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How to Create Beautiful Pins for Pinterest on Canva!
Ever go on Pinterest and look at some of the pins and are like wow, that’s so beautiful, I HAVE to Save that! And then wonder how they made it because your pins look like a 5 year old designed them?
(I’m not dissing on 5 year olds here, my daughter could absolutely design a beautiful pin….it just may end up a little chaotic with too many unneeded elements and A LOT of pink.)
And, guess what, my pins used to suck! (Compare the pins below; which one would you more likely want to save?)
It looked like I had never took graphic design in high school (and taught others in my class how to use photoshop). Or took a single art class in college. (And, I did take one art class in college, it was 2-dimensional design and oh so expensive for the supplies.)
It was like my brain couldn’t wrap around the concept of making a pin. It was something new, and my brain was like I don’t know how to do this because it’s new and I’m just going to throw everything you know about design out the window.
But, a few months ago everything just clicked and my brain welcomed all the old, and new, knowledge about design and creating pins to come together.
And, I was sooo excited when it finally clicked! That’s why I’m creating this tutorial on how to create beautiful pins; hopefully this will help it ‘click’ for you, too!
Sign up for a FREE trial of Tailwind to schedule your pins here!
Find, or Take, a Beautiful Photo
Before you even open up Canva, know what your post is about and take a picture, or find a picture that relates to it….REALLY WELL.
Pinterest is a visual search engine, it’s not exactly social media or google, it’s kind of a cross between the two. It DOES take into consideration your pin, board, and profile descriptions; but, it will group your pin with other ‘like’ pins. It kind of ‘reads’ the photo. For example, if you use a photo of furniture in your pin then it will most likely group it with other home decor pins. So, if you’re post isn’t about home décor, and let’s say it’s about moving; maybe try to find a picture that looks more like moving. (Such as boxes, moving supplies, ect.)
The photo is going to be the base of what helps people choose to save your pin rather than someone else’s. So you’ll want to be intentional with the objects in the photo, the lighting, or finding a great stock photo for your pin.
Sign up for Canva, or Log in
Once you’ve chosen a photo, or a few photos to try out, for your pin; sign up for a free canva account, if you don’t already have one. If you’re already signed up, log in and go to the next step!
If you’re new to canva, you’ll see what’s in the screenshot above; simply choose the one that makes the most sense for you. I chose ‘Small Business’ when I signed up, because I use it for my blog.
You do not need anything more than the free version of canva to create beautiful pins.
Choose the Pin Size
The exact size of your pin doesn’t matter too much, however, it does need to be a 2:3 ratio. You can use the ‘Pinterest Graphic’ size that canva recommends, which is just about a 2:3 ratio, or any other size you’d like, with a 2:3 ratio. Some bloggers use 600 x 900 px. I use 1000 x 1500 px.
‘Pinterest Graphic’ is at the top Left. Click on ‘Use custom dimensions’ to choose your own size. (Make sure you use px.)If you chose the ‘Pinterest Graphic’ you will have a lot of pre-designed layouts to choose from and edit to your liking. I did this when I first started blogging, but I don’t use those anymore.
If you chose to use custom dimensions, you’ll still get to choose the layout of the pin. I like to have one photo in the first pin I design for every post; just choose the appropriate layout.
Then you’ll want to upload your photo(s). Either click the ‘Upload your own images’ button, or simply drag and drop from where you save your photo(s).
Once it’s done uploading, drag the photo from your upload section to the digital canvas. With the layout in place, the photo should take up the whole digital canvas.
If the photo you chose has ‘white space’ then move onto adding your title. For example, the yellow uploaded image above has ‘white space’ (it’s all the yellow).
If the photo you use does not have ‘white space’ you will have to create some, or have an overlay for the title. I prefer to make it. Do this by zooming in on your photo or adjusting it side to side, or up or down. If you use stock photos, a lot of them should already have some ‘white space’….some photos may have too much ‘white space’, which may not be ideal. You can also solve this issue by zooming in, like in the picture below.
