Do you want to create social media images without buying expensive software? Looking for a solution that you can access from any computer?
In this article, you will learn how to create images from a professional perspective using Google Drawings.
Why use Google Designs?
Google Drawings was originally created to help companies create flowcharts, website wireframes, mind maps, and other types of diagrams. But it can also be a powerful tool for creating graphics for your social media marketing.
Many marketers use tools like Canva, which are based on custom templates with their own text and images or with purchases from the instrument libraries. Although tools like Canva are convenient, they are less flexible than creating images on social media in Google Drawings.
If you're like many digital and social media marketers with limited design capabilities, the flexibility of the white canvas for drawings in Google Drawings might seem intimidating. However, with some free resources and the knowledge of some basic design concepts discussed in this article, you can create free original and professional graphics in Google Drawings.
After understanding the basics, creating your artwork in Google Drawings does not take longer than a tool like Canva. To demonstrate, I generally need about 20 minutes to do an image. Even if you do having a design team, can rarely prioritize social media images on the work of the website or client, so the ability to create graphic elements independently allows you to meet your needs immediately.
Canva creates a vast library of images already available through his platform and the ability to save your favorites is fantastic. You must look for them elsewhere for Google Drawings; but again, this gives you more freedom. Although both tools have pros and cons, I think the benefits of Google Drawings are underestimated and I recommend trying both tools to see which one you prefer.
Here's how to start creating social media graphics with Google Drawings.
No. 1: Collect resources to create your social media images
Before you start creating graphics in Google Drawings, you need inspiration. Keep an eye on the images you like in posts and on other social media ads. You can also find inspiration in the print layouts and online publications that you admire.
People often save these images for reference later in what is called a scroll the file. So, when you're ready to create social media images, you can do it browse your swipe file for the items that will work for your brand. To illustrate, maybe you like the vertical bar above a photo in this ad for car2go. Or maybe you like the way an image uses a "background illustration" to convey an idea or a feeling.
After using the scroll file to develop a basic idea of the design you want to create, it is not necessary to create the whole image from scratch. When you use free image resources as the building blocks of social media images, you can work quickly to design a professional-looking graphic. For example, find a photo or pattern to use as a background, add an icon as a focal point, type the text and you're done.
For archive photos, my favorite resource is Pexels, but you can find dozens of other options. For background purposes, the template library offers hundreds of patterns and designs. My go-to icon resource is Flaticon, which has a searchable library of hundreds of thousands of icons. They range from super-simple to more complicated.
Tip: When using free resources for photos, patterns and icons, pay close attention to the license for the use of any object. On some services, the person who has shared their creation can choose between different types of licenses, so it is not possible to assume that the terms are consistent for each resource on the same service. Resources like Flaticon require you to credit the source using a specific format.
Your scroll file can also be a resource for color palettes and fonts that you like. TO identify a specific color on a website, try the ColorZilla Chrome plugin, which adds an eyedropper tool to the Chrome browser so you can grab the exact colors from other designs or websites. In the same way, Use the WhatFont Chrome plugin to identify a character on a website or in a chart.
2: Open a new empty image in Google Drawings
When you're ready to start creating a chart in Google Drawings, open Google Drive is click on the New button top left. From the menu that appears, select Other and then choose Google Drawings from the submenu. A blank Google Drawings canvas is displayed, ready for your design.
To get started, choose the dimensions for your design. Select Page Setup from the File menu. In the dialog that appears, you can choose from a common relationship or select the Custom option to enter specific dimensions. A custom dimension is useful when you want to make sure that the image reflects the recommended sizing for a specific social media platform such as Facebook or Instagram.
In this example, the Google Drawings area has a dimension of 1200 x 628 pixels for a single-image Facebook news feed ad.
3: add photos and shapes
To draw your graphics, Google Drawings has all sorts of tools for inserting photos, drawing shapes, aligning elements and adding text. To show you how these tools work, this example gets the ideas from the ad shown above and images from the blog post from AdEspresso (like this one), which typically have a patterned background:
To create a pattern for your background, Choose Image from the Insert menu is select the option that reflects where the background image is saved. For example, you can choose Upload from your computer, Google Drive, and so on. This example uses an & # 39; illustration available in Google Drawings.
