We as humans are highly visual creatures. It’s no mystery that when it comes to marketing materials, it’s all about images, pictures and video. But it can be tough getting great graphics cheaply. If you’re a marketing team of one or have a limited budget you can hack your way to great graphics for your company. Let’s dive in to a few tools and tips.
Straight up, it’s been a dream of mine to be a wizard with Adobe Photoshop. We can’t all churn out beautiful logos or images in minutes on Photoshop. But that’s where Canva comes in. Canva makes it crazy easy to create quick, amazing graphics in minutes.
While there’s no substitute for hiring a graphic artist, but when you’re in a pinch or working with a low-budget project…this tool gets stuff DONE. There are plenty of templates you can use from blog banners to business cards to social media posts.
Great Graphics Cheaply: Photography
Now, this is tricky. If you are routinely needing photos but can’t retain a photographer, you should invest in a proper stock photo gallery. Are there free stock photos available? Yes, however, you are going to have to spend a bit of time sorting through low-quality photos.
Flickr has been my to-go for a long while for freebies. Switch up search terms a little and spend some time sorting and you can find some GREAT photos. For example, the photo below was one of my favorite Flickr escapade finds.
Take care to check what licensing or rights the artist has and, if requested, give proper credit to them. It’s the least you can do for getting a free photo.
…Not So Free Stock Photo Options
If you’re able to invest a bit to save time to find quality photos, Shutterstock has great pricing plans for any project size and is really reasonable.
Adobe Stock is awesome and makes it easy to start editing or otherwise using photos into your projects. Adobe Stock is quite the crowd favorite these days. If you can swing it I highly recommend it. In the meantime, take advantage of their 10 free stock photos they’re handing out.
Shoot Your Own Stock
I won’t pretend to be an expert photographer, and neither should you. However, these days you can get pretty dang far using:
- Natural light, and LOTS of it.
- Keeping the photo subject simple. Use plain (preferably white) backgrounds with a single subject in focus.
- Understanding the rule of thirds.
Because every thinks they’re Ansel Adams these days (thanks, Instagram!), find a buddy who can objectively look at a photo you took and tell you if it’s crap or not. (Good advice for any piece of graphic art you’re working on really!)
Having killer graphics is a key part of creating eye-catching marketing content. While the best option is to enlist the help of experienced, professional graphic artists and photographers, with these tools you can still get some great graphics cheaply. Have a neutral, third-party look at your work before you hit publish…but you may find that you have an eye for art after all.
Need marketing advice or recommendations? Contact me, I’d be delighted to help you reach that next level in creating great marketing content.
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