Challenges and Series · Ministry · Technology in Ministry

Pablo: My Favorite Quick-Photo-Fix

Need a quick header? Or a quote on an image? Or an ad to run on social media? Look no further than Pablo.

Pablo is hosted by Buffer (we’ll talk about Buffer later in the month), and is a fantastic free photo creator that I use religiously (pub intended, as I work for a church).

Here’s the scoop on Pablo:

  • Choose your image. Search through tons of free, beautiful pictures, or upload your own! You can also reposition the image higher or lower in its frame, depending on what part of the photo is most important.
  • Choose your size. Pablo optimizes its sizes for three types of pictures:
    • Tall rectangle (best for Pinterest)
    • Square (great for quotes on social media)
    • Wide rectangle (good for headers and social media, too)
  • Choose your filter. You can have a light filter, or a heavy one; there are colorized filters, too, and the occasional blur filter if that best suits your needs.
  • Enter up to three layers of text. There are 3 sizes to your text: Header, Body, and Caption. Each of these layers of text have a variety of font options, as well as bold, italics, colored fonts, alignment, and small/medium/large sizes.

These are some fantastic features, and if you have an eye for artistic details, I’m sure you’ll be able to jump right in and play with all the options. Here are three final tips to keep in mind while creating an image:

  • Make it legible. Watch the contrasting text with a background color (or pattern!). Simpler images go well with text, because it makes it easier on the eyes. A crazy, intricate background will fight for attention against the text, and you want the text to win in every case, without a second glance.
  • Don’t mix fonts. My rule of thumb is no more than 2 fonts per digital work. It looks most professional when the fonts are streamlined. Also, make sure that the font is still legible when/if you use bolded text. When choosing a font, avoid fancy cursive (or, really, any cursive) in longer text sections, as it can be harder to read.
  • Go big!… but keep it short. Use the large font for your main theme, and then a smaller font if you want to elaborate on 1-2 details. Larger fonts are easier to read; they’ll do their job of catching attention. Avoid paragraph blocks, period: another rule of thumb is to avoid more than three lines of text. You can add more text under your picture, or later in your flyer.

Thanks for stopping by! You can check out all my Technology in Ministry posts here.


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