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  • Haley Jolstead

Graphics for Beginners: Planning Your Graphics

The world is turning more and more to images and video to convey their messages. Having a stunning visual accompany a presentation, blog post, or social media advertisement instantly captures attention and sticks in memories. In fact, putting images into posts increases engagement by 650 percent, according to Adobe.

We hear over and over that visuals are essential and should be part of every piece of content we put out. The problem is, how do we create the right ones? Not everyone is a photographer or designer, so how can we hope to have effective graphics? It doesn’t help that it seems like everyone expects perfect design and content.

At The Courseware Group, we understand that graphics are essential, and we have extensive experience adding graphics that will capture attention and engage your audience. It’s what we do.

We know not everyone is a designer though, so we put together a series of posts to show the simple and easy ways to start adding graphics now. By the end of these three posts, you’ll have all you need to go from bland, text-only posts to effective and visually appealing posts that drive engagement.


The first step in using graphics is always planning. Something we hear before creating anything in marketing is that you should tailor everything to your audience. You may love modern design with bright colors and thick lines, but if your audience is looking for your hiking and camping gear, a muted, natural look that matches your company colors will serve you better.

In this planning section, you’ll receive the most benefit from answering the following questions as we talk about each one.


First, determine your audience. If your audience and/or style guide is already defined for you, go with that. You can skip this step altogether, though, make sure to refresh your memory by reading over who your audience is.

To determine your audience, describe them as specifically as you can in demographics, likes, dislikes, etc. Knowing your audience is 18-30 year old college students who like pop music and speaking their minds, you can already make some assumptions on styles that will fit that group. With this group, we would choose bold lines and colors.


Next, we need to get ideas. A useful way to come up with style ideas is to think like your audience. What would your audience do/use on a typical day? Would they love Spotify, Tumblr, and Reddit? Or maybe your audience runs, reads books, and spends time gardening each day. Choose their typical hobbies and likes/dislikes. Make a list of brands they might use then look up those brands. Pay attention to the color, lines, editing, and medium (photo, illustration, video) they use.

With all these ideas floating around, choose the styles that would best fit your audience. Also, pay close attention to medium. Do they spend more time watching videos on YouTube or scrolling through Instagram? Certain mediums will be more effective in reaching certain audiences.

Take time to take notes on each of these ideas. Take at least 15-30 minutes to determine a clear view of your audience. This will help immensely as we move onto the next sections in this series of posts.


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