If you love creating beautiful visual content for your website projects or your marketing campaigns, you’ll love using these graphic design tools below.
What tools are you currently using right now to create striking visual based content for your online projects?
If you’re not creating or even using visual content for either your website or marketing, I think it’s high time you rethought your strategy. Don’t you?
If you’re actively creating visual content, but let’s say, you’re outsourcing most of it to save time, then you really don’t have to anymore.
Well, because today we are so fortunate, as marketers, to have access to so many amazing productivity tools, apps, software, online services that can really help us get the job done ourselves.
We really don’t need to waste valuable time hanging around for a graphic designer to finish working on our visual content projects anymore.
As a graphic designer that provides these services, I’m probably not doing myself any favors saying all of this.
But, I like to be honest, and graphic designers don’t come cheap these days.
Plus, with so many intuitive 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 online 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 many 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 right away.
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/design to add to your visual projects.
If you’re a blogger looking to create some custom featured post images, or infographics, for example, 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 color palettes, 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 absolutely 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 flair to your graphics and online images.
This app is available for both Mac OS and Windows OS. Great, right?
So what is PhotoScape?
PhotoScape is a simple but powerful image editing tool, with some amazing graphic design elements and overlay, effects 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 a ton more…
The Pro version of this app unlocks additional editing tools, options, and features, including stickers, additional film effects and much more.
I have been using PhotoScape since 2011 and it has easily become one of the most used graphic design tools in my toolbox.
#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 visual design marketing toolkit.
There are way too many features, options in Affinity Designer 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 the types of content I love to create using this software –
- Featured post images.
- Website logos and icons.
- eBook cover artwork.
- Social media cover artwork.
- eBook 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 striking 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 active 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)
Next, 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, this tool will help you create stunning images that will help you boost social media engagement, conversions, 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.
6. MyEcoverMaker (Premium)
MyEcoverMaker is a great online graphic design tool for creating attractive marketing materials, such as eBook cover art, 3D cover art, product over art, screen mockups and more.
There is over 100 predesigned cover artwork to choose from, a cover design for every marketing need.
Moreover, you don’t need a graphic design degree to use it. Anyone can create a great looking eBook cover art using MyEcoverMaker.
No more excuses, OK?
So there you have it, 6 amazing graphic design tools and apps to make good use of in 2018 and beyond.
If you’re not already using any of these, go ahead and add one or two to your design toolkit, you won’t regret it.
I use all of these tools myself, and I’m very happy to say that I’ll continue using them for as long as possible.
Why visual content is causing quite a storm
Before I finish up I want to quickly talk about the importance of using visual content in your online projects and marketing.
Visual content marketing (use image, graphics, videos to promote your brand, products, or services) is playing taking off like never before.
Smart businesses and entrepreneurs are pushing the boat on out on creating more engaging visual content.
People respond to visual content more than they do with text or even video content.
Images and graphics strike many chords with an individual. In fact, according to this article, our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text.
That’s some crazy stuff, right?
[clickToTweet tweet=”Our brains processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text.” quote=”Our brains processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text.”]
In that very same article, there is an infographic 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 optimizing content on social media.
As you can clearly see the use of images and photos is right up there.
So, should you care about creating more visual content for your blog or for the marketing of your brand, products, or services?
Heck yes, and the tools I shared with you above will help you make a killer start.
Of course, if you don’t have the time to start learning how to use any of these tools or any other graphic design tools, then your other option is? Yes, you’ve guessed it… Consider hiring a graphic designer.
Best of luck.