11 Tips to Improve Your Social Media Design | MP 93

On this marketing podcast, Samantha Carvalho talks about 11 tips to improve your social media design.

Does your social media design need a boost? How can you use colors and negative space to your advantage? Why should you be mindful of using lines in your designs?

In this podcast episode, Sam Carvalho speaks gives 11 tips to improve your social media design.

Podcast Sponsor: Heard

An image of the Practice of the Practice podcast sponsor, Heard, is captured. Heard offers affordable bookkeeping services, personalized financial reporting, and tax assistance.

As a therapist, you’re probably too preoccupied with your caseload to want to think about bookkeeping or tax filing. Heard can help you out with that. Heard is a bookkeeping and tax platform built specifically for therapists in private practice that helps you track and improve your practice’s financial health. Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned clinician or are in the first year of your practice, Heard will help you to identify areas for growth and streamline best financial practices for your business.

When you sign up with Heard, you’ll work directly with financial specialists to track your income and expenses, file taxes online, and grow your business. You’ll also receive financial insights such as profit and loss statements and personalized monthly reports. You can say goodbye to poring over spreadsheets and guessing your tax deductions or quarterly payments; focus on your clients, and Heard will take care of the rest.

Plans begin at $149 per month and can easily be tailored to fit your business’ financial needs. Sign up now at www.joinheard.com.

In This Podcast

  • Color
  • Balance
  • Lines
  • Typography
  • Contrast
  • Scale
  • Proximity
  • Hierarchy
  • Repetition
  • Direction
  • Space

Color

Color is one of the most important and complex aspects of any social media design. It helps to set the mood, create an atmosphere, convey emotions, and even evoke strong individual experiences from someone’s past. (Sam Carvalho)

90% of snap judgments about products can be made based on color alone.

Other research has shown that it is more beneficial in marketing to use colors that convey the personality you want to portray, rather than going for emotions that may be associated with different colors.

Use colors in your social media images that guide your audience through a story. Do so by considering which colors help to tell a specific portion of that story. Here, color theory becomes important.

Some common color-to-brain effects:

  • Red = energy and urgency
  • Orange = aggressive
  • Yellow = optimistic and youthful
  • Green = wealth and relaxation
  • Blue = trust and security
  • Pink = romantic and feminine
  • Black = powerful and sleek
  • Purple = soothing and calm

Balance

A great way to think of balance is to imagine that each element in your design has a specific “weight” behind it.

There are four different types of balance:

  • Symmetrical: gives the feel of balance and harmony. Great for illustrations, drawings, blog graphics, and photographs
  • Asymmetrical: creates tension through contrast and can be visually interesting when done correctly. It is abstract and there are no perfect mirror images
  • Radial: Picture a spiral staircase
  • Crystallographic: picture a tray of donuts with different toppings

All of these can make for beautiful social media design. If you’re creating an image of your own, to balance the weight in your image, play around with different things such as the size of items, lightness, and darkness of items, warm and cool colors, texture, the number of objects, isolation of objects, and orientation of objects. (Sam Carvalho)

Lines

Lines help guide the eye to where you want it to go. Straight lines work to give the image a sense of order and tidiness, while crooked or curved lines give the image a sense of organized tension and movement.

[Paying] close attention to the use of lines throughout your image can help guide your audience along a visual journey, stopping at the most important and intentional elements along the way. (Sam Carvalho)

Pay close attention to where you want to draw your reader’s eye when you add lines. Create a logical path for them to follow until they reach your intended destination.

Typography

Readability is the most important aspect to keep in mind when you are selecting fonts to use in your designs.

Graphic designer Paul Rand may have put it best when he said, “Don’t try to be original, just try to be good”. (Sam Carvalho)

Here are some tips for using fonts:

  • Limit your design to a maximum of 3 typefaces
  • Use font sizing that fits well with the medium you are working with
  • Traditionally, serif fonts are best for print and sans-serif for web
  • Kerning is a great technique to use in your titles, which means creating space between the letters in titles or headings

Contrast

Contrast provides differentiation between elements, making one stand out or “pop” more than the other elements.

Find the balance, because too little contrast can leave your design looking “flat” and too much contrast can make things cluttered and chaotic.

