How to Make Event Graphics
Whether you’re trying to increase attendance at a fundraiser or give directions at a professional conference, attractive graphics are an essential part of the job. For one thing, people are visual creatures. Most people will walk around all day with earbuds in but would never consider spending the whole day blindfolded.
This is especially true on social media. When someone is scrolling through their feed, you may have only half a second to get their attention. This means you need powerful visual elements to draw attention from users on social media platforms.
A well-deployed picture or sign does not just help you attract an audience. It can also showcase your brand style, encourage attendees to buy tickets, convey a schedule and other event details, or convince them to give you their personal information for a chance at a free giveaway.
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Graphics For Your Event: the Basics
So, how do you create a unique visual feel for your event? Let’s start with the basics. These tips apply to physical tools like event banners and event flyers, as well as to social media platform banners and banner ads. In this day and age, a Facebook event cover design is essential for event promotion and its subsequent success.
Also, before you go any further, you’re going to need a photo editing tool. Thankfully, many of these graphic design programs are free and can be installed in minutes. Once you install your program of choice, you’ll be ready to create.
Alternatively, you could use a paid tool, such as Canva Pro. In exchange for your money, you’ll gain access to more features. If you don’t know how to get started, consider using a template. There are many templates available, whether you’re promoting a Facebook event or a real-world event.
Choose a Color Scheme
One of the most important things to do is to decide on a coherent color scheme. The optimal choice will depend on the nature of your event and the intended audience.
For instance, are you representing a company? In that case, it makes sense to make a sign or banner with colors that correspond to the company logo.
If you’re promoting a standalone event, you’ll have a bit more freedom to create a unique event brand. In this case, think carefully about the nature of the event. For instance, if you’re doing a breast cancer fundraiser, it makes sense to choose a pink-heavy color scheme. An environmental fundraising event might do better to adopt a green color scheme.
Create an Event Logo
An event logo should both represent the event and attract the audience’s attention. It should also mesh well with your event color scheme. You can even create a logo for corporate events, incorporating the corporate logo.
On the flip side, you’ll want to incorporate aspects of the logo into other parts of your branding. For instance, if your logo consists of several triangles, it could make sense to use triangles in your entire event brand kit.
Tell a Visual Story
People aren’t just visual creatures – we also think in a narrative form. In our own lives, each of us is the hero of our own story. In an event, you can harness this aspect of human nature by telling a story of your own through graphic design.
How you do this will depend on the event. For instance, suppose you’re trying to promote a physicians’ association. You could visually represent a person going through various stages of recovery after an accident and incorporate that into an informational event flyer.
Another technique is to use video. Even a short 10-second or 30-second animation can tell a story and gain people’s interest.
Use Similar Graphic Elements Throughout Your Event
Instead of coming up with all kinds of different themes, choose a few basic graphic elements, and mix and match them as needed. For example, if your event logo is made up of blue circles, use a lot of blue circles throughout your material.
This doesn’t just apply to physical media. You’ll need physical banners as well as social media banners. The same principle applies across all platforms. Your event website, social media pages, and other material should all maintain a consistent, unified feel for your attendees.
Maintain a Consistent Event Brand
Some events will require a series of different materials. For instance, a wedding will have to save the date cards, formal invitations, thank you cards, and extra material for the bridal party. If that’s not enough, there’s the decoration on the day itself.
It can be easy to lose track of various graphic elements over time and become inconsistent. For any given event, the look should be seamless from beginning to end.
Use a High Enough Resolution
When you’re creating your event graphics designs, keep in mind that they may need to be printed in a large format, this is most notably if they will be used for an event banner. For this reason, you’ll want to make sure that your images have a high enough resolution. Most image editing programs will use a default setting of 72 DPI, which is the standard for digital graphics. That’s fine if you’re just creating digital graphics, but for physical media, you’re going to want to go with a much higher density.
In most cases, this means using a bare minimum of 300 DPI. By digital standards, that’s unnecessarily high. But imagine your logo getting blown up and printed on a 10-foot banner. If that image is only 72 DPI, it’s going to look cheap and pixelated. At 300 DPI, you can blow the image up much larger without negatively impacting the image quality.
Be Careful about Text
When you’re using text, keep in mind that you want it to be as legible as possible. This doesn’t just mean using big, bold print. It also means maintaining a high contrast with the background. If you have a dark background, use light text to make it pop. If you have a lighter background, use dark text for better contrast.
And if there’s a small print, try not to make it too small. Fonts smaller than 12 points don’t always show up properly when they’re colored. You can end up with a tinted halo around them, which is the last thing you want to see on your poster.
Event Graphics Do’s and Don’t’s
Before we wrap up, let’s talk about what you should – and shouldn’t – include in your event graphic design.
What Information Do You Need?
We’ve talked about the basics of creating eye-popping graphics and how to format them successfully. But what kind of content should you include in your photos?
To begin with, the event title should be the largest text on your image. It should be in bold and, ideally, in ALL CAPS. If you want to get fancy, you can even use all Small Caps for a more bespoke look.
If your event has a subtitle, put it directly beneath the title in a smaller version of the same font. It also helps if the subtitle is not bolded to draw more attention to the main title.
Other essential information must be kept to a minimum. That said, you’ll always want to print the day, time, and location for your upcoming event. This should be in smaller print and shouldn’t distract from the main image.
One last thing to include is the ticket price if attendees are required to buy tickets.
Pro tip: It helps to include the day of the week, so people do not have to pull out their phones to understand when the event is.
As for visuals, the sky is the limit. If you’re using a solid color, go with something bright and bold. Reds are great for generating excitement, while blues promote a feeling of safety and security. Avoid white backgrounds in particular – they can blend into the background on many platforms.
One great way to up your game is to use a gradient instead of a solid color. This is easy to do in most photo editing software, and it can make an otherwise boring image pop.
More Graphic Elements
Other graphical elements can include a photo, logo, or symbol. Make sure these elements contrast both with the background and your text, or the graphic will be hard to understand.
If you’re fresh out of ideas for photographs, a photography service like Unsplash can help. They’re free to use, and the artwork has no watermarks. But be careful with any stock photography, free or paid. It’s easy to settle for something generic and boring.
What Should You Avoid?
Just as there are some things you should always include in your graphics, there are a few things to avoid. To begin with, avoid giving a full description of the event. Stick to the event name, and limit any more detail to what we’ve already discussed.
Avoid posting a website link or a URL in graphical form because it won’t be clickable. On a banner, poster, or flyer, a QR code makes more sense. That way, people can use their phones to reach your website directly from your graphic for more details.
If you need to include contact information, such as ticket office info, keep it simple. If it’s more than a single phone number, your graphic is too complicated.
Finally, avoid including anything not directly related to the event. If your breast cancer charity also supports ovarian cancer research, find another way to tell people that. Include only key information people need to know for this event. This also goes for social media, like Facebook events.
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into building your event brand. But by following these simple guidelines, anyone can use free tools with basic features to create their images to promote their event.
For all your graphics and printing needs, get in touch with us at Platon Graphics. Our experts are ready to help you achieve your vision.
What are you waiting for? Get out there and start creating!