As you may have noticed, my blog post header images have basically the exact same layout. Sure, there are three different colors: yellow (for blogging and design), teal (for lifestyle), and pink (for feminism), and some without a color overlay (for DIY and travel), but they’ve got the exact same font, placement, and logo.
This isn’t by accident. I want to create brand consistency (and you should, too!). And no, I don’t spend hours making sure all of the font sizing, placement, and settings are the same in every single image. In fact, blog post header images only take me a few minutes at most.
Easy: I created a blog post header image template in Photoshop, and now all I have to do is swap out the image, text, and color. Then voila! New, on-brand header image.
Sure, it took some time to come up with the final design, and the template itself took a little time to create, but it’s easier than making a new header each time! I’ll show you how.
1. Come up with your design + its dimensions.
This one will take the most time. You’ll want to spend some time looking at different images (I recommend Pinterest) and seeing which ones catch your eye. What do you like about them? What don’t you like? Sketch out a couple ideas and come up with a design you want that fits with your brand. (Include the fonts and colors from your style guide!)
You’ll also want to consider what information it needs. How long are your blog post titles? Do you commonly have a subtitle? Two parts to the title separated by a colon? Figure out what elements you’ll need so you don’t run out of space.
Also, figure out what dimensions you’ll need. Taking many things into consideration: your blog dimensions, what social media you want it published on, if you want several images for various social media sites, etc.
2. Open up a new Photoshop file in your dimensions.
Next, you’ll open up Photoshop and plug your dimensions in. For the internet, I always use a resolution of 72. It’s best for web speed without sacrificing quality.
You can also name it at the top so it’s labeled in its Photoshop window. It also conveniently fills the title in automatically when you’re saving the document.
3. Insert your base photo.
Next you’ll want to insert your base photo. This can be the same photo for every blog post header if you want, but I recommend changing it up for every post. It’s nice to have it in place when you’re putting the design together, though, so you can see how a finished header image will look.
Get it positioned how you want it, but don’t feel too set in it; you can always go back and change it if you need to.
4. Add shapes and color.
Depending on the design you want, you’re going to be using some shapes. Whether they’re circles, rectangles, or polygons, Photoshop can do that for you. Add whatever shapes and get them positioned in a way that won’t require movement. Remember, you want these in the same spot for every image.
I wanted to do an angle across the image, so I decided to use a triangle.
Voila! My angled block (which is really just a triangle). Then I went up to the top menu and chose the fill color. I also made the stroke empty, because I just wanted the color block without a line around it.
5. Add text.
Whenever I make my templates, I say it with some fake text or “blog post title here,” but I test it out with various blog post titles, first. I want to make sure everything is right without needing too many adjustments. Test out a couple blog post titles you’ve got coming up or ones you’ve done in the past. Get the text formatted however it looks best. (Don’t forget–use the fonts and colors from your style guide!)
Once I saw this, I knew the angled block was too small. So I made some adjustments!
Not only did I move the shape down, but I also made the text a hair smaller. Now longer titles fit like a charm.
Don’t forget to add your logo or URL into it so people know where to find your article if the link gets broken.
6. Save it.
You’ll want to save your template file in an easily accessible spot. Whether it’s on your computer or the cloud, make sure it’s a place you can get to whenever you need it.
Save the template as a Photoshop document, or .psd. That means you can edit the layers whenever you need to. Once you’ve got a new blog post coming up, you can just change the text, photo, and colors as needed and you’re done!
When saving the final blog post header images, go to File -> Export -> Save for Web. This means it’s optimized size-wise for your website without slowing everything down. Woo!
You also want to make sure you use an appropriate file name for each header image. Don’t save over your previous images or the template. It should be a .jpg or .png when you’re uploading it to your website.
See how easy that is? When I found out how to do this, I kicked myself for not doing it earlier!
Do you already use a blog post header template?