Here are 3 ways to add contrast to an image without under or overdoing it:

  • Add contrast with colors
  • Add contrast with shapes
  • Add contrast with sizes

Scale

Scale, by definition, refers to the deliberate sizing of various elements within your design.

“Scaling” helps to bring certain elements into focus and allows your readers to make sense of a concept.

Proximity

Proximity is important for creating a sense of organization within your design, for example, related elements are best grouped to create a relationship between them.

You can use proximity through:

  • Object placement
  • Visual colors, fonts, and sizes

Hierarchy

Hierarchy helps you to get your most important message across first.

[Take] full advantage of the hierarchy design principle [by starting] with an understanding of your goals. Establish the most crucial message as the focal point and then use the other design principles mentioned previously to make it stand out. (Sam Carvalho)

Repetition

Repetition is an important part of the process because it helps to establish and strengthen different elements. This is also referred to as “consistent branding”.

Three things to always try and be consistent within your designs are:

  • Fonts
  • Colors
  • Logos

Repeat these three elements to give your brand a unique and instantly recognizable look.

Direction

It is important to guide your audience along the “path” that you would like them to follow in your image, creating a deliberate “flow”.

Website design research has shown that people read in an “F” pattern, an “E” pattern, and sometimes a “Z” pattern.

So, consider placing important and eye-catching elements on the upper left and left sides of your design.

Space

Do not underestimate the power of simplicity in your design. Space can help bring a certain aesthetic quality to your image while also highlighting the most important elements.

When adding shapes, fonts, or colors to your design, consider what shapes or outlines are forming around them and use these to your advantage.

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

Meet Sam Carvalho

A photo of Samantha Carvalho is captured. She is the Chief Marketing Officer and Designer at Practice of the Practice. She is the host of the Marketing A Practice Podcast and helps therapists successfully market and brand their private practices.Sam Carvalho is a graphic designer living in Cape Town, South Africa, with over five years of experience in both design and marketing, with a special interest and experience in the start-up environment.

She has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016 and has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs take their practices to the next level by enhancing their visual branding. She loves working with a variety of clients on design-intensive tasks and is always up for a challenge!

Follow Sam on Instagram to see some of her work. To work with Sam, head on over to www.practiceofthepractice.com/branding.

Thanks For Listening!

Feel free to leave a comment below or share this podcast on social media by clicking on one of the social media links below! Alternatively, leave a review on iTunes and subscribe!

Podcast Transcription

[SAM CARVALHO] Welcome to the Marketing a Practice podcast with me, Sam Carvalho where you’ll discover everything you need to know about marketing and branding your business. To find out more about how I can help you brand new business visit www.practiceofthepractice.com/branding. And if you’d like to see some examples of my design work, be sure to follow me on Instagram at Samantha Carvalho Design.

Hi, thanks so much for joining me today on the Marketing a Practice podcast. I recently upon looking at some previous episodes that I had done realized that it’s been a while since I’ve spoken about social media design and tips around that. So today’s podcast is going to be about that. We know that humans by nature are very visual beings. In the brain itself there are hundreds of millions of neurons devoted to visual processing, nearly 30% of the entire cortex as compared with 8% touch and just 3% for hearing. We also know that social media images are a vital part of your content strategy, as they’re likely to reach the maximum amount of people, and those are people again who are very visual beings.

Marketers who have dabbled in creating, engaging images for social media know just how tough and time-consuming this can be. So that’s why today I thought I would cover some social media design tips and principles to help you enhance your social media images. So the first one is color and I have done some previous episodes on color theory and what different colors mean, so definitely go check that out if you get a chance. Color is one of the most important and complex aspects of any social media design. It helps to set the mood, create an atmosphere, convey emotions and even evoke strong individual experiences from someone’s past.

In a study on the impact of color on marketing researchers found that up to 90% of snap judgements made about products can be based on color alone, depending on the product. Other academic studies on colors in marketing have pointed to the fact that it’s more important for colors to support the personality you want to portray rather than trying to align with typical color associations. So that’s definitely something to keep in your mind. So you can use colors in your social media images that guide your audience through a story. You can do so by considering which colors help to tell a specific portion of that story. The principles of color theory are a great place to start and can be used to create a sense of harmony within your images.

