Images are one of the most engaging types of content. It’s been proven time and time again that social posts that include images will usually get more likes and comments than plain text posts.
With that in mind, most everything you put out there to raise awareness for your music – from blog posts to YouTube videos, and social posts to emails – will usually need at least one good image, so being able to design awesome DIY images yourself can give you a powerful edge in promoting your music.
Of course, images for your press kit or music releases should be taken with great care, and in most cases should be put together by a professional designer. But if you’re looking to design images for a social media post, profile picture, or an upcoming event, DIY images can work and keep your costs down.
When designing images yourself, you want to make sure you can put together the best looking work possible. We have more step-by-step tutorials in the Musician Power Tools Promote Your Music Crash Course, but here are 3 resources to get you started:
Canva – A free online graphic design site for DIY images
Canva is an awesome graphic design tool for just about anything you need to create on a DIY level. This service is completely free to use, and provides the ease of use necessary for putting together quick, simple designs, but offers features that can help you put together pixel perfect, near-professional level designs as well.
They have a great collection of templates available for selection, along with a variety of shapes, icons, text, filters, and photos – some free, some available for a fee – in a drag and drop interface that lets you easily mix and match elements, change their colors, and more.
You’ll also find a ton of ready-made image sizes for just about anything you need, so you don’t need to go searching around to figure out the correct image size for the platform you’re using.
While this shouldn’t be used for professional design, it’s a great tool for putting together nice looking graphics for social media or quickly adding filters to your photos. We’ve personally used Canva for New Artist Model graphics for social media and blog posts (including this one!)
Want some ideas for what kind of images you should be posting to social media? Download this free ebook – How to Promote Your Music: With 3 Social Media Checklists.
Pixabay – A resource for free, professional quality photos
There are a number of reasons you’d need photos other than those of you or your band.
Maybe you’re writing a blog post, setting up an event on social media, or are in need of some images for a custom design. Whatever the case, you want to make sure you’re using images that are free of copyright so that you don’t face any legal trouble. People have gotten sued for using photos without permission, and it can be a really big fine if you get caught.
Pixabay is a website that offers millions of copyright-free photos to use however you want for free.
Once you’re on the website, simply type a keyword into the search box and start browsing. When you find something you like, just click download.
Images are often available in different sizes. Keep in mind that when using images online, smaller ones will load faster, but for print, you want the highest resolution possible.
Material.io by Google – For understanding colors
When designing DIY images, you want to make sure you use colors that mix well together.
To effectively use multiple shades of colors, it’s a good idea to use colors that are on the same color scale.
This is where this page from Material.io can help.
While the entire site works as a complete design guide, mostly intended for app developers, this page contains a color palette that contains around 500 colors – starting with primary colors, then filling in the spectrum – to create a complete palette designed to show which colors work harmoniously together.
You can also find plenty of color palette generators, creators, and libraries with a simple Google search. Try out a few options and choose colors that best reflect the brand you’re trying to create. As an easy guide, try to have one main color, one accent color, and a few more neutral colors to keep things clean.
Knowing which colors work well together is important for any design. If colors mix well together, they draw attention – which is the entire point of an image in the first place.
Try these three resources out and see what kind of images you can come up with. If you need help setting up things like your Facebook cover, your Twitter header, or even your YouTube channel art or thumbnails, we recommend the Musician Power Tools course. You’ll go step-by-step through creating those images (and how to turn them into conversion machines that will grow your email list).