So what’s a blogger to do when it comes to graphic design for articles? Do you need a full time designer at your beck and call? Do you need to bite the bullet and shell out the cash and time to invest in “big kid” design tools?
Not any longer. I’m taking you behind the scenes to show you how to make your graphics shine like a pro.
You know those times when you really want to put your website (or any website, for that matter) on an iPhone or MacBook screen but you don’t have Photoshop? You might be tempted to spend the $5 on Fivver to have someone do it for you but with PlaceIt you can do it for $0! Grab a screenshot from a URL or upload your own image and PlaceIt will build the display image of your dreams.
It’s inevitable that the time you need to know a random hex code that appears on your branding is at 2am the night before a big launch. And it’s always during that moment that you realize it’s the one color that wasn’t listed in the files your designer turned over to you months ago. When you don’t want to guess at something as important as your brand colors, head to Image Color Picker to nab those all-important hex codes. You can upload a file or choose from a URL. Stop stressing and get that design done in peace.
When Photoshop is too cost-prohibitive or even just too time-prohibitive to learn, Pixlr and Canva can hop in with most any image editing you need. In fact, if you’re looking to accomplish a certain type of editing (for example, desaturating an image), you can Google “desaturate image Photoshop” and follow those directions almost step by step in Pixlr Editor.
Canva is a great place to find icons, add headers, and save a web-ready version of your final product. It’s even stocked with standard canvas sizes you’ll use all the time (like social media graphic and Pinterest image sizes). You can use these two apps as standalone options or combine their forces for the ultimate free image creation tool.
An alternate design tool with many of the same features is PicMonkey. PicMonkey does allow you to use your own fonts with a free account and many people use it over Canva for that reason.
An alternative to making them from scratch in Canva, Piktochart is ideal for creating infographics for your blog for free. With a few clicks you’ll have a piece of engaging shareable content that’s pleasing to look at and pleasing for your blog.
Of course, we can’t mention design without a little ambience, right? Spotify offers a free account (that only plays on shuffle, FYI) and it’s chock full of great tunes to design to. In fact, I’m currently writing this and listening to a playlist called Study Vibes and it’s jammin’. You can choose from playlists with lyrics or without so you get the best environment for your own design needs.
Sometimes the fonts you have on hand just aren’t working for your image. Or maybe you’re re-designing your blog and want to find all new and fresh fonts. No matter the case, fonts are a vital part of any brand and Google Fonts provides hundreds of free, open-source fonts available to anyone. The best part about the Google Fonts site is that you can see the font in action before you waste time downloading something you ultimately won’t like.
Sure, the paid tools are powerful, but free is just as do-able with these resources at your fingertips. What are your favorite free tools for design that we didn’t mention here? Drop them in the comments below!