FlixbusLennart, Aug 13, 2019 : Hey everyone! Last month, I got a notification. It was from the Community app and it told me that I have been a Community member for more than 2 years. Over the course of 2 years, you come across so many things on the Forums. Within those two years, I have taken part in many contests, written a tutorial or two, read other people's contest entries for hours and hours, went through many Weekly Updates etc. Recently, I started to notice a shift in my way of consuming the content here. I started becoming a bit lazy with reading every single thread, so I reflected about what made me be interested in certain threads and why. I came to the conclusion that it was not only the title of the thread. The quality of the header image often decided whether I would show great interest or not. In a way, the header defines how you perceive a thread, whether you are excited for it. See those images on the front page. They are the only way of the threads to catch your attention. So they need to have a bang! So, here it is. A tutorial on how to create appealing header images in no time. As the header of this thread states - it's free, easy and works on every device. Got a great text, but no cool header? Your thread deserves it! For this tutorial, we will use a tool called CANVA. It's free for private use and the non-premium features are more than sufficient for our cause. CANVA works on all devices, desktops, laptops, tablets, phones. The workflow is the same all the time, so one tutorial will be enough. Access CANVA from your browser: www.canva.com CANVA for Android: Play Store CANVA for iOS: App Store QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU STARTThink about what type of post you are doing, whether you want special emotions to come with your thread. Do you want to get attention? Do you want to create a special vibe? Do you need your image to look like a piece of perfect design or is it just for fun? No matter the thread, it's always easier to have a rough understanding of how the image could look like. Had an idea? Let's start the process! OVERVIEW Pick the right image format Pick a cool image or template Add text Image and text adjustments Download To begin with your design, click on Create a design in Canva's home section. 1. FORMATGetting started with the design, you need to tell Canva how big the image should be. Canva gives you some presets for image formats, but for the sake of consistency, we will use the format that official OnePlus posts have: 1080*554px This format is guaranteed to work great for all devices. 2. BACKGROUNDAs a background, you can either use a solid colour, an image, or you can get creative yourself! Let your ideas flow, try different ways of presentation. To pick a proper background for your header, have a look at the side bar. On phones, these options are hidden behind the PLUS icon. If you want it super quick, pick a template, slam in your text, you're good to go. If you want to have it all customised, go to the "Photos" and "Text" tab and pick your own style. To add the coolest effects and elements, go to the "Elements" tab. It's your image, do what You want! In this tutorial, I will choose a simple background image + text approach. After some trying around, I chose this image and adapted it to the size of my drawing board: 3. ADD TEXTThe cool thing about headers is that text can stand out super well. If you don't use hand-made illustrations or abstract elements, text positioning and styling is key. In the end, it also comes down to the content of your text in the header. You can either follow your own style, or pick one of the beautiful presets. I went the preset route, as I'd have created something similar myself. Concerning the content and style of your text, here are some tips: Re-use the headline of your thread. This creates familiarity and consistency. A headline is also made to have a punch with it - so it will be a great catcher on a header image as well Use short text elements. Questions excluded, nobody wants to read full-length sentences on a header image. It's lame, it's not catchy, it may destroy the vibe. Reduce yourself, without leaving out any crucial (!) information. Get your hierarchies right. In my example, I asked myself some questions and found the answers: What is the point of this thread? To create a header image. What type of thread is this? How-to thread. What makes my tutorial special? It's easy, doesn't take a lot of time and is accessible from every device. Also, free. Pick the proper styling options. For text elements, you have unlimited options as to how they can look. Italic letters, bold style, super thin, serif or sans-serif, handwritten text [...] Different text styles create different vibes, they also work better or worse in certain scenarios. Pick handwriting fonts for short, dreamy-looking parts. Make keywords bold, give them a different background colour. Side comments don't need as much weight. Just experiment until everything works well together and is readable! I decided for the point of the thread to be the most important part, so it gets the biggest font size and bold text. The type of the thread (How To) is crucial to understand what awaits the readers, so it gets a spot at the top. However, it's not the main point of the thread, so it's a bit smaller. Same for the 5 minutes part. The smallest element is the FREE | EASY | ONLINE part. It doesn't have information that is 100% needed. However, those words trigger attention and make potential readers feel comfortable. So they are included, but only at the bottom and fairly small. 4. ADJUST IMAGE AND TEXTIn this step, you need to make out any issues that could be there with your design. Does it look balanced? Is the text readable? Do the elements work well together? Are the colours good to look at? Luckily, Canva helps with that. The website has a built-in photo editor. To access it, click on your background image and go to the Adjust button. From there, you can change the image to your liking. Good background images don't get in the way of text. They are there, but they are not the most important part. So they can be darker/lighter/blurry/less saturated etc. This might change with the type of thread that you are going to post. A photography thread might need a bigger emphasis on the image than the header for a tutorial like this one here. I also adjusted the text position and size. 5. EXPORT YOUR HEADER All set and done? Good! Time to download your image. To do that, head to the top right of the program and search for the download button. The download presets are just right, so the only thing that you will need to do is to download and use the image! _____________________________________ This tutorial is not paid by Canva. I am not associated with them.