Essential Design Tips for Event Websites Part Deux

Hey you, welcome back to our design series! Or, welcome altogether if this is your first time. To check out our first article on event design go over here, it will provide some very basic ground work in color theory and typography which are useful before moving forward. For this second part we’re picking apart image assets when in event design. Images are incredibly useful but if used poorly, can really give your event a negative look. Just follow these guidelines and it will keep your design from getting bogged down in image design hell.   Make sure you know the dimensions of your event page This seems easy right? Wrong. I can not count the number of event pages that I have seen and edited that use incorrect image dimensions for their background event page and, even worse, for their header image. Using the correct image dimensions ensures that the image looks how it is supposed to and that you don’t have a banner with half of your information missing. How embarrassing. Your best bet is just cropping it to fit. If you use an image editor like photoshop, you can set your crop dimensions to exactly the size you need and it will give you the correct size. Be careful attempting to just resize a picture as many times this can change the picture size ratio and make everything look wonky. Not the look you’re going for. Please note: if your image is smaller than the required dimensions, uploading it anyways will make it look grainy and bad. Do not do this. Even if you think it will be ok.   Use images in social media, but know the dimensions! Just like how using images on the event page itself is a useful way to add information and color and grab attention, doing it on social media will do the same thing. But again, be aware of social media size constraints! Unfortunately for everyone, there is not a standard social media image size. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all have different sizes so it requires multiple images. Not sure what sizes are on what platforms? No problem! Mainstreethost has a fantastic cheat sheet post on all social media image sizes that you may ever need. Here you can clearly see the different sizes needed for images on Twitter:  dimensions-Twitter-1 You probably won’t need most of these but it is important to know what the Twitter feed minimum is, what is recommended and what is displayed. Many times photos are cropped when displayed on timelines so you should be aware of what image size will actually be seen by people scrolling through their feed. They will not see your brilliantly designed full banner but rather just a small portion of it. And for Facebook: dimensions-Facebook-1 Timeline photos and newsfeed photos are not displayed at the same dimensions because of course not. When in doubt of which sizes to go with, use the smaller size to ensure your image isn’t cut off. This also gives you a bit of extra info on what your Facebook profile photo size is which is also useful as we have a share image on our platform that conforms to the same dimensions as your profile photo. If you’re looking to post your event design banner on any other platform, check out their blogpost for further image sizes for Pinterest or Instagram.   When using text with an image– don’t fight the image. Let’s say you’re trying to use an image you took of your recent wine dinner as the background of your next wine dinner banner and want to add some text. Don’t fit the image. Don’t try to stick text over areas that have a lot going on, it will only make your picture look cluttered and text hard to read. Use the empty spaces where you can or create empty spaces by fading out part of an image to a single background color or use a textbox to make the text stand out. Yes, textbox does sound very Microsoft Powerpoint but it can be done to great effect, see how we did it here for one of our banners?  title We’ve used our favorite pink color here to make a box that we can put the text over and have it pop and be legible. We’ve also turned the opacity so some of the image can still be seen. Without the box, our text, even as bold as it is, would be lost within the multiple elements of the photo.    Keep your sizes down!  Images file sizes can be huge and majorly slow down load times. You don’t want to do that when you want people buying tickets to your event! If you have a small image, you should be fine but if you have larger, full sizes images, or ones with a lot of layers and components, make sure to compress your image down before you upload it. Photoshop can do this when you save to web with PNG file format. If your file size is still too large, or you haven’t been using Photoshop, no worries. compressor is an incredibly handy website that will compress and shrink any image file down without losing quality. You will still have an amazing looking event design banner but without the slowed down load speeds that come when it is almost a MB in size.   So there you have it, a quick crash course in design and use of images for event pages. The most important thing is that you don’t fight your images. You want to use them and showcase them and make sure that any crops, textboxes and overlays you use all work with your image. Also be sure to check out the links in this post for more information or head back to our first design post to get a refresher on color and text.]]]]> ]]>

