As a web entrepreneur, you are often juggling many different balls at the same time. This is particularly true if you just launched your website or run a small operation. One minute you’re the head of customer support and then you are the VP of Finance just to take on the role of sales lead a second later. One aspect that sometimes gets overlooked is graphic design. One quick look at smaller eCommerce sites and you’ll notice the use of blurry logos, poorly cropped images, and inconsistent branding across social media channels. Let’s look at some free design resources. These are good resources for web design companies.
This guide will highlight 10 free resources that will help you take your graphic design to the next level.
If your logo doesn’t look professional then all of your other efforts don’t matter when it comes to branding. Whether you are just starting out or think your logo needs to be updated make sure to set aside sufficient time to come up with a professional perfect logo. If you don’t want to hire a graphic designer you can use a free tool like the GraphicSprings Logo Maker to come up with concepts quickly. To start your design simply enter your business name, and slogan, and then choose your industry. Once you select a template you like you are then taken to an editor to customize your logo before you download it.
As mentioned in the opening paragraph many web entrepreneurs settle for poor-quality images. A relevant and beautifully shot image can instantly elevate your design and convey your message much more effectively. FreePhotos offers a large database of professional images that are available for personal and commercial use. You can narrow down your search by category or tag. Once you find the right design you can download it in high-resolution format and start using it right away.
Similar to the logo and images fonts also have a huge impact on how well your design comes across. Many entrepreneurs limit themselves to just the fonts available in their word processing programs. Fontsly offers professional fonts that you can download and install on your local machine. You can search for the right font by name or browse by categories such as top fonts or by designer sets. Once you install the font locally you can then start to incorporate it across all of your brand assets.
Another pro tip is to use icons, not just for your web interface but also across brand assets like business cards, sales brochures, and presentations. Icons will allow you to draw emphasis in a visually pleasing way. FlatIcon offers access to a database of over 2 million free icons in vector format. In addition to vector files like SVG and EPS, you can also download in PNG format. You can browse icons by packs, or author, or use a search term to find the perfect design for your project.
When it comes to design color is what ties everything together. You could use the nicest images, icons, and fonts but if the color pattern is off the design won’t work. Instead of trying to match the color by eye or figuring out complementary colors with a color wheel use a free tool like ColorDesigner. You can browse beautiful color sets by selecting a core color or entering your own hex code. Once you find a color scheme you like you simply copy the color codes and start using it across all of your brand assets.
Canva is a popular graphic design solution that allows you to design anything from flyers to invitations and business cards. They offer a large database of professional templates for each category that you can easily customize with their editor. To get started simply sign up, choose your category, and then pick a template. Their editor is very intuitive and comes built-in with images, icons, and illustrations. Some of those items are marked as premium and come with a small fee but the majority are free. Once you are happy with your design you can download and start using it instantly.
The point of graphic design and branding isn’t just to create something visually appealing. It should resonate with your target audience and help you sell your product, service, or cause. Don’t settle for a plain pitch deck template that has been used a thousand times in other presentations. Spark is a presentation maker that lets you come up with beautiful slides in just a few minutes. Express is the web-based DIY design solution created by Adobe.
As a web entrepreneur, you are well aware of the importance of social media when it comes to promoting your business. With the overwhelming amount of content that is being published and promoted through these channels, it’s crucial your posts stand out. Quality design and attention-grabbing content will help you do that. Crello is a free tool that allows you to create beautiful social media posts in minutes. To get started decide whether you want to design a Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media post. Once you find a design template you like, add your content, download, and publish right away.
Video is one of the most powerful ways of sharing content. Whether you need videos for your business YouTube channel or an explainer video for your website, you need to make sure it looks professional. FlexClip is an easy video maker powered by video templates. You can edit any of their video templates by adding your branding, content, and images. When you are happy with your short-form video you’re required to sign up but from there you can export the video instantly.
Negative space is an important aspect of design. Using your negative space wisely can make or break your design, whether that’s on your website, tradeshow banner, or flyer. A common way to add some point of interest to negative space is gradient. MyColor allows you to quickly generate CSS color gradient codes. You can either browse one of their palettes for inspiration or enter a specific color if you want to match something exactly. Pro-tip, don’t overdo the use of gradient.
Whether you have a design background or not the free design resources covered above will help you be more efficient when designing for your web business. If you use those tools properly not only will you save time and money but also elevate the overall quality of your branding designs. Now that you are equipped with the right resources it’s time to take on your next design project. Good luck!