Like most people, I’m not very good at design. To create banners I have a simple trick with which I get decent results.
If you are a designer, do not keep reading. You’ll want to kill me and you’re probably right. I do not want to give the feeling that graphic design is easy and that everyone can do it. The average blogger does not usually invest in design because it does not give it the importance it deserves (see who speaks) or simply does not have the resources to make this investment.
It’s been almost 4 years since I proposed a simple way to design a banner without Photoshop . I have to update this because, since then, I have improved the method a bit. I present a simple way to create a banner for your blog without having advanced design knowledge, obtaining a more or less acceptable result (according to my own criteria, of course …).
1. Choose a striking photo as a basis for the design
You can compensate for the lack of talent to design decent banners using a good photo as a basis. The ideal are images with children, people or animals. In my case I chose the photo of a young girl with striking hairstyle and red background. As you already know, I have Fotolia as a supplier but you can also use photos with a Creative Commons license, using eg Flickr or directly the advanced search of Google images.
Yesterday on Twitter I was told that the girl in my picture was naked but I am convinced that she is wearing a top underneath (the photo is approved by my wife so I took a risk ). The ideal is to have clean backgrounds because they simplify the design because they highlight the text more if they are placed directly on top of the image. In my case I have opted for a different version.
Once we have the photo now it’s time to add text. Before you have to put a box on top of the photo so that we respect the dimensions of the banner we want to create. In my case it is very simple because the banner measures 200 by 200 pixels. The ratio is 1 so I just have to keep in mind that the box is as wide as it is tall. In case of having a Robapáginas of 300 × 250 pixels the ratio would be 1.2. If you choose a box that is 24 centimeters wide, it has to be 20 centimeters tall (24/20 = 1.2).
Keep in mind that we can include only a few words within the space we have available. The text that we put has to be put in large print because otherwise it will not look good once we adjust it to the smaller dimensions of a banner. We must avoid the mistake of overloading the banner with information. Its main objective is to attract attention and generate interest . At the visual level, different font sizes may look good, as shown in the example below. You must also add a call to action like the one you see in the orange box.
3. Cut the image to get the right dimensions
When you have designed the banner in Powerpoint and you have achieved a design that you like, you have to take the next step. Now copy all the elements and paste them into a program that allows you to save in the proper format and change the dimensions. I like XnView because of its simplicity.
Once copied everything you paste now with “Edit / Import from the clipboard”. The next step is to make the short film leaving the box outside so that it can not be seen inside the banner. Then you go to “Image / Resize” to put the pixels that fit with the format of the banner (in my case 200 by 200). The last step is to save the images in PNG format. In JPG the banners can lose resolution and have a kind of “dirty” look especially on the part of the letters.
Now all you need to do is upload the banner to your blog.