How do you feel about graphic design?
Does it make you cringe?
Do you consistently put off your “update graphics” to-do list?
Would you rather watch 24 hours of non-stop PBS streaming than tackle a new logo for your brand?
If you said “yes” to any of the above questions, it’s important to recognize that you’re not alone.
Graphic design is an essential part of business, but not all business people are graphic designers (and that’s okay!).
Good news: there are a TON of easy to use resources available for even the most non-artsy of us entrepreneurs. No more sad face – the graphic design fairy is here (in the form of super cool apps and software).
Here are six of my go-to graphic design resources that take the headache out of designing and leave my brand with swanky art:
Adobe Illustrator is the big daddy of all graphic options. It allows you to create vectors that can be used for creating a logo, business cards, website graphics, PDF pricing guides, presentation slides, infographics, and more. If you know anything about graphic design, you know “vectors” are important (don’t look fuzzy when expanded).
From drawing tools to advanced color options, custom templates, and everything in between, Adobe Illustrator has you covered. Bad news: Adobe Illustrator is not free – but they do offer a free trial option. Click to learn more about Adobe Illustrator and their pricing options.
Okay – Canva is my all time favorite graphic design resource. It’s super easy to use, plus they have so many ready made features and templates that you can create professional looking graphics in just a few seconds (amazing!). Oh – and did I mention Canva has a free option? Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better.
So if the mere thought of graphic design makes your stomach quease, or you need to roll out super eye catching social graphics in 15 seconds flat, Canva may be the right program for you! They also offer stock photos for $1 – and their offerings are built right into the platform. And did I mention the design school? Beginner friendly and lots of fun – available to all subscribing users.
Piktochart is quite similar to Canva in layout and usability. The focus here is more on infographics and charts though, so it’s a little more specific. If infographics and charts are what you need, and you can’t find a template on Canva, this might be a good resource for you.
Offering a collection of over 400 templates, Piktochart has are maps, icons, and images to incorporate with your design. There are some limitations with the free option – you can only upload up to 400mb, and unless you upgrade to the $29/month option, your design will contain the Piktochart watermark.
If you’re like me, you’re also in need of good (and did I mention FREE?) stock photos.
Pixabay has become one of my go-to resources for stock photos on the cheap. Their content is user generated, but quite professional, plus it’s totally FREE so that’s hard to beat. I typically utilize Pixabay as a “first pass” for blog images, social media pics, and other design backgrounds.
If I don’t find something suitable within their always updating collection, I might try any of the three following fellow free stock photo banks:
- Unsplash releases ten new high-resolution photos every day, and their archive is searchable.
- New Old Stock has some great vintage photos and illustrations.
- Magdeleine lets you source images by dominant color.
Tired of the same old Power Point presentation slides?
Yeah, me too – that’s why I’m totally stoked about GraphicRiver.
GraphicRiver offers thousands of professionally designed templates for Power Point and Google Slides, and while it’s not free, many of the products they sell are very reasonably priced, especially when you consider how much time it took to create them. Most of the power point templates were around $15/each, while their other offerings (everything from email marketing templates to restaurant menus were even less). If you’re just not finding what you need on other platforms, I highly recommend checking our GraphicRiver’s offerings.
A wide variety of easy to use, super professional-looking templates that will have your customers asking, “Since when did you get so artsy?”
Searching for free design courses? Look no further than CreativeLive.
CreativeLive is an online education platform that broadcasts design classes for FREE (hard to beat that deal!). They were originally known their photography classes, but they are rapidly expanding their art and design courses.
Topics include Web & UX design, Design Fundamentals, Typography & Lettering, and more, and they partner with leading industry experts to teach them – get design tips right from the pros!
So whether you’re a street savvy designer seeking to sharpen your skills, or a clueless “I-hate-art” professional tasked with your brand’s latest design project, enrolling in CreativeLive’s courses could be a great opportunity to expand your knowledge and improve your designs. Click to view their current course offerings.