Design tips

Be Consistent to Establish a Powerful Brand

You can’t create a strong brand without consistency. If you check out any top brand, you’ll see that they maintain a consistent appearance in all of their content. For example, notice how Oberlo’s website, Instagram account, and YouTube channel all use our signature blue branding: Maintaining a certain “look” can help you capture people’s attention more often and build credibility. Still, this doesn’t mean you have to be super-duper polished and perfect all the time. As billionaire founder of Virgin, Richard Branson said:

  “Too many companies want their brands to reflect some idealized, perfected image of themselves. As a consequence, their brands acquire no texture, no character, and no public trust.”

Simply aim for consistency in how you present your brand. Artisan coffee brand Deathwish Coffee doesn’t have the most polished Instagram Story designs, but they do maintain their brand throughout. Check out the image below – notice the skulls, the black and red color theme, and the enthusiasm expressed with phrases like, “hell yes,” “just arrived!” and “Death Wish Coffee time!” Bottom line, consistency is key.

Use Instagram Story Design Apps

There are plenty of tools out there that make it easier to design Instagram Stories that capture attention. Here’s a quick run-down of five great Instagram Story design apps to check out:

  • Over: Overlay gorgeous graphics and text to your Instagram Story designs. (Featured in the image below)
  • Canva: Access an extensive library of pro graphics and Instagram Story layouts.
  • Adobe Spark Post: Edit your photos to perfection and add graphics in the same app.
  • StoryLuxe: Find stunning filters and templates to customize.
  • Unfold: Add a touch of style and class to your Instagram Story designs. If you want to find out more, check out our full-length guide on the best Instagram Story apps.

Use Instagram Story Design Templates

Why re-invent the wheel? Countless professional designers have already created an endless supply of eye-catching Instagram Story design templates. You can find these Instagram Story templates in most design apps. Here are some examples from Canva. These Instagram templates can help you save time while still maintaining a professional and consistent brand look. Check out how music video-hosting service Vevo uses Instagram Story layouts to present a profile on a new music artist.

Choose a Great Font

As mentioned above, consistency is vital to creating a strong brand look. As a result, it helps to choose a font that represents your brand and then stick to it. Now, this doesn’t have to be a custom font or the same font that you use on your website. For example, the watch brand Bremont uses different fonts for their website and Instagram Story designs. However, Bremont does use the typewriter font consistently in all of their Instagram Story designs – and this font fits their classy, timeless brand. Check out websites like Font Pair, Font Joy, Canva Font Combinations to find a great font for your Instagram Story designs. What’s more, if you’re into fonts, you could also use an Instagram Story design app like Font Candy on iOS or Font Style Candy on Android to get really creative with your text.

Create a Brand Color Palette

In the first section of this article, you saw how Oberlo creates a cohesive brand look by sticking to our signature blue color palette. But there’s more. Different colors elicit different emotions. As a result, they can affect the way we feel about brands, products, and services. They can even affect the decisions we make. This is why brands are very strategic when choosing a color to use in their marketing communications. In the graphic below, you can see how colors relate to emotions and how companies use this connection to strengthen their brands. Interesting, right? So, if you want to design Instagram Stories that stand out from the crowd, you need to choose a great color palette. What colors represent your brand best? In the example below, you can see how hair extension brand Luxy Hair uses pink, purple, and blue pastel colors to create a soft, feminine look. To learn more, check out our guide on color psychology.

Access Every Color

When you use the drawing or text features in the Instagram app, you can see 27 colors available at the bottom of the screen. Here’s the cool part: You’re not limited to these 27 colors. Simply hold down any one of these available colors to choose from the whole color spectrum. Plus, if you can’t get the color you want, you can always use the color picker tool in the bottom-left of the screen. Just tap it and select a color from your image.

Use Stunning Images in Your Instagram Story Designs

You don’t need to rely on graphics or roughly-shot video clips for your Instagram Story designs. Mix it up a bit and use some high-quality images. Apparel brand Herschel makes these Instagram Story designs “pop” with stunning images. Okay, but how can you use professional images in your Instagram Story designs without hiring an expensive photographer? Easy: Just use free stock photos. There are plenty of websites that provide free images for commercial use, such as Shopify Burst and Unsplash. To discover more places to source great photos, check out our guide on 10 of the best stock photography websites.

Use Backgrounds and Overlays to Highlight Specific Elements

If you want to highlight something specific, use a colorful background or an overlay. In this example from the energy drink brand Redbull, you can see solid background colors that highlight the design elements featured in the foreground. There are tons of ways to create backgrounds and overlays. If you want to design Instagram Stories without using a photo or video, open the draw tool, choose a color, and then tap and hold your thumb down until the entire screen turns that color. If you like, you could take it one step further and use the eraser to remove part of the overlay to reveal part of a photo. Be creative and use backgrounds and overlays to bring your Instagram Story designs to life.

Create Animated Elements

If you want to design Instagram Stories that are exceptionally eye-catching, try using animations and video elements. In this example from the watch company MVMT, the brand showcases its Baltic Blue watch over a video of rough seas. Okay, but what if you’re not an animation whizz and you can’t afford to hire one? Thankfully, many Instagram apps make it easy to create animated design elements, such as Over, Mojo, Adobe Spark, and Pixaloop.

Create Edgy and Artistic Graphics in Specialist Apps

When it comes to designing Instagram Stories, the sky’s the limit. Light leaks, glitter, bokeh, and glitch effects are just some of the creative options available. Try the VSCO app to apply light effects, and use A Design Ki to draw or write by hand. Also, get creative with your images using apps like Enlight Photofox and Prisma Photo Editor.