There are lots of streamers out there. If you want to succeed, you need to find positive ways to stand out from the crowd. This includes creating a unique look for your channel and social media pages.
The problem is creating graphics can be difficult, requiring both artistic and technical skills. Even worse, most beginning streamers can’t afford to hire a professional graphic artist.
Fortunately, solutions are available. Even if you’re not very familiar with graphics, free resources exist which can help you create a professional, unique look for your channel and social media pages.
Let’s take a look at how and where you’ll want to use graphics, as well as what free tools you’ll want to become familiar with.
What Graphics Should You Create for Your Stream?
There are two categories for stream graphics:
- Graphics displayed directly on your main streaming screen
- Graphics used on your main channel page and social media pages
When you’re streaming, most of the screen real estate will be dedicated to the actual game. Then you’ll want to have a smaller window showing yourself and room.
You’ll want a few different types of graphics on your main streaming page. This is often called a “Twitch Overlap” or a “Streaming Overlap.”
First, include a logo featuring your stream name. You’ll also want to include a graphic listing the most recent donations. Other options include current song title, all-time top donations and basically any other information you want.
However, avoid cluttering the screen. You want to include enough info so a new viewer can instantly identify your stream, but don’t include much beyond that. Also, be sure all the on-screen graphics have a uniform style and color.
Extend this same design scheme to all the graphics on your social media pages, too. The idea is to create one look which is instantly recognizable for your stream. This will be the look of your streaming brand.
What Videos Do You Want for Your Stream?
You’ll need a variety of videos and sounds for your stream and to spread around on social media. Each time specific viewer actions are performed, a video/sound combo will play. At minimum, you’ll need to create short videos for the following events:
- New follower
- New subscriber
These videos will incorporate the name of the viewer as well as the amount of money they donated or the length of their subscription.
Generally, the more money you receive, the more fun, interesting and cool the video needs to be. This will encourage people to donate more money.
Every streamer will need to create a few unique emotes. These are emotes which are only available to subscribers. Different subscription levels allow access to more emotes. The longer the subscription time, the more emotes which will be available for the subscriber.
You can either create emotes yourself or hire a digital artist to make some for you. Be careful using existing designs you find online. Twitch is pretty strict about not allowing copyrighted material to be used for emotes.
Free Resources for Graphics
This site offers a large selection of free stock images and video. Categories include Graphics, Textures, Fonts and more. Makerbook.net provides access to a wide variety of other sites which offer free graphics. If you’re willing to spend some time browsing, you can find images which aren’t commonly used elsewhere.
This is another source of copyright-free images. The search functions work especially well here. Good for finding specific, obscure images.
More of a creative type? Canva is a free design tool which helps you create your own images. While Canva certainly isn’t as powerful as Photoshop, it’s also not nearly as complicated. This is a good choice if you want to make some simple images but have minimal design experience.
First, let’s talk about the name. Gimp is actually an acronym which stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It’s an image editor suitable for professional graphic designers and illustrators. While there is a bit of a learning curve, Gimp is a powerful tool for creating unique images.
Graphics can feel a little overwhelming at first. If you’re new to the world of digital art, focus on your social media platforms and your stream overlay. You don’t need any fancy designs. Just make sure your images and logos are consistent everywhere they appear.
As you become more comfortable with digital design, you can develop your emotes and add more depth to your existing designs. The tools above are simple enough for beginners but powerful enough for pros.
Graphics help establish a consistent look and style for your stream, which helps build an audience quickly.