How to Design Social Media Images for Brand Recognition

social media how toAre you posting images across social networks?

Do you use them to extend your brand recognition?

The way logos, fonts and colors work together in social media images is an important part of gaining brand attention.

In this article you’ll discover how to make your social profiles and visual content align to reinforce your brand and catch your audience’s eye.

branding social media images

Find tips for branding your social media images.

#1: Create Complementary Profiles and Covers

Consistency is a key part of recognition and success. Use your company’s traditional logo or a variation of its design for each of your social profile pictures to maintain online brand recognition.

Even if you tweak your logo, your audience should still be able to recognize you immediately.

lululemon image

Havaianas experiments with fonts in their Facebook designs.

In the example above you can see how lululemon athletica has adapted a version of its standard red logo to match its cover image on Facebook and Twitter.

The harmony between your profile and cover photos is anchored by graphic elements such as color, text and imagery. Choose a cover photo that complements your profile image—you can use existing marketing materials or create your own.

If you create a custom cover image and want to be sure the colors match your profile picture, use a color picker tool to extract the color hex code. A hex code is a six-digit code that represents an exact color recognized universally by HTML and CSS.

When you know your hex code(s), you can use the same colors in your designs over and over again—without variation or guesswork—for a consistent look.

#2: Use Watermarks Consistently

If you’re going to include a logo or other icon with your images, create guidelines addressing size and placement. Inconsistent logo sizes or random placement can appear sloppy.

In the picture below you can see that the H&M logo is the same size and in the same place on each photo. That consistency plays a part in their overall brand recognition.

h&m image

Logo placed consistently on H&M Facebook catalog.

A quick tip: Never place your logo flush with the edge of your photo. Instead, leave some space (padding) around it to make it look more intentional.

#3: Choose Fonts and Colors for Effect

Fonts, colors and images are the primary visual elements that determine how people perceive your brand on social media. Different goals require different choices for each element.

Fonts range from bold and loud to thin and delicate. Where does your company persona fit on this spectrum?

While you should limit yourself to two or three main fonts for the majority of your marketing, you can occasionally afford to break that rule on social media.

Havaianas uses creative fonts in Facebook updates to match the theme of their prints and reflect the company’s fun, playful identity.

havaianas image

When branding across social media, consistency is key.

When choosing colors (and images) for your visual updates, consider what kinds of feelings you want to evoke.

For example, are you promoting a contest? Use bright, cheerful colors. Are you posting a staff update? Take a well-lit portrait and include it in a design with your brand colors.

benefit cosmetics image

Benefit Cosmetics uses feminine imagery and a consistent color palette.

Beauty brand Benefit Cosmetics does a good job of reflecting their feminine identity on Instagram. Note the pink and white palette, simple imagery and use of a playful script font.

#4: Design Reusable Templates

Each social network has its own optimized image dimensions. It can be time-consuming to create individual images for each network every time you want to share visual content. Even creating a single image to share across all platforms can take more time than you’d like.

image templates

Create image templates that match each social network’s requirements.

The easiest way to cut down your design time and maintain consistency is to create templates for the types of posts you share regularly. Don’t restrict yourself to one or two types of templates—make several to accommodate a variety of content. Here are some ideas:

Weekly inspirational quotes

  • Industry tips
  • Event posts
  • Milestones
  • Contests

In the example below San Pellegrino posted a sequence of 10 tips on Instagram. Their simple template made the tips easy to create and instantly recognizable to their audience.

san pellegrino image

Make your life easier by creating templates for different design types.

#5: Let the Image Do the Talking

Up to 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, so it’s no surprise that people respond well to great design.

Using pictures as the focus of your updates is a great opportunity to get creative. When you design your visual content, rely less on words. Let colors, images and backgrounds take on the burden of conveying your message.

In the picture below notice how the compelling background image and Twitter icon grab your attention first and work cleverly with the more subtle text call to action.

icon overlay image

Use icons to replace text in your designs.

When you have the perfect picture, sometimes you don’t need to use text overlays at all.

ben&jerrys image

Capture your audience’s attention using clever images.

Ben and Jerry’s used fewer than 10 words in their updates and let their product pictures do the talking.

Over to You

With over two billion people active on social media every day, improving how you use visual assets is a powerful way to drive more people to your business.

Use consistent fonts and colors and your existing branding to extend your recognition beyond the usual places. No matter where you post, make sure your audience can recognize you immediately.

Make the most of your visual assets and enjoy creating beautiful designs. The social media race is on, and design is your express ticket to the finish line.

What do you think? Have you used any of these tips already? Do you have additional ideas to share? Leave your comments and questions below.

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About the Author, Anna Guerrero

Anna is the editor of the Canva Design School, which empowers people to learn about design. You can find her work published in magazines, online publications and marketing-savvy blogs. Other posts by »




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  • Bikash Burnwal

    I have been a big fan of your blog and have subscribed your newsletter. This article is really great with some of the best tips. Being very frank, presently I am working on a project for brand promotion. I have been using more about all the tips shared here but I am not able to use the tip no 5. Still have to learn a lot and travel miles to be a good expert. Anna, love this article a lot and will be looking for more in future.

