Do you get excited about designing a blog post graphic?
Ok, be honest. You’ve written a fabulous new post, and it’s time to make a graphic to show off that crazy-good content on Pinterest.
When it comes to making a blog post graphic, do you:
- Knock out a Pinterest-perfect graphic in less than 10 minutes and move right on with being your generally awesome self.
- Sigh and get it over with as quickly as possible. This is your least favorite part. You’ve had the same style since you started and you didn’t like it then.
- Spend an hour making something that kind of qualifies as a blog post graphic if you squint. You just downloaded a bunch of free fonts and this is the perfect time to try out 5 of them.
- Go do laundry.
What if you could knock out a blog post graphic that looks great AND takes less time than actually writing the post? And matches your blog style, and does well on Pinterest, AND (shocker) you enjoy making?
That’s a lot of and’s. Oh, but I forgot one: AND it’s all possible.
Because if you’re a blogger and you’d rather do laundry then tackle the blog post graphic for your latest post, it’s time to change that.
I’ve got a 3-step tutorial to make a professional blog post graphic that can hold its own on Pinterest.
We’re about to cover the ground-breaking concept of: a photo, an overlay, and some text.
Simple enough? Totally. But the result is stunning, and it fits any niche in blogland.
Make a blog post graphic perfect for Pinterest
Let’s get started:
Open a new Photoshop document
We’re using Photoshop for this project. Why Photoshop?
For starters, the basics are easy to learn (yes, really!) and you can get a 30-day trial for free. But more than that, you want graphics that match your style – not so easy when you’re using pre-made templates that are difficult to change. Learn just a few routines in Photoshop, and you’re designing graphics that you can use as your own templates for making even more graphics.
Set the size of your new document to 750 width & 1100 height, using pixels as the measurement. Enter 72 for the resolution. Make sure the color mode is RGB. This is a good size for Pinterest, where vertical (tall) images do best.
Click images to enlarge.
Step 1: Choose a photo for the background
Open the folder that contains your photo, and drag it onto your canvas in Photoshop. Resize the photo so that it covers your canvas.
PRO TIP: To resize the photo without distorting it, hold down the shift key while you drag from the corner.
Want to use the same photos and fonts I am? Check out the handy list at the end.
Step 2: Make an overlay
An overlay is a colored box that “lays over” the photo (advanced concept, I know). It’s semi-transparent, meaning you can see through it slightly.
With the rectangle tool, draw a box the size of your canvas.
In the layers panel (right side), double-click the rectangle you just created to change the color to whatever you like. If you have a color scheme you use for you blog, choose a color from that. Otherwise, choose a color that matches your photo. (By each layer in the layers panel, you’ll see a little “eye”. Just click that on or off to hide the overlay so you can see photo underneath to get a better look at the colors.)
At the top of your layers panel, you’ll see the word OPACITY, and a number. Lower the number from 100 to about 85. Now you can see the background!
We can adjust the opacity more, but first let’s add your blog post title.
Step 3: Add text
Still with me? We’re actually almost done with this blog post graphic.
With the type tool, type in your blog post title. To make it easy, use white text (or really dark gray if you have a light-colored overlay).
You can always change the size of your text, even after you’ve typed it. Here’s how:
- Make sure you’re using the move tool (the 4-arrow icon at the top of the tool panel)
- Click on your text. You’ll see a faint rectangle with little boxes around it – that’s the text box. If you don’t see the box, look at the top of your screen and make sure you check the option “Show Transform Controls”.
- Click one of the corners of your text box. Hold down the shift key, and drag to make your text bigger or smaller.
PRO TIP: Hold down the shift key while resizing text, shapes, or photos to keep the proportions – otherwise, it will look distorted.
Click to enlarge images.
FUN TIMES: If you’re doing a list post, put the number in a separate text box and make it much bigger than the rest of your text.
To make it interesting, put part of your title in a different font. Just select the type tool, change the font, and add the extra text.
TROUBLE CHOOSING FONTS? Try this simple trick for font pairing.
One more thing – with your simple font, type out your blog name at the bottom of the graphic. To resize the text box smaller, switch to the move tool and click the corner of the text box. Hold down the shift key while dragging from the corner.
Ta-stinkin’-DAA! And you’re done. So much more fun than laundry.
We’ll save the graphic as a JPG in just a minute (so you can upload it to your blog), but let’s play around first…
Customize your blog post graphic
So you’ve stuck with me this far, and you by now you’ve got the blog graphic finished for your next blog post! Woot!
Let’s change it.
Tiny changes make a big difference, and here’s one:
Draw a long, thin rectangle at the bottom of your graphic. Position it over top of your blog name.
Over in you layers panel, drag your new rectangle down so it’s right below the text layer with your blog name.
Change the color to be a much darker version of your overlay, or another color that matches well.
Let’s add a border.
Hide the bar you just created (click the “eye” next to that layer in the layers panel).
Draw a rectangle slightly smaller than your canvas (any color).
Click to enlarge images.
Above your layers panel, look for the Properties panel. If you don’t see it, click “Window” in the top menu, and click “Properties”.
Change the color of your new rectangle to none: click the colored box (the rectangle “fill” color) and choose the No Color option (white box with a red line through it).
Now add a border: click the box next to the one you just changed, and choose white.
You’ve got a border! In the design world, the border is called the stroke. #smarter
Let’s make it the size we want. Next to the border color in the Properties panel, you’ll see a number. Change it to 4 pixels.
Adjust your border (center it, resize it) until you’re satisfied.
To help keep your layers tidy, let’s rename the border layer so it’s easy to come back to later. Double-click the layer name, and type in “border”.
Let’s combine our last two options, because we like to have fun like that.
Remember when you hid the bar by clicking the “eye” for that layer? Click it again to show the bar.
In the layers panel, drag your border layer down so it’s just below the bar.
Now, drag the bottom of your border down so it’s covered by the bar.
Click to enlarge images.
Save for the web
Now we just need to save your blog graphic so you can upload it.
Go to File > Export > Export As… (if you’re using Photoshop CS6, see the note below.)
Choose JPG for the format.
For quality, choose somewhere between 70-100 percent. This determines how big your file will be in kilobytes.
Quick technical sidenote which won’t hurt a bit: On the left side, you’ll see the file size your graphic will be. You want your blog graphics to be a pretty low size, since you’re uploading them to your blog. Too many big graphics, and your site will slow down. No fun for anyone.
To make the file smaller, adjust the quality DOWN a bit. You’re shooting for as close to 100kb as you can get without sacrificing too much quality.
For this graphic, 80% gives me a graphic about 150kb. I’m fine with that. The quality will still be good enough that no one will really notice. Try not to go below 70%.
For Photoshop CS6 users:
Go to File > Export > Save for Web.
Save the graphic, and you’re done!
I’m so proud of you. Virtual high-five.
Want to see more examples of blog post graphics?
Oh, and I forgot to tell you! Now that you have a gorgeous blog post graphic done, USE THIS AS A TEMPLATE for all your future graphics!
- Open the file & save it under a new name
- Change the photo.
- Change the color of the overlay (double-click the layer in the layers panel)
- Edit the text.
- Export it for the web.
Just to show how flexible this style is, here are a few more samples:
See? Blog post graphic in Photoshop! You’ve got this.
Making a blog post graphic doesn’t need to be that thing you dread anymore – you are AWESOME at what you do. It’s time your graphics reflected that.
BTW – I LOVE to see what you make – #imaginedesignrepeat to show off your work!
RELATED POST: How to Make Blog Post Graphics: Photoshop Basics
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