Collages are a unique and engaging way to reminisce on experiences, create a meaningful piece for your home, or display your favorite photoshoot. However, creating a great collage is often easier said than done. Busy photos, a lack of cohesion, too many fonts… A design can go from touching to tacky quickly. So, we’ve compiled a few easy tips to create an inspiring collage without needing to be a designer extraordinaire.

Create cohesion

Ultimately, the biggest difference between a collection of photos and an artful collage is visual cohesion. While this sounds like a lofty artistic undertaking, it’s really quite simple! Choose photos with similar color schemes to create a collage with a unified feel.

In general, don’t be afraid to experiment with different filters and layouts to create the most put-together piece. Before finalizing your collage on the, look to see how cohesive your creation feels. Does it look like a couple photos, or does it feel like a true collage?

Black + white is bold

There are so many colorful moments and memories worth capturing in a collage. But for pictures with high contrast, shadows, or light areas, black and white is the way to go for a dramatic display that feels cohesive and purposeful.

Black and white also works well for collages of landscapes or other shots without people in them. A collection of poetic nature scenes or stoic cityscapes on canvas adds bold-yet-subtle attitude to your space. Edit your photos in the design studio to see if black and white is the solution to the collage essence you’re looking for.

Tell us a story

Pick photos that tell a story when combined. It could be pictures from the same experience like a family trip, wedding, or favorite vacation. Or a collage could express an emotion and make a statement — your feeling of wanderlust, love of family and friends, or the importance of your values.

Giving a collage gift should do the same thing. What do you want to express to your beloved recipient? A thank you card filled with shared memories reminds them of all the cherished times you’ve had together. When picking gifts for Mother’s and Father’s Day, a collage on a mug or travel tumbler can convey favorite family memories and reminders of those they care about as they go through their day.

Know your medium

With so many potential homes for your next collage, a one-photo-fits-all approach isn’t the key to your best possible creation. For a next-level collage, choose photos that go well with your product of choice.

For stationery and greeting cards, a collage is the perfect way to add extra personality and detail specific to your intentions. Birthday wishes, pen pal exchanges, and congratulations become that much more meaningful with a collage designed with the card in mind! If you’re all about the outdoors, a water bottle with photos from your favorite hike keeps you inspired for adventures to come. Or think about what memories you want to keep close wherever you go… and put them on a phone case!

Cut out the blank space

Ensuring there isn’t too much dead space is key to an engaging collage, especially when creating on a smaller object like a mug or phone case. There’s no need to squint! Choose photos where the subject is front and center and takes up enough of the frame.

Play it safe with text

It doesn’t take much for a collage to start feeling crowded and busy. How you incorporate text is key to ensure your collage has a clean look. The rule of thumb when adding text: there’s such a thing as too much! Keep your text limited in amount and size, and stick with a single font and color so it doesn’t distract from your images. When it comes to text, keep it simple!

With these tips, we’re sure you’ll be creating fun, engaging collages like a pro.