17 August 2015 | 19 Comments
If I met with you for the first time wearing either a crisp, clean, button-down dress shirt or a ketchup-stained, unwashed, torn t-shirt, would my choice of clothing impact your initial impression of me?
Most likely it would. First impressions are incredibly important. That’s why the main project image–the first thing backers see when browsing on Kickstarter or arriving at your project page–is arguably the most important image you’ll create for the campaign.
When preparing your project image, you should read this post by Tyler James at ComixTribe. It’s a fantastic article with lots of great examples, and it’s the inspiration for several of the points I’ll make below.
Here are the top 10 things you should keep in mind when designing your project image:
- The main project image should be distinctive, iconic, and attractive. Use an image that represents the thing you’re trying to create, not just a logo.
- As with all art and graphic design, hire a professional! Do not attempt to do this yourself. Your dream is worth the expense of hiring someone to make your project look as attractive to backers as possible.
- Use a high-resolution PNG image at a 4:3 aspect ratio. Kickstarter recommends an image of “at least 1024×576 pixels. It will be cropped to a 16:9 ratio.”
- Keep it clean–don’t make your project image look like a race car covered in lots of banners and badges. I recommend limiting these types of additions to shipping icons and duration. If you want to add more icons over the course of the project, remove older icons. Other options for icons are those that tell people how quickly the project funded or those that highlight the core reward price.
- Place important text off-center, as the middle will be covered up by the “play” button for the project video.
- Any text on the image should be big enough to read on the project thumbnail, not just on the project page. You can test this out when creating your project.
- You can change the project image over the course of the project (you might want to use this space for special announcements at key times), but keep the core image the same so it’s not confusing to backers.
- Backers can’t easily determine the length of the project when they arrive at a project page, but they generally tend to assume it’s a 30-day project. So if you’re running a shorter campaign, newcomers might think you’re struggling at the halfway point of the project when really it’s only been live for a day or two. Jason Glover suggested the clever idea of including “Day X of Y” (see Scythe example above) on the project image, updating it daily so there’s no confusion as to how long the project is and how much time remains.
- If it’s a tabletop game project, I recommend using an image of the box (a 3D render or a photo). As one of our ambassadors, Craig Moore, says, “Seeing a box makes it feel more like a real tabletop game.”
- Near the end of the project, add a note to the upper left of the project image that shows potential backers how much bigger and better your product is now compared to Day 1. For example:
I’d love to hear your thoughts about the project image. If you have an example of a project image that is particularly compelling to you, feel free to share a link in the comments.
Also read: Anatomy of a Great Kickstarter Project Page