Friday, 4 August 2017

A Blog Squad Special: How To Find and Design Blog Images/Graphics


We are a group of three book bloggers situated on different continents but brought together by our love for books and a penchant for talking about them. We’ve joined our forces to create a collaborative series of posts about book blogging and we hope you’ll enjoy the discussions. 

 A MAGICAL WORLD OF WORDS - AmyNikita 
 BOOKS.BAGS.BURGERS - Uma K 
 BOOK REVIEWS BY DI - Di Hewlett


This week we are doing 'How To' specials with each of us taking a topic and writing our own guide. 
Amy will be talking about 'How to Find and Design Images for your Blog', Uma will be going into 'How To Map your Blog' which includes things like how to make your blog easily navigable, what information to provide authors, publishers and readers, and how to go about with creating the various pages of your blog. And Di will be sharing ways To Make Your Content Pop, which include ways to break up large sections of text, the right way to use blockquotes, and lots of info about subheadings, content boxes, and using images effectively.    

 Please take a moment to visit the other ladies' posts - there's some great info here!   




I always stress a little when it comes to designing graphics for my blog! It’s a constant learning process, and although I have learned a lot since my first blog images, my graphics still have a long way to go.
This post is an introduction to some image hosting and designing sites I’ve found helpful, and I also mention some tips I think are important. But most importantly, this post is not me telling you the right way to do things - it’s just me sharing what I’ve learnt and what should work for you too if you want to improve your images and designing. It’s your blog, it’s your tastes, and you must do you. But I hope you find this Special useful all the same :)


VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: It is illegal to download images for your blog from Google or Pinterest or any other site that does not explicitly state that the images are free for public use. If it does not say the images are uncopyrighted, then you are not allowed to save the images. Crediting the page or site or user (“I got this picture from Google” - “All images from Pinterest”) does not make it okay.

There are so many image and design sites out there with fantastic and professional options. Here are a few of them: FlickrCanvaPixabayPicmonkey……. But to avoid getting overwhelmed by all the different options when all I want to do is design a simple post header for my blog post, I just stick with two: Canva and Pixabay.


Canva is where you design your photos. They do provide photos for you to use as well, but most of them (usually the good ones) are priced. And personally, I’m not happy spending money on graphics.

Canva’s options are simple and it’s easy to navigate. You have a great range of text choices, and they offer a huge selection of templates for your graphics; including a “Blog Header”, “Infographic”, “A4”, and “Email header”. You can also custom size images. Then there’s more. You can change transparency, crop images, and filter them through your choice of colour and tone. You can also adjust brightness and contrast, adjust blur, and frames, backgrounds, and shapes are all offered.

Canva’s quick and easy to use, although it’s not incredibly advanced with options and designs. If you want to take your designing further, then you’ll probably want to pay for the premium options. But it works perfectly for my needs.




Pixabay is my favourite place to get free photos. The images are all stellar quality - every single one is HD - and the pictures are professional, diverse, and you can even request images from the photographers if you like their theme or style. Another great thing about Pixabay is that the site is solid; it isn’t buggy or slow-loading, and doesn’t send you hopping to other random sites when you press a link. It’s clean, neat, and the images are top-notch. 

I get all my blog graphics from Pixabay. Then upload them to Canva, where I edit and design them. It’s simple and quick.





3 Simple Tips for Good Blog Images: 


 So you got the free photos and you’re busy on Canva. Here are 4 simple tips I think are extremely important for your graphics to thrive, but again, it’s all about your personal tastes and what you want to do. These tips are just ones I’ve found helpful, and hopefully you might too :) 

-  Keep it simple. Cluttered colours, lots of text that’s lost in the brightness of the picture isn’t gonna make it easy for people to work out what the title is or what the picture is. Simple is always better. Stick with a simple heading, clearly accented against the photo, and that’s it. 

