One of the first things you learn when you start a blog is this: You will soon attempt to create your own graphics. It’s inevitable, whether you want to make your header, or create a button for your weekly meme.
The first thing you need is a good image editing software. If you want to invest in a mack-daddy program, like Adobe Illustrator, or Photoshop CS4, knock yourself out. But chances are you don’t want to drop that much money, unless you’ll be designing a heck of a lot of web graphics!
I have been using Photoshop Elements 6.0 (new version: Elements 7.0) since I started designing my blogs a while back. I also had to be able to create ads for my local blog, High Country Mom Squad, and buttons for different features on Real Life. I will tell you that it is MORE than I need! 95% of bloggers won’t need the big guns. (And you’ll save over $500, too!)
Now, we don’t have time for a full tutorial on creating graphics, but I will give you the solution to the number 1 BIGGEST problem I see all over Blogdom!
Here are a few suggestions when you create your own graphics:
- I always design my graphics with 300 dpi resolution. They say that the web doesn’t actually show more than 75, but it’s worth it to make sure you get the best quality.
- Next, always save your work as a .psd (or raw file) first. Each time you save an image as jpeg, the quality declines. So you must save only from .psd to your desired image extension.
- If your image has hard lines and not much shading, you should ALWAYS use the .gif extension when saving your work. If you don’t you will get… a fuzzy image, poor web image resolution
- If your image has a lot of shading, or it’s a photograph, I use the .png extension, instead of .jpeg. Lots of digital scrapbook designers use the .png extension heavily. It also will allow you to use a transparent background if you need that.
So hopefully these tips will help you sharpen up your blog buttons and headers, and improve your web image resolution! Add some tips or questions of your own in the comments if you have them.