, so think of your blog designs in the same way. Keep it simple. The more simple your designs are, the more people can understand what you’re saying through and the more effective they will be.
—Whatever you do, be consistent. I still struggle with this sometimes because I have insane commitment issues when it comes to my blog graphics. But whenever you’re satisfied with how your Pinterest designs look, keep with that same design over and over again. It will create familiarity (and then trust) with your audience and make your blog/brand more recognizable in the long run.
Pin this nifty checklist for future reference.
How I Use Canva to Design My Blog Post GraphicsHow to Use Canva to Design Bomb Blog Post GraphicsClick To Tweet
If you’ve read my post about my little-known Canva “hacks”, you now know how to use the basics of Canva as well as some of my favorite secret tips and tricks. (If you haven’t read that post, it has a lot of helpful info, so I suggest you get your booty on over there and read it now.)
So, how do you put all this knowledge to good use?
I use Canva almost exclusively to design my Pinterest blog post graphics. Canva makes it super easy to design graphics quickly that look professional…without shelling out the dough for more expensive programs like InDesign or Illustrator. Whenever I see a design I like that was most likely made using a program like Illustrator for instance, I go to Canva to try to recreate the look on my own—and I’m usually successful. 🙂 *toots horn*
Below is my process for designing all my social media graphics using the holy grail of blog design: Canva.
1 | Snag some design inspo on Pinterest.
I’ve found it to be super intimidating to just open up a blank canvas on Canva (Ohhhhhh. I guess that’s why they named it Canva, huh?) and start designing all willy-nilly. Like, I can’t work like that. I have to have a little inspiration first.
That’s where Pinterest comes in. Oh, Pinterest, where would we be without you?
No doubt, you’ve probably already got your eye on some drool-worthy graphics that you’ve stumbled upon before. Create a secret board on Pinterest and pin your favorite designs to this board. Make notes on the pins of what you liked and didn’t like about the designs.
I even created a mood board on Pinterest to help with my design process and hone in on what graphic design elements I really loved and wanted to utilize in my own designs.
Personally, I really love bright, faded out photo backgrounds, white text, and overall clean, minimal (and slightly feminine) design elements. Almost every image I pinned had some of these qualities.
Remember, pretty much everything in the design world has been done before. With that in mind, be inspired by others but don’t straight up copy any one blogger’s or designer’s graphics. If you can’t be original, be better.When designing your blog graphics, remember: if you can't be original, be better.Click To Tweet
Now that you’ve got your inspiration…don’t do anything just yet.
Spend a few days mulling over how you want your blog post graphics to look. Keep in mind the overall feel of your blog or brand and how that will translate into your graphics. Maybe jot down some notes of what you absolutely have to include in your own designs (transparent overlays? colorful text? specific brand patterns or a logo?) Don’t spend any more time looking at the designs you pinned; if you keep fawning over them, it’s a lot more likely that you won’t come up with anything original that stands out from the crowd.
After a few days, open up Canva and get down to bid-ness.
Looking for more design inspiration?
Go to “www.canva.com/design-stream” to see how other people are using Canva’s tools to create their own designs.
2 | Create a blog post graphic template in Canva.
Honestly, I don’t know how anyone works without a template. Using a template for your graphics means instead of taking 30 minutes to design a new graphic for each blog post on your site, it will take you about 5 minutes because most of the work will already be done.
Most of the popular blog post graphics you see on Pinterest are created from templates. Templates keep your blog graphics cohesive and streamlined.
Canva makes it easy to create Pinterest graphics with their ready-made template:
You can use the one above, or create your own template with dimensions that fit your website’s theme.
I’m sure you can recognize your favorite bloggers’ graphics instantly because each blogger keeps to a certain style that’s “on brand” and uniform:
Notice how within each of the brands above, each image is consistent from one to the next. The background photo and text arrangement may change, but the colors, fonts, and overall layouts stay the same. This is how blogs and brands build recognition on Pinterest. If you see these images over and over again, you eventually come to recognize instantly which website each image is from.
You need to do the same for your blog, too.
This is the template I have currently that I created in Canva for my blog post graphics:
All I have to do is change the background photo to something relevant to my post, and change the title on the graphic.
Don’t ever delete the text (or anything, for that matter) on your template. When you need to edit the text, just click inside the text box, highlight all the contents, and type in your new title. That way, all your text elements (font, size, letter spacing, color, etc.) stay exactly the same across all your blog post graphics. You never have to try to remember what size you set your text for different elements on your graphics ever again.
I keep everything exactly the same and never delete anything. If I want to change up something on my template, I create a copy of it (click “Copy this page” next to your graphic), and then add whatever new element I want to the copy. The key here is never deleting anything so that everything is very consistent.
Add your blog or brand colors to this design. Each time you go to create a new blog post graphic, all your on-brand colors will be in the same spot. Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.
Also, make sure you upload your blog or brand logo into Canva. If you like to use your logo in all of your social media graphics, it’s handy to have it already uploaded onto the Canva website, ready to be popped into your designs at any time.
3 | Check that the new design has all the necessary share-worthy elements.
When it comes to learning how to use Canva to design your own blog graphics, keep these things in mind:
Make it functional.
You may be tempted to create horizontal images to better compliment your blog’s theme instead of vertical pins. But tall images perform better on Pinterest and will help your pins be seen.
Make it consistent.
There are millions of pins floating around on Pinterest. How do you make yours more noticeable? Create consistency by nailing down your design preferences and sticking with ’em. How can you translate your blog or brand personality—whatever it may be—onto your Pinterest graphics? Will you use overlays? Color gradients? Large, defined fonts? Hand-lettering design elements? Bright colors or subdued tones? Once people find your blog, they will keep coming back if they see similar graphics over and over again. Familiarity breeds trust!
Make it yours.
If you have a knack for photography, I definitely suggest taking and using your own photos for your blog graphics. There’s nothing worse than seeing the same photo you’ve used in another blogger’s designs. But it happens. If you do choose to use stock photos, make sure you either a) alter the images (if allowed) in some way so that your personality and aesthetic shines through and differentiates you from others who may be using the same images or b) pay for high-quality photos through a subscription service so that your photos aren’t as common.Make your Pinterest blog graphics functional, consistent & unique.Click To Tweet
More of My Favorite Resources
Further reading on design
How to Choose the Best Colors for Your Blog by The Blog Market
How to Create Eye-Catching Blog Post Graphics by Elle & Company
How to Get the Most Out of Your Stock Images by Elle & Company
Ideal Image Sizes for Your Blog and Social Media by Elle & Company
How do you design your Pinterest blog graphics? Could they use some work or have you nailed down your own style? Let me know how these tips work for you in the comments. 🙂
Psst. I should learn to take my own advice in this post and keep my graphics consistent! #oops
Let’s get to know each other better.