Your blog’s brand is made up of many things; your logo, your color palette, your unique perspective, your typefaces, your photography style, your voice, and your mission, vision and values. The visual attributes are often the first ones we notice about a brand (everyone knows McDonald’s Golden Arches).
By creating templates for your blog’s Featured Images, you can create consistency in your blog’s appearance when your content is shared on social channels like Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
Featured Images Should Include Three Things:
- Title of Blog Post
- Visual Attributes of Your Brand
- Your Blog’s Name or URL (I use www.marryingthearmy.com)
Save Time by Using a Featured Image Template
I rely on fast, user-friendly software like Picasa, PicMonkey, or Canva to create and edit my blog’s images. Occasionally I need to use Photoshop, but that’s rarely the case for Featured Images.
In 2013, I used PicMonkey to create one Featured Image Template for my blog. Here’s that design, both as a template and in context of a few specific blog posts:
Branding Note: Notice that each of these examples use the same typeface for the blog title. That typeface is one of many visual elements of the brand I’ve created for Marrying the Army, and it’s important for my brand’s integrity that I use that same typeface consistently.
Creating and saving a Featured Image template in advance will speed up your publishing process and keep your brand visually consistent. Each time a new blog post is ready to publish, simply open your design program of choice (mine is PicMonkey) and drop a title into one of your templates.
Using Multiple Featured Image Templates
Staying within existing visual brand rules (colors, fonts, graphic style), I’ve added several new Featured Image Templates to Marrying the Army’s design arsenal in 2014:
Maintaining Brand Integrity
Notice that each of these templates still looks and feels like Marrying the Army. I’ve kept the same color palette, the same type faces, and the same basic design elements, including the ring of stars, the heart & star lockup that’s in my logo, and the M.A.S.H.-style dotted line that have come to define Marrying the Army’s visual brand.
If you decide to create templates for your blog’s Featured Images, remain true to your brand in the process. Be consistent in your color and font choices, and try to pick a few basic design elements (example: the Marrying the Army “ring of stars”) that can be applied in a variety of contexts.
You can create new Featured Image Templates for your own blog without abandoning your brand’s visual integrity even if you aren’t a professional designer. Good luck, and let me know if you ever need help with your site’s branding!
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