• Sonia

Be your own creative designer

As a part-time blogger and marketing coordinator full time, it is important to be able to create great and engaging posts and stories on a tight time scale, and budget! I spend a lot of time trailing through Pinterest boards and Instagram, finding my favorite style and images – it is all the inspiration I need to create engaging content.

I use the Canva phone app frequently for my quick any easy social media tiles, whether it be to showcase a new blog post or quick tips and decor inspiration on Pinterest. I also use their desktop app when I need to make social invitations, business cards, or logos. All you need is some fab images (I take my own or use Unsplash), great fonts, and a little imagination to move these elements around to make your very own digital designs.

For bigger projects such as wedding invitations, brochures, and leaflets, I will use Abode InDesign, but essentially using the same ingredients to package together. I have hundreds of boards and folders of themes and designs I like, which I will use and pull together to create my own. I tend to mix and match designs and reuse them from one company to another.

To stay on a budget, I collect free images and fonts where I can, just make sure you have the rights to use them! Many found online will have a copywriter on them, just because you can download them, does not mean you have the right to use them. Check before you land a huge fee!

Best place to get font freebies >>

Best place to get free images >>

How to create the perfect design using any platform

1. Create a mood board of designs you have seen which you like. These will be a good basis for you to start (you’ll soon find your own style). You can use Pinterest for this or just Google or another search engine.

2. Using a platform of your choice, upload your preferred image and text you want to include in your design.

3. Establish the size and shape of your design, Canva has plenty of templates you can adapt to. Pinterest and Instagram stories have a similar-sized shape, as do Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn posts.

4. Place your picture and/or a colored text box if your picture is too busy.

5. Replace your text within the template with enough margin space to avoid any printing or posting disasters.

6. Choose a font to match your style/brand. Check out Font Bundles for free downloadable fonts. You can move your text around, increase/decrease the size to fit around your design or image.

7. Change the color of your font based on your image, theme, or brand. Most platforms have a color picker where you can pick a color from the image you have used or even from your logo to keep it consistent.

8. Play around with text boxes, other images, and font if it doesn’t look quite right yet. You could spend hours perfecting the final stages of your design, and most times you'll end up going with your initial set up, but it's good to play around.

9. Download and get posting!

Here are some of my social media designs which I created on Canva:

Here are some of my larger scale designs (front page only) created on InDesign:

Creating designs take time and you will pick up new platforms quicker as you practice. Doing general word searches into search engines or social media is a great way to collate some ideas that you like, which you can copy elements of, and make your own. At the end of the day it's personal, don't always follow trends - go with your instincts!

If you’re not sure where to start, check out sites such as Design bundles where you can find great and affordable digital products such as graphics, templates, mockups, patterns, illustrations, and Craft Files. Download and adapt as you see fit, the ideas will soon come flooding in.

Once you have got the hang of things, use not to try creating an animation or video! These can be incredibly fun to make and very effective in showcasing your product/blog/offering. Watch this space for more about creating your own videos soon!

What are your top tips and tricks to making the perfect digital or printed designs? Do you use other programs that are quick and easy to use? Drop your comments below!

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