How to Design Beautiful Pinterest Graphics and Drive Blog Traffic, with Canva

13 min read

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How to design Pinterest graphics that drive traffic to your blog.

Are you struggling to drive traffic to your blog?

If so, I have a solution for you.

It’s called Pinterest.

The coolest part about Pinterest is that it’s a miniature search engine, with social media like features. And, unlike major search engines like Google or Bing or DuckDuckGo, Pinterest does not search the entire internet for a searched term; instead, it only searches its own database of content, published by its users, which is of course, a whole lot fewer than the entire populace on the internet. This makes it easy to get found on Pinterest.

But of course, there are always rules and “good” practices, and to learn these rules and practices for getting found on Pinterest and driving traffic to your blog with this platform, I suggest you read my post on Pinterest strategies for driving blog traffic.

Another super cool feature about Pinterest is that it is a visual search engine.

And in this blog post, that is what I’ll be talking about–the “visual” part of Pinterest strategies to drive massive traffic to your blog.

Let’s start with some common rules of designing Pinterest graphics that are monumental when it comes to getting clicked on, or re-pinned on this platform.

Following that, I’ll walk you through 3 distinct Pin graphic designs that you can implement on your own Pins.

The Basics of Designing a Pin Graphic

The Pinterest platform itself has some preferences when it comes to the kind of graphics they like to see more of on their platform.

Aside from that, there are some general good practices that Pinterest users have found out to be more effective than others. Some of them may be true, while others, I’m sure, are superstitious. Or maybe they’re just specific to one’s own experience because blog traffic tends to depend on the kind blogger you are and the type of audience you’re after.

With that said, let’s check out some of the things to look out for when designing Pinterest graphics.

1. Use the Right Pin Graphic Dimensions

According to Pinterest, the graphics they like have a 2:3 aspect ratio. Supposedly, they share graphics that size more often than those that are a different size.

My personal experience, however, has been slightly different. I see more traction on graphics that have a 1:2 aspect ratio. 

I make both. I often create more than one Pin graphic for one piece of content/blog post. For example, it’s common for me to create 4/5 Pin graphics. I usually make one Pin graphic that has a 2:3 aspect ratio, and the rest are a 1:2 ratio. This way, when someone stumbles on my blog post and wishes to share it on Pinterest, they have the choice to Pin whichever graphic fits their aesthetics.

I settled on this practice because I know the 1:2 ratio works better for me. I advise you to do your own experiment. Create both and keep track of the graphics that are doing better (Use Pinterest Analytics to find out which of your Pins have better engagement).

For reference, here are the sizes that I recommend.

2:3 aspect ratio → 600px by 900px or 800px by 1200px
1:2 aspect ratio → 600px by 1200px or 800px by 1600px

As you see, these are all vertically oriented graphics. Pinterest shows graphics in grids, they all have the same width, and the height is adjusted accordingly. So, you have more room to cover when you have a taller graphic than a wider graphic.

You may feel tempted to make a Pin graphic even taller than the 1:2 aspect ratio, but be warned, Pinterest tends to crop images that are too long. I have read that any image taller than 1:2.1 aspect ratio gets cropped. So, just to be on the safe side, I do not recommend making Pin graphics that are taller than a 1:2 aspect ratio.

Correct Pin Image Size and Orientation vs. Wrong Size and Orientation

2. Add A Descriptive Headline on the Pin

Pinterest is a visual search engine, and as such, each Pin is occupied mostly by the image itself, with a small [text] Pin title underneath the image. Often, it’s hard to even notice what that little title says, and the title itself only shows the first few words.

Trust me, nobody is paying attention…

So, to make sure you get clicks and re-pins, you’ve got to make sure Pinners know right away what they can expect from your blog post, as soon as they’ve laid eyes on your Pin graphic.

The way to do so is by adding the blog post/content title right on top of the Pin image itself, in big letters so that they pop out, and cannot be missed.