    Thanks

  • Nguyen Thanh Vy

    This article is really useful and thanks for it. Actually, with tons of update from many brands and users on social media every minute, a lengthy post may no longer be able to attract netizen except a visual post. It’s always true that a great photo can speak a thousand words.

  • http://blspr.com Barry L. Smith

    Anna, Can watermarks be put into photos or graphic in Canva, or do you have another program (s) you recommend? Thanks.

  • http://blspr.com Barry L. Smith

    Anna, Can watermarks be put into photos or graphic in Canva, or do you have another program (s) you recommend? Thanks.

  • Anna Guerrero

    Hi Bikash, glad you enjoyed the article. Research is a fundamental part of an effective brand strategy, so you’re on the right track. Good luck with your project!

  • Anna Guerrero

    Hi Nguyen, that’s a great point. It’s certainly hard to keep up among the constant stream of competition on social media, so visuals are a clever way to get ahead. Hope these tips come in handy for you – happy designing!

  • Anna Guerrero

    Hi Barry, this is an important question – thanks for asking. You can upload your logo or a pattern and apply it over your images. Just make it transparent to create the watermark. Hope that helps!

  • Anna Guerrero

    Hi Barry, this is an important question – thanks for asking. You can upload your logo or a pattern and apply it over your images. Just make it transparent to create the watermark. Hope that helps!

  • Dr.Zee

    Great post as usual SME. The strategy for templates is a great idea
    Merci

  • Dr.Zee

    Great post as usual SME. The strategy for templates is a great idea
    Merci

  • http://saleoid.com/ james brown

    Great Work Anna !!!

    As, now images are the powerful weapon to endorse brand over social media.You really have done appreciable job in organizing all tips and trick of making a picture worth to get publicity.

  • http://marketingautomation.company/ Manni

    All the tips you have explained here are really worthwhile. Anna, I really appreciate the way you have done research work over here and the way you explained it to us.

    Looking Forward for your next post !!!!!

  • http://angelsongcreations.com Tim Wilson

    We make an app called Watermark It for Apple devices that can help with some of this by adding logos to photos and/or adding text in any hex color or mounting a photo or photos on a background that can be your brand color. There are also fast uploads to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Flickr, and more to make it easy to post branded photos in your feeds. We have an update just about to go into the store that has a repeat button to make it super easy to repeat the last settings i.e. add your logo and url to new photos. Hope this helps.

  • http://www.proriters.com/ Pratik Sinha

    Really Loved your article. As a start-up organization all your helpful articles are really appreciated. After subscribing to your newsletter, I have not regretted it once. I have also been using all the informative articles on our company different social site. Keep up the great work.

  • http://www.proriters.com/ Pratik Sinha

    Really Loved your article. As a start-up organization all your helpful articles are really appreciated. After subscribing to your newsletter, I have not regretted it once. I have also been using all the informative articles on our company different social site. Keep up the great work.

  • Anna Guerrero

    Thanks for that great feedback, James!

  • Anna Guerrero

    Thanks for that great feedback, James!

  • Anna Guerrero

    Awesome to hear Manni, more articles to come!

  • Anna Guerrero

    Hi Pratik, it’s great to hear when readers take on board the suggestions in an article and put them to good use! Best of luck with your startup :)

  • http://www.nicheprogram.net/ yusepsugianto

    Brand is important. Using social media to create brand well-known is a smart strategy to boost the brand value. Big value, big earning

  • http://www.devdigital.com/ Dev Digital

    Thanks for sharing, it was really worth reading. Simply sharing images will not work but one must be creative in gaining brand attention.

  • http://www.eBizROI.com Rick Noel, eBiz ROI, Inc.

    Excellent post Anna. The 2nd example in #5 speaks volumes! Creating templates is a great tip and appreciate the size specs by network.

  • http://www.eBizROI.com Rick Noel, eBiz ROI, Inc.

    Excellent post Anna. The 2nd example in #5 speaks volumes! Creating templates is a great tip and appreciate the size specs by network.

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Thanks for sharing, Tim!

  • rayfilwong

    very useful info

  • treb072410

    Great post Anna! Very useful post you shared here… Thank you for sharing!

  • Anna Guerrero

    I agree, Dev. A bit of creativity really goes a long way for branded images!

  • Anna Guerrero

    Glad you liked the post, Rick! That’s one of my favourite examples too, it’s great when the ‘less is more’ approach is done well.

  • Anna Guerrero

    Thanks for the comment, more posts to come!

  • Anna Guerrero

    Exactly. For brands using social media, visual assets are a powerful tool to stand out and become memorable.

  • https://twitter.com/Mikeywriteforme Mike DeFelice

    I was just trying to find a freelancer to help spruce up my personal and business-related social media profiles. These are invaluable tips that I will pass on to my designer.

  • http://www.oneforcedirect.com/ Sathiraju

    Nice Article it is used for improve branding. Thank you for your information. I’m expecting more Articles regarding Social Media. One again Thanks.

  • treb072410

    Any new post Anna??









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