Do you love creating visual content for your website or for your marketing campaigns?
What tools are you currently using to help you create striking visuals for your projects may I also ask?
If you answered with; “I don’t create any visual content Fabrizio”, well I think it’s high time you reassessed your strategy.
If you answered with; “I do create images and graphics for my website and marketing Fabrizio, but I outsource most of this”, well that’s a good start, but you really don’t need to outsource, really you don’t.
Because today you have access to so many awesome tools, apps, technologies that can really help you get the job done yourself.
You really don’t have to waste a ton of time waiting around for a designer to finish working on your graphics and images.
Plus, you can save a ton of money in the process, graphic designers don’t come cheap I can tell you.
As someone who provides graphic design services to clients, I’m not doing myself any favours making a statement like that I know. But seriously, why waste time and money when you can do the job yourself using a small handful of powerful tools.
Talking of tools, here are 6 of my favourite graphic design tools and apps for bloggers and content creators, some of these are free, some come at a price, but I’m sharing them with you here.
And yes, I use every single one of these tools in my business.
Let’s take a look.
Let’s start with one of the most popular online graphic design tools, Canva.
I discovered Canva a good few years ago now, but the tool has gotten so much better and more powerful over the recent years.
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 customise those templates further, add some personalizations and branding to them.
If you are feeling creative, you can access hundreds of layouts, elements, text styles, backgrounds and 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 to 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 organise your design and photos into folders and more, you can upgrade to Canva For Work.
PhotoScape (Free & Premium)
You may or may not have come across PhotoScape before. 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 features.
The app is available for both Mac OS and Windows OS.
So what is PhotoScape?
PhotoScape is a powerful image editing tool, with some great 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 colours.
- Add film effects, duotones and light leaks.
- Add frames.
- Insert elements, texts and images and more…
The Pro version of this app unlocks an absolute ton of additional editing tools and features, including stickers, additional film effects and much more.
You can download this app here for Mac, or for Windows.
Affinity Designer (Premium)
OK so now we get to one of the best investments that I’ve personally made in my business in the last few years, especially as an avid graphic content creator, designer and marketer.
Affinity Designer is a powerful premium, fully loaded professional graphic design suite for serious creative people.
However, even if you’re not a professional graphic designer, I would still recommend having this tool in your arsenal.
As for the features? Far too many for me to list here, but if I had to compare it with anything else, it would probably be with the likes of Adobe Illustrator or the SketchApp.
What I use the AD app mostly for (MacOS version), is creating custom logo designs, custom graphics and background images for website page templates, icons, wireframes, website and App UI design.
Affinity Designer was originally released for the Mac, however it is now available on Windows as well. You can learn more about Affinity Designer here.
Pablo is an online tool brought to you by Buffer, that allows 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 optimising your images for Pinterest. Likewise for Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.
You can also change templates – there’s over 600k to choose from, use filters, add texts and insert your own logo or graphics over the top.
If you’re looking for a HUGE time saving free tool, check out Pablo here. To save you even more time, there’s also a Chrome extension for this app.
With the Chrome extension enabled, if you come across a great looking image you want to use, you can simply click on the Pablo button that appears over the image to start editing it.
Stencil (Free and Premium)
So finally we get to Stencil.
Stencil is something I recently discovered so I’m still learning how to use it, but already I’m in love with this tool.
Stencil is a simple and quick-to-use image development tool for bloggers and marketers.
If you want to get MORE from your social media marketing efforts, this tool will help you develop stunning images that will help you boost social media engagement for sure.
Stencil is free if you’re only interested in creating up to a maximum of 10 images per month. You also get limited backgrounds and icons.
The premium version obviously opens up more 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.
Click here to learn more about Stencil.
Wrapping things up
So there you have it, 6 amazing graphic design tools and apps for bloggers and visual content creators for 2017.
But don’t wait until next year to start using them, go discover them now.
I’m well aware that there are many other tools out there that I’ve not mentioned here. But I like to keep things simple and use just a few myself.
These are the tools I use in my business, and I think if you’re not already using any of these in yours, you’ll find great use for them I’m sure.
Visual content is playing such a significant roll as far as online content and marketing is concerned.
People respond to visual content more than they do with text. In fact, according to this article, our brains processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text.
That’s some crazy sh*t right?Our brains processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text.Click To Tweet
In the same article, an infographic exists that states the best visual engagement content for social media is images and pictures.
Check out the graph below. It shows the most important tactics for optimising 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 these tools will help you create dazzling, eye-catching visuals faster and easier, that’s best said.
What ever you decide, I wish you the very best of luck.