3. Add Your Blog/Business Info

Aside from the title of the post, you should also add your blog/business name or URL. Some folks stop at adding just the name, but I urge you to add the URL instead. You can add the name of the business too, but remember, you do not have a ton of real estate within that rectangular piece of graphic. And you do not want things to be overly cluttered with all kinds of information.

Personally, I prefer the post title and the URL on the Pin image, and nothing else. Some folks may use a logo too, and that depends on your Pin design and how much wiggle room you have to play with. If the logo isn’t intrusive and doesn’t make your Pin image look too crowded, then sure, feel free to add the logo. Otherwise, just the URL is sufficient.

Now, I advise you to add your URL on the Pin image itself for a very important reason.

Often you will come across frauds on Pinterest, where they’ll scrap your image, and use it to drive traffic to a totally different website. Having your blog/business information on the Pin image itself will let a user know that what they’re seeing isn’t from you.

For example, in the past, I have found my graphics linking to different blogs and websites. When it happened, I reported the Pins and the users who were misusing my copyrighted material.

However, you cannot possibly find every time this happens. But fortunately, I have generous readers. Sometimes I get an email from a reader saying they found one of my Pin graphics going to a different blog altogether, and so they took the initiative to report the Pin themselves. They also knew where to look for the actual content that was promised within the pin graphic, because they saw my blog URL on the pin image itself.

So, to safeguard your content, and to potentially alert readers who may have wanted to read your post but instead were taken to a whole different site when they clicked on the Pin, I advise that instead of just writing the name of your blog/business, you write the whole URL on all of your Pin images.

This is what your typical Pin image structure should look like:

The general structure of a Pin graphic.

4. Design On-Brand Pins

So, this is somewhat confusing because what does an on-brand Pin look like in the first place? A pin graphic that always has the same colors and fonts as your brand colors and fonts? Sure, that’s one way to look at it.

However, this isn’t always the case, because the fonts you use on your website may work on your website, but not on Pin images. Perhaps you use a script font for your headlines and a sans-serif font such as Karla as your body font. None of those are great for use on Pinterest.

Also, what if your brand colors are dark blue and white? Imagine trying to make interesting looking Pins with those colors only.

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you have brand fonts and colors that play well on Pinterest as well. But that’s incidental. No one designs a brand with Pinterest on the mind, and neither should they.

So, what if your brand colors and fonts are not suitable for Pin images?

Essentially, “on-brand” for Pins comes down to having a consistent style that makes you distinguishable from the rest on this platform that people can, eventually, associate with you and your blog/business.

For example, my brand colors and fonts are not suitable for Pinterest. But I still have a consistent style for all of my Pin images. Take a look:

The Side Blogger Pin graphics.

Here are some tips for designing on-brand Pins:

  • Use the same fonts for you Pin images. (For example, I use the same three fonts–Aileron, Oswald and/or Illusias–on all of my Pins.)
  • Use the same or very similar layout for all Pin graphics.
  • Use the same or similar color palette for all of your Pin graphics.

Do not be afraid to test out different styles to find one that you like and that also performs well on Pinterest. You may find that your “on-brand” style will evolve over time, or change completely, and that’s OK.

5. Make Your Pins Search Engine Ready

As I have mentioned, Pinterest is essentially a visual search engine with social media like features. So, as with all search engines, you need to do some SEO specific to Pinterest for your Pins to perform well on this platform, get found by the right people, drive traffic, etc.

The Pinterest SEO strategies are beyond the scope of this blog post, so suggest you check out my post on how to drive massive traffic with Pinterest if you wish to learn more.

However, because this is so important, I want to point out a few things regarding Pin images:

  • You should always make sure that your Pins are linking to the correct content/blog post.
  • You should have rich-pin enable (the blog post I have linked above has details on this and steps for how to do it).
  • Your Pins should have a good title (not just on the Pin, but the Pin image itself should have a title that describes that the Pin is about, and the content that it is linked to. )
  • Your Pin description should clearly state, with keywords, what readers can expect from your blog post/content. Use hashtags in the descriptions to be found by more people looking for your topic.

