Pinterest graphics are an essential part of your Pinterest strategy. They’re the most important factor when it comes to getting people to save or click through to your blog. You have to get it at least a little bit right, or you’re not going to see any results from Pinterest.
But if you’re not a graphic designer, it can be really difficult to create amazing graphics. You might not have an eye for picking the right colors, pleasing alignment, or readability. And readability is crucial!
With this post, I’ve set out to demystify the creation of Pinterest graphics that convert users browsing on Pinterest into readers of your blog posts.
First I’ll show you 4 bad pin designs and explain why they’re not so great. Then I’ll lay out some basic design tips and show you 5 types of pin designs that will improve your chances of getting those coveted viral pins.
How to Create Pinterest Images
Skip to a section or keep reading
- How to Create Pinterest Images
- How to Tell if Your Pins are Poorly Designed
- Pinterest Graphic Design Tips
- How to Create Branded Pins
- Pin Designs You Need
- Pinterest Graphics Recap
- Share this Post on Pinterest
How to Tell if Your Pins are Poorly Designed
Even with easy-to-use graphic design tools like Canva, I see people making the same mistakes over and over again.
- Poor font choices
- Hard to read colors
- Pins without any text whatsoever
Now don’t feel bad if you have no idea what any of this means or why it’s even important. Not everyone is a designer. What the heck is a poor font choice anyway?
Rather than just try to explain these things, I think it helps to actually SEE some examples of what I mean. So let’s take a look!
Bad Design #1
So, let’s first take a look at this image here on the left. It’s a dark, nighttime shot which can be okay but overall, bright photos do better on Pinterest.
The text is in bold colors, which is fine for certain topics but not for everything. This seems like it would be a travel or exploration pin from the photo, but the bold colors seem more like something that you’d use for parenting or education pins.
Using the font Comic Sans also makes it seem like a parent pin. In the design world, using Comic Sans is a HUGE NO. It’s gotten a really bad reputation thanks to people using it inappropriately for just about anything, even if they’re supposed to be serious.
Stay away from using Comic Sans unless you want that fun, written-by-a-child look. Or you’re making a comic.
Bad Design #2
This next one is an awesome attempt at a well-designed pin, but the font choice and well-at-least-you-tried “centering” ruin it.
I used Arial for this pin, which is an OK font, but it’s more for body text or even a subtitle, not for your main headline. It’s also really small when compared to the open space available that’s clearly meant for to make the text pop.
If you’re going to center your text or any other element, don’t try to eyeball it. Let your software center it for you. There’s usually an option for centering or if you move an object around, you’ll feel it “snap” to the center.
Yup, even Canva can do that.
Bad Design #3
Now, this design is almost viable. It’s just too difficult to read. And this small size you see right here? This is what it’ll be like on mobile. Maybe you’re already reading this on mobile and you can tell that this is just way too hard to read.
Notice how you can’t really tell what the URL says at the bottom, too. These signature style fonts may be pretty, but you don’t wanna mess around when it comes to making it as easy as possible to bring visitors to your website.
You want your pins to be as easy to read as possible so they can entice people to visit your site.
Bad Design #4
Here’s another pin that’s almost perfect! It’s simple, the text is a sans-serif font, and the URL is at the bottom. Here’s space for a headline and a subtitle or explainer text.
So what’s the problem with it? Well… you can’t read it! The white font is way too bright to be on top of another bright background.
Check Your Pins
Now it’s time to think about your own pins. Maybe pull up your Pinterest board with all the pins from your blog in them and give them a look over.
Do any of them look like any of these?
Did any of the points I just mentioned hit a little too close to home?
Well, keep reading. I’m gonna drop some serious but simple design tips and then show you 5 pin designs you should start using ASAP. If you’re not already, that is.
Pinterest Graphic Design Tips
The optimal size for a pin is 736×1104, though some will say 735×1102. Either works but I prefer even number widths to work well with screen resolutions and centered designs. Plus the math doesn’t work out so well with the 2nd and you can probably tell that I like ~exact numbers~.
The largest width that Pinterest will display pins is 564px, so I’d say go no smaller than 600x900px. Going higher is okay because it will be resized to fit.
