The Complete Guide to Designing Visually Stunning Content (Even If You’re Not a Graphic Artist)

Designing visually stunning content doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming, and there are plenty of tools available to make the process easy. From the wide-ranging advice in this book, you’ll learn how to create engaging, visually striking images, video, and written content projects without any prior experience in graphic design.

For the longest time content creators have been ignored when it comes to visual design. This seemed to be the case because the majority of the time content creators don’t have the time to learn about design or hire a professional to do it for them. However, the latest trend in the content marketing industry is to hire a graphic designer because now more than ever, visual design is an integral part of content marketing.

Although the publication of the first book of this series, which focused on creating visually stunning content, was planned back in early 2017, things were not going as planned. Not only was the content work of updating the book delayed, but the introduction to the series was not as good as it should have been.. Read more about canva and let us know what you think.

Let’s face it: a picture is worth a thousand words, but what about one you created?

Priceless.  

Compelling pictures establish a connection between you and your audience and aid in the development of that bond. They promote debate and sharing.

Images, in a nutshell, convert.

According to Venngage, pictures are “extremely crucial” or “vital” to 64% of marketers’ marketing strategies.

Despite this, 40% of marketers utilize stock images in their material.

While there’s nothing wrong with using a stock picture now and then, companies that want to stand out should make an effort to produce original, eye-catching visual material.

What’s the good news? You don’t have to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a graphic designer. You can produce beautiful visual content on your own with the proper tools and expertise.

You’ll discover which tools are ideal for generating the most popular graphics (such social network cover pictures, infographics, and fashionable header images) as well as fundamental graphic design concepts to make your visual material stand out in this tutorial.

Tools for Creating and Optimizing Visual Content in Graphic Design

You understand that you must be able to produce elegant, professional-looking outcomes, but how do you go about doing so?

Fortunately, there are a plethora of tools available that provide simple visual design platforms.

The greatest thing is that no prior graphic design knowledge is required to produce beautiful, shareable pictures. You may obtain surprisingly excellent results by just dragging and dropping the components you desire.

Even after you’ve completed the project, you can optimize the final visuals to load quickly and look beautiful on any device; no designer is required!

Here are a handful of my personal favorites, along with some examples of the kinds of pictures you may make with them. 

Create Your Own Graphics Using These Tools

Graphic design does not need a visual arts degree. Infographics, blog pictures, social network postings, and more can all be easily created using drag and drop editing tools.

Canva

This is a full-featured graphic design software condensed into a simple drag-and-drop interface. It operates directly in your browser, so there’s no need to download any software or figure out a complex licensing system.

Canva graphic design program

Canva allows you to design a variety of graphics, with all of the size and proportions taken care of for you.

Everything from flyers to business cards, as well as social media pictures and infographics, may be created. Use your own pictures or search Canva’s 1 million+ stock photo collection for images that cost as low as $1 apiece.

Simply start using a template (or build your own if you’re feeling adventurous). Then, using your favorite colors, icons, images, and fonts, create your own visual masterpiece.

how to use canvaa screenshot of fonts graphic design for beginners.

Canva offers a large collection of graphical elements and shapes that can be used to create the ideal background for any picture. Simply search for, drag, and drop a picture you’ll be pleased to claim as your own.

There are a variety of pictures and styles to choose from, including social media graphics, collage-style images, and everything in between.

The greatest thing is that Canva is mostly free to use, with the exception of picture licensing costs and premium features. As a result, you are free to design as many graphics as you like. You may also join in using your Google or Facebook account, sparing you from having to remember yet another password.

PicMonkey

If Canva isn’t your thing, PicMonkey is a good alternative. It’s a similar platform, but with a little more depth. It’s a fantastic option if you want to remove backgrounds, change fonts, and even alter pictures.

picmonkey graphic design screenshot Templates for various social network pictures, photo editing, a plethora of graphic components, and a plethora of templates are among the top features. It’s a drag-and-drop picture and graphic editor that’s easy to use, much like Canva.

The basic subscription, which includes 1GB of cloud storage, video editing, hundreds of typefaces, and premium effects, templates, and touch-up tools, begins at $7.99 per month.

Graphics Optimization Tools

Slow page load speeds may cause your site to get clogged and use up your bandwidth.

Furthermore, every second that your visitors wait for your website to load is a missed conversion or sale.

why page speed matters graphic design guide

Fortunately, there are many tools available to assist you in taming big pictures without the assistance of a graphic designer. You may resize or scale them in bulk as well.

