Are your Pinterest images just sort of “blah”? While Pinterest is a search engine, fact is… having professional looking images matters if you want people to re-pin your content and especially if you have any hope of them clicking through to view your content. The hard truth is that you could be doing all of the right things otherwise – creating awesome content, writing great Pinterest descriptions, and utilizing the best possible pin strategy… and none of it matters if your Pinterest images suck.
In this blog post, I’m going to show you some of the common mistakes you might be making and how to make better choices so that your pin designs are easier to read, up to design standards, and generally more appealing to others.
Mistake 1: Not Enough Contrast
You get mere seconds to capture someone’s interest and to stand out on Pinterest. Having graphics that are easy to read and provide enough visual contrast to be interesting is key. Unfortunately, you might think you are doing the right thing by choosing similar colors rather than finding ways to create a contrast. Take a look at the example below:
Notice that the white is difficult to read. In fact, most people won’t be able to read it because every monitor is different and your visual settings may not be the same as someone else’s. The pink is good, but you might consider using it on heavier weight fonts to make it really stick out. The teal is perfect – it creates enough contrast to make it easy to read regardless of the font weight.
Pro Tip: Never underestimate the power of white space. Adding a white block area on which to display text makes the text a lot easier to read and provides adequate contrast.
Mistake 2: Lack of Visual Hierarchy
What the heck is “Visual Hierarchy”? – Basically, it’s the way by which you help your audience know where to look in a graphic. When designing your Pinterest graphics, it’s important that you give them visually interesting image to look at that helps guide their eyes to the right places… fast!
Take a look at the text examples below. The top example is boring and shows all of the text the same size. There’s nothing of interest and nothing about the text captures your attention or shows you what’s important. The second example utilizes different text sizes, font weights, and colors to bring the words to life and create a more dynamic design.
Pro Tip: Choose 1 or 2 words to emphasize so that you aren’t going overboard. Too many font sizes and weights can be just as distracting.
Mistake 3: Overuse of Design Effects
1998 called and it wants it’s text effects back. Visual effects like drop shadows, outlines, gradient fills, and the like should be used sparingly where text is concerned (if ever at all). Using these effects improperly can make your Pin design look dated and unprofessional, difficult to read, and frankly… like you learned graphic design 20 years ago and never adapted to current design standards.
Take a look at these examples…
This is a mess.
This is a mistake a lot of bloggers make. They find an image they like and they try to force it to work by layering a light opacity over the image and then using effects on their text to try to make it easier to read. What they end up with instead is a dated looking graphic that’s still difficult to read.
Worse, they overuse these effects by applying different ones to sections of text to try to make it stand out depending on what’s behind it. It’s distracting and it doesn’t actually make any of it easier to read.
Having a dated, hard to read pin is a big reason why someone will pass up what might actually be awesome content!
This is… good.
Okay, so this pin isn’t perfect. Thanks to the removal of all of the effects, a stronger opacity layer over the background image, and paying better attention to creating contrast… the pin image is better – easier to read and more professional looking.
Viewers will be more likely to re-pin and click on this image if they are viewing your pin on a computer, but might still have some difficulty reading it from a mobile device. A whopping 85% of Pinterest searches are made using a mobile device! That’s why it’s so important to be sure that your pin is easy to read when scaled down.
This is… better.
Never underestimate the usefulness of the white block behind the text trick. White space is helpful in creating necessary contrast for your pin’s text and helps guide the viewer’s eyes to all the right places. Best of all, it’s really easy to do and works every time.
The drawback here is that you might have cared a lot about the image you chose or need the visual to help aid in telling the complete story of what a viewer should expect when clicking through to your content. The answer might be to lower the opacity of the white block, but keep in mind that there’s a reason we’re using it in the first place and that lowering the opacity too much can cause just as much of an issue.
This is… BEST.
If you are in love with an image but struggling to find a solution that makes the text easy to read, you have a couple of options… Either find another image you can live with, or find a way to re-purpose the one you have in such a way that it’s useful.
In this example I scaled the image down and arranged it so that it’s towards the bottom of the pin image. I selected the color closest to the rest of the background and created my own “white space” area on which to put my text. This eliminated the need for a white block – and my text is still easy to read.
Taa-Daa! – 3 Pin Design mistakes you might be making and how to address them so that your pins look more professional. If you want to learn more about Pin design, the anatomy of the perfect pin and how to make them convert, check out my FREE Pinterest course, Get Pinned Academy.