Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Tip # 203:Create Eye-Catching Graphics Without Hiring A Graphic Designer

So, you’ve got a Facebook page. You may even keep pretty active at posting photos, but you don’t have a graphic designer on staff to design interesting and engaging graphics to make your social space really pop. Don’t break the piggy bank to hire a designer just yet!

There are plenty of FREE tools available that allow you to create the very images you’ve been dreaming of, and with no graphic design degree required. All you need to get started is a stock image or a photo shot from your smart phone and a little creativity. Read on for reviews of three recommended design tools and a graphic for National Lollipop Day - each graphic was created in less than five minutes.
Graphic created using Canva

#1: Canva


This free tool helps non-designers create social media graphics in minutes by adding text, filters and your own color scheme. Their library of over 100 professionally designed layouts for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and more makes it quick and easy to design elaborate graphics in just a few clicks. Upload your own photos or choose from over 1 million stock images (most only $1 each).

In addition to templates for social media graphics, Canva also has design templates for flyers, infographics, photo collages, letterheads, gift certificates, business cards and more.

#2: Adobe Spark


Graphic created using Adobe Spark
Adobe Spark is a free tool for creating beautiful graphics for social media as well as various printed materials. Like Canva, Adobe Spark Post has many professional design themes making design quick and easy, however, it also has a fun, time-saving feature which allows you to use a cursor to preview multiple pre-designed text, design and color themes all at once. Stuck on creating the perfect color scheme? Adobe Spark also offers a feature where you can browse hundreds of suggested color palettes to polish off your look.

What really stands out about Adobe Spark is the ability to animate your graphic from the iPhone or iPad app version, Adobe Spark Post, (Click here  to view a tutorial from Beth Ziesenis of YourNerdyBestFriend.com).

#3: PicMonkey


Graphic created using PicMonkey
If you like to share photos of your products and the day-to-day operations of your business, PicMonkey is a great option for you! Another free option to create attractive social media graphics, its capabilities are more focused on the photos and, currently, doesn't offer design templates. The free version equips you with basic photo editing tools and a large selection of frames, collage templates and other special effects, including fonts and overlays. Or for just $3.33/month annually, you can take advantage of some pretty impressive upgrades, like advanced photo editing tools (say goodbye to unwanted wrinkles or blemishes), over 1,000 graphics, double the effects and filters and premium fonts through PicMonkey Royale.

In summary, each of these tools will save you the cost of hiring another employee or taking up design courses yourself just to create graphics for your social media posts. Depending on your time and skill level, it is recommended that you test each one to determine which best fits your needs. You may even discover that you like to use more than one tool for different purposes. 


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