The best ratio for Pinterest graphics is at least 2:3 and up to 1:3.5. There’s no maximum length for Pinterest uploads, but after a certain length, pins will appear cut off in Home Feeds and on the mobile app.
Here are my personal sizes for graphics:
- 2:3 – 800x1200px – standard pin size – Bonus tip: I use this size because it’s easy to convert to a 1200x1200px square graphic for use on Instagram, Facebook etc.
- 1:2 – 800x1600px – longer pin for more important stuff (like offers)
- 1:3.5+ – 800×2800+px – even longer pin for important stuff, infographics, list posts, etc.
If I need anything longer than 2800 for an infographic, I’ll definitely use that too. Right now a lot of my pins from Creative Market and Envato marketplaces are like this.
The colors you use for your pins are important because that’s the first thing people will notice. It’s your first impression.
While it’s good to be unique, you still want to “fit” into a few guidelines so your content feels like it belongs on the pinboards of other users. Find a way to merge your personal style into the mainstream style.
Remember, it’s not completely about what you like. It’s about what your target audience likes, too.
Best Colors for Pinterest
Research has shown that bright images do best on Pinterest. Soft, muted colors are very much the norm in many circles.
This means that brands with bold colors stick out, which is a good thing if you’re trying to draw eyes to your content.
I’ve also been seeing a few people switch to dark backgrounds with light/white text. This may be something that works for you too.
There’s something that works well for both types of branding. If bold colors are more you, don’t be afraid to use them.
Best Colors for Your Demographic
It’s also important to think about your target audience. What colors are your target demographic attracted to?
- Are you targeting men or women?
- Are they parents?
- Are they gamers?
- Are they looking to get married?
Each of these could have a different approach as there are usually certain colors or styles associated with them.
A pin for kids’ education may include bold, primary colors. A typical wedding pin would have soft, bright, or muted pastels.
If you’re trying to attract unconventional audiences (goth wedding for example) don’t think you have to fall into the norm. If bright colored pins aren’t what your target market is into, don’t force yourself into using them.
Font usage ties in with readability, which I’ll talk about in a bit.
Your pin is shown at multiple sizes:
- The full-size pin
- The thumbnail size on the Pinterest website
- On mobile devices
- On your blog
You have to take all of this into consideration when designing your template.
You can achieve the best results with a large, sans-serif font. As long as you have good contrast, it will be readable across different devices without much effort on your part.
Limit your use of fancy fonts (yes, that includes those calligraphy and script fonts we all love) to accenting a word or two that you’d like to stand out. Difficult to read, thin signature style fonts shouldn’t be used.
Besides font choice, this is probably the biggest issue I see when people start creating Pinterest graphics. Your text should stand out from your background, not blend in.
There are two simple rules you can follow to make sure your text is readable: good contrast and simple or muted backgrounds
If you have good contrast, then you’ll be able to easily distinguish colors and text. Don’t layer dark onto a dark background or light onto light.
One way to test this is to take a few steps back from your graphic. Can you differentiate the text color from the background color or do they blend in?
If your colors are too similar, try using different colors or lightening or darkening the text or background. If your background is too busy, add a blank shape under the text. Black or white works well, but you can use colors or adjust the opacity as well.
If your background image has a look of details or many different colors, it can be difficult to mix with text. Use simple backgrounds behind text when you can. Otherwise, add a box behind the text, or fade or blur the background so the details don’t overwhelm the text.
Take a look at the three examples above. These pins all use the same photo, but each uses a different technique (or lack of technique).
The Bad example is just text straight on the image. Using either a dark or light color won’t work well on this image because parts of the background make it hard to read.
The background has a lot of stuff going on, so what do you do?
In the Good example, I added a white overlay to the image with 50% opacity. I also chose a section of the photo with less going on at the top and the objects at the bottom. This brightened the image, which we already know Pinterest users love, and gave me space to add darker text at the top.
The Fixed example provides another good alternative. If I wanted to keep the same section of the image and not change the brightness, I could add a shape behind the text. This could be in black, white, or color. I chose a color because it looked good with the colors from the photos.
