Visuals rule the marketing world. Just take a look at these statistics:
Researchers have found that 65 percent of the population is made up of visual learners
Stanford University research shows that 46.1 percent of those studied say a website's design is the top criteria for deciding if a company is credible or not
According to Hubspot, 65 percent of people prefer receiving emails that are mostly made up of images. Only 35 percent like text-heavy emails
Consumers love images and a hot design. But graphic design programs can be complicated for the non-creative. Luckily, there are affordable and easy-to-use third party tools for business owners and marketing professionals:
Canva (Free and Premium)
This platform makes graphic design insanely easy. Like drag-and-drop-your-design-into-place easy. And instead of spitting out graphics that look basic and lame, this tool simplifies without sacrificing quality. Users are offered a library of layouts, shapes, backgrounds, fonts and royalty-free photos to create any piece of content you can think of: infographics, presentations, social media assets, blog graphics, business cards and invitations.
The platform is free to use and is found online. You can, however, choose to purchase “premium” images for $1/piece. Also contains a built-in photo editor and a collaborative functionality.
(Source: Sprout Social)
PicMonkey (Price: Free, Premium $33/year)
PicMonkey is primarily a photo editor, but this free online platform can also be used to design branded graphics. The tool features a treasure trove of icons, fonts, shapes, graphics and templates to create awesome pieces of visual content. Keep in mind that PicMonkey is really great for the novice-to-semi pro photo editor, but Photoshop might be a better route (for photo editing) if you require super advanced functionalities.
Also, both Canva and PicMonkey offer extensive and instructional tutorials for those who want to learn more about the basics of design.
Picking the right logo for your new business requires deliberation and a fantastic design. That’s why over 1,398,003 entrepreneurs chose to use LogoGarden to design their new startup’s symbol. This free logo creator tool walks you through the entire process: from choosing the industry you’re in, to picking the right symbol for your company, to finally identifying the right color pallet. Then when you’re done, you can use LogoGarden to build a matching website and business cards.
Logotype Maker (Free and Premium)
This is another online logo creation tool that allows you to enter the name of your business and out spits a number of logos with various fonts, colors, and symbols. It’s ideal for startups and small businesses, and it lets you edit as you please. I’d suggest paying the extra fee to access customizable logos, so you can go beyond the standard ClipArt look.
(Source: Logotype Maker)
Piktochart (Free & Paid Packages)
Infographics are still widely effective. According to Market Domination Media, an infographic is 30x more likely to be read than a text-heavy article. Additionally, publishers that feature infographics grow traffic 12% faster than those who don’t utilize them. So if you’re new to the infographic game, check out Piktochart. It’s a simple online tool that helps content marketers design snazzy looking infographics in 10 minutes or less.
The site offers over 400 templates, icons and graphics, but you can also choose to upload your own images. The standard account is absolutely free, but for $29/month you can upgrade to the Pro Account, which has extra infographic templates, enhanced privacy controls, and better resolutions for when using graphics offline.
Related Article: Online Marketing Basics for Start-Ups
Feel like experimenting with your brand’s font? Have a look through Typekit’s library and you’ll be immediately inspired. They offer a monthly subscription service at various prices depending on your needs. Typekit compiles thousands of fonts from various partners into one library that’s quick to browse.
When using a Typekit font, you can easily sync with your website or any applications without the worry of licenses or fees, other than what you pay each month in subscription fees. If you want access to the entire Typekit library, you can upgrade your free account to the Portfolio Custom-tailored enterprise plans that are also available.
VectorFinder allows you to find stock images from various websites in one location. Simply type in the image you want to find, and voila! It’s also free to search.
Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud (49.99/mo per user for businesses OR $29.99/mo for individuals)
Adobe’s Creative Cloud is designed for creative professionals working for small to medium-sized businesses. Price of plans vary by user and number of apps needed, but the all-encompassing plan gives you access to the entire suit of apps including: Photoshop, LightRoom, InDesign, Illustrator, Muse, Edge Animate, and more. With Adobe, there’s practically no limit to what you can create.