TO repeat the image through the drawing canvas, select the image, press Ctrl + C (Windows) or Command + C (macOS) to make a copy, press Ctrl + V to paste the copy and then move the copy next to the first image. In this case, continue to paste the copies to create a line on the entire drawing area. As you try to align the shape in a row, useful reference lines are displayed as you click and drag copies.
Tip: If you need to adjusts the placement of the elements of the image slightly, select the item and then press an arrow key. Alternatively, for very precise adjustments, press Shift and then an arrow key and the selected item or elements move in the indicated direction of a pixel. When you've selected multiple objects, right-click and select an option to align them vertically, horizontally, or distribute them evenly.
When you have finished creating the first line, select each copy is choose Arrange> Group.
From there, you can copy and paste the row as a group until you create an entire model above the canvas of the drawing. Use the grid to help you position files evenly.
When did you do, use the rectangular shape tool to draw a rectangle that covers the entire drawing area. This shape will be your background color. You can find line and shape tools on the toolbar. Simply select the tool you want is Start drawing.
To choose a color, you can use ColorZilla to copy a color from one of the downloaded photos or illustrations from any of the resources mentioned above (or from your favorite site for free projects to use in social media images). TO apply that color to the shape, click on the Fill color tool is select Custom.
Then paste the color code that ColorZilla copies to the appropriate box.
TO make the pattern in the background again, you have two options. can make the color transparent using the cursor to the right of the custom color dialog, or select the shape is choose Arrange> Order> Send to Back.
TO add a vertical rectangle similar to the announcement of car2go shown above, you use the shape tools again to draw the shape.
Subsequently, this image needs a great illustration to create a focal point. To insert an image, use the Insert menu still and navigate to the image you want to use.
Then move the image to the desired point, is size it according to need without going beyond the dimensions of the original image.
If you need to resize an image you have inserted, hold down the Shift key to maintain the proportions of the image and avoid distorting the design. Then drag a sizing handle until the image reaches the desired size. If you resize an image, avoid enlarging it.
# 4: Write and format text as a designer
If you're adding text to your social media images, getting the right character combinations is more important than you might think. The small things (like the choice of the font) separate the professional content from the amateur one. Fortunately, Google supports you. Google Drawings not only has over 400 fonts, Google has over 800 font families that you can import if you can not find the exact font you're looking for.
In general, when you add text to social media images, you typically want two fonts: a serif font for the title and a sans-serif font for the body copy or slogan. To illustrate, the following combination of characters uses the serif Merriweather font for the header and the sans-serif font to open Sans for the body text.
TO add text to your image in Google Drawings, first use the Text Box tool to draw a text box. Then you can type and format the text. You'll find all the usual text formatting options on the toolbar. Furthermore, you can choose Format> Format Options from the menubar a see additional choices for external shadows, reflections and detailed sizing and positioning options.
# 5: Export your image in a social-friendly format
When the image is ready for publication, you need to export it to the file format desired by Google Drawings. For social media platforms, you typically want a PNG file. Choose File> Download as> PNG Image (.png). The file will be downloaded to the Downloads folder of your operating system and then it will be possible upload it to your social accounts.
# 6: Save and share models for social media images with your team
After spending time creating an image that you like reflects your brand, you have that image forever and you can use it as a model. Simply make a copy, change some elements, is create a completely "new" graphic for your next article, ad on social media, post on Instagram and so on. After designing the basic concept, you can make changes to create a unique image in less than 5 minutes.
After the model is ready, the entire marketing team can use it. Share a folder on Google Drive to make it easier and faster for anyone on your team to create social media images that you typically create, for example a post picture of Facebook. As long as nobody changes the page size, everything will have the right dimensions and will look coherent with the brand. It's like having your version of Canva's model models.
If you're collaborating on a project, Google Drawings' sharing capabilities allow your entire team to create, edit, and comment on graphics as well.
What do you think about it? Have you tried to create your own graphics? What resources or suggestions have helped you design an image from the professional aspect? Please share your thoughts in the comments.