As you first set up your business and got your logo designed, you likely had a banner designed for your website and perhaps even had some matching graphics created for social media platforms. We all know that it is essential to have professional, consistent branding across all of our platforms online!
But one of the things we may not have is FLEXIBILTY.
How many times to you think: It would be so great if I could update my banner and try out a new killer tagline? Or add some new buttons to the sidebar? Or create new cover images for social media to promote a new product or service?
Being able to create your own buttons and banners offers you the freedom and flexibility to promote your business in the way you want, where you want, and when you want, without having to hire a designer every single time!
Here are my top tips to help you get started.
1. Size matters
You need to know the exact size for your image: whether it’s a website banner, a sidebar button, a blog image, a social media cover image or profile image. If you are not sure about your own website, ask your designer or try the Measure It plug in. Click here for an infographic on social media sizes.
When it comes to size, always create the biggest size first, and then resize it for other uses: you can always make an image smaller, but if you enlarge an image it will look pixelated and blurry.
2. Consistency is key with fonts and colors
In order to create buttons and banners that look professional and consistent is to match your colours and fonts exactly. If you have a brand style guide you will have this information handy.
If not, you can check with your logo designer or use the Colorzilla plug in to find out the HEX numbers of your brand colours. And you can try What The Font to find your font names. To download your fonts try Font Squirrel.
If you need commercial fonts, try MyFonts.com.
3. Use some tools
There are many free tools that you can use to create visual content for your business. For branded buttons and banners I recommend using pixlr. It is quite similar to photoshop in the way it looks and works, so it allows you to use fonts that you have installed on your computer and you can save the images you create to edit and use them again and again. You can also use Canva and PicMonkey.
As with any new thing that you learn for your biz, there will be a learning curve with creating buttons and banners. The more you practice, the better your images will get.
4. Keep it simple
As you create your image, keep it simple. Start with the exact image size you need. Fill your background with your brand color. Use your brand fonts to add some text and keep your text as simple and straight forward as possible. Add your logo and URL.
We tend to want to fill up every bit of space that we have in an image, but it is much better to leave lots of white space and to keep things very simple. This will help your images look professional. And if you are stuck for designing your image, look at your favourite websites for inspiration. I borrow ideas from other images all the time.
5. Batch and reuse
To save yourself time and effort, try creating a batch of images at once. For instance, if you need a website banner, a sidebar button, a Facebook cover image, and a Twitter cover image – create all of these at one time. Each will have different dimensions but you can use the same text over and over and copy the general look and placement of your content.
You can also save time in the future by reusing your images. For use online you save your images as .png files – these are “flat”, you cannot go in and edit them again. So also save your images as .tif files – these will keep all of your layers (background colour, text, logo, etc.) intact. When you need a new version of the banner or button you just open, edit and save again!
My final tip is that if you really don’t feel confident designing all of your own buttons and banners, but getting a designer to create something new for you every single time you need it doesn’t fit the budget either, try getting your designer to create some blank templates for you. A template with your brand colours and logo can be easy to add fresh new text to each time you need it!
These are just a few tips to help you get started designing your own branded banners and buttons – and of course there are lots of other types of visual content that you can make for your business. What I really want to stress is that being able to create at least some of your own branded images will allow you some extra freedom and flexibility to promote your business online. When you need an image for something, it’s so nice to be able to open up your computer and make it yourself!
Latest posts by Karen Gunton (see all)
- How to Create Branded Buttons and Banners for Your Business - October 16, 2013
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- What Happens to Your Brand When Your Business Evolves? - May 22, 2013