If you’re putting together graphics for social media posts or other assets, it’s usually best to use a designer. But with the ubiquity of design skillsets and the user-friendliness of tools like Canva, it’s now possible to generate great looking graphics in-house. By sticking to some basic design principles, you can up your brokerage’s design game without outside help.
PICK A SIMPLE PALETTE
Your business likely has colors it uses in its brand—that’s a great place to start. Your palette should only feature two to four colors. A simple palette might include a light colour, a darker colour, white and black. You want enough contrast between colours that text can be read easily—no yellow text on a light yellow background.
LIMIT FONT SELECTION
To keep readability high, limit the number of fonts you’re using. Best to select a single font family with various weights (bold, semi-bold, ultra black) to create hierarchy. And while there aren’t any wrong answers in design, don’t use Comic Sans.
LEAN TOWARDS LESS
To create something eye-catching, it’s best to go with as few elements as possible. If there’s text, keep it short. If you need to use a photo, make sure it has a neutral background. You should be able to articulate why every element was chosen. “There was still room left” isn’t a good reason.
LOOK TO THE PROS
There’s no sense in trying to reinvent the wheel from scratch. Look at work from brands whose aesthetic you like and note what they’re doing that works—the scale of the elements, text alignment, use of colour. As the saying goes, good artists copy, great artists steal (but don’t actually steal).
ACCOUNT FOR THE FRAME
If you’re designing for multiple social media platforms and one of them is Instagram, you’ll need at least two versions of every graphic. Most platforms use a landscape orientation, but Instagram uses a square frame, which would cut the ends off an image designed in landscape. If we carelessly cropped Da Vinci’s The Last Supper to fit a square frame we’d lose three apostles off each side.
KEEP IT CONSISTENT
Creating content for social media isn’t just about getting your business out there—it’s an opportunity to establish your brand identity. Once you’ve created a few templates using these tips, stick with it to create a coherent, recognizable presence. And if you really want traction on the internet, don’t forget your brand identity should probably include cats.