If there’s one thing we could all agree we need more of most as marketers, it would be time. More time to devote to the smaller details of campaigns that are important, more time to sift through data to find the best performing content, more time to design compelling and engaging blog posts.
Who doesn’t want more time?
Unfortunately, there will always be only 24 hours in a day and hopefully, not all those hours are being spent on your marketing campaigns. However, you can learn to maximize the time you have and save time where you can.
Here are three design tools to save you time (and money):
Canva is a simple graphic design platform, allowing you to choose from templates or create your own graphics for both web and print. You can easily choose the type of graphic you need, from Twitter post to SoundCloud banner, and Canva selects the correct dimensions.
You can then choose from their premade ‘layouts’ and customize from there. There are both free and premium layouts to choose from.
Once you choose the layout you want, you can then adjust any text, colors, pictures, etc.
You can also put your design skills to the test and create your own. Drag and drop elements such as lines, illustrations, icons, and more. You can also create easy charts and input data. Upload your own photos for a personal touch.
Add your brand logo and any brand colors to keep your images branded correctly.
Check out Canva for yourself to find more features that can save you time.
Pixlr is an online photo editing tool that is essentially a paired down version of Photoshop. The online platform is laid out similarly to the Adobe program with similar functionalities.
Getting started, you can create a new image, open one from your computer, from a URL or from your library.
The left side toolbar boasts a surprising amount of tools considering the editor is a free online platform. You can do basic functions such as cropping, resizing, and rotating, or you can dive a bit deeper into some of the more advanced offerings.
For the busy marketer who may not have the time or need to master Photoshop on their own, Pixlr does the job. You can quickly resize images, maybe remove red-eye from that team photo for your blog post on your holiday party.
Once you’ve finished editing up that image or graphic, you can save to either your computer or the Pixlr cloud in various formats such as JPEG, PNG, or BMP.
Piktochart is similar to Canva but focuses on infographics, presentations, and printables.
Once you select what format you are looking to create, you can choose from a variety of either free or paid templates. You can also start from a blank template and create your own from scratch. Like Canva, you can drag and drop various elements around, change fonts, and edit colors.
You can also add various media content such as photos, photo frames, and even video via URL.
You can insert charts by inputting data manually, or you can import your data via CSV or XLSX files, or directly from Google spreadsheets.
In the free version, you can save and download files as a PNG, but saving as a PDF requires a paid upgrade. You can save the files as one long infographic or you can download in blocks, in case you’re using the infographic for social graphics as well. You can also generate a share link to show your creations with team members easily before you finalize the content.
Bonus content: free resources to aid in your graphics
Free stock photo sites
We all know that finding images to use in graphics or on social media can sometimes be a scramble at the last minute, and you don’t always have the budget to pay for photos. Luckily, the internet has your back.
There are a few handfuls of great sites with free stock photos like Unsplash, Pexels, and Burst (by Shopify). All three of these sites specifically have free high-resolution photos that can be used for commercial purposes. Unsplash licenses photos under its own Unsplash license, while Pexels and Burst are licensed under Creative Commons Zero (CC0).
Unsplash will be the example here, but the premise is the same with most of these sites. You can search for photos using keywords, and you’ll see current trending searches below the search bar.
You can search through featured and curated collections based upon tags, to easily find groups of photos that fit a general theme.
Once you find a photo you like, you can hover over the small image and click the down arrow in the right corner to download or click the image to enlarge it before you download. Crediting the photographer isn’t required, but once you download a photo Unsplash has a popup window to easily copy a credit with another option of embed a credit badge if you’d like.
Noun project is a great resource for finding free icons to use in your graphics. You can search for whatever type of icon you may need, such as a light bulb icon, and you will find various options.
Once you choose an icon, you can download as either a PNG or SVG file. Noun Project will ask you which license you would like, either creative commons or royalty free.
If you choose creative commons, a badge will be displayed with the downloaded icon with the correct credit. The royalty free license has two options, either paying per icon (approximately $1.99) or by upgrading to NounPro for $9.99 a month or $39.99 a year for unlimited royalty-free downloads.
Font pairing help
Ever struggled to pair fonts with a social media graphic? Font Joy is here to help. Font Joy uses deep learning to select font pairings that will work well together. You can generate random combinations, or you can lock one font if you have a font you want and Font Joy will generate fonts that fit well with it.
Time is limited, so utilizing tools such as these can help save you some valuable time. Hopefully, with the help of these tools and free resources, you can free up some time to focus on more important things. Do you use any of these tools? Did your favorite not make the list? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Thanks for reading.
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Kylee Schmuck – Digital Marketing Specialist at Delightful