This covers the basics of Pin design techniques.

3 Pin Designs to Get You Started on the Right Track

Now, let’s look at some Pin designs to get your ideas rolling. Feel free to start designing your Pins with any of the designs laid out below as your base, and then tweak the styles to make them your own, on-brand, Pin graphics.

Note that I’m using Canva Pro [affiliate] to demonstrate the Pin graphic designs. You do not need the pro version to use these templates, the free version will do just fine.

Canva is by and large one of my most favorite online graphic design tools. Its pre-made templates and easy drag-and-drop feature makes creating graphics super easy and FAST! That last bit is important for all of us bloggers! There’s simply not enough time in a day for all that we do…

The other thing I love about Canva Pro specifically, over the free version, is access to over 2-million premium stock images, for FREE! Premium photos automatically increase the chance of getting more repins and clicks, so signing up for Canva Pro is totally worth the investment.

Design 1: Splash the Brand Colors

Let’s say you ARE adamant about strictly using your brand colors, and let’s say that you have two primary brand colors: white and blue.

So, what can you do with these two colors that are not going to be boring and monotonous?

There’s one particular design that has gained some popularity among pinners that you can try out for your ins.

It’s a pin with a brand-colored background with a semi-sheer photograph. The transparent photo lets out the background color, and then you can place text on top of that background. Each time, all you have to do is change out the background image to add variation to your Pins.

Here are the steps:

1. Log on to your Canva account (if you do not have it yet, you can create one for free.)

2. Canva has Pinterest templates that are 735px by 1102px, roughly 2:3 aspect ratio. If you like that size, you can simple search for Pinterest Graphics in the search bar, and start designing with any of their pre-made Pin designs, or you can start with a blank canvas too. Or, you can use the custom dimensions feature to create your own size.

Use the custom dimension tool to create a Pin design. Use 800px by 1200px or 800px by 1600px, for creating Pins of 2:3 aspect ratio or 1:2 aspect ratio, respectively.

3. Click on the background of your design, and then change the color to your brand color.

4. Click on “Elements” tab from the left tabs panel, and then add a solid grid on your design.

5. Now, place your image on this grid. To make it sheer, click on the grid. You will see the transparency tool will show on the top panel of the design area. Click on the transparency tool and set the desired transparency. For the purpose of this demonstration, I have set the transparency to be 20.

6. Now you can do something really cool to make the image appear as a silhouette. All you have to do is click on the image [grid], and the options that are presented to you, click on “Adjust”. A bunch of controls will appear. Make sure to drag the “saturation” control all the way down (-100).

Now you should see an almost transparent image on top of your brand color.

7. Using the “text” tool, add your blog post title or keywords on top of your Pin image. Choose a font and text color that pops on top of this image, something with high contrast to your background. Make sure the text size is pretty big and easily readable.

8. Add your blog’s URL, and make that text size much smaller. You do not want the URL to dominate the design, you just want it there, legible enough so that if anyone wants it, they have it.

And done!

 

Canva has a similar Pin graphic template that you can use as a base:

Design 2: Use a Semi-Sheer Background On Top of an Image

Another popular Pin design involves adding a semi-sheer layer on top of an image. This design has two versions. In one, you add a semi-sheer layer over the full background image. In the other one, you have a partial semi-sheer layer.

You can achieve both of these by adding a grid on top of an image background, and then adjusting the grid size to either cover the entire background, or only cover a part of the background. Use your brand color or just solid white, or solid black as the grid color. Then, using the transparency tool, adjust the sheerness.

Add text [title] on top of this semi-transparent layer.

You can play with this design quite a bit. Instead of a partial semi-sheer background, you may have a totally opaque layer covering only part of an image background.

These are just ideas for you to play around with. The potentials are limitless. Play with them and create something unique that fits your aesthetics and needs.

