Do you want to design visuals for your own website, but you’re still thinking that great-looking design is for the professionals? Did you try a lot of different tools and WordPress themes and still don’t know how to make that page look edgy?
Well, doing good visuals it’s much easier than it seems, with the right tools. To learn how to design graphics online you need nothing but a little bit of creativity, some time and effort, and obviously a few tips from the pros! Here are a few… secret weapons we can easily share with you to help you achieve great results in no time.
Choose the right pictures
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well it is, but a lot of people still get this wrong. When you start browsing through a gallery of images, the first thing you should ask yourself isn’t “is this picture nice/funny/beautiful?”
Rather, you should try to find the picture that truly supports the message you want to convey with the right tone and emotion. Nothing is more detrimental to the final effect of your page that a sad or serious picture if your content was humorous or happy, for example. The user must find the image relatable, and should “feel” it other than just like it.
Another thing that will make your pics look awfully out of context, is choosing the wrong colors. If you used a red and yellow palette, look for a dawn or sunset picture, rather than for a winter scenario or a night city. You can use a nice frame to encircle it and smooth out the transition with the rest of the art, but mismatching colors will break the flow.
Using a few effects like blurring or background shapes is finally a great way to highlight a caption, and let it stand out to further add to the uniqueness of the picture.
Determine your Focal Point
The focal point represent the place where you want your user’s eye to go. It’s the place where you want the roaming eye of the lurker to land, and can literally make every other detail of the design disappear.
The simplest way to get your focal point wrong, is to slap the point of interest in the middle of an image. Actually, that’s not how the human brain is wired. Our eyes do, in fact, follow a precise pattern when looking at things, and the pros found it and called it the “Rule of Thirds”.
Just draw the grid lines that help you draw the eye to one of the focal points between them. Most camera phones have this setting, making it easy to line up your image to the focal points within the grid. If you nail this “magic rule”, your design will work like a charm to everybody who watches it.
Use the right colors
Choosing the right palette is vital to properly convey your message. The most basic aspect is to make the page readable enough. That fluorescent pink text over a deep blue background might have looked cool on a 1998 blog, but in 2017 it will just make people want to look away.
A wise use of contrasting colors can be used to make something like a picture or a text pop off the page or screen, but don’t overdo it or it will just look and feel awful.
Try to pull out one or two colors from the photo you use, or if you start with the background, try to choose a palette that is appropriate with the emotions you want to drive. If you want to advertise organic products for example, choose warm and natural colors like white, brown, olive and sand. If you are selling tech stuff or software something more serious like metal grey, navy blue, violet or turquoise might instead be a better fit.
Finally, try to work on gradients to add more depth to your overlay and make your content look more three-dimensional.
Choose the right fonts
Don’t use Comic Sans. Seriously. Don’t. It’s just ugly, okay? Nobody likes it.
Other than not using Comic Sans for any reason, you should choose your fonts carefully to make your design look cool and readable as well. Some fonts are more lighter and fun than other which instead look bold and serious. In general, the more a font is narrow and squared, the more it suits to a technical or professional content.
If your design is mostly focused on pictures, do not distract your users’ attention with a strong font. Go for a sleek, minimalist one that is not too invasive. Lighter and thinner fonts, on the other hand, work better on flat colored or clear backgrounds.
Well, you’re a pro now. That’s probably an exaggeration, but you surely learned a lot of useful tips that can go a long way towards making you a better visual designer. Go out and test yourself now, you’re ready to show the world how much you just improved!