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TopVA Tips: 5 Design Principles to Enhance Your Social Posts

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, in the social media world, nothing can be more accurate.

The right graphic isn’t only vital to convey your brand’s message—it is a gateway to increase your leads, drive conversions, and deliver a heck of a brand experience. Let’s not forget: it is the hook for you to materialize all these.

In short, great visual content is a MUST if you want to bring more EYE$ to your business.

At TopVA, we rely on 5 simple design principles to help us create compelling social media posts for our clients. We’re excited to share them with you in this blog post, so we’ll go right ahead and dive in!

#1 Use Colors Strategically

Color is one of the essential elements of any social media design. It sets the tone, creates an atmosphere, and tells the story. Therefore, choosing a suitable color scheme to spark your desired reaction from your audience is crucial.

According to color psychology, here is how different colors affect our brain and how they’re often used in storytelling and marketing:

Red = Energy and urgency

Orange = Excitement

Yellow = Optimistic and youthful

Green = Wealth and relaxation

Blue = Trust and security

Pink = Romantic and feminine

Black = Powerful and sleek

Purple = Soothing and calm

You can use this as a guide to help you build your visuals, which speak to your brand personality and content objective. Remember to align your choices with your brand’s palette and stick to two to four colors per post, max!

#2 Typography = Readability

Keep readability in mind when selecting a font or fonts in your design. You can have an excellent concept for a static ad or video reel, but it can fall short if your audience finds your font too small or hard to read. Legibility is non-negotiable.

Traditionally, serif fonts are best for print and sans-serif for the web. But some images call for more stylistic typography, such as cursive/script. In any case, you can apply these pro-tips to strike a balance between readability and style:

  • Only use a maximum of three typefaces per design.

  • Use font sizing that fits well within the platform you are publishing to.

  • Kerning is key. Use it accordingly!

You can visit the same link above ↗ for Adobe Studios’ ultimate guide to all the basic typography terminologies you need to know!

#3 Add Contrast

One of the secrets to thumb-stopping visuals lies in its effective use of contrast.

Contrast is the pairing of elements opposite, making one “pop” more than the other. It’s an effective way to land emphasis and make the overall design eye-catching, engaging, and unique.

Below are 3 ways to add contrast to an image without under or overdoing it

  • Add Contrast with Colors. Play light colors off of dark colors, or vice versa. You can check the color wheel to see which two contrasting colors complement each other.

  • Add Contrast with Shapes. Experiment pairing symmetrical with asymmetrical shapes.

  • Add Contrast with Sizes. Make certain aspects of the design bigger or smaller than others. You can add more weight (like bolding a word) to elements. As mentioned, this helps emphasize the focal point of your design and message, so use it wisely.

#4 Repetition Makes You Memorable

No, we don’t mean repeating the same image repeatedly.

Repetition in design and marketing means adhering to the same brand elements across all assets. It’s what marketers often refer to as “consistent branding.”

To apply this principle, always try to be consistent with your fonts, colors, and logos. Work with a branding expert like TopVA to help you build a brand style guide where you can set specific guidelines for perpetuating brand identity.

Over time, repetition of these three elements in your social media posts will help build an instantly recognizable and memorable brand.

#5 Optimize Accordingly

“Optimizing” may be one of the newer design principles (born out of the rise of digital and social media), but it’s just as important as the others nonetheless. It means delivering the 1) best quality images in the right dimension while 2) keeping the smallest image size. To accomplish both, follow the dimension guidelines per platform you are in.

Here’s a quick rundown of all the social media image sizes to account for on different platforms:


  • Profile Photo: 180 x 180

  • Cover Photo: 820 x 312

  • Shared Image: 1200 x 630

  • Shared Link: 1200 x 628

  • Event Image: 1920 x 1005

  • Facebook Stories: 1080 x 1920


  • Profile Picture: 110 x 110

  • Photo Thumbnails 161 x 161

  • Photo Size: 1080 x 1080 (square) and 1080 x 1250 (portrait)

  • Instagram Stories: 1080 x 1920

  • Instagram Reels: 1080 x 1920


  • Profile Picture: 200 x 200

  • TikTok Videos: 1080 x 1920


  • Personal Profile Image: 300 x 300

  • Personal Background Image: 1584 x 396

  • Company Logo Image: 300 x 300

  • Company Main Image: 1128 x 191

  • Shared Link: 1200 x 627

  • Shared Image: 1200 x 627

  • Life Tab: Main Image: 1128 x 376

  • Life Tab: Main Posts: 900 x 600

*Bonus Tip: Social media platforms are ever-evolving, so these image dimensions might be subject to change. Always keep your eyes peeled for the latest updates!

A golden rule of social media marketing is to cover all relevant bases. Optimizing your designs takes this to the next level by ensuring you deliver the best visual experience for your audience, no matter what platform they meet you in.

Over to You!

Whether you are a new designer, a content creator, or a business owner overlooking all your brand’s creative outputs, following these 5 fundamental design principles will help you create the best social media posts you possibly can. And if you need a hand, TopVA is at your service!

Get in touch with us for professional graphic design, copywriting, and marketing services to take your social media game to the next level!

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