Wednesday, February 28, 2018


Happy Wednesday, Everyone!

Today, I'm thrilled to introduce Sharon Clare, author and owner of Clarity Book Cover Designs. Designing attractive social media images is not my forte. In fact, I kind of stink at it. I would rather be writing. Since what Clare does is such a mystery to me, I thought I would turn my blog over to her. 
If you haven't all ready figured it out, I highly recommend Clare's services. She is offering a great discount on her cover and social media packages to my readers. 

Sharon, thank you so much for being here with us today. My blog is yours. Take it away... 

How to Use Design in Everyday Life

First, I want to thank Nancy for inviting me to her blog today to talk about design.
You don’t have to be a designer to bring good design into your life. There are simple rules you can follow to make your photos, website and things like birthday invitations look professional.
Most people have an intuitive sense for colours that look good together. There’s no right or wrong colour palette. I studied colour theory over thirty years ago and the same rules apply.

The Colour Wheel 

Studies show that a person’s attention is captured by contrasting colours, so consider using colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel such as: green/red, yellow/purple, orange/blue. These colour combinations tend to look good together.

Colours mean different things to different people, so we can’t make sweeping assumptions that cool colours like blue, green and purple with be perceived as soothing and peaceful to everyone, and warm colours like red, yellow and orange will convey energy and joy. But generally speaking, people agree there is a perceived appropriateness to colours, so perhaps think about this when choosing colours for your designs and your brand. Here’s a quick guide to consider:
  • Green represents ecology, wealth, go and is calming. 
  • Blue represents loyalty, tranquility and is soothing. 
  • Purple represents luxury, royalty, spirituality and serenity. 
  • Yellow represents warmth, happiness, light-heartedness and excitement. 
  • Orange is fun, friendly and playful. 
  • Red is attention-grabbing, stimulates appetite and evokes love, passion, drama and danger. 
  • Pink is feminine, sweet, light-hearted and evokes friendliness. 
  • Grey is sleek, modern, futuristic and calming. 
  • Black represents power, elegance, authority and sophistication.
 The Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is a guideline to help you create a harmonious and balanced design. The idea is that you should picture your image divided horizontally and vertically by 3. This gives you 4 lines, 4 intersection points and 9 boxes. To please the eye, the focus of the image should be off centre—placed in one-third of the design.
In the sunset picture below, the sun sits off to the side, not in the middle of the picture. See how the horizon falls along the lowest horizontal line. You don’t want your horizon in the middle of the picture. If your foreground is interesting, move the horizon up nearer to the top horizontal line.

In the garden picture below, see how the focal point, the Princess Parking Only sign, lines up pretty close to the vertical line. The grass fills the bottom third of the picture, with the lowest horizontal line running through the toad. 

You could also crop the grass, so that the toad sits within the bottom third of the picture.

The Gutenberg Diagram

Do you have an event, ad, web page, or book cover you need to design? You may want to consider the Gutenberg diagram to help with the layout of information. 
The concept behind this diagram is to keep with the natural flow of Western readers where the gaze sweeps from left to right, top to bottom, and the page is divided into 4 quadrants. It suggests the gaze first enters the page in the top left corner and then flows diagonally down the page. Therefore, the most important information should go in the top, left quadrant and the bottom, right quadrant where the gaze exits (quadrants 1 and 4 in the diagram below). The least important information goes in quadrant 3.  

In the social graphic below, I used both the rule of thirds and Gutenberg’s principles in the design below. The kindle is placed on 1/3 of the design. Rhapsody, the title, is placed directly on the bottom horizontal line of the grid. ‘It’s free’ is placed in the middle of the bottom middle box.
The gaze enters on the word romance and should comfortably trail diagonally down the page to the bottom right to see that the book is free and then notice the author name on the book cover.

I hope these short tips help you with your next project.
I’d love to help you with your design needs. Although my focus is authors, I’ve also designed posters, workshop materials, business cards, handouts and other non-authorly things. You can find me here:

For the next week, I’m offering a 15% discount on any book cover design or social media package to everyone reading this article on Nancy’s blog. If you’re not quite ready, just shoot me an email to secure the discount:

Thanks again, Nancy, for sharing your readership with me!
Sharon Clare

It was my pleasure, Sharon. But we can't leave without announcing you exciting book sale. Trick Me Once in on sale for a short time for only 
99 cents! 

Get your copy here:

Trick Me Once

Short blurb: 

Trapped in an Elvin world for a century, Scottish artist Aiden MacAuley is finally free and back on Earth. To prevent the destruction of his bloodline, he must get back to Scotland immediately. He can’t be distracted by the contemporary woman sent to him in a magic trick by a match-making elf, even if she does stir his lust like no woman has.before we go, I have to let everyone know that your 

That's it for today. As always, if you have any questions or comments, click on the tiny pencil below. If you have trouble leaving a message, email your comments to and I'll post them for you.

Hugs to all,
Nancy C. Weeks and Sharon Clare


  1. Excellent information, Sharon, and you present it so clearly for those of us with no design experience. Thanks for using such good examples.

    1. Hi Elizabeth! Thank you for dropping by today. Sharon does such a great job. I love the Gutenberg Diagram. I have never seen that before but it makes much sense.

    2. Thanks kindly, Elizabeth and Nancy. It's interesting how these simple principles make a difference.
      Thanks for reading!