When it comes to creating images to represent your brand, you want to make sure they are aesthetically pleasing. These images can be used on various platforms, such as YouTube, blog posts, Instagram, Facebook, website pages, videos and even logos. To create images that please the eye there are some basic principles of art that are easy to understand and fundamental to create an attractive image; these include colour, composition and text.
First, use colours that complement each other: the colour wheel.
The simplest way to do this is to use colours at the opposite ends of the wheel (as shown above). These are called complementary colours. For example, yellow is complementary to purple, as green is complementary to red. Another option is to use three colours that are an equal distance from each other, such as red, green and blue, or orange, purple and turquoise.
In the image below, you can see where complementary colours are used. The green and red trees complement each other, the same way that blue complements the orange.
Other tactics you can use are to use all different shades of the same colour such as light blue to dark blue (called analogous) or create a black and white image with a strong accent colour.
Second, use strategic composition: the rule of thirds.
Have you ever seen the grid on Instagram before you upload an image? This is a common practice used by artists and it is called the rule of thirds. It is a grid placed over the image that is made of three horizontal and three vertical lines. The theory behind it is that the subjects of your image should be in a box or on the line. Using this principle makes the image more pleasing to the brain and makes it appear balanced. Notice how in the image they are also using complementary colours- blue and orange.
Third, do not use more than two fonts and make the size legible.
Using one to two fonts will make your text easy to read. Too many fonts will be distracting to your audience.
Keep in mind the destination of the image. If it is a picture going on Instagram where people will be seeing it on a smaller screen, the font should be larger. However, if this is for a poster, the text can be smaller relative to the image. For example, Guinness used smaller font in this image as it was going to be printed large for distribution. They also included only two types of font on their image, incorporated the rule of thirds and complementary colours (although muted, the yellow Guinness symbol complements the purple undertones of the image)
Finally, listen to your gut.
These principles are great tools to creating a pleasing image, but ultimately it must look right to you. Do not be scared to try new things.
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