How To Choose Images and Fonts for Eye-Catching Social Media Graphics

Pursuing my dream to write words that point people to Jesus was a lonely journey until I became a member of COMPEL six years ago. Belonging to a community of women who share my passion has been the catalyst I needed to keep going when rejection letters made me feel like giving up.

If asked to identify a common struggle shared within my beloved sisterhood of writers, social media would be the winner. That’s because it requires something outside the comfort zone for most word lovers — condensing our well-thought-out message into bite-sized pieces. Add in the graphic design component of social media, and you get a formula that’ll send chills down many writers’ spines. 

If you can relate, I’ve got great news for you! Today we’re going to push past the discomfort of unfamiliar territory and learn how to tap into the persuasive power of social media imagery. 

Think of social media images as your “hook.” You want to capture your audience’s attention by using relevant photos that reflect the emotion or mood conveyed by your caption. You can crop images to remove distractions or scale to zoom in on a focal point, or add a transparent layer to provide contrast. Pictures with a lot of negative space work best when adding text.

Using high-quality, correctly sized images is crucial because it avoids auto-cropping or stretching and optimizes your photos for each platform’s feed for maximum exposure and engagement. These standards often change, so I recommend bookmarking the link below to an always up-to-date guide to social media sizes: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-image-sizes-guide/

Typography is one of my favorite ways to carve out a niche and create brand recognition for your message. Think of fonts as your voice or personality; for example, a thick, blocked, no-frills font subconsciously says, “I’m loud, and I want you to take me seriously.” On the other hand, a thin-script font with lots of swirls and loops might be considered whimsical or romantic, a font you might find on a wedding invitation.

How do you know what fonts look good together? The simplest answer to this question is to choose a typeface family with various fonts with different widths and weights, like Helvetica, Playfair Display, and Montserrat. Look for contrast when pairing fonts, and be strategic with placement, using the change to emphasize or highlight keywords in your text.

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try pairing completely different typefaces, I’ll share a few options available in Canva.

  • Chewy and League Spartan would fall into my category of “fun” fonts.
  • Pairing the tall, thin font Six Caps with League Spartan is a bold duo.
  • An elegant option is League Gothic and Selima or Dancing Script and Abhaya Libre Regular.
  • A classic pair is Abril Fatface and Glacial Indifference.

Typography allows us to create impact by using different font weights and widths, and changing the size of our text establishes a hierarchy. Ultimately readability determines engagement, so choose wisely and keep it simple with no more than two fonts in a design.

As creators, we always want to be on the lookout for different ways to tempt our social media audience to enjoy and engage with our content. Paying special attention to the images we share and the fonts we use is a great place to start!

Kelly Kirby Worley

What is your biggest obstacle when creating graphics for social media? Do you feel more confident after reading this post? Why, or why not?

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