-  Lots of images! Don’t feel you have to stop at a post heading. Breaking up the post’s text with lots of pictures is always a good idea. It keeps people’s attention and makes it interesting and appealing. (And you gotta split up your twenty thousand word review somehow…) 

-  Remember the rule of thirds. I struggle with this the most, but when do I get an image that fits the Rule of Thirds, it’s instantly better. Basically, this rule is just telling you to use levels; don’t throw in huge heading text, then three separate bits of text on the right, the bottom right, and in the top corner. Keep the photo and the text in an order. There should be 3 levels in your whole image. 

Example (taken from Canva’s templates):


Level 1: The buildings/skyline. 
Level 2: Text. 
Level 3: The little icon symbol right at the top.


Chat with me! Where do you get your images and where - and how - do you design them? Did you find this post helpful? 


 We hope you’ve enjoyed this “Special”! Please share your thoughts in the comments and let us know your thoughts on this topic. And do go check out the other Special posts today, too…



20 comments:

  1. I love this post so much! Ooh, I also have several resources for free stock images, as well: Death to the Stock Photo, Pexels and Unsolash are really good to use. For photo editing, I'd also suggest BeFunky or for a Photoshop substitute, get GIMP. I have to agree with the rule of thirds rule, as well!

    xoxo Abigail Lennah | ups & downs

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    1. Aww thank you Abby, I'm so happy you do!
      Oh yes, I've also heard of Unsplash, but haven't used it much. Thanks for the other recs, I'll check those out!
      Yeah it's definitely a good idea :) *high five*

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  2. Designing my blog was the most stressful part of everything. I hate graphic design and literally put all of my trust in my cousin who loves it. I'm really happy with how it came out, but I still find it so daunting to do even the littlest of things.

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    1. Oh no, Emily, shame :( Glad you had your cousin around, though!
      It is definitely daunting. But I love how your blog looks - it's so simple and elegant :)

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  3. Great tips, Amy! One of my goals this year was creating better graphics. I've started using Canva, and I love it. Other times I will use Pixabay to get an image, but a lot of times I like using some sort of patterned background and just picking a really funky font - I love typography! But yes, keeping it simple is a great strategy.

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    1. Thanks!
      Canva and Pixabay are amazing :)
      Patterned backgrounds do sound awesome! I should try that sometime...
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Awesome post Amy! I'll for sure be using Pixabay now! I normally do an advanced google search and sift them out, but there are still a couple that pop in there that I fall in love with but can't use! I actually use PicMonkey for my editing, but Canva seems really similar. At first when making graphics I struggled to keep it simple, but I'm getting better with it now! I'll keep the rule of third in mind!

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    1. Thank you Genni!
      Haha yay, it is definitely a good site, I think :)
      Thanks for the comment and kind words!

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  5. Wonderful post Amy! You know I love making graphics :) And I didn't know about the rule of thirds! Wonderful how to posts this time chicas <3

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    1. Thank you Uma <3 Haha I do, and you're REALLY good at it!
      They were so fun :)

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  6. Great tips! Thanks so much. I'll definitely be checking out Pixabay!

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    1. Thanks Greg! Yay, I'm so glad :)

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  7. It always takes me a lot longer to make graphics than it should. But I also use Canva and I love it so much. It's so easy to use and has so many options. I also have a few favorite blogs that have freebie downloadable graphics that I love.

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    1. Canva is amazing :) And so true.
      Oooh nice!

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  8. Great tips Amy! I'm already a big Canva user, though I've been mostly using Freepic for images. I just added PIxabay to my favorites though! Love the rule of thirds also - will have to keep that in mind in the future :)

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    1. Thanks Lindsey!
      Oooh I haven't heard of Freepic! I must look it up. Thanks! And yeah, Pixabay is excellent :)
      Thanks for the comment <3

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  9. Love your tips Amy and I'm so thrilled with all our posts for this special. It was a lot of fun and I can't wait to do more Blog Squad specials soon!

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    1. Thank you Di! It was so much fun :) I can't wait to do more as well!

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  10. Awesome tips, Amy. I LOVE them. I use Canva and picmonkey but you just gave me other recs so thank you!!! I love these 'how to' posts. You guys all ROCK them. So proud of you all. Keep them coming please... :)

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