Design Tips for Creating Stories

The first thing you want to remember is: Keep it Simple

As in many cases, with Stories less is more.

Here are several examples of Stories put together by our team. Take a look to get an idea of what you can do!

Choosing Colors

When you are creating a story try to think of the mood you would like to portray and who you are trying to impact. Once you have decided on your message it will help you define your color palette.

You can also use a photo that invokes that feeling, and consider using the colors in that photo to help define the color palette. A great example of this is the iconic “Afghan Girl” photo. As you can probably guess, an image like this would look great within a story that uses reds and greens as it’s color palette.

Here is a great tool to create color palettes that work really well together:

  • First choose your “color rule” in the upper left corner. We recommend you choose only a monochromatic or complimentary color scheme. Monochromatic will set a more calm setting, while Complimentary can give your story more “pop”.
  • Once you’ve set your color rule, grab the “handles” and move them around to find a color palette you like (the five recommended colors in the palette will be displayed in blocks just below the color wheel).
  • Once you’ve found something you like, see below each color block to find the Hex Codes, which you will copy and paste right into the Story tool in LiveStories.

Finding Photos

We recommend starting your Story with an engaging photo.

This site allows you to find creative commons images easily:

  • Select "creative commons” or “commercial", and “show originals”.
  • Scroll down to see free images, and click on one you like. Keep in mind the dimensions of our “cover”, as it is in landscape proportions, much wider than it is tall. You want to pick an image that can be cropped into those dimensions, and still look good.
  • Images may be labeled as "some rights reserved" and you want to read and follow those requirements.
  • You can add an attribution by creating a custom “simple text” section at the bottom of your story and placing all of your sources there using 8pt text, so as to not take away from the rest of the story.  

Another great site for photos is:

LiveStories also has an image library here. No attribution is needed for these images. You are completely free to use them within the LiveStories platform and in PDFs created with LiveStories.


Legacy stories use the "Open Sans" font.


Creating Banner Images & Section Headings

You’ll see that many of our example stories have colored banners and section headings to help break up the text and charts.

To create these images we like to use

Sign up and then click on “use custom dimensions”.

For your Cover banners we recommend one of three sizes:

  • Small: 1500 pixels x 300 pixels or less
  • Med: 1500 pixels x 400 pixels
  • Large: 1500 pixels x 500 pixels

For section headings we recommend 1500 pixels by a maximum of 200 pixels for legacy stories, and 1000 pixels by 150 pixels for new stories.

You should try to use the same font for each of your section headings.


  • Keep text near the center of your banner.
  • Canva has pre-made text layouts. Pick one, drag and drop, scale it. 
  • Less is more: use a maximum of two fonts in your banner image (unless predesigned by Canva)
  • When downloading your design always choose "website" for type of file to download.
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