Date: August 2016
Type: graphic design
Client: Zen Web Themes
I created a set of Photoshop templates that you can use to create graphics for your blog and social media postings.
I made a free set of Blog and Social Media Image Templates that helps you create consistent graphics across all your online properties.
There are six templates designed specifically for certain purposes. The “blog” templates are perfect for your “Featured Images” in WordPress. In many themes, it’s beneficial to create Featured Images that are the same size for every blog post. This will help your homepage and archives pages look consistent and tidy. The other templates are sized for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Each template has the same set of layers that help you create different effects. You can create many visual effects simply by turning off and on the different layers. See the examples below.
6 PNG Photoshop Templates and PNG Examples
Each file is sized for a specific purpose:
600 x 400 px
800 x 533 px
These are perfect for Featured Images in WordPress.
1024 x 512 px
1080 x 1080 px
1200 x 628 px (for most Facebook Ad sizes)
600 x 600 px (for carousel ad sizes)
Facebook is flexible and will accommodate most image sizes in regular newsfeed posts.
These are only a few examples of the images you could create. Experiment and create your own!
These instructions should help you understand how to use the files. Using the simple set of layers in different combinations, you can create many effects for your images. Experiment and see what you can come up with!
When reading these instructions, if you find that this level of Photoshop work is beyond your current skill level, I recommend watching a basic Photoshop tutorial. Try this Introduction to Layers tutorial, which should help you understand how to use these templates.
Before you start editing, choose the correct template for the image size that you want to create.
Open that .psd file in Photoshop.
Most of what you’ll do simply involves toggling the visibility of the available Photoshop layers.
This is accomplished in the Layers panel. If you don’t already have that open, go to Window > Layers to open it.
To make a layer either visible or invisible, click the eye icon to the left of that layer. The screenshot below shows where the layers typically are in Photoshop, and where to click the visibility ON or OFF.
You’ll see groups of layers and two background option layers.
The groups are:
Below those groups are the two background options:
We’ll go over each of these below.
It’s useful to set your background first so that you can use it as a base to work from. Some of the options you’ll choose later might look best with lighter backgrounds or darker backgrounds, for example.
Using the background IMAGE layer
If you want to use a background image, such as a photo, use the background IMAGE layer.
Make sure the visibility for this layer is ON. Turn OFF the visibility for the background COLOR layer.
Use whatever method you like to place an image in this layer. What I usually do is:
Using the background COLOR layer
If you want to use a solid color for your background, use the background COLOR layer.
Make sure the visibility for this layer is ON. Turn OFF the visibility for the background IMAGE layer.
First, decide whether to use the MAIN TEXT group or the MAIN TEXT inverse group.
MAIN TEXT has black text over a white background.
MAIN TEXT inverse has white text over a black background.
In this example, we’ll use the MAIN TEXT group.
Depending on your background image, it might be helpful to experiment with MAIN TEXT vs MAIN TEXT inverse, and with SOLID or TRANSPARENT text background for each. Find which combination works best for you.
First, decide whether to use the YOUR WEBSITE TEXT group or the YOUR WEBSITE TEXT inverse group.
YOUR WEBSITE TEXT has black text over a white background.
YOUR WEBSITE TEXT inverse has white text over a black background.
In this example, we’ll use the YOUR WEBSITE TEXT group.
The BACKGROUND OVERLAY OPTIONS group has four layers that you can use to create different effects over your background photo.
You can mix and match these layers to create your own effect. Simply turn ON or OFF the visibility for each layer.
This example shows both of the DIAGONAL layers visible.
You can change the colors of anything in any of the layers. All of the overlays and transparencies are standard Photoshop shapes, and there’s nothing unusual about the text that would prevent you from changing the color.
Let’s look at changing the SOLID MAIN text background color as an example.
You can follow a similar process for anything else you see in the layers.