Design Your Teasers – the first steps

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Hi lovelies,

It’s time to jump right in!

Do you have a novel ready and are you dying to share teasers?

Do you want to design your teasers?

Are you looking for ways to design teasers without spending too much money?

Then install GIMP and add-ons. Ready?

Let’s give it a try! 😛


1. What size for my teasers?

I can’t give you a size because I’m still playing around. Most of my teasers have the same size, but it all depends on what you want on your teaser and the kind of picture you’re going to use. Also, let’s not forget that where you post your teasers is important.

Most of my teasers have the same size, but it all depends on what you want on your teaser and the kind of picture you’re going to use. Also, let’s not forget that where you post your teasers is important.

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You can either design a ‘square’ teaser or a ‘rectangle’ teaser. Both shapes are interesting and can be a better fit depending on your project.

Now, I’m sure you’re wondering how you can decide on a square or rectangle shape. Well, while I don’t have the perfect answer for you, I can list a few questions you should ask yourself before you start your design. 🙂

  • Do you have all the quotes from your novel you want to use for teasers? It’s best to have all your quotes ready because I find easier to design all your teasers at once.
  • Is your cover designed? If you want your teaser to go well with your cover, it’s best to have your cover already designed. For example, when you put your title on your teaser it looks better if the title matches the way it looks on your cover.
  • Have you purchased the pictures you want to use? This is very important. One, you can’t use a picture taken from the internet. Two, you need a picture if you want to design your teaser unless it’s more of a conceptual kind of teaser.
  • Have you purchased the fonts you’re going to use? There are free fonts, but you must check before.
  • Is your quote long or short for the teaser? This will help you decide on a shape for your teaser.
  • Where are you going to post your teasers (website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…)? Square teasers usually look better on Instagram, but also Twitter.
  • Do you have an idea of what you want your teaser to look like? For this, you should play around before you settle on one look for your teaser. I find the first teaser always harder to make because I don’t know yet how I want it to look. Once you’re happy with the first teaser, the others are easier and faster to make.

As you can see, square or rectangle… it’s entirely at your discretion, but factor in the length of your quote, the picture you want on your teaser and your preference.

Now, let’s talk size. 😉

Personally, I have set two sizes for my teasers on GIMP.

  • Rectangle: 1200×630
  • Square: 1640×1640

And don’t forget that your teasers (or any other promo graphics and covers) must be 300 dpi.

2. How do I set the size for the teaser in GIMP?

Note: I consider that GIMP is already installed on your computer and that the add-ons you wanted to be implemented are there too. Check GIMP’s website for more information.

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I have the French version of GIMP, so I’m sorry if it’s harder for you to follow, but everything is the same.

This is what you see when you open GIMP. 

Now let me show you how you set the size of your canvas and the dpi.

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It opens a new window.

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And here is your canvas. 

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As you can see, now you’re all set to start designing your teaser. 😀

3. How do I get a picture on my canvas?

This is a very easy step.

First, you must have your picture saved on your computer. Then…

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‘Ouvrir en tant que calque…’ should be something like ‘Open as layer’ for you.

Then, locate your picture in the list.

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Once your picture is selected, you’ll see it appear on your canvas. Of course, it’ll be much larger than you need, so you have to change the size of your picture and decide on where you’re going to crop it.

Let me show you how I do it as I go with this example. 🙂

4. How do I crop and re-size my picture on the canvas?

Once again, it’s very easy. This is where you can take some creative liberties depending on your picture or the appearance you want to give your teaser.

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Since the picture is a lot bigger than the size of my canvas, I need to resize it and decide on where it’ll be cropped. There’s no real advice I can give you because it all depends on you and what you want.

Since I told you to import your picture as a layer, it’s much easier to re-size.

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As you can see, you have several icons on the left side of your screen. Click on the icon I’m showing you with the arrow.

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This is what appears. There’s a grid on top of your picture and a small window. Before you do anything else, click on the chain (I don’t know if it’s a chain, but let’s call if a chain 😛 ). It’ll lock the scale so your picture isn’t squished once you change the size.

From there, you can either enter the size of your picture with your keyboard in the small window or—and this is how I prefer to do it—you can use your mouse pad/trackpad by dragging the grid to reduce the overall size of your picture.

Take your time and don’t rush it. It’s very important to set things just how you want, but since this is a layer you can always come back to it later.

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Here is how mine is.