Once you have the photo how you like it, move onto adding text!
Add Text to your Pins for Pinterest
Use your brands’ fonts, or, if you don’t have brand fonts yet, use legible fonts and make them big enough so people can read them on the tiny pin images on their phones.
I use a very legible font, a bubble font, and a script font (I know that may not be what they are really called, but the font ‘aleo’ is very legible, my second font reminds me of making bubble letters in elementary school, and my third font is actually considered a script font.)
Canva has plenty of fonts to choose from, have fun with choosing your fonts, just make sure they are legible; you don’t want people to have to work to figure out what it says!
You’ll also need to choose which colors to use for your fonts. Use your brand colors if you already chose those. Try to stick with black or white and one additional color; it helps it look less chaotic. (Unless, of course, if you’re aiming for chaos, go right ahead and use as many colors as you’d like!)
For the one colored font, it should either match the main color in the photo, or contrast it. For some photos the color of the font won’t matter as much, which may be really good depending on your brand fonts.
Canva even has some pre-designed sets of fonts to choose from if you’re not sure which fonts will look good together.
And, just in case you need a quick refresher of contrasting colors:
- yellow and purple
- orange and blue
- red and green
Basically any colors opposite of each other on a color wheel are contrasting colors.
Once you like the way the fonts and color of text looks with the photo, move on.
Add a Filter (Optional)
If you’re struggling getting your fonts to show up on your photo, try adding a filter to the photo or adjusting the light in it. It may help to either darken or lighten up the photo. My favorite filters to use are cali, epic, festive, or summer. However, the pin below does not need a filter.
If there’s anything else you’d like to add to the picture, go ahead and add it. But, less = more, so do so sparingly.
Maybe a line or two, or something else. Canva has a lot to choose from; between lines, shapes, and even icons. You can even use the search bar at the top to find what you want to see they have have the element you’re looking for. It can be easy to go overboard with this while having fun and trying things out. Don’t let this overboard-ness show up in your final design. (Again, unless that’s what your going for in the pin and post; then, go right ahead.)
Add your URL
This may not be so important for having a beautiful pin, but with the amount of pin theives on pinterest this past year you’ll want to make sure you add this. Either add your URL or your logo; that way other savvy pinners, like you and me, can double check to make sure we are only sharing your pins if they are going to lead us to your site.
I personally had to report several pins I designed this past year to pinterest because they were stolen from me and directed users to someone else’s site. I also contact other bloggers when I see that their pins were stolen to let them know so they can let Pinterest know.
This has been an issue that pinterest is working on correcting, and I haven’t seen as many stolen pins lately. But, I’d rather be safe than sorry and brand my pins with my URL.
On a side note, I choose my URL to put on my pins instead of my logo. My logo may change in the future, but my URL won’t. I also believe that the url looks a little bit more professional.
Once you like the way your pin looks, go ahead and download it! (I recommend either PNG or JPG, I usually use PNG, but it’s a preference thing.)
(Now you get to create your pin description and seo for the pin and save it to your boards, group boards, tailwind tribes, add to your posts for readers to save, or anywhere else you put it to have it saved and shared!)
It may take some time, at first, to come up with your unique way of making beautiful pins. Simply use this tutorial as a base and go from there.
Once you have a few unique, and beautiful, pin designs created; you should be able to create a pin or two for each post in 10 or so minutes!
Just remember that creating pins can be fun; you just need to get the design element down first. (And, your brain needs to let you soak in all of the information you’re feeding it.)
Go create those beautiful pins and share this post with others who are struggling with pin design or using canva! Us bloggers are here to help others, so share the pin below to help another blogger out!
Be sure to sign up for your FREE trial of Tailwind here so you can schedule out your pins and not spend ALL DAY on Pinterest to promote your beautiful Pins!!
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