If you came of age in the ’80s or ’90s, you probably remember making collages with magazine cutouts, glue, and some poster board. Thirty years later, you’ve grown up a lot, and so have collages.
In today’s digital world, collages are a powerful visual communications tool for marketers, an accessible art practice, and an excellent way to level-up your social posts, Facebook covers, and online ads.
The best part? You don’t need experience in graphic design or photography to make an exceptional collage. With a tool like Create, you can make a professional-looking photo collage online in no time.
To get started, consider these five essential tips to making a collage stand out.
1. Choose a Collage Aesthetic
Deciding on your aesthetic upfront will help you determine how to go about designing your collage. If you’re after a retro or nostalgic feel, for instance, you might opt for a film-strip style collage or a Polaroid-inspired collection.
Tip: One no-brainer way to create a film-strip collage is to use a collage template in Create. In the tool, click File > Create new > Templates, then type “collage” to find a layout. Just replace the images, customize to your liking, and that’s a wrap.
Or, start with a blank canvas (File > Create new > Collage), add photo frame graphics, and drop your photos into the white spaces. Drag cells to adjust their size.
Of course, there are plenty of other aesthetics to consider in this brainstorm phase (surrealist, mixed media, sliced)—and loads of inspiration to pull from Create’s templates, tutorials, images, and beyond.
As you’re deciding on your aesthetic, consider both what you like and what will resonate most on the platform you’re posting.
2. Decide on a Collage Layout: Grid vs. Scrapbook
There are two main ways to arrange your collage—as a grid or as a scrapbook. A grid layout offers a clean, organized look, while a scrapbook layout creates a more stylized, DIY feel.
Why not use a photo collage maker to guide your brilliance? Create makes designing your grid exceptionally easy. Plus, the pre-designed layouts offer design inspo to give you a place to start. Nice, eh?
As you tinker with your design, consider how much space you want to keep between your images. Do you want your gridlines to be thick or thin—or gone altogether, to create a more seamless feel?
Play around with the width of your gridlines in Create by highlighting the image, then dragging it left or right. You’ll find that sometimes space can unify, rather than distract—and vice versa.
If you go the scrapbook route, Create makes that design process super-easy, as well. Open a blank canvas, add your photos, and use the rotate buttons to turn some of your images askew. Pop in personal flourishes living in the Textures, Effects, Shapes, and Graphics tabs.
3. Optimize Effects to Unify Your Collage Images
When you make a collage with photos from different occasions, the variation in lighting or color from picture to picture can sometimes be distracting.
An easy way to unify the photos in your collage is to use the Effects tool in Create, which operates much like any filter you’ve used before (only better).
Take things a step further and adjust all three images! One black and white, one with a vignette, and one with the Sepia effect. Why not? (Of course, we’ve got loads more than just those three, but there’s nothing wrong with the classics.)
4. Include Text in Your Collage
Rather than populate every frame of your grid with an image, set one (or more) tile(s) aside for a text block. Or, simply customize your text to work on top of the image. Put text on one or both. Turn it into an ad, social post, or frame-worthy memory.
You can adjust color, size, and letter spacing, and add nuance such as a drop shadow from the Shadow & Outline button. You can also change the background color with solids, gradients, or textures (if you’re feelin’ fancy). If not for any of those, consider a background image (personal or stock) and drag to fit the cell size.
5. Incorporate Video into Your Collage
Mixing video in with static elements makes for eye-catching and informative content, and it’s a surefire way to elevate the look of your design.
Congrats! You’ve just discovered how to master creating a photo collage online. With zillions of options at your fingertips, it’s time to give it a go!
Call it collaging, digital scrapbooking, film-strip designing, or online Mod Podge, the creative world awaits! Now, go. Have fun. Document your sweetest memories and don’t forget to report back.
License this cover image via Sauleshechka.