Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What are you talking about?


1. Start with text
a.     What do you want it to say?
Here is where we start, text. Obviously you have to know what you want to say, what is your purpose for the graphic. However, it is best to keep the text to a minimum. The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” really is true. People read a graphic or image, so if you overload it with text they are just getting those words and missing the other 900 words in the image. Keep it clear and keep it concise, which is the best practice. Still have a lot of information? Make it interesting. Use different font, size, leading, or tracking; bold it, color it, whatever you need to do to prevent your audience from giving up on reading your message.
b.     What message do you want your audience to get?
Because your audience is reading more than the text you have on your graphic, the message you want to send needs to be just as clear. Make sure your styles throughout the graphic connect. For example, if you are promoting a post about crafting you don’t want your text to say “Miss Crafty,” and use flowering brushes with little bugs and a cursive font that sends the message “let’s garden”! You may use some layering of different patterned squares, buttons in the corners, with stitch lettering.

2. Font matters
a.     Font is one of the basics, but it is a make or break
This goes back into the message you want to send, your font needs to match the theme of your message. Text can be a make or break for a graphic. I would say that if your font goes un-noticed than you picked the perfect font, but if it sticks out it is probably because it clashes with your graphic. You need to get a lot out of your font; your font needs to fit the message and be readable. If your audience has to squint to read your font and an added stroke or drop shadow does not fix it, you may have to sacrifice creativity for readability. Bottom line, if you can’t read it it is unnecessary.

3. Color Scheme
a.     Your colors are giving a message, does it match the message you are wanting to get across?
Colors have a message of their own. You may have heard that green represents envy or red represents passion. That is true! Colors initiate your audience’s senses and emotions. With that said, use them to dictate what your audience will get from your graphic.
b.     You can control what your audience sees with color.
Medical studies have proven that the eye responds differently to different colors. Some colors attract attention (red, orange, lime green, yellow) while other colors divert attention (soft colors, camouflage colors, natural tones). If you have a certain part of your graphic that you want your audience to go to first use the colors that attract so your audience can follow your lead.
Wrapping this up I promise!

4. Layers
a.     Separates the pros and the amateurs
Layers are for the advanced designers. Those who are just starting out will use a handful of layers, but the more experience you have you will notice your layer count will start multiplying! You don’t have to have 50 layers to have a good graphic, some graphics don’t need more than a couple of layers. But with more creativity will come more detail, more elements to make your graphic stand above the rest.
b.     Layers builds your graphic and add depth
Layers are just details and details create depth to your image. When you have depth added into the mix it gives the eyes more to look at. They will have to focus on each layer as they take them deeper and deeper into the graphic.
c.      Texture, texture, texture
Texture is another way to create depth. Texture can make an image go from a flat, one-dimensional image to a 2, even 3-dimensional image that will make your audience do a double take (maybe a triple take!).

5. Cohesiveness
a.     You need a “look”
As you continue to create graphics you will develop a style, a way of doing things, and a “look”. Whether you want your “look” to fit your blog or just your creating style, you want them all to connect. Your goal should be to create images that identify you as the designer or at least identify your blog.
b.     Stand out in a crowd
There are always trends in the designing field, elements that are popular resulting in over-use. When certain elements are over-used that means that your audience is over-exposed to them. We all want to use the on trend and most relevant designing elements, but it is not worth losing your creative design for it. Trends will come and go, but your designs need to be constant. If you are creative your designs will continue to be relevant throughout.
c.      Keeps your message clear
If you keep your images cohesive you message will remain clear. People will know who you are and get an idea of what your blog is like just by looking at one of your graphics. It’s like a good ole game of connect the dots. If you create dots that don’t line up, when people connect them there will be an unclear picture, but if your dots, or graphics, are all aligned people will see the message by connecting them.

This was quite a bit of information, but I hope it helps you and challenges you to be creative and send your message clearly and effectively. We are all communicators, so let's make sure we are communicating our message in the best possible way.


  1. great thoughts and very helpful =) seriously.

  2. plus that photos of you is so cute ;)