Essential Design Tips for Event Websites Part 1

cheap than you are dead in the water. “But I’m a marketing person! I’m not a designer!” I can hear quite a few of you saying through the tinny speakers on my laptop. That’s okay, I’m not technically a designer either, I just play one on the Internet. Basic design principles are universal and fairly easy to understand. No one is saying that you, the event promoter, need to be able to deliver a graphically designed band poster that fulfills all 6 basic design guidelines. You’re busy enough as it is, no need to throw that on your plate as well. What you should be able to do, however, is follow along with these major tips to make sure that your event poster, event page layout and everything else you have that will be customer-facing is designed well to entice the customer. Don’t worry, I made sure to keep the tips short and sweet. Let’s get to it! 1. Make sure your font choice is unique, legible and not Papyrus. [caption id="" align="alignright" width="113" class=" "] Do not use this guy.[/caption] Font choice is perhaps one of the hardest things to do when designing an event page and digital flyer. There are so many font choices out there it can be hard to narrow it down to what you want but it is important that you take the time to do so. While some larger corporations may have a set standard group of fonts that must be used across all mediums for the company, many others allow for freedom when it comes to flyer design and that is when you need to take the time to check out your options. You want your font to reflect the event you have going on. To pick through your fonts it is good to understand the four main types of fonts: sans serif, serif, decorative and script.  Piktochart has a great graphic for understanding how these font types look: [caption id="attachment_23224" align="aligncenter" width="247" class=" "] credit: piktochart [/caption] [caption id="attachment_23223" align="aligncenter" width="250" class=" "]credit: piktochart credit: piktochart[/caption]   There are obviously a lot more sub-types under these four but these are the main groups. Do you have a real relaxed and fun event? Than a sans serif may be the best option for you. Have a wine tasting party? You may be able to go more towards a decorative or script font, depending on the location. Again, the type of event you have should be paired within the font and do not use Papyrus. No event matches Papyrus. Not sure where to go to pick a font? There are a lot of places that have great fonts for cheap prices or for free (as long as it is a non-commercial use) and Canva has a lot of fonts already built in to their picture building app. So don’t worry, you’ll totally be able to find great fonts no matter where you’re making your designs. Do not use multiple fonts willy-nilly You may think that using multiple fonts makes your banner interesting and unique and looks fun but using too many fonts makes a design look unfocused, messy and cheap. No one wants their event to look cheap. You may be hosting a free block party but that doesn’t matter, you want it to look like a million bucks. [caption id="attachment_23232" align="aligncenter" width="450"]allthefonts I mean lets all agree this isn’t the look you should go for.[/caption] Some of these fonts look good. Some even begin to look good together, but all of them? All at once? Yeah its a mess. But how do you pair font for visual interest when you’re not really sure of things like alignment and kerning and you’ve got like ten minutes to spare to create a fantastic flyer? Easy, stick with a font that offers multiple weights and variations. It is much easier to pair fonts that you know already go together. [caption id="attachment_23233" align="aligncenter" width="450"]tb We look classy! Using Avenir black + Avenir light[/caption] I used Avenir, a font that comes with multiple weights with an option for oblique (that’s italicized). Because they are the same font you won’t have to worry about combatting different styles and making them mesh and it works well to create interest. Super easy. If you have a bit more time and are feeling a bit more adventurous and really want to create some difference in text, look for font pairings that have a contrast but similar tone. Like up above, you wouldn’t pair the font for “and really” with the serif of “fonts” those do contrast, yes, but the tone is different. One is highly stylized and messy and the other is very clear and classic. [caption id="attachment_23234" align="aligncenter" width="450"]After writing a word over and over enough times, it really doesn't look like a word anymore. After writing a word over and over enough times, it really doesn’t look like a word anymore.[/caption] These are all very different fonts but each font within each word does go together. Varying your weights is a great way to cause interest, as we’ve said, but so does mixing up some serifs and sans serifs, handwritten script and bold sans serif. And, in the bottom two we get to also play with all lower case vs all upper case, another great way to provide interest and difference without going too crazy with size difference. There are a ton of resources for learning a bit more on typography as it is definitely an art. We want to provide just the basics to get you going but if you enjoyed this check out Envato tuts+ deep dive into font pairings or Canva’s design school. 2. Make sure your colors go together. Do not make eyes bleed.  So you’ve got your typography down, now to move on to colors. Picking the right colors are important as you want to create interest (there’s that word again) without making someone’s eyes bleed. If you’re making an event for an organization, you probably already have your color palette picked out for you by using the company’s colors (notice the very bright pink that has been used throughout this post?) but that’s fine. Most companies higher design teams to come up with their color standards so you’re good, you know your colors should complement and go well together so you can skip down to where we talk about how to use them together. If, however, the hex palette is your oyster and you can pick any color you want, it is good to have some idea on color rules, like the one about not making eyes bleed. Each color signifies different things, red is vibrant and sexy and bold and blue is calming and serene and black is luxirious and expensive, etc. So before you go randomly picking any color at will just because it looks pretty (no shame, this is totally a strategy I have often employed) take some time to think about what kind of look you want and what tone you want to set. Once you’ve decided on a main color, head over to Adobe Color. You pick your color and it will generate what other colors will complement it, contrast it and what palettes will work the best for you. It makes the guess work out of what colors can you use together so much easier. If you want your look to be very relaxing, monochromatic palettes are nice. None of the colors jar and everything flows together. If you’re looking for colors to create a bit more visual interest, but not too much, check out complimentary colors on the wheel, they pop but not too much. Then of course there are contrasting colors which will offer you the largest visual distinction. They jar but in a good way but should be used sparingly, again, bleeding eyes, remember. Too much contrasting colors can create discord which is not what we want when promoting an event. For a good breakdown on how these look check out this infographic from DesignMantic on the 10 color theory commandments:  This infographic does a great job of showcasing different color types for use in graphic elements or logos and even some font but I think it is important to offer a huge bit of advice: be careful going too crazy with color with your font. Above all else you want your information to be readable, using a red background and green font may be contrasting yes, but when the font is size 12 and both colors are bright, all it does is make eyes bleed and no one can properly get the information they need from the banner. [caption id="attachment_23235" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Better one? Or better two? Definitely one. Better one? Or better two? Definitely one.[/caption]   So in this part we’ve gone over the importance of typography and color with regard to event design. Above all else, you want your event to pop, to make people see it and want to know more and capture their interest. That is what good design is about. By ensuring your banners and event pages are designed well, you’ll be able to capture more interest from your audience. Now, you should have an idea of how to pair your fonts to your type of event and how to pair them together. Additionally, you’re probably awesome at color pairing and making your banner grab a viewers interest. If you’re looking for more information on design, check out the links in this post and make sure to subscribe to our blog for the next part!]]]]> ]]>