In the digital world, everything is like the old Russian song—there are 10 branded Instagram accounts for every 9 designers. The majority of which still don’t have budgets for expensive shoots, experienced designers and an unlimited Adobe package. But, in 2021, you can keep a feed cool without all this expense. All you have to do is experiment with some of the simple tools and apps available to you—all you need is a mobile phone.

Using the PicsArt photo and video editing app, you can:

– figure out how to make a great page step by step;

– collect the top visual trends;

– improve your audiences visual experience.

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Imagine: you’re running an account for the manicure salon “Nails”. Your target demographic are young people living in turbo mode, but who still manage to take care of themselves; both in the salon and at home. They love experimenting, but are guided by their inner state; today might be nude, but in a month? Cue the crazy designs. You’ve already thought of the content pillars (aka: the groups you break up your content into):

  • Sales: photos of designs, announcements, discounts;
  • Informational: posts about techniques and trends that nail artists can easily implement;
  • Entertaining: short posts of motivation, behind the scenes at the salon, funny content surrounding beauty routines.

Step 1: Check the Trends and Decide on Your Visual Style

Turning the feed into a second-rate tiktok isn’t going to cut it for the target audience of “Nails”,  so we’ll focus on static images. Things like photographs overlaid with text or graphics, or collages. There are popular techniques and styles for social posts—so there’s always one for your target audience. If you do your research you can still generate awesome content without designers. We’ve got our top five techniques below!

1. Graphic art

These are simplistic illustrations that can break up the photographic content (or act as your main aesthetic). The main thing here is to not overdo it. You can find graphic stickers in the PicsArt library. For example; just search “waves”, “fruits”, “flowers”. You can also create your own and upload them to the app.

2. Typography

Paula Sher is happy again—fonts are at the forefront! While there are many design standards for the choosing of typefaces, the important thing here is to use common sense. In a world of loud and noisy social content, focusing on typography is another way to stand out and look sleek. Take a look at Miilkiina magazine. Using PicsArt, you can put an inscription on the picture in the “Text” tab. There are already many trendy fonts there, if you want a gothic font try ‘UnifrakturCook’.

 

3. Screenshots

Notifications, messages, alarms are an easy way to display information in an informative and visual way. Minimalistic, readable and digital. In PicsArt, push notifications can be found in the sticker library for notification or reminder requests. You can put a ready-made sticker on the image or assemble it yourself from the bubbles.

4. Retro

You know what we mean; dust, interference, analogue film, muted colours, peering through unwashed glass—nostalgia has never gone out of style, especially for millennials who miss their childhood. Check out how unobtrusive the effect is on the vintage COMME une FILLE account. Filters such as PLRD can be used to achieve a retro effect using PicsArt. Masks from the DUST category are also suitable, they add cool specks of dust to the photo.

 

5. Minimalism

The timeless classic! It’s important to use this style carefully and not to lock yourself into white and beige posts until the end of time. For a minimalist approach, just keep things simple. You can put text in a sans serif font and add a simplistic sticker to any plain background in PicsArt. And remember, if you want to duplicate important information in stories, you don’t need to remember the sizes; in the “Trim” tab there are already standard post formats, stories and covers for different social networks.

 

We’ve seen enough trends now, so let’s connect them with the goals of the “Nails”.

You need:

  1. To attract the attention of the consumer. In our case we can use colour blocking, contrasting pictures and collages with digital stickers.
  2. To inform our customers. In addition to the ideal manicure, it’s important to keep your clients up to date with promotions, announcements, live broadcasts and off beat motivational posts.
  3. To create a recognisable brand. Whether it’s through a logo, contrasting colour scheme and a mix of trends. We’ve identified minimalism and digital stickers.

Step 2: Prepare the Visuals. What you need:

1. Photos of manicure designs.

It should simple for a nail salon to collect a stack of images like this. All you need is a bright lamp and a mobile phone that isn’t too old.

2. Stock photos.

You can use: Unsplash, Icons8, Pixabay or Freepik. You can find inconspicuous minimalistic pictures everywhere. For example, these act as a great base for an overlay of interesting typography.

3. The PicsArt mobile app.

There are templates for collages, stickers, fonts, as well as very convenient functionality for cropping and editing. To make a bold account, the free version is enough, but if you feel that it’s not, you can always test out the subscription and see how you like it.

Remember our content pillars? Let’s figure out how to arrange them:

 

1. Content That Sells

  • Photo’s of your nail designs—this is to show your audience the manicure they could have if they went to “Nails”.

Remember: wind down the contrast and saturation, and put the logo in the lower left corner (it doesn’t have to be the left, but it should be consistent with every picture).

    • An eye catching post—the goal is the same.

    What you can do: put together a collage. Choose a template from the #Ads selection and edit it: we substitute our photo in the window, remove unnecessary blocks and details, and drop it under the square. What’s cool about this template is the design in style of the early Internet from the 90s (windows, pixel elements), you can play on nostalgia.

      • Photo’s of new polish colours—to announce the expansion of the line.

      What you can do: take a photo on a suitable background, adjust the contrast and saturation, pop your logo in the same place.

      2. Content That Informs

      • Stock photo of a girl in neon—to inform on trending colours and styles.

      What you can do: take a stock photo and process it according to your brands style: apply a filter, adjust saturation and contrast.

      • Textured background and text—to announce a live broadcast.

      What you can do: take a stock photo of the texture you like the most right into the “Text” tab. In PicsArt, you can load your font and add an underlay. The text can be edited by colour, alignment and line length.

      • Sticker with a backing photo—to announce the discount system.

      What you can do: choose a template from the #Ads collection with glowing stickers. Change the background to your choice and move the elements. Take your time, and feel where the picture is overloaded or too empty. Drop it under the square and add a sticker with the announcement text to the centre. This would be a great time to use the ‘push notification’ template.

      3. Content That Entertains

      • Moodboard collage—the basics of a home beauty routine.

      What you can do: choose a template from the #Ads selection. We lifted the girl’s photo straight from the template, added the category name and a motivational phrase.

      • Photo of massage stones—the basics of hand skincare.

      What you can do: adjust the contrast and saturation in the photo and put it on a plain background.

      • Background push notification—to remind clients and followers that they all are unique.

      What you can do: look for an abstract background in the colours of your grid, and drop it under the square. In the editor, we are looking for the “Stickers” tab—this is a huge library of stickers on any topic.

      Step 3: Putting Together a Grid of Posts

      Now we have 9 pictures that look cool and make an awesome landing grid for those who find your page. Next, you need to think over the composition of the grid—where the pictures will be relative to each other, how they are combined in colours and whether there is any visual overload or unnecessary emptiness.

      Here are a couple of composition tips:

      1. Graphic elements in the grid are always accents. There shouldn’t be too many of them. Try not to overload the profile with unnecessary graphics.
      2. Use live photos that are consistent in tone with each other.
      3. Always apply brightness / contrast settings to make your photos look better. Don’t be afraid of filters and colour correction.
      4. PicsArt has stickers for every style. Use the blending settings (screen, multiply, etc) to achieve the desired effect. For example, you can overlay sparkles or clouds so that they look as natural as possible.

      Want to learn more about design and graphics for brands? Contact us!

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