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You’re creating a new website or blog. Hoorah. Now here’s an important choice. What’s going to be your main background image at the top of your homepage? You know, “above the fold”. When creating graphics or editing images for your blog, website, or social media, backgrounds are essential. They are one of the first things a visitor to your site sees. So, the question is whether to use color, image, or texture and what to add if anything on top of it. Finding free image backgrounds is pretty straightforward. Here are some ideas about backgrounds and how you could use them to your advantage.
Plain Colored Backgrounds – Minimalistic Design
With a plain color as the background and a strong call to action can work well if you choose this. It’s minimalistic but its purpose is to clearly state what the site is about in no uncertain terms. It works really well if you have a graphic logo a plain branded color background with your CTA. You can also replicate this as a facebook cover page. Here’s an example. It’s not fancy, but sometimes minimalistic is best.
Background Images For Banners and Posts
As for images, they are absolutely fantastic as hero headers as long as they don’t detract from any CTA or text message you’re wanting above the fold. On a blog post, background images are perfect but it’s best to use images that relate in some way to your written content. Again, use the images to reinforce but make sure any image text is readable and doesn’t block any key part of the image that is being used for the purpose at hand.
What you exactly decide on is your preference but consider what “type” of image will be used and what if any written content will be embedded or overlaid on the image.
Backgrounds for Infographics
Say you need an infographic; because infographics are data-driven messages I’d keep the background simple and unobtrusive. Here, like with a background above the fold, you want it to focus the reader on the infographic data. Notice, in this I use very plain color backgrounds so the data is what catches your eye. You can make the top more complex where the Infographic title resides, but still, this background is colored, shaded or two-toned.
What About Gradients Or Textures For Backgrounds
They work well in specific situations. For example, a gradient instead of plain color can add a nice effect without being overwhelming. There’s a ton of ways to get a gradient; use Canva’s, download a free one from Pixabay or any other free site or make your own. Here’s a simple gradient image; I add some simple graphic illustration/icons and text and it looks pretty nice. Took like 2 minutes to make.
Textures can work well with icons, a message or call to action. A textured background can be an image of a surface or material or just about anything. So metal surfaces, materials, fabrics, walls, wood to name a few. It can also be abstracts or combinations; with overlays, one image overlays on top of another. That can be used to make “texture” backgrounds. You may have a sidebar widget or embedded post widget encouraging your reader to do something.
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In any case, the right textured background can work well in these scenarios. Below is a simple example of a textured background with a quote and icon. I could have also included a CTA button. As a side note, making a textured background is super easy but there are some free “texture” backgrounds in Canva. Personally, I like to make my own or use one of these excellent free image and background sites. It’s up to you what you use.
The last two are strictly texture backgrounds of real surfaces or objects. Take a look at those sites; you’ll find lots to pick from.
Here’s an example of creating a graphic using a fabric-like texture background for that fictitious coffee blog. It works because it reminds me of the old-style coffee bean bags that you could buy with unground beans. Of course in this day and age with those little plastic K-cups, the old style bean bags aren’t as readily seen but still, it’s rather nostalgic if you ask me. This time I used a real texture and added illustrated graphics (the coffee cup and coffee beans). You start to see the possibilities using different kinds of backgrounds for different situations and purposes. The sky’s the limit on how you use backgrounds.
Finally, Use backgrounds for blog posts, sidebar images or social media.
Here a simple image with some text fits the purpose because the text and image complement each other. I totally made this up but it could be used for a blog post image or featured image if needed. It could even be sized smaller into a sidebar widget as an ad if I was selling java reviews or promoting a certain coffee maker, shop, etc. You get the idea.
Make Your Background Engaging
So you begin to see in each case there is a relationship between the text, any graphic elements, CTAs, and the background. Not surprising at all; the key is really how to combine everything to make it look good and fit the purpose. But finding the right background or creating your own is super easy.
And oh yes, if you read this whole article, I happen to be drinking my morning cup of joe when I made the images. 😉
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