If you create event listings, but you don’t usually add graphics to them, you really, really should start. It’s a lot easier than you might think—and it can do a lot to boost attendance to your events.
Just think about your own habits on Facebook or other websites that you might frequent. Pictures draw us in almost instantaneously.
You don’t have to be a graphic designer or have any special software to create event listing images. You can do it for free in just a few minutes. See for yourself.
Let’s imagine you’re hosting an event at your library focused on teaching people how to podcast. We’ll call it “Introduction to Podcasting.” Obviously, you need an image to use on your website, social media, and your calendar to promote it, right? Now, you might take the picture yourself or you might go to a stock image website and grab a photo of a microphone, like the one below.
And, although it’s a “nice” image, it’s kind of boring. It lacks creativity, and, with the world consuming social media via their smartphones, people would easily skip this image in their newsfeeds.
In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to spice up that image of the microphone using a free graphics/design tool called Canva. It’ll only take a few minutes and even the most design-challenged folks can create awesome stuff with it.
How It’s Done
1. Log in to your free Canva account. (If you don’t have one, you can create one here and choose the social media template. Scroll down until you’ve found the beach theme.
2. Import the background image into Canva by clicking the “Upload” button in the side navigation and dragging it over the existing image of the beach. If you have to reposition the image to center it, double-click it, move the image right or left, and click the checkbox when you’re done.
3. Click on the background image. Now click on the “Filter/Crop” button to change the color and blur of the background. Pick a photo filter—I used “Whimsical”—and click on the “Advanced Options” arrow at the bottom of the window. Under the “Tint” option, shift the color to yellow/orange, turn up the “Blur” until you’re happy, and kick up the “X-Process” and “Vignette” to your liking.
4. Click on the sun icon at the top and delete it. Click the search bar at the top left-hand corner of the page and click on the “Shapes” button. Find the star and drag that onto the image.
5. Resize the star and align it to the top. If you want to change the color, click the star and then click on the color dot in the “Options” menu. If you’d like to add a custom color, click the dot with the plus sign in it and type in your own hex code to create a custom color or use the color picker.
6. Change the text to “Introduction to Podcasting,” and play with different types of text and text sizes until you find a combination that you like.
7. Go back over to the “Shapes” options. Grab the box with the shadow and change the colors, if you want it to match your library brand. (Highly recommended!) Click the text icon on the sidebar and choose “Add a little bit of body text.” Type in the time for the event.
8. Give your image a name, in case you want to duplicate it and use it as a template for future event graphics. Click “Link and Publish” to download the image. Now you can upload it to social media or use it as the thumbnail for your events calendar.
If you have any questions about this tutorial or you have ideas on what you’d like us to cover next, tell us in the comments below.