So I thought I would do a quick rundown of how different colors affect our brain and how they’re often used in storytelling and marketing. If you don’t have time to go and listen to my more detailed episode on color theory. So quickly red often conveys energy and urgency. Orange is aggressive, which is why we often use it for Calls to Action. Yellow is optimistic and youthful. Green portrays wealth and relaxation. Blue represents trust and security, pink portrays romance and femininity, black is powerful and sleek and purple is soothing and calm.

So those are some initial broad concepts that those colors are associated with, but it gives you a good idea of a starting point when it comes to determining your color scheme and the colors that you want to use in your social media moving forward. The second tip around social media design is balance. The art of balance in the world of social media image design is a tricky one to get the hang of, but well worth effort. A great way to think of balance is to imagine that each element in your design has a weight behind it. In other words, if you were to place the image on a balance scale, it would a tip to one side. It’s also important to remember that different elements carry different weight balance does not have to be split down the middle.

There are essentially four types of balance when it comes to design, the first is symmetrical. So this gives a feel of balance and harmony. It’s great for illustrations drawings, blog, graphics, and photographs. The second is asymmetrical. This creates tension through contrast and can be visually interesting when done correctly. It’s abstract and there are no perfect mirror images. The third is radial, pictures spiral staircase. The fourth is crystallographic and essentially picture a tray of donuts with different toppings. So all of these can make for beautiful social media design. If you’re creating an image of your own in order to balance the weight in your image, play around with different things, such as the size of items, the lightness and darkness of items, warm and cool colors, texture, quantity of objects, isolation of objects and orientation of objects. So whether it’s vertical, horizontal, or diagonal. That’s just some tips around how to balance your image.

The third thing to think about is lines. Lines are age visual elements of your image, that help to guide the eye to where you want it to go straight lines work, to give the image a sense of order and tidiness while crooked or curved lines may give the image a sense of organized tension and movement. Paying close tension to the use of lines throughout your image can help guide your audience along a visual journey, stopping at the most important and intentional elements along the way. When adding lines to your image pay close attention, to where they draw the reader’s eyes. Aim to create a logical path that the reader can follow along with until they come to the point that you intended them to.

Number four is typography. Typography is in itself an art. Selecting the perfect font or set of fonts that work seamlessly together can bring your social media image to life. It also has a big impact on how your design is received by people and ultimately the message your brand wants to send out. When selecting which font or funds to use in your design, one of the most important aspects to keep in mind is readability. Graphic designer. Paul Rand may have put it best when he said, don’t try to be original. Just try it to be good. Whether you choose a San Serif font or any variation in between, make sure that your audience can read your message.

So here are some additional tips for using font. You want to limit your design to a maximum of three type faces. Use font sizing that fits well within the medium that you’re publishing to. So always bear in mind, the end result and what size the image is going to be. Therefore what size the text needs to be to still be legible. Traditionally Serif fonts are best for print so Serif fonts are the ones with little feet on all the ins and curing is a great technique to using your titles. Curing is creating space, additional space between the lettering or space it out and again, make it more legible.

Number five, the fifth tip to keep in mind around social media design is contrast. So have you ever heard someone say that an illustration design really popped? What they may be referring to is the contrast in an image. Contrast provides differentiation between elements making one stand out or pop more than the other elements. The use of effective contrast is a great way to enhance your social media images. Without contrast your design runs the risk of being conceived as flat, but with two match contrasts, your design can become cluttered and nothing will stand out. So it’s definitely a balancing act.

Here are three ways that you can add contrast to an image without, under, or overdoing it. The first is to add contrast with colors. So for example, playing with lights, colors off of dark colors or vice versa. I always say that a great way to do this is by using a white font on a dark background. This thing makes the wording both readable and visually appealing. Second is to add contrast with shapes, try mixing the conformity of symmetrical shapes alongside asymmetrical shapes for an interesting design. The third is to add contrast with sizes. You can make certain aspects of the design bigger or smaller than others and it can also mean adding more weight, like bolding a word, for example, to certain elements.
[HEARD] As a therapist, you’re probably too preoccupied with your caseload to want to think about bookkeeping or tax filing. Heard can help you out with that. Heard is a bookkeeping and tax platform built specifically for therapists in private practice that helps you track and improve your practice’s financial health. Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned clinician or in the first year of your practice, Heard will help you to identify areas for growth and streamline best financial practices for your business.

