Need some basic company imagery? Want to spruce up your social media channels?
In the majority of circumstances, hiring a professional instead of doing a DIY job is always the recommended path of action.
However, there are some wow-worthy innovative programs and tools now available online that can make even the most novice graphic designer look like a Photoshop wizard.
Most of them are completely free, and all of them are worth having a play around with to see if you can save some budget on marketing and content creation.
Free, frame-worthy images
When finding images online, you must be very careful of copyright infringement. Gone are the carefree days of using any old picture you find with a search engine – it could land you in serious trouble.
One option is to pay for a stock image library, either buying credits or a regular subscription. Even better – use a site such as the wonderful unsplash.com, which has free-to-use images of beautiful quality and high resolution. Download at will.
Create text-on-image worth sharing
Both of these sites have nifty online image creation that allows you to choose from a collection of quality images and overlay text – choosing placement, font, point size, etc.
‘Pablo’ is particularly great for creating those beard-stroking inspirational quotes that you’ll see so much on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter – so a good choice if you’re trying to up your social game.
‘Canva’ lets you go further and create documents, website pages, posters, and any other design-based that you want to look slick and professional.
Make your facts and figures pop
Infographics are definitely having a moment. In case you’ve missed it, infographics are a way of presenting figures, stats or snippets of information in a way that’s fun and visually engaging – way more interesting than your classic report or spreadsheet.
Piktochart.com is a site that is ready-made for infographics. There are free templates, drag-and-drop images, automatically-generating picture graphs. It’s simple to create if you don’t have much time, but there’s also a large spectrum of possibility if you want to get creative.
Find your colour palette
Getting your brand logo nailed down is just the first hurdle. Up next is additional literature, signage, a website – and perhaps adverts, business cards and social media imagery. So how do you get it all looking right?
This site lets you upload an image – i.e. your logo – and it automatically generates a complementary colour palette. This is the kind of service you would normally pay a designer to provide you with, and means that you won’t make any regrettable, eye-sore choices that will haunt you in years to come.
Promote your website
The trouble with attempting digital design work is the snowballing cost of everything you need. You can pay for stock images, buy expensive image-editing software, and then you still need to train and learn the skills to use these tools.
Placeit.net is a very specific tool that allows you to place screenshots within stock images. It sounds simple, but it’s a much-needed solution for many small businesses who want professional looking imagery to show off their website without coughing up unnecessary amounts.
While you have to pay to download large images from this site, you can try it out and download small images of 300×400 pixels (just the right size for Facebook, for example) for free. Give it a go.