Since I’m happy with it, I’ve decided to merge my layer with the picture with the background layer. Don’t do it right away.

In my experience, when you’re starting out you tend to need time to figure out how you want to design your teaser. Layers ensure that you can always come back later and change a few things. (Would you like an article that would cover layers and how to use them?)

5. Add text

Now, we want to add text. Grab your quote and get ready! 🙂

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On the list of icons on the left, click on the ‘A’.

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You can then create a square/rectangle for your text. It’s a brand new layer and you don’t have to mind the size since you can change it by dragging the corner(s) to place it wherever you want on the canvas.

Copy/Paste your quote into the square and then highlight it before you select the font, the size of the font and color.

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Once your text is highlighted, select the font you want in the list and then the size and color. Once it’s done, you’ll find it easier to drag the text where you want it on your teaser.

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As you can see, I’ve decided on dragging my text to the left side for this teaser. I want to keep things simple.

Right now, I haven’t changed the color because I’m not sure yet of what I want. I’ll have a better idea when the title is placed on the teaser.

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When you ‘double click’ on the icon text, you have this small window on the bottom left side. It can be helpful (mostly 2. & 3. in my opinion).

For my teaser example, the text wouldn’t fit unless I played around with the spacing between lines. I often play around with the spacing between lines and letters. With some fonts, it can be helful.

  1. lets you put an indentation.

  2. lets you play with the space betwen lines. +15,0 would have increased the spacing. -15,0 decreased it.

  3. lets you play with the space between letters. Here it’s set on 0, but it works just like for the space between lines.

You will often have to play around with these as you go.

Messy LOVE example teaser for tutorial blog

Here is what I came up with for my example. It’s not perfect and it’s very simple looking, but I think that in the beginning, it’s better to do simple looking teasers and work your way to harder things.

NOTE: If you’re wondering how I came up with the strange looking effect in the title of the book, I’ll show you quickly and spend more time at a later date if you’re interested.

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On the bottom half of this screenshot, you see a list of layers. Since this teaser is pretty simple, the layers are mostly for the texts (quote and title).

See the layer that starts with ‘HOW…’ is highlighted. The opacity is set to 100, which is the max and the Mode is set to Normal. You have to understand that there are many modes in the scrolling menu. You can select a layer and change the mode. Then you can play around with the superposition of layers for your title and make a fun looking effect.

For this teaser (and the cover of the book), the title is a superposition of several layers with different modes and a drop shadow that can easily be done.

6. How can I add a Drop Shadow to a text (quote and/or title)?

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First, select the layer with the text you want to add a Drop Shadow effect to. Here, I’ve decided on one of the layers for the title.

Then, click on the icon in the list of icons on the left side of your screen.

Finally, click on the text (inside a letter). As you can see, it selects all the letters of your layer.

Now, you’re ready for that Drop Shadow.

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Note that ‘Ombre Portée’ here is ‘Drop Shadow’ for you.

Once you click on Drop Shadow it opens a new window that asks you if you want to adapt the Drop Shadow, but you don’t have to change anything if you want to try at first.

An advice: uncheck the box that asks you if you want to adapt the image to the Drop Shadow. If you keep that option and your Drop Shadow goes beyond the limits of your canvas, it’ll mess with your design.

As you can see in the list of layers, a Drop Shadow is added to a new layer. I’ve decided to add the Drop Shadow effect twice. You’ll have to test a few times and play around until you’re satisfied with your teaser.

Be. Patient. 😉


And that’s it for the first steps in Teaser Design. 🙂

As you can see, it can be pretty simple and yet look nice. Of course, it all depends on what you want and your cover’s concept.

One last advice. Avoid putting too many different fonts on your teasers for a start. At first, it can be difficult to have nice looking teasers with several fonts and colors. It can easily be aggressive for the eye and people won’t necessarily take the time to read.

I will post a little something to show you what is best to avoid in my opinion. That will go for teasers, but also covers.

I hope this little tutorial helped you and that you’re still interested in learning more about GIMP.

It can be overwhelming at first, but once you’re familiarized with GIMP you’ll find it easier to try new things. 😀

What would you like me to post next?

Do you have a question?

Talk to you soon. xoxo

New banner for 2017 SW stephanie Witter

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One thought on “Design Your Teasers – the first steps

  1. Pingback: GIMP, an overview | Stephanie Witter's Hangout

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