If you’re about to set-up your own business or you work for a small or medium sized enterprise with limited graphic design resources there are some amazing online graphic design tools and services at your disposal. Here are three of my favourites:
99designs is a company that started out in San Francisco and now has offices in Melbourne, Berlin, Paris, London and Rio de Janeiro. Whatever your design need is they can help you. Their design services include: corporate identity creation, logo designs, stationery design, web and app design. They can also design brochures, emails, infographics, clothing and merchandise, packaging and much more.
Here’s how it works:
- Build a design brief.
- Choose your budget level: how much do you want to spend on your particular project? For example, a logo design starts from $299. With that budget you will get approximately 30 designers pitching designs. The more you spend, the greater the amount of designers you will have access to and you will get more premium designs.
- Launch your contest. 99designers have over 1.1 million designers so chances are you will get a good selection of designers working on your project.
- Designers will submit designs to your contest.
- Give feedback. You have the ability to tweak and fine-tune as necessary.
- Shortlist finalists and pick a winner. You can even send a poll to your friends, colleagues, or key decision makers to help them with your decision.
Canva makes graphic design amazingly simple for everyone. The online graphic design tool was launched in 2013 and continues to provide a great platform to marketers, bloggers and small business owners. It’s free and easy to use.
You can create everything from social media posts to brochures, eBooks, invitations, presentations, menus, business cards and much more. For a small fee each month you can also upgrade to “Canva for Work” which enables you to load your brand’s colour palette, fonts and logos. If you have multiple team members responsible for design this is a great way to make sure you have consistency in your marketing communications. Canva gives you access to millions of images and hundreds of fonts which makes designing very easy.
If you have a brand presence on different types of social media they also have an amazing “magic resize” tool so that you can create one post and then have it re-sized to suit on different social media sites. This is a great time-saver!
3. Creative Market
Creative Market is an online site where you can buy digital products to use in your personal or commercial projects. They sell products including fonts, icons, clipart, photos, templates (for brochures, business cards, resumés and more), product mock-ups, patterns and much more.
These products are created and sold by independent creative professionals from around the world. Creative Market currently has over 1.5 million members, 11,500 shops and more than 430,000 products online. Whilst it may sound overwhelming if you know what you are after it is easy to find on their site.
* * *
As you can see there are numerous tools to help you with your graphic design needs. If you have the aptitude to design for yourself these are amazing tools to have at your fingertips. If design is not one of your core competencies then it’s always best to leave it to the experts! And that’s where cost-effective companies like 99designs will continue to prosper.
Do you have other graphic design tools that you find useful? Let me know in the comments below.