Tips for Creating Engaging Images

"A picture is worth a thousand words."

As cliche as this may sound, research has shown that the average person remembers and engage with visual images much easier and better than words.


This is especially prominent in this time and age, where social media marketing is gaining momentum in reaching & targeting audiences. Images have never been more important, and they’re the key to driving greater online engagement. This is basically advertising!

The only issue here is that if you are like me, and you aren’t god-like-skilled in graphic design, creating eye-catching engaging images can be difficult. So how can self-taught non-trained designers like us still create incredible images for social media?

One way is by learning simple, repeatable design principles.



To begin, I'll be using a lot of this graphic image of mine as a reference for comparison. This is one of my very first few graphic creations, which was drawn for Mother's Day 2017.




1. The Font Type Matters

When you use fonts in a photo/graphic image/picture they communicate a message about you and your brand. For an example, for this graphic image that I have created for Mother's Day 2017, here are two image alternatives — which one do you prefer?


Personally, I prefer the original image on the left because:
  • It’s easier to read.
  • The fonts appear complimentary

This doesn’t mean the other image is horrible, but it does help focus the reader onto the text.

My Mother's Day Graphic Image for Instagram.


Here's another image that I have created for my previous post on Travelling to Venice On A Budget. Notice how the image on the left appears cleaner, with the use of a readable type. If words are meant to be read, why do so many people make it so difficult to do just that?

By simply making your words clean and easy to read, you would have won half the battle!

Read more about how you can travel to Venice on a budget!


As a tip, here is how i'd advise you guys to select fonts for your images:

  • Less is more. Simple > fancy.
  • Be consistent — try to use the same font repeatedly.
  • When adding a second font, go for something super different but equally simple.
  • Use sites such as Font Pair to help you decide which fonts go well together.



2. Colours Affect The Mood and Message

People often underestimate the effect of colour on them. Colour is not just a visual element — it’s also emotional. The choice of colour ultimately affects your bottom line in branding, packaging, web design, interiors, product design and fashion.

And because colour bring out certain emotions in people, it can often determine whether or not people are drawn to your images. This doesn't mean that you should stay away from particular hues, but what it does mean is that it’s important to think about the message and tone you want to convey in your creations.


A key principle when it comes to colour is to keep it simple because less is often more.


Coming back to this graphic image that I have created for Mother's Day 2017, here are four image alternatives, featuring different coloured backgrounds. 

My Mother's Day Graphic Image for Instagram.


You'd notice that the original pink colour evokes a compassionate, nurturing and loving vibe among the other colours. While in contrast, the blue colour seems to covey meanings of order, security and confidence. I wouldn't be favouring the green version simply because the colour is too light and there is a lack of contrast, making the words difficult to read.

One should note that a simple act of creating contrast in your images can do wonders.

In this case, it would only be apt to use the pink coloured version considering that this is a Mother's Day image meant to thank all the selfless mummies out there.

"Colours are the mother tongue of the subconcious" -- Carl Gustav Jung



3. Overall Layout and Font Size

Once again, I'd like to re-use this graphic image with two image alternatives. I believe the first thing that would strike you is the location of the words on the image.

My Mother's Day Graphic Image for Instagram.

Both images contain the same content; nothing was removed, yet in the first picture — with a slightly altered layout — it just looks better, at least to me! Here, you should be able to tell that the layout of elements in your images makes a huge difference.

In the first version, the words take up a larger space on the image, bringing more focus and attention to the words to be conveyed. The words are also sized and aligned such that the alignment of the elements are more in balance. These little adjustments all contribute to making the first image appear balanced and engaging.




Another example would be this image that I have created for a personal post on Depression. Notice the layout of the words and positioning on the image. Which one do you prefer?

A heart-felt sensitive post on Depression.


These tips here aren't extensive, but I hope it was of help and had provided you some form of a guide when creating your visual contents. Let me know what other tips you have up your sleeve! I'd love to learn from you lovely people too.


xoxo,
meixii 

Comments

  1. These are such great tips! I tend to gravitate towards more script-like text, but you're so right, keeping it simple definitely draws my eye!

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    1. Hi Brittany! Less is definitely more. In some cases, breaking the rules may also be a good thing; be brave and try out your options!

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  2. Great suggestions! I don't have a graphic design background, so creating those picture perfect title cards and Pinterest pins is definitely a challenge. I'm going to see how I can make those images even better now!

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    1. Hey there Natalie, I am just glad these tips were of help! Hopefully you'll find your pins getting more engagement!! Best of luck <3

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  3. I Love these tips! But HOW do you make them? WHich programs are good to create these with?

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    1. Oh myyyy you have totally brought out a loop hole in this whole post! Thank you so much for the question.

      I personally use Adobe Photoshop for my images, though some might choose to use Adobe Illustrator. Presuming that you are using Adobe for this, you can choose to visit these websites for the various free fonts:
      - https://www.fontsquirrel.com/
      - https://www.urbanfonts.com/free-fonts.htm
      -http://www.dafont.com/


      Assuming that you do not have access to Adobe, you can choose to use an online photo editor, or maybe a free phone editing app. I do find Snapseed a reasonably good app to use!
      https://itunes.apple.com/sg/app/snapseed/id439438619?mt=8


      Hopefully this was of help! <3

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  4. AWESOME advice on improving our images. I can spend hours doing this but really don't need to. Thanks for this!

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    1. You are very much welcome! I never knew these little changes made such a huge difference till I started experimenting myself!

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  5. Amazing tips!!! I love how u do the side by side. So helpful! Tonya
    Www.tonyamezrich.com

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    1. Hey there Tonya!!

      Seems like I missed out on your comment. So sorry about that! I'm so so happy you liked the side by side ❤️ I thought it helped show the differences better ๐Ÿ˜Š

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  6. Great tips! I´ve done the thing with the hard to read fotns :s

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    1. Hi Gabriela!

      So sorry that I missed out on your comment! Hahah I have made my own fair share of mistakes; it isn't unusual. I'm pretty sure that there are ways to make our images look even better! We just have to find what works ๐Ÿ˜Š

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  7. Wow, there is really a lot to think about when putting together a picture. I don't consider myself an artist at all. But you have to kind of become one if you're a business owner because social media is one of the best ways to reach your audience. Great tips!

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    1. Hey Erica!

      I am so sorry, but it seems like I missed out on your comment. And I totally agree on the fact that social media is one of the best ways to reach out to people! It's so common nowadays, that we are forced to be reasonably good with it.

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  8. Really great tips - glad I came across this! I struggle sometimes, so will try your ideas!

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    1. That's good to hear. I am glad that it was of help to you. :)

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  9. Awesome tips! I've have to remember this.

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    1. Hey Joe. I am glad you found this helpful! Do try out for yourself to see what a difference it makes!

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  10. These are all awesome tips and I found this post super helpful, I'm going to take all of this into account the next time I'm creating images like this :)

    Julia // www.thesundaymode.com

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