Optimizilla

Drag and drag up to 20 pictures to instantly optimize them. You may scroll through the pictures with your mouse or touch, then change the quality using the slider bar and compare the two files:

optimizilla online image compressor screenshot

Because JPG (pictures) and PNG (logos and transparent images) are both bigger file sizes, Optimizilla can operate with them both. After an hour, all of the photos you submit are immediately erased, and you may download the optimized versions individually or all at once.

Optimizilla is ideal if you just have a few pictures that need to be resized and the quality of those images aesthetically tweaked.

Image Optimizer EWWW

This WordPress plugin allows you to quickly optimize pictures. The final result displays the amount of space saved as well as the percentage decrease.

ewww image optimizer

Other popular WordPress picture plugins, such as NextGen photo gallery, are also compatible. You may either re-optimize a decreased file size picture with various parameters or restore the original if you don’t like how it appears.

The plugin combines a number of different optimization tools into a single package. Because each picture format has its own method of reducing file size without losing quality, each one has its own unique tool for compressing photos without sacrificing quality.

Unique website and graphic designs may still inspire you as a graphic designer in training. Attempting to save them straight from your browser, on the other hand, may be a download nightmare.

You end up with a lot of unnecessary scripts, material, and other files on your hard disk. What if all you needed was a snapshot of the page?

Page2Images

This site will take a snapshot of any website or convert several URLs into pictures for you.

image07

It’s ideal for archiving pictures for future reference and producing more interesting how-to material.

Page2Images also has a mobile emulator that you may use to check how your site appears on a mobile device:

graphic design for beginners page2images mobile emulator

If you’ve ever wondered how to achieve that fashionable “my site on a smartphone” look, go no further. It’s also a fast and painless method to determine whether or not your page is mobile-friendly.

If you’re looking for anything other than a computer screen or a mobile device, have a look at:

PlaceIt

Drag and drop your website to a range of smartphones, monitors, tablets, and other devices with PlaceIt. What if you don’t have a screenshot? It’s no issue. To have PlaceIt capture a picture of your site, choose an image and provide your URL.

placeit image mock up tool for graphic design newbies

Do you want to display a group of individuals using your app? Done.  

Do you want to brag about your new wristwatch app? Easy.

Placeit allows you to place your site everywhere, from billboards to bus stops.

PlaceIt also contains headshots of individuals of various ages and in a variety of settings if you require a more personal touch. You may also filter down your search by gender, region, job title, and other factors.

Tools for Data Visualization

When data is visually relevant, it has a greater effect. Your purpose and goals become relevant knowledge when people can engage with the statistics in a real, engaging manner.  

These tools make it simpler to produce visually attractive charts, tables, and visuals using data visualization.

Chartblocks

A program that allows you to build full-featured, colorful charts. Data from spreadsheets, databases, and even live feeds may be loaded, and every element can be modified.

image17

The charts were created using HTML5 and Javascript, making them mobile-friendly and allowing them to be integrated directly into third-party sites such as webpages and social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

Furthermore, the final image may be saved in a vector format, which means it can be scaled to any height or width without losing quality or resolution.

There is a free plan that allows you to generate up to 50 charts as transparent PNG files. Your charts are publicly accessible with the free plan, which includes up to 50,000 monthly views.  

Paid subscriptions provide additional monthly views and the option to hide charts. Charts are branded with the Chartblocks logo on the cheapest plan and the free plan.

Timeline

Timeline is a simple tool for creating an interactive timeline of events on almost any topic. Timeline can gather material from Twitter, Flickr, Google Maps, Wikipedia, and YouTube, Dailymotion, and Vimeo, as well as video sites like YouTube, Dailymotion, and Vimeo.

It can also extract music files from Soundcloud, allowing you to build an interactive and instructive rich media experience.

timeline graphic design tool

You’d just input the data into the pre-made template in a Google Spreadsheet, including big and small events, dates, and related media. The final project is then built for you by Timeline.

When it’s done, you’ll receive a finalized URL to embed in your website, which will display a timeline with an accompanying media slideshow in a manner similar to the example above.

Graphic Design Tools for Social Media

There’s a social media tool for that, whether you want to make amazing pictures for Instagram or intriguing social media profile photos for Facebook.  

A couple of my personal favorites are as follows:

Image Resizer for Social Media

This web-based application allows you to quickly and easily resize your current photos for usage in almost any social media environment. Pictures, including Facebook and Twitter images, may be turned into icons (even favicons).

social media image resizer tool graphic design guide

What if you need more social media-ready pictures than those available on Twitter or Facebook?

Desygner

This application aids in the creation of pictures for a number of social media platforms. You can create pictures for Snapchat, YouTube, Tumblr, and Pinterest in addition to Twitter and Facebook (both cover and profile photographs).

