paints colour images drawing design
Credit: By sayot on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Design is an increasingly important skill in the journalist's toolbox, with both stories and social media posts showing higher levels of engagement when there's a strong visual element.

Tweets with photos get 18 per cent more click-throughs and 150 per cent more retweets, according to the Buffer blog, while pictures can also be used to add structure and context to a story, as Tom Phillips, editorial director at BuzzFeed UK, noted at our recent news:rewired conference.

But if you haven't really thought about graphics since GCSE art class, this post on Quora has some good advice for thinking more visually in terms of stories and social sharing.

As well as resources for learning the basics of graphic design theory and user experience, some key tips include practising your new skills for half an hour every day for a month and not "jumping into Photoshop too fast".

It may be too late to make it onto Tony Hart's picture gallery, but you'll reap the benefits online.

Tipster: Adam Westbrook

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