If you love creating visual content for your website or for your marketing campaigns, you’ll love using these graphic design tools below.
What tools are you currently using right now to create striking visuals for your online projects?
If you’re not creating any visual content for either your website or marketing, I think it’s high time you rethought your strategy.
If you are creating visual content, but let’s say, you’re outsourcing most of it, then you really don’t have to anymore.
Well, because today we have access to so many amazing productivity tools, apps, online services that can really help us get the job done ourselves.
We really don’t have to waste valuable time and money waiting around for a graphic designer to finish working on our graphics projects anymore.
I know what your’e thinking, Fabrizio, you’re not doing your graphic design services any favors here telling folks that they don’t need to hire you for their projects.
Well, I like to be honest and the fact of the matter is that graphic designers don’t come cheap.
Plus, with all the tools available today, most of the work you need for your projects you can pretty much do yourself.
Below I’ve outlined some amazing tools I recommend using to take your graphics and visual design projects to the next level, whether you’re a blogger, marketer, or content creator.
Let’s check them out.
#1. Canva (Free)
Let’s start with one of the most popular online graphic design tools out there, Canva.
I discovered Canva for myself a good few years ago now, however, over the years the tool has gotten so much better and more powerful with new features.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a single creative bone in you, with Canva, you have access to tons of ready-made templates for you to get started with.
You can even customize those templates further, add some personalizations and branding to your designs.
If you are feeling creative, you can access the hundreds of layouts, elements, text styles, backgrounds, or even upload your own content to add to your visual projects.
If you’re a blogger looking to create some custom featured post images, infographics, Canva is the perfect simple-to-use tool for doing just that.
Now although Canva is free if you want to access special features such as the ability to save your colors, logos, fonts etc. Or to organize your design and photos into folders and more, you can upgrade to Canva For Work.
#2. PhotoScape (Free & Premium)
You may or may not have come across PhotoScape before now. If you’ve never heard of it, you’re going to love it.
There’s a free version of this app and a premium version. The free version is already packed with a ton of awesome options for adding some serious flare to your graphics and images.
This app is available for both Mac OS and Windows OS.
So what is PhotoScape?
PhotoScape is a simple but powerful image editing tool, with some amazing graphic design elements and overlay features built in.
With the free version of this app you get;
- Full image editing tools, including resize, crop, miniature, bloom, HDR and Dehaze.
- Image adjustments.
- Transformations, including tiny-planet, stretch, fisheye, reflection, and perspective.
- You can also adjust colors.
- Add film effects, duotones, and light leaks.
- Add frames.
- Insert elements, texts and images and more…
The Pro version of this app unlocks additional editing tools, options, and features, including stickers, additional film effects and much more.
I have used PhotoScape since 2011.
#3. Affinity Designer (Premium)
So now we get to one of my all-time favorite graphic design tools.
Affinity Designer is a powerful, premium, fully loaded professional graphic design suite for serious creative people.
Designed for the pros, however, anyone can benefit from having this app in their design marketing toolkit.
There are too many features in AD for me to list here, however, if you’ve ever used other design applications like Adobe Illustrator or the SketchApp, then I guess you can compare Affinity Designer with those.
I use Affinity Designer on a daily basis. Here’s a list of things I loves to create using this software –
- Featured post images.
- Website logos and icons.
- eBook cover artwork.
- Social media cover artwork.
- Infographics and other visual content for marketing purposes.
#4. Pablo (Free)
Pablo is an online tool brought to you by Buffer. Using it will allow you to quickly create visually stunning custom images and graphics to share on your social media sites.
There’s a nifty image size guide depending on which social network you want to create images for.
For instance, if you’re hot on Pinterest, there’s a size guide for optimizing your images for Pinterest.
Likewise for Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.
You can also change templates – there’s over 600k to choose from. In addition you can use filters, add texts and insert your own logo or graphics over the top.
#5. Stencil (Free and Premium)
So finally we get to Stencil.
The Stencil App is something I recently discovered for myself, so I’m still learning how to use it, however, already I’m in love with this tool.
Stencil is a simple and quick-to-use image development tool for bloggers, marketers, and content creators.
If you want to get MORE from your social media marketing efforts, this tool will help you create stunning images that will help you boost social media engagement and more.
Stencil is free if you’re only interested in creating up to a maximum of 10 images per month. You also get access to limited backgrounds and icons.
The premium version, however, opens up more options, features, and resources.
- Access to 800,000 royalty-free quality photos. Pretty generous aren’t they?
- 50 beautiful templates.
- 200,000 icons and graphics.
- 30+ custom sizes to choose from.
- Chrome extension and more.
No more excuses, right?
So there you have it, 5 amazing graphic design tools and apps for all you bloggers and visual content creators to make use of in 2017 and beyond.
If you’re not already using some of these, go ahead and add one or two to your design toolkit, you won’t regret it.
I’m pleased to report that I use all of these tools myself, and I’m very happy to say that I’ll continue using them.
Take the visual content highway
Before I finish up I want to quickly talk about the importance of using visual content in your online projects.
Visual content is playing such a significant roll as far as online content and marketing are concerned.
People respond to visual content more than they do with text or even video content.
In fact, according to this article, our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text.
That’s some crazy stuff, right?Our brains processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text.Click To Tweet
In that same article, there is an infographic that says the best visual engagement content for social media is images and pictures.
Check out the graph below. It shows the most important tactics for optimizing content on social media.
As you can see the use of images and photos is right up there.
So, should you care about creating visual content for your blog or for your marketing?
Heck yes, and the tools I shared with you above will help you create dazzling, eye-catching visuals faster and easier.
Best of luck.