How to make amazing images for your blog and increase your traffic and engagement – WAU

Need to illustrate your blog posts? Our designer tells how to make beautiful images and increase the attractiveness and engagement of your posts.

Attractive images are extremely important in the concept of Digital Marketing. They work as a great incentive for people to become even more interested in your text (which can also be amazing if you follow these tips).

Today I will take some steps that I went through – and I go through – to be able to deliver arts that catch the public’s attention.

When I joined Websites Are Us, I didn’t know how to use the software that I use today to work – really, I didn’t know anything – and that was 6 months ago. So don’t be discouraged if you don’t know how Illustrator or Photoshop works, for example, because there is always time for learning!

And nothing better to learn than the first tip:

1. Watch tutorials and get tips

Something I’ve done since I joined WAU and Design College was to look for tutorials.

Are you bothered by not being able to make a specific texture? Can’t even open the software without knowing what to do next?

You can be sure that there is someone on the internet who knows and has shared their knowledge.

YouTube is a great platform for tutorials, as you can visually follow the process step by step, stopping and returning whenever necessary.

And if you didn’t, there is a whole community in the comments that may also have had the same question as you.

But if you don’t have a video tutorial of something very specific that you are looking for, don’t worry, there are a multitude of forums and blogs aimed at discussing these subjects. Certainly in some will be the answer you are looking for.

2. Search for references

References are very important for creating images. Often you don’t know what to create for a theme or want to know the visual characteristics of something.

There are great sites for references, like Dribbble, which has amazing art made by artists from different companies and from around the world.

However, because it is very focused on posting works as a portfolio of artists, sometimes you may not find what you want, since the search is made by tags and often they are not accurate.

Many companies place the tag according to the purpose for which the art made will be used and not what it actually represents.

how to make pictures

Dribbble interface, with the latest gear from the teams I follow

In addition to Dribbble there is also Freepik, which is a website dedicated to the free download of arts and vectors already created. So it is a valid alternative to observe how some artists worked on the term you are looking for.

And, if you haven’t found anything that pleased you or just want more references, there’s the good old Google Images, with tons of photos that can serve you well when it comes to discovering how what you’re looking for is illustrated on the internet.

But speaking of seeking references, I feel that I need to point out a subject as well:

3. Create your own images

We often do not have the time or the ability to make our own images from scratch, but it is important that this is a goal for the near future.

Ready images can be very beautiful – and many are! – and they also save a lot of work.

But they were not made by someone from your company, so they will not necessarily be in accordance with your visual identity and will not be original, at least not in the graphics.

Internally created arts are exclusive to your blog, and you can be sure that your visitors will remember more about you and your company.

That is why a graphic designer is very important in your content marketing strategy.

4. Get inspired by artists and / or companies

Occasionally a song or a personality inspires us, and design is no different.

Lately we have been studying a lot and following the guidelines of Material Design, made by Google.

In the past, Gigante das Buscas was more focused on expanding its business to the most diverse products, and well… It seems that it did not invest much in your design:

how to make pictures

The old (and famous) Google logo

Okay, well, I know he’s not that ugly and that we were used to it. But he was practically the same since 1999.

It was 16 years maintaining the same structure, which no longer fit well in the identity that the company was setting up.

This, together with the growth of its Android operating system, made Google take an attitude towards its design.

And then they did what they do best: they tested and researched. Much. And after a lot of studies of usage and trends, they arrived at Material Design.

how to make pictures

New Google identity, according to Material Design.

Precisely because it has so much theoretical background and tests, we consider Google a benchmark in design.

Its guidelines form an aesthetically pleasing, functional and intuitive system, in addition to passing fluidity and dynamics like no one else, with movements that simulate those of real life.

5. Create and / or use a specific color palette

Before, at WAU, we used all the colors available in the visible spectrum for our arts – except institutional images, which follow certain colors -, and it arrived at a moment that was becoming a real carnival.

Everything was looking random, as if it were not part of the same identity, however much it presented the same style. Thus, we concluded that by limiting the choice of colors to a fixed palette, we would have greater conformity between the arts.

As Material Design was already adopted, we continue with its color palette, and since then we have used it in our images. With it we have a lot of freedom to use, even maintaining limitations.

6. Create contrast in the images

When talking about color, it is also important to emphasize something: contrast.

We recently did the arts in a monochromatic way. All colors were just variations between light and dark of the same color. This meant that there was little contrast and often objects in the foreground were mixed with the background because they had close tones.

A good contrast is essential for a good understanding of an image. It is he who differentiates the limit between objects, background, light and shadow.

With the adoption of the Material Design color palette, we started to explore images that had different colors distant from each other, often being opposite colors.

how to make pictures

Opposite colors are those that are 180º from each other in the chromatic circle

But the use of different colors will not always be sufficient if they have similar brightness. That is why it is very important to use the dynamic between light and dark in your images to provide a better understanding of them.

7. Adopt a style, but don’t be afraid to dare

Adopting a style to follow is well recommended to have a consistent identity between your images and your brand.

Here at WAU we follow the semi flat, a style that has become quite popular lately. However, we give the “Websites Are Us special touch” – and it’s a company secret, so I can’t tell.

Jokes aside, what we do here is to give the company its own face in this style. There are countless artists who use semi-flat design in their images, but each has its own way of distinguishing itself from the others.

That is why, Do not be afraid to dare. An art style is not a dictatorship: you can change elements, ways of working with light and shadow, colors, everything so that it is in accordance with the identity you intend to convey.

how to make pictures

Realistic or Flat: both work in semi flat design

8. Always think about your persona

Last and most important: always think about your persona.

Before deciding which style you intend to follow, which color palette to use and which companies and artists to be inspired by, you need to analyze your persona well and what would be aligned with it.

When I started working here at WAU I did the arts in a very conceptual way. I saw what topic was going to be addressed and rambled on about it. They were nice, but the problem was that I saw the theme in the image, the others didn’t.

So it is always very important to think about who will see your image. The message that you will try to get through has to be understood by your personas, otherwise you will not reach them.

In addition to the message, think about whether your audience would find it interesting to see your art. For example, if the people who visit your blog are entrepreneurs, more conservative, perhaps a very colorful illustration looks childish and doesn’t communicate very well with them.

Conclusion

Even though they are based on the process we went through at WAU, take advantage of these tips to create your own images.

If you want to know more about the design trends for 2017, I recommend reading the 2017 Design Trends Guide, written by designers Loredana Papp-Dinea and Mihai Baldean.

Now that you have all that baggage, you can start producing amazing art for your blog! I hope I helped by sharing my knowledge on the subject, and thanks for reading!