More and more bloggers and businesses are using Pinterest these days to promote their content. And to do so, they design their own pins to add them to this highly shareable social platform.
Great if you can hire an actual designer who will create perfectly balanced images that will stand out amongst millions of others! But what about the rest of us who don’t know much about design nor have money to hire a professional?
Well then we get creative in our own ways, using our own judgement and skills that we might not necessarily possess. As a result, Pinterest is peppered with eye-catching, but not always soothing images. Sadly, as long as the job is done, the pin is not always the biggest concern for some folks.
There’s nothing wrong with that, we all have to master new skills. As an amateur photographer, I’d like to believe I’m a little bit creative and my pins are important to me. So I strive everyday to learn a little bit more about the colours that go together, the fonts that look beautiful, backgrounds that will make the pin stand out and photos themselves that will look different.
Believe me, I’ve made lots of poor pins in the past, which you will find on this blog, but it’s all about the learning curve right? So I’d like to share with you what I’ve learnt so far and encourage you to use these free tools that will help you greatly to improve the appearance of your Pinterest boards.
Canva Design School
If you are using Pinterest, you must know about Canva by now. This is the ultimate tool for creating the right size images and fun layouts.
However, the free layouts and the same combinations get boring with time and that’s when people unleash their own creativity. It doesn’t always work though. When our knowledge is scarce, the results can be disappointing and tiring to readers/pinners eyes.
My advice is always read up on tips about design and learn some of the basics. Not only does Canva give us the opportunity to build our own pins, it also gives us the opportunity to learn about the design process.
As you open your Canva profile, on your left hand side bar there is a link to Learn to Design. Don’t ignore these tips, they are free. Here you will find many tutorials on backgrounds, colours, fonts, layouts and many more. Have a go, it’s also fun!
If you are creating pins for a business, you might want to upgrade to Canva for Work plan. The plan will allow you to build the brand and to get even more creative with your images for Pinterest.
Check out the Canva for Work Blog, they have tons of advice on how to create a masterpiece each time you log in. One of my favourite blog posts is on how to choose the right font. In my opinion this is crucial when designing a strong pin. Some fonts just don’t go together and can distort our work.
In the pin below I am using one of my favourite combinations CINZEL (the top & bottom wording in the pin) and Quattrocento font for the main message. It’s important to highlight the title and let the readers know what your post is all about.
Text spacing is just as important. When you create your pin with Canva, it gives you the text space option. If your text is space out too much, it might look a little odd. If necessary, use letter spacing, it will add a unique touch to your pins. Just be weary not to space it in or out too much, make sure the text is still easily readable.
Don’t forget to give your text some breathing space. I see a lot of pins with text slashed across the image and it doesn’t always look pretty. I’ve done it before too, many times. Bigger text doesn’t always mean more prominence, it’s how you present it. If using shapes, leave some space around the text, this way the title will go easier on the pinners and your own eyes.
Aligning text is crucial. Make sure it’s centered if you want your text to appear in the middle and aligned when you want it to appear on one or the other side. Use the indicators (the tiny dotted lines) that appear on your design as you drag your text/image to align it correctly.
Zoom in when creating text. It will be easier to see whether your design is well aligned and organised. Don’t disregard small details, they are usually what matters the most.
Use filters to bring out the text. This works well with lower quality, darker or very busy images. If an image has lots of details and you are not in the mood for using a shape, your text will simply get lost. It also works well if you are after an atmospheric pin. In this case, blur the image out or adjust the contrast.
If you can, download your image as PNG rather than JPEG, this way the text will appear sharper. It’s also helpful if your image is lacking quality, all eyes will go on the title. Just be aware of the larger file size.
Using colours when designing pins for Pinterest can be agonising, especially if you aren’t an expert on colour matching. But lucky for you, and for me, there’s a fantastic tool online that allows you to mix and match. I’ve been using Design Seeds for some time and it’s my absolute favourite tool to use when choosing colours for my images.
Use the tab By Color or By Collection and discover a whole new world of colour matching. Let’s face it, Canva colours can be a little squeamish sometimes and no one want’s to stare at an unbearably pink title or need sunglasses just to read that yellow pin.
But please don’t be discouraged from using these colours. There’s nothing wrong with pink and yellow as long as you remember to match them with the right shade. It adds personality to your design and also creates a brand, but just maybe keep it toned down a little.
My rule of thumb is to match colours either to the image or to each other. However, sometimes, if I like the image and want to cover it as little as possible, but still make the title stand out, I’ll use a completely different colour. But the colour must not contradict the remaining palette. The easiest way to check is to simply click on the colour in the Design Seed website and look at the examples.
White Space Corner
Another amazing pool of information is waiting to be discovered on the White Space Corner website. Melissa is a blogger and a designer with a vast amount of design knowledge.
I especially loved her article about whitespace and why we need it in our design. Not only in our pins but also on websites or any other creative spaces. I agree with Melissa and want to encourage all our readers to use white space on Pinterest images.
Check out her web design basics for beginners to learn more about fonts, text styling and even more. I am sure all this can be easily applied to our pins.
Another fantastic feature on Melissa’s website is the downloadable mood boards to help you choose your colour scheme. If anything, the website is a joy to browse and I am sure you will find something useful and awaken your creative side.
And the last tip from me – think vertical
Be strategic about your images, think vertical. Pinterest freaks (including me) are all about vertical pins. While landscape image looks better on a website, trying to adjust it to the specific pin size might compromise the quality. The less cropping and stretching, the better!
Mixing in one or two such images for pinners on your blog will increase your chances of pinnable images. Plus you will also be able to cheat a little and pin the same content multiple times. Bonus!
What tools do you use to create your pins for Pinterest? Let us know in the comments below…
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