They provide a free plan with tens of thousands of pictures.

You’ll never run out of distinct professional designs for your social media accounts with these tools.

Of course, the next question is: where do you look for graphics?  

There are many stock picture sites online, but there are also many free (even for commercial usage) photographs and photos available for people just starting started with graphics.

Where Can You Get Images for Your Visual Content?

Finding pre-made pictures to utilize as a starting point is one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome while creating your own graphics. These sites, fortunately, make obtaining pictures and icons for your projects (even commercial ones) as simple as searching and downloading.

Flat Icon

There are over five million icons and stickers to select from in Flat Icon. These contain all of the standard computer icons (cursors, pointers, and so on), as well as icons of people, objects, animals, and other items.   

Many of the icons are free to use as long as the creator is properly credited.

The Noun Project is a group of people that are working on

An icon-illustrated collection of images representing almost any subject. Artists from all around the globe have produced tiny works of art on anything from summer camp to tattoos, and anybody may volunteer.

the noun project graphic design image finder

Just because you have all of the necessary tools doesn’t guarantee you’ll be able to produce excellent graphics (though it definitely helps!). That’s because none of them really teach you how to design.

While there is much more to learning how to create graphics from scratch than this tutorial can cover, there are a few fundamental concepts to remember.

The Elements and Principles of Graphic Design

Graphic design is based on six fundamental concepts. Whether you’re creating a logo for your website or a print brochure, same principles apply.  

These concepts are used in graphics of all sizes and types, so understanding them and how to apply them to your design can help you produce results you’ll be proud to show off.

The Line

Lines are the fundamental elements of graphic design. They divide and define boundaries. Hand-drawn lines may have a more creative, or even childish flare, while thin, straight lines give the appearance of a more business and professional style.   

Many websites now split information into big “blocked” sections, with each one divided by a line to keep the user scrolling. This not only creates visual distinction, but it also allows you to move from one idea to the next without losing your visitor in a sea of information.

The Shape

Shapes have the ability to convey message. Consider octagonal STOP signs; you don’t need to read the word STOP to understand what they mean. Alternatively, the cross sign denoting first aid indicates a location where you may get medical assistance.

Our environment, our emotions, and how we interact with the world around us are all influenced by shapes.

Sharp, angular forms are seen as more stiff and powerful, while soft sloping or curving shapes are perceived as more feminine. When thinking about your new design’s target audience, keep these things in mind.

Texture

Textures provide a broad variety of design options and are still widely used on web sites today.  

Texture conveys a lot about the page itself, even before you read a word, from natural patterns like wood and leaves to backdrop designs like paper or chalkboards.

Consider the available textures that lend themselves to that kind of design if you want to make a particular impression on your consumers.

Color

Color is one of the most essential elements of graphic design, yet it’s also one of the most neglected. It’s essential in print as well as in logo and website design.

Color and its many hues (see Values of Color below for additional information) have extremely diverse connotations for visitors from all over the globe. Colors may also convey emotions depending on the language and colloquialisms used.

Many people, for example, connect the term “becoming green” with environmental stewardship. When someone is “green” with envy, though, it may communicate jealousy.

That’s why it’s critical to balance color with other elements of your website or design so that your visitors form a good mental connection.

Even if you go to great efforts to choose the right color scheme, the shade, hue, and degree of brightness or darkness of the color may all affect how it is seen.

Color Values

The intensity of a color’s brightness or blackness is its value. Orange, for example, may be seen as a hue of warmth, friendliness, and confidence when lightened to a peach tone, but it can also be perceived as a feminine, soothing color when lightened to a peach tone.

Darkening a hue may make it seem more ominous or inaccessible. Many business websites use a “dark blue and grey” color scheme, which, although “safe,” may be off-putting to customers and make them feel that the firm is cold and uncaring.

It’s a lot to remember, but understanding how colors influence your user and how you want your design to be visually seen and understood may make a big difference in how well it connects with your target audience.

Space

The last of the graphic design concepts, although far from the least, is space. You’ve probably heard the phrase “white space,” which refers to the space on a page that is devoid of visual elements or color.

On a page, having adequate white space provides each element a sense of “breathing room.” Too much white space on a page may make it seem as though the components are floating about aimlessly with no actual cohesiveness.

You must carefully balance your use of space, as with all of the other graphic design concepts discussed here, to avoid having your graphic seem overly crowded or too empty.

How to Get Better at Graphic Design

You’ll want to venture out and attempt new things after you’ve mastered the fundamentals.

