How to Craft Your Featured Images With Google Drawings

Are you looking for a free and easy way to craft your featured images? Have you heard of Google Drawings? If not, read on.

Google Drawings is a free online drawing software developed by Google. It allows people to collaborate and to create all kinds of drawings: flowcharts, concept maps, and other types of diagrams.

Today, I will show you how to use Google Drawings to create a common type of featured image: the flat design background with icon. This image style has two components: a fixed color background that’s overlaid with an icon. See this post’s featured image.

Let’s start with a fresh blank Google Drawing.

Create Featured Images With Google Drawings

Go to Google Drive. If you don’t have an account yet, then create one here.

Create a new Google drawing: New > More > Google Drawings

google drawings new drawing

Adjust the Drawing Size

Make sure you optimize the featured image for your WordPress theme.

The specifications are 750 x 375 pixels for my current GeneratePress theme.

Please refer to the image below for the size adjustments. From Google Drawings:

Rename your drawing. The default name is “untitled drawing”.

Next, modify the page settings:

File > Page Setup

google drawings rename page setup

In the Page setup dialog, select the drawing size. By default, it is a ratio 4:3.

From the pull-down, select Custom, then, Pixels.

Finally, set your diagram size in pixels. In this example, 750 x 375. Click OK.

google drawings page setup

Add a Background Color

Your next step is to add a background color.

As a first option, you can use Google Drawings default color palette:

Right click > Background > Select an existing palette color.

google drawings default color palette

A better option: more color choices are available from http://flatcolors.net. Clicking on the desired color rectangle will save a color code to your clipboard.

set a color from flatcolors.net in your google drawing

You will get a notification about the copied color code:

google drawings flatcolors.net color code copied in clipboard

To add a custom color from flatcolors.net:

Right click > Background > Custom > Paste Color Code

You must paste your clipboard’s color code in the color field. Color codes are prefixed with a “#” sign.

google drawings background custom color

For more guidance on how to use colors, please refer to Coschedule’s article The Ultimate Guide To Using Color Psychology In Marketing + Free Color Schemes

I like their use cases of Color -vs- Emotions

coschedule color vs emotions in google drawings

Insert an Icon

Now, insert an icon  on your background. Browse the website Creative Market or other online graphic marketplaces to find suitable icon packs that illustrate your content’s subject matter. The design style you choose should match your audience and brand.

For example, a digital marketing pack of 168 icons can be purchased for just $13 at Creative Market:​

google drawings creative market digital marketing icon pack
Source: Creative Market – 168 Flat Digital Marketing Icons

You can also use SnagIt and clip a section of your personal photos if you prefer. Make sure you don’t clip copyrighted images.

Align the icon to your like. I prefer centering the icon, without text. For instance, this post’s featured image:

How To Use Google Drive for Featured Images on Your Blog

You may want to right align the icon and write some text on the left-hand side too. Possibilities are endless.

If you are looking for free icons alternatives, I suggest two options:

  1. Google search “icons”. Make sure the icons are CC0 (Creative Commons Zero).
  2. Use Pinterest and search for “icons”. You will find tons of icon examples. Again, make sure you select the free ones.

Download Your Image

You are done with your design. It’s time to download your image on your hard drive.

File > Download as

You can choose between pdf, jpg, png, svg formats. I suggest you choose png.

Compress Your Image

Although the above process creates small sized images, you can still optimize them. Do as much as you can to improve page load time.

You can use TinyPNG, a free web based service that compresses png and jpg formats. Go to TinyPNG, upload your image, compress it and download it back to your computer.

Automated compression: use the Imagify plugin. This WordPress plugin is free and can compress your images as you upload them. This is what I use on this website and I am very impressed.

Here you go. You now have a fully optimized featured image that you can use on your blog.

Summary

Several tools can help you to create a featured image. Google Drawings is one of them. It will let you craft beautiful images for free. Its collaborative nature makes it an excellent tool for teamwork.

How do you create featured images on your site?

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