Note that the circle is dark, so I changed all the text elements to light colors (pink and white). I also changed the opacity of the circle so some of the image showed through behind it.
What to Include in Every Pin
If you don’t have any text on your pin, people won’t know what information they can find once they click through. You need to tell people what you’re going to talk about so they know you have some information for them.
2. Your URL
This is how people are able to tell what website the pin is coming from. This info is shown in text on the desktop version of Pinterest, but the mobile version doesn’t include it. Adding your URL makes it clear and upfront at all times.
It also protects you a bit against bad links. If someone uses your image but changes the link to something else, at least people will know what domain to go to if they really want to find that information.
3. Your Branding
It’s likely you’ll use several different kinds of pin designs, but you always want them to feel familiar and cohesive. Someone should be able to recognize a pin as being from your website whether it’s a standard size pin or a long, tutorial pin.
How to Create Branded Pins
So how exactly can you show your branding on Pinterest?
- Use your brand colors
- Use the same fonts repeatedly
- Use similar graphic elements
- Repeat graphic themes present on your website
This type of pin may be a combination of all the following pin types. Your branded pin may be the one you insert into your blog posts or be similar to your post featured image style.
You should create a pin in this style for every one of your posts. You can change it up a bit so all your pins don’t all look exactly the same, but it should have the same feel for each one.
If you notice elements from other styles of pins you create getting more saves or repins, you should try adding to or changing your branded pins to include those elements.
Finding the best pin style for you and your content takes time, so don’t feel stressed if you feel like you’re constantly changing up your pins. Eventually, you’ll find the perfect template for you.
Pin Designs You Need
Now that you have some tips for making awesome designs, let’s look at 5 popular pin designs you’ve probably seen all around Pinterest. That makes these proven designs that will work well for promoting your content. They’re exactly what Pinterest users expect to see and repin.
The Text Pin
This pin is based on typography and easy to create. It’s really useful for when you can’t find a good background image. All you have to do is use your brand colors and fonts.
I consider this to be one of my staple pins. I like to create at least 3 different pin designs for each post and a text-based pin is always one of the 3.
The Photo or Image Pin
This pin focuses on beautiful photography or an attractive illustration. There’s still text on it, but the image works with the text rather than taking the focus away from your headline.
Your photo may be just a background image with an overlay for text, or if there’s enough free whitespace available, you won’t need the overlay.
The Offer Pin
This type of pin tells people that you have something to give them and often includes a mock up or preview of the free gift, download, or coupon. A lot of these pins will also include a call to action (“Download this free guide now!”) and have an arrow pointing to the preview of the offer.
Offer Pins are awesome for building your email list and attracting your ideal reader or client.
These also make great Long Pins because they’ll attract more attention and you’ll have more space to add the mock up and call to action.
So what’s a Long Pin, then? Aren’t all good pins long? Well, take a look at this next pin.
The Long Pin
The longer an image is on Pinterest, the more attention it gets. The Long Pin goes beyond the typical 2:3 size ratio just about anyone will recommend, making these pins stand out amongst the crowd.
Long Pins are perfect for displaying offers or to attract extra attention to a post you really want people to read, such as a resource page with affiliate links or your latest product tutorial.
There is sort of a thing as too long. Remember what I mentioned earlier?
Some versions of Pinterest will “crop” an image after a certain height. Once people click to open the pin, they’ll still be able to see the full pin.
This creates a sort of “above the fold” thing for pins so make sure to hook people right away so it’s worth it to open the pin to see the rest. For most pins though, you won’t have to worry about this.
The Tutorial Pin
The tutorial pin is great for showing off the steps in a tutorial or recipe. The details are still on your website so you won’t have to worry about click-throughs. Think of the pin as a teaser for your full tutorial.
These pins usually end up much longer than other pins, so they have the benefit of being both useful right off the bat and taking up more real estate on pinboards. People will definitely repin these a lot.
Pinterest Graphics Recap
Let’s take a look at the main takeaways from this post, shall we?
- Follow these tips when creating any Pinterest graphic, including:
- Include some basic information about your post on every pin
- Brand your pins by using your brand colors or consistent fonts and designs
- Try using one of these 5 popular pin designs
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