Tis the season for gift guides! I’ve gotten a few questions lately about how I make my photo collages, so I thought the easiest thing to do would be to make a blog post about it. I do all of my collages in… PowerPoint! Haha. I’m slowly but surely learning to use Photoshop, so in the meantime, I’m sticking with PowerPoint. It’s seriously amazing all that you can do with the program that doesn’t involve creating slideshows; I used it to make movies at my previous job. I’m not a graphic designer, and I definitely don’t claim to be or claim to have gorgeous graphics. But if you’re a beginner blogger or find graphics to be something you struggle with, I think you’ll find this helpful!
Without getting into the nitty gritty of using PowerPoint, here are some helpful hints. If you have questions, need clarification or more explanation, etc., feel free to shoot me an email – contact(at)seersuckersass(dot)com!
You can change the size & orientation of slides! When I started using PowerPoint for my collages, all of them looked just like PowerPoint slides… and it was depressing. The wide rectangle just isn’t my favorite, especially when my blog is pretty narrow. Changing the size and orientation of slides is super simple – click on the design tab (or themes tab if you have a newer version), and then select “slide size.” (It’s far right under Design and far left under Themes.) From there, you can alter the orientation and size of the slide. I wish I could say I consistently use the same size, but it varies depending on how many goodies are in my collage, their orientation, etc.
For my visual learners:
You can have a photo as your background! I’ve started to do this in Photoshop because I really need practice with the program, but PowerPoint makes is so easy. Under either Design or Themes, you’ll find the “Background” tab. (Both versions have it on the far right.) Choose this, then “picture or texture fill.” From there, “insert picture from file,” which allows you to upload a photo. When using the photo as a background, I like to play with the transparency. In my mind, there’s no magic number, because it’s dependent on the picture, but I tend to keep it between 50 and 65.
For my visual learners:
Keep branding consistent! I’m aware that branding is much more than the visual aesthetic of a blog, but I think the visual aspect is a really important piece of branding. Did you know that you can upload your fonts into PowerPoint? It’s super simple! If you know the RGB for the colors used in your branding, you can totally use the exact color through PowerPoint! Also, I’ve read that using holiday themed colors in things like gift guides makes people more responsive to them, so I try to pick a shade of a holiday color that goes with my branding! (For example, I use a dark burgundy instead of a bright red for Christmas, because Christmas red clashes with my blog.) You get to the RGB Slider by choosing “more colors” under the button I’ve highlighted in the photo below.
Here’s some help on how to change the colors:
Take advantage of shapes. This is another thing I try to do in Photoshop that is super simple in PowerPoint. I know having boxes on a background is kind of a hot thing right now, as is having them in gift guides to make the title stand out. There is a handy dandy “Shapes” icon under the Insert tab. It won’t let me screenshot the drop down menu from there, but know that it’s super easy and you can fill it with whatever color you’d like and play with the transparency! Add text on top of it, and you’re good to go!
You can remove the background of photos! This is actually what inspired this post! I know how annoying it is when you find the perfect item for a collage, but it has a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad background ruining the shot. This isn’t a fancy video, but this is exactly how I remove the background on my photos. This photo was easy, but if you get a tricky one, utilize the “mark areas to keep” and “mark areas to remove” tools. It’s pretty much like a little pencil where you mark through what you want to keep or want to remove. Also, please note that for any of these tools to work, you need to click on the photo first!
(As a supplement to the video, here are the instructions of what to click – click your photo, format tab, remove background (far left), adjust the little box in your photo so that everything you want is within it’s boundaries, then use the keep/remove tools. Anything purple will not be visible!)
Here’s the video:
Save as PNG. Last but not least, save your photo as a PNG. When you upload a PNG, the file stays crisp and white. When you upload a JPEG, you often get that gray-ish tint to the background.
For my visual learners:
Hope y’all found this to be helpful! If you have any questions or ideas for future blog posts like this, reach out to me via the contact box or leave it in the comments!
Happy collage creating!
PS – If you love Gift Guides, check out this Pinterest board I made for them! I’m accepting board contributors, so let me know if you’re interested, and I’ll add ya to it!