I always try to stress the importance of aesthetic to my clients. Yes, good content is imperative for your brands success; but coming from a design perspective, I am drawn first to websites that are visually pleasing to look at.
You don’t need hundreds of dollars or a set of special skills like Liam Neeson to give your graphics a boost. I am going to share with you some of my favorite go-to resources and tools that will help give your site and designs a more refined, professional look.
- Pinterest (Free): a no-brainer in the blogging world, this is an instrumental tool for bringing traffic to your site. If you haven’t signed up or are sitting on your Pinterest, get to work! Look up free typefaces to download, find illustrations and others designs that inspire and motivate you to branch out and create something beautiful. There are endless (not to mention FREE) tools at your disposal, most of which I found myself while digging around and researching. It’s been a game changer for me.
- Coolors (Free): It’s important that when you’re creating something, that the colors blend well together. There are some designs I’ve seen that I have serious questions about. If you’re not so sure about what palette to use, this site is for you! You can generate different colors, locking in the ones you want to use, and build some beautiful combinations. What’s great is the HEX codes (the numbers you use to populate said colors) are ready for you to copy/paste as well. I’m on this site daily.
- Creative Market (Free with the option to buy): Most of the graphics on this site are paid, however, every week they have a set of (6) differently themed and 100% free items accessible for anyone to download. They are in no specific order and vary between different typefaces, WordPress themes, social media templates, and other random designs. I’ve built a solid collection of items I use frequently from this resource alone.
- Design Bundles (Free with the option to buy): This is parallel to what Creative Market offers. Same concept, different site, different designs to look at.
- Font Bundles (Free with the option to buy): – The sister site to Design Bundles, this focuses strictly on typefaces. They offer paid, as well as free fonts, although it isn’t updated as often.
- Canva (Free with the option to pay $12/month for full features): A must for all things design related. This site has everything you need to create beautiful content for your blog. The great thing about Canva is that they offer templates for almost all of the social media platforms. It’s incredibly user-friendly and a great place to start if you feel overwhelmed. The program itself is free, but once you get more comfortable, I highly suggest paying the $12/month for full access to all the tools they offer. I promise you, it’s entirely worth the investment.
- Procreate ($10/one time fee): I love the freedom that this handy tool offers. There are so many different (free) brushes you can download, and it’s a great way to make custom graphics that are specific to you and your brand. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even go as far as making your own typeface(s). Actual artists use this app, although the extent of my use is limited to doodles and creating ‘sketched’ Instagram highlight covers. You don’t need a stylus to use this, but it is highly recommended. I got mine on Amazon, and love it.
That’s about it! I use Illustrator & Photoshop daily as well, but diving into those two is a bit more advanced and can be overwhelming if you are just starting. Maybe I will make a separate post in the future about the perks of having Adobe resources to use at your disposal.
I hope this was helpful! If it was, would you mind sharing with others, or letting me know how or if it benefited you?