When you sign up with Heard, you’ll work directly with financial specialists to track your income and expenses, file taxes online and grow your business. You’ll also receive financial insights, such as profit and loss statements and personalized monthly reports. You can say goodbye to pouring over spreadsheets and guessing your tax deductions or quarterly payments, focus on your clients Heard will take care of the rest. Plans begin at $149 per month and can easily be tailored to fit your business’ financial needs. Sign up now www.joinheard.com. .
[SAM CARVALHO] The sixth tip when it comes to social media design is scale. So scale by definition refers to the deliberate sizing of various elements within your design. Scaling helps to bring certain elements into focus and allows your readers to make sense of a concept. The seventh tip is proximity. Proximity is paramount when creating a sense of organization within your design. Similar or related elements are best group together to create a relationship between them. The goal is to group items together to declutter your design and tidy things up a bit. You can put the principle of proximity into action by connecting similar elements together. One easy way is by the physical placement of objects near each other. The other way is to connect them in other visual ways with the use of similar colors, font sizes, and so on. When put into something like a social media post design proximity can help to bring elements of a product or concept together through spatial relationships.

The eighth tip is hierarchy. It’s quite likely that you’ll be working with multiple elements in your social media design. You’ve usually got images, text, calls to action. So the chances are that these elements will be important to your overall message. Hierarchy is a great social media design tip to make sure that you’re getting your most important message across first, but remember as well that you’ve also got the description area of your social media post. Not everything needs to go into, not all the text or content needs to go into the design. Taking full advantage of the hierarchy design principles starts with an understanding of your goals. Establish the most crucial message as the focal point, and then use the other design principles mentioned previously to make it stand out. Once that’s in place, you can start to build your second or third piece of information without taking away from the overall goal.

Number nine is repetition. One of the easier design elements to enhance your social media images is the principle of repetition. Repetition is an important part of the process because it helps to establish and strengthen different elements. It’s also what people often refer to as consistent branding., Three things to always try and be consistent with in your designs are fonts, colors, and logos. Over time repetition of these three elements will give you or your brand a unique and instantly recognizable. Look.

The second last one, number 10 is direction. The way the human eye moves across designs, images, websites, and other visual elements is unique, but often consistent. That’s why it’s important to guide your audience along the path that you like them to follow in your image. In other words, you want to create a deliberate flow. Website design research has given us an inside look at how people tend to view websites when arriving for the first time. What they’ve found is that we read in an F pattern and E pattern, capital F, capital E and sometimes A-Z pattern. So placing important and eye catching elements on the upper left and left side of your design is key.

The last one is space. This coincides with what we spoke of earlier with regards to proximity. Negative or wide space is the area surrounding other objects in an image. More often than not what you choose to leave out from the image is just as important as what you add. Try not to underestimate the power of simplicity in your design. Less is more. Space can help bring a certain aesthetic quality to your image while also highlighting the most important elements. When adding shapes, fonts or colors to your design, consider what shapes or outlines are forming around them and use these to your advantage. You may quickly realize that your design is taking shape in ways that you hadn’t originally had.

So those are some concepts and principles to think about when designing your social media or having your design and design your social media posts. I hope it’s been helpful and I’ll see you in the next episode.

Thanks again to Heard for sponsoring this episode. When you sign up with Heard, you’ll work directly with financial specialists to track your income and expenses, file taxes online and grow your business. Plans begin at $149 per month and can easily be tailored to fit your business’ financial needs. Sign up now at www.joinhaerd.com.

Thanks for listening to the Marketing a Practice podcast. If you need help with branding your business, whether it be a new logo, rebrand, or you simply want some print flyer designed head on over to www.practiceofthepractice.com/branding. And if you’d like to see some examples of my design work, be sure to follow me on Instagram at Samantha Carvalho Design.

Finally, please subscribe, rate, and review this podcast on iTunes if you like what you’ve heard. Talk to you soon.

Marketing a Practice podcast is part of the Practice of the Practice podcast network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you market and grow your business and yourself. To hear other podcasts like Beta Male Revolution, Empowered and Unapologetic, Imperfect Thriving, or Faith in Practice, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.

This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or any other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.