I cannot actually believe I’m doing a “6 ways” post. Really, they drive me crazy (probably because I see so many of them) BUT here we are. The reason I’m doing this is because I actually have 6 things to tell you. Here goes. You probably have a website. And a facebook page. And a Pinterest account. And probably a blog. Just guessing here. Am I right? Instagram? You better have one of those.
So here’s the thing. Unless you’re a designer (and even if you are) it is SO HARD to keep everything looking fresh across all of these platforms. Sometimes you need a new look, right? Oh, and if you decide to update something, you have to update EVERYthing, because otherwise you start lookin’ like who done it and why. (That’s an old southern saying that cracks me up). Everything has work together. I sometimes see businesses with a couple different LOGOS. Nope, that doesn’t work. Everything doesn’t have to totally match mind you, because that gets a little boring. I’ll talk about that in the next design lesson though. So how can you quickly and cheaply update your look? Here it is: one photo.
Yes, one photo, six ways. All you need is a cropping tool. If you don’t have pro design software, all of this can be done in PicMonkey (my favorite) or Canva. (Google them). The magic lies in 3 things: scaling, cropping, and adding text. By enlarging and cropping a certain area of the photo, you can highlight just that piece – which generally looks very cool. Her’s how to do it:
Find a photo you like. Horizontal layout is best for this. Please make sure it’s a good resolution, and has been edited. (Promise me you’ll do this part). Now all you’re going to do is open that photo in whatever program you’re using, and crop away. You can add the text and shape overlays to your images right in PicMonkey, then save them for the web. (PNG files will look slightly better than JPG). Then upload, sit back, and feel fabulous. I bet you could do all of this in under 30 minutes. There are lots of places to get photos, and of course you can take your own (don’t forget to edit)! We have some pretty awesome styled stock photos too -you can see them here: Styled Stock Photos / and below are the pieces we created with our photo.
SIX WAYS TO USE ONE PHOTO
- Website home page. Leave as a static image, a slider image, or full screen. You don’t need to do much here except resize to fit your dimensions or add a semi-transparent overlay and text.
- Crop to use as a blog, facebook, google+ or twitter banner. Add text over the top, or don’t.
- Crop different areas into squares to use as an instagram or facebook post. Add text on top or leave as-is. Whatever you’re in the mood for.
- Make buttons for your site or blog by cropping into rectangles, then add a solid white overlay and text. Keep these simple.
- Use in a (6 ways) blog or Pinterest post. Ha, kidding. But clearly, it works. Crop vertically for this one.
- Crop to a small square to use for buttons and sidebar links. So. Cute.
Ta Da! You rule. Please feel free to ask questions and leave comments here, and have fun!