 

Here’s a Canva pre-made template to help you get started.

Design 3: Use Half Image and Half Solid Background

Or two-thirds image and one-third solid background. Again, the possibilities are endless. You can use a two-part grid to achieve that, or use two single-grids to get the same effect. Or, you can use a background color, and then use a grid for the image. There are plenty of ways to get the same result, you just have to play around with Canva and see what feels natural to you.

No matter how to decide to do it, the end result will be a pin graphic that’s part image and part solid color. Use your text on the solid portion of Pin.

You can also rotate the grid layers to get interesting layouts. Watch the video below for ideas:

 

Start playing with these similar, pre-made Canva templates:

Alternately, you can head over to my blog shop and purchase Pinterest graphics templates that I have already made with Canva, for your convenience 🙂 Just open in Canva and start editing!

Tips for Text Manipulation

Another good way to make your Pins stand out is by emphasizing on certain words of your Pin title. For example, if you have a blog post with the title “15 Easy Recipes for Week Nights”, You may want to emphasize “15”, “recipes”, and “week nights”. You can do so by using any of these:

  • Use a different font for these “catch” or “key” words.
  • Use the same font as the rest, but make it bolded.
  • Use a larget font size for these words.
  • Use a different text-color for these words.
  • Use different background color for these words (you can add a small rectangular shape behind the text and give it a solid color.)

Here are some examples from my own Pin library:

Playing with text to emphasize different words.

Tips on Choosing the Right Images for Your Pin Graphics

Choosing the right images for Pin graphics can be pretty daunting. The internet and Pinterest are full of same-old stock photos that you see everyone using. And if we know anything about blogging, it’s that being different often takes you a long way.

One of the ways to be different is to NOT use the photos that everyone else is using.

The best way to do that is by using premium stock images.

Or, use your own photos. Unfortunately, not all of us have time to take our own photos, edit them to perfection and then make Pins with them. Instead, using stock photos can make life a lot simpler.

But then again, free stock photos, the ones that are good quality at least, are just a little too overused.

So, premium photos it is!

However, if you’re a beginner blogger with little to no budget, you can still use free stock photos, just make sure that you spend some time finding the ones that are not being used by every other blogger under the sky. Pexels, Pixabay, and Unsplash remain some of the best places to find free stock photos.

But, if you’re willing to spend $13 per month, I suggest signing up for Canva Pro. Canva Pro gives you access to thousands of premium stock photos for completely free! You not only get Canva premium features with Pro but also the right to use these amazing premium photos… it’s like getting best of both worlds with Canva Pro.

Some Words of Wisdom About Fonts

You want your readers to be able to read the titles on your Pin image. So, use fonts wisely. make sure they are legible. Stay away from flourished unless you are absolutely certain that it will work, and not take away from the aesthetics instead.

Some good fonts on Canva that you can use even with the free account are:

Aileron, Montserrat, Lato, Lora, Merriwether, Open Sans.

If you must use a script font, I like Playlist Script and Great Vibes.

Also note that with Canva Pro, you can install your own fonts if you want.


Well, that’s all I have for now. Were the videos helpful? How confident are you now that you’ll be able to create beautiful Pin graphics? Let me know in the comments below!

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How to design Pinterest graphics that drive traffic to your blog.

How to design Pinterest graphics with Canva that are irresistibly clickable and repinnable!

11 thoughts on “How to Design Beautiful Pinterest Graphics and Drive Blog Traffic, with Canva”

  1. It uses a drag-and-drop format and provides access to over a million photographs, graphics, and fonts. Thanks for this tutorial.

  2. I just wanted to thank you for taking time to lay out this information in this manner. I learn quicker this way. I am trying to get better at creating pins and this post helps alot!

  3. Iryna from Mindful Points

    Beautiful designs! I use Canva but lack some graphics skills, so your tips are very useful. Thanks for sharing!

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