Designing for Social: 3 Key Tips for Beginners

Diego Hernandez
November 2, 2018

Unlike traditional media, social has some restrictions when it comes to what you can and can’t do with your visuals. Today, as ChatterBlast’s resident multimedia designer, I’m going to be offering some key tips and tricks for creating one-of-a kind visuals for all of your social platforms. These will help you get the most out of your campaign.

Let’s jump in!

Color correct your photos.

A major factor in creating high-impact, photography-based social campaigns is to maintain high levels of color and contrast to grab a user’s attention. By adjusting the color and contrast of an image, you can make it more appealing for audiences by making it pop out of their feed with additional vibrance and luminosity.

Keep in mind that most of social media is viewed on small devices like phones, making strong colors and vibrance key in attention grabbing.  Below are some examples of before and after correcting the color of a photo for a campaign.

Notice how by just slightly adjusting the colors of an image it makes it more visually stimulating and creates  thumb stopping content. But remember: don’t overdo it or rely on pre-produced photo filters. Over-editing a photo can make it look even worse than under-editing it.

Size (and space) matters.

Another important factor to keep in mind when creating visual content for social media is size. This refers not just to the size of the entire image, but also the size of the elements that will be incorporated within the design itself.

Again, when creating for social media, it’s important to remember that you’re creating something that will most likely be viewed on a phone screen. With that being said, your space for copy and other visual components is limited. Below you’ll find an example of a design created with this in mind and one without it.

As you can see in the visual on the left, it was created using limited text, placing more focus on the images to tell more of the story. There’s no real rhyme or reason to what’s happening on the right, with the image incorporating text that is way too small to read on a mobile device as well as images that are simply being overpowered by the amount of different texts used.

Keep it simple.

One of the most important factors to keep in mind when designing for social media is to keep it simple. You are essentially creating a visual snapshot of a bigger campaign or event that you want to grab an audience’s attention. One of the most common mistakes made while creating social campaigns is the excess use of text and information. Instead of putting all of the information for an event on a visual, only incorporate the most important information needed to get your message across. Below are examples of a design with that in mind.

On the left you see an event page with a cover photo that only has the key information on it: the name of the event, the date of the event, and the location of the event. The visual on the right has so much information on that you lose what event you are looking at.

In conclusion…

Now that you have a slight grasp on what will help you with a future campaign, keep in mind that there is nothing wrong with trying new things, to test multiple options out, and to just remember that what you are putting out there should be something you are proud of. See you next time for some more design tips!