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Google Forms is a fantastic way to build simple forms. But the customization and theme options leave alot to be desired.
Even if your brand shares the same purple colour as Google's default, you might want to add a custom image that makes your form a little bit less... purple, and a little bit more unique to your brand.
To help you do that, we've put together a step-by-step guide on how to add a customer header image to your Google form, and get a matching colour scheme in the process. We'll also recommend an alternative that's not such a headache.
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To add a header image to your Google Form, click the paint palette icon in the top-right corner of the Google Forms editor.
A sidebar will appear on the right side of the page. From here, you can change the theme and background colours or select Choose image to add your own form header.
Once you click through to this menu, you can choose from a library of included images, upload an image from your desktop, or import images straight from your Google Photos account.
If you're happy to settle for generic artwork and stock images, your job is done. These preset Themes are already cropped to the required 4:1 aspect ratio, so they fit snugly into your form header.
But, if you want to add your own header—a particular photo or brand logo—you'll have to crop the image to Google's recommended (see: bizarre) 4:1 aspect ratio. In doing so, you'll cut off a large portion of whatever it is you're trying to display.
In our example, we either lose the valuable context of Mario and Peach's go-karts or their faces. Even if we take the lesser of two evils and crop it so we can see their faces, it just doesn't look right.
It’s even worse if we add our company logo. The cropping wasn’t a dealbreaker for our Mario form, but when it comes to a company logo, it’s important that everything looks right. There’s just no way we could settle for Paperforn.
The recommended Google Forms header image size is 1600x400 at an aspect ratio of 4:1. This means, that for the image to display properly, the image needs to be 1600 pixels wide and 400 pixels tall.
It’s a bit of a pain to use another tool just to get the right image dimensions for a background image, but it’s relatively simple at least. You can use a free online tool like Canva or Figma to crop the image to the right size—just make a new canvas or frame 1600 (width) by 400 (height), and add your logo.
If you’re feeling fancy, you can add a background or make it transparent, but for this example, we’ll just stick with white. As you can see in the image below, with the addition of a backdrop, our logo fits perfectly into the header banner.
Usually, Google Forms will update the colour scheme based on the image you upload. It didn’t work in this instance because our image is black and white, so we were left with this unflattering theme in desperate need of some colour.
So… much… white. Luckily, you can adjust the look and feel by going back to the theme menu and adding your own theme and background colours that match your brand (or vibe) and add some much-needed visual appeal.
The final result is much better than when we started, though it’s still clearly a Google Form. The only other design tweak you can make is to change the font—and even then, you’re stuck with a meagre selection of 4 preset options.
There are two reasons people use Google Forms: (1) it’s free, and (2) it works. We get it. But some things are worth paying for. The mere thought of having to use image editing tools just to add a basic header to a form or survey is enough to give us nightmares.
What should take less than a minute—if that—somehow takes upwards of five. Multiply that by the number of forms you need across your business, and you could be wasting hours of your time. Time could be spent on more important work or watching another episode of Severance.
Google Forms’ customisation just doesn’t stand up against more serious form builders. There are three glaring disadvantages in this situation:
Any money you’re saving on a free option is being spent in time. How would you feel if your form building tool could:
Not only will you save time, you’ll save yourself the headache of trying to manipulate a free tool to look how you want it. Plus, you’ll unlock a range of features that Google Forms can’t poke a stick at. Now that’s priceless.
Thinking about making the move from Google Forms? You can easily migrate your forms over to Paperform with our Google Forms import tool.
Paperform is a digital Swiss Army Knife, that empowers small businesses to build forms, manage their business, and bring their tools together under one platform. Paperform’s designed to help you create unique solutions that are smart and beautiful.
Whether you want to add images and videos, tweak the colours, fonts, and UI, or insert visual assets straight from the app with native Unsplash, GIPHY and Creative Cloud integrations, with Paperform’s advanced design tools, the only limit is your imagination.
And even if you do have to make edits to an image, there's no need to switch tabs. We have an in-app image editor (think Canva-lite) that allows you to tweak your images, from cropping and rotating to adding filters and annotations.
At Paperform attractive design and creative freedom are built-in. That goes for header images, actual content, and even the questions themselves. But a modern form builder like Paperform offers so much more than basic customisation to your forms:
Google Forms is awesome if you need a quick way to build basic forms. But once you start trying to customise your forms and surveys, the free price tag and feature limitations quickly become a hindrance rather than a benefit.
Fortunately, Paperform is here to help you build advanced forms that look great, and that reflects your brand personality. That's just the beginning, as Paperform is a digital Swiss Army Knife for your business.
Ready to start creating? Get started with Paperform’s 14-day free trial, and leave Google Forms’ limitations behind.
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