Paying a graphic designer every single time you need some graphic for your business can really rack up those bills, especially in the era of online marketing, where you need graphics almost daily for your social media and blog content.
Luckily, there are now multiple tools that allow you to create these graphics yourself. Not only are they super easy to use, many of them come with templates, free images and quick fix settings that allow you to churn out great graphics in minutes.
I can’t sing Canva’s praises enough – it is the best design tool for non-designers barnone. Whether you want to add some flair to your business documents, create blog images, design stuff for social media or even create printed material like flyers and business cards, you can do it with Canva.
The best part is – it comes with templates, and with a paid account (US$12.95 per month), you can input your brand colours automatically, so Canva will literally do majority of the work for you. All you have to do is change the text and add a few tweak, then voíla!
Another great design tool worth checking out is PicMonkey. PicMonkey has a lot of functions, but where it really shines is it’s photo editing and face/body touch up features. If you want epic filters and some airbrushing for your photos, this is the place to go.
I highly recommend PicMonkey if you take a lot of photos of people for your business, or you need to do a lot of image editing, otherwise you might not want to pay for it. You can get a 7-day free trial of PicMonkey to test it out, after which plans start at $7.99 per month, billed monthly.
So you checked out the templates on Canva and PicMonkey and they aren’t quite what you had in mind, but you don’t have time to make them from scratch either. No problem there, just buy one on Creative Market.
Creative Market is as simple as the name itself. It’s a place to buy (and sell) creative designs of all sorts – fonts, website themes, social media templates, etc. – and it’s great for folks at every level of the design and budget spectrum. They even have designs made specifically for Canva, so you’ll never have to worry about figuring out how to use an EPS file ever again.
PS. They give you 6 new items every week for free, so be sure to sign up for account, even if you’re not ready to buy anything just yet.
Gone are the days of paying loads of money for boring stock photos on white people sitting at a desk with fake happy expressions on their faces. Thanks to the multitude of free stock photo sites like Pexels, Unsplash and others, you can get as many free photos as you need to make your work look stunning. Here’s a list of 21 free stock photo sites you can scour through when creating your perfect designs.
Notice in the image above how the colours of the text are taken directly from the image of the brownie? When using images in your designs, you have to make sure the colours you choose for other elements, such as overlays and text, are just right, so they blend well with your image.
Eye Dropper is a free Google Chrome extension that allows you to select any colour from any webpage, get the hexadecimal code, which you can plug into almost any graphic design tool to choose a specific colour.
From time to time, you’ll need to remove the background from an image to place it seamlessly into another design. Thanks to Clipping Magic, that’s no longer the enormous hurdle it used to be for those without Photoshop skills.
As the screenshot above shows, just upload your image, highlight the areas you want to keep, and those you want to remove and Clipping Magic does the rest. You can tweak until you get it just right, then download your new transparent background PNG file.
You can edit as many images as you’d like for free, but you’ll have to buy credits to download them. Credit packages start at $3.99 for 15 credits, and one credit gets you one download.
Huh? Is that a typo? Nope. When I started making designs for my own blog and for my clients, I didn’t know about many of the tools and design techniques that I use today, so I Googled everything! Anytime you’re stuck trying to come up with inspiration or find a solution to a design problem, just Google it. I promise you, someone somewhere had this exact problem before you and they wrote about it so you could solve it too, for free.
Hiring a Designer vs. Doing It Yourself
It takes a lot of time, effort and knowledge to create quality designs. If you don’t have these things, or if you need something top-notch that you aren’t able to create well, hire a great graphic designer to do it for you.
But for your everyday graphics that don’t need as much effort, these tools on this list will have you swearing you went to school for this shxt.