Even if your creative talent is limited to sketching a stickman (and a wobbly one at that! ), developing your graphic design abilities requires more than just being attentive and intuitive.

Examine well-known graphic designers.

Having the right tools and understanding the fundamentals of graphic design can go you a long way, but imagination is one of the most important aspects of a great design. Unlike common assumption, creativity is not innate; rather, it is taught and developed through practice.

What better approach to practice and learn than to look at other people’s work?

You may not be familiar with graphic designer Paul Rand, but you’ve almost definitely seen his work:

graphic design examples paul rand

Rand, who was mostly self-taught, gave aspiring graphic designers the advise that “you don’t have to be unique.” All you have to do now is be good.” Even if you didn’t recognize the brand’s emblem at the time, Paul was certain that you would.  

That persistence is shown in one of his most renowned business billboard designs:

graphic design image paul rand

Make a Swipe File if you don’t already have one.

Looking around is a good place to start. Look for design portfolios you enjoy on sites like Dribbble and Behance, and then follow those designers to receive notifications when they post new choices to their portfolios.

Make your own “swipe file” containing ideas, thoughts, and pictures that appeal to you. Even the most complex designs can be broken down into their basic components – forms and lines.

When you understand the design’s process, you may work on recreating it on your own.

If you like what you see, go a step further and learn about filters and layers, which are essential features of top-tier graphic design software like Photoshop and Illustrator.

Obviously, I’m not recommending that you violate another person’s copyright. Everything in this tutorial is designed to take you through the process of learning to make your own graphics if you have no prior expertise.

Don’t be scared to follow in the footsteps of people whose style you like. You’ll polish it over time and develop your own personal style.

Don’t Be Afraid to Request Recommendations

Asking for criticism on your work may be difficult, particularly when you’re just starting out.  

You’re worried. You’re not confident of yourself. Afraid of being judged.

That’s something we’ve all gone through. Don’t be hesitant to seek feedback. Instead than asking, “What are your thoughts on this?” “How can I improve this?” you may wonder.  

People will be hesitant to publicly critique your work, so asking what they think will almost always result in praise – but praise isn’t what we’re after; we’re after progress.

Some input is well-intentioned, but when included into your design, the final effect will be disastrous. That’s OK as well. You have the option of dismissing any or all comments as the designer.  

Take some time to consider criticism before rejecting it. Is there anything missing from the work? Does it effectively convey the brand and message? Is it something that people would want to post on their own social media accounts?

Remember, everyone started off as a novice. Some people are born with greater artistic or creative ability than others, but this is something that may be learned through time.

Taking the time to understand the techniques that go into excellent graphic designs can help you appreciate and respect the work even more.

Frequently Asked Questions: Visually Stunning Content

Is it possible for me to study graphic design on my own?

Yes. Even non-designers may learn the fundamentals of graphic design using a variety of tools and tutorials (including this one). You may generate aesthetically attractive material for your blog, social media platforms, and more by using a service like Canva or PicMonkey.

What is the most efficient method of learning graphic design?

Practice is the quickest method to learn graphic design. Use a template-based application like Canva or PicMonkey. Then make a swipe file with graphics you like and refer to it for ideas.

What is the most effective graphic design software for beginners?

For novices, PicMonkey and Cavna are simple to use. They include drag-and-drop capabilities as well as templates that you may modify to meet your specific requirements.

What is white space and why is it important in graphic design?

The space between design components is referred to as white space. It may be used to draw attention to key information or to make websites more user-friendly.

Conclusion on Creating Visually Stunning Content for Non-Designers

As you can see, getting started with graphic design doesn’t have to be difficult.

A fundamental understanding of how colors, lines, space, and other concepts interact on a canvas is only the start. The most in-demand graphic designers today spend years honing their talents and expanding on these fundamental ideas.

The web, on the other hand, has made it simpler than ever for the rest of us to create stunning, interactive designs that don’t need an artistic touch.

There are lots of great resources, portfolios, and graphic design ideas out there if you want to expand on what you’ve learned in this book.

Have any of these tools piqued your interest? Which of them is your personal favorite?

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You’ve created a great product or service, and if you’re a visual person, you’ve probably been tempted to try and create a beautiful visual representation of it. And while you’ve certainly seen some great marketing collateral, you’re wondering if you can create something even better.. Read more about stunning graphics pc games and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you be a graphic designer without being creative?

Yes, it is possible to be a graphic designer without being creative.

What are the 4 types of graphic designers?

There are four different types of graphic designers. They are illustrators, animators, photographers, and digital artists.

Is a graphic designer a visual artist?

A graphic designer is someone who designs graphics for a company, while a visual artist creates art.

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