- By definition graphic design is the skill or art of combining text and images in advertisements, magazines, blogs, or books.
- Graphic design helps businesses gain higher virtual visibility.
- One of the best ways to gain design experience without a degree is to begin watching tutorials, reading articles, and begin freelancing.
- Some free tools include Canva, Krita, and Blender.
Need to know how to do graphic design for free without spending an arm and a leg on a Freelancer or expensive software like Adobe?
One important reason to learn graphic design whether you’re a business owner, blogger, or writer is that 94% of consumers will leave a website with poor graphic design.
If you’re trying to sell a product or service, you want your website design, content, and graphics to look just as professional as you are.
With that said, let’s jump into the basics of how to do graphic design for free, some pointers on color, and everything else you need to know moving forward!
Don’t stop now, keep reading!
What is Graphic Design and How is It Useful to Bloggers?
By definition graphic design is the skill or art of combining text and images in advertisements, magazines, blogs, or books. According to the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) graphic design is the practice of planning and then projecting concepts and ideas. These concepts are then turned into experiences with visual and textual content.
So basically, graphic design helps you to convey messages to your audience in a visually creative way.
With that said, how can graphic design be useful to bloggers? When you create a blog, website, or any other content online. You need to incorporate images into your content, whether you are creating a blog or social post.
How is it useful in business?
Graphic design helps businesses gain higher virtual visibility which can lead to an increase in sales and conversion rates. Interesting and engaging visuals affect the communication of concepts and ideas. Basically, higher visibility not only boosts sales but also increases credibility which tells Google and other search engines that your content is valid.
Let’s use these two pictures as an example: any SEO-friendly content and other website-based content will have images added to their blog posts.
It may look something like this:
Or maybe something like this:
93% of all our communication is visual. Additionally, consistent presentation of a brand with the help of design can boost sales by 33%. That means that if you are trying to boost your brand, product, etc., you need to incorporate engaging images.
In fact, recent studies suggest that nearly 85% of people learn by seeing, and these are people who would prefer to be known things to understand information easier.
So, based on the niche of your content, you should include data-based statistics, infographics, or images that match the theme of your content.
For example, the first image above shows a business laptop with displayed statistics. The image has keyword-rich alt-text and is relevant to the topic. However, it doesn’t engage a user or hold valid information.
Based on your content, you should decide which type of imagery you need for your content.
How to Begin Graphic Design?
One of the best ways to gain design experience without a degree is to begin watching tutorials, reading articles, and begin freelancing. Once you understand the software that is generally used, you will begin to develop a strong sense of the process and you can use different platforms to promote yourself as a graphic designer.
However, if you’re just beginning to develop your blog and you’re not sure where to start, this article is for you!
There are five principles of design:
- Alignment: helps to keep your design organized.
- Repetition: helps to strengthen the elements of the design.
- Contrast or white space: this is a concept that helps to create emphasis using a design for impact. This is seen in colors, bold text, font choices, etc. It helps to create a central focal point.
- Hierarchy: helps to understand how each element is organized according to its level of importance.
- Balance: any good design needs to have a structure using symmetry or tension.
These principles help to create a great graphic design. They may also help to display a stable, organized, and consistent impact or message. By following these principles, designers and website owners alike can solve visual and conceptual problems as a part of their creation process.
For a design piece to be successful, you need to understand how these key principles work.
Understand typographic basics
Typography is the usage of formatted or arranged layouts in the text that plays a vital role in graphic design. Type includes fonts, point sizes, line spacing, letter spacing, kerning, and typefaces.
Type can be created by hand or even digitally, however, it’s worth noting that different types of specializations are within typography.
These specializations include:
- Typeface design
As you learn to navigate your way around design, you’ll soon begin to understand the differences between these similar yet very different pieces of typography and how it plays an important role in graphic design.
Canva vs Figma
Canva is a visual design app. Figma is too. While Figma doesn’t offer Canvas options, it does offer tools to make it super easy to design prototypes for various production. Figma doesn’t have the fast collection Canva is well known for, Figma does support layers you can hide, lock, copy, and re-layer similar to Adobe Photoshop or Krita.
To start with, Canva allows users to create:
- book covers
- social media posts.
Although Canva seems like the clear choice, it does have some competitors such as Figma that some designs swear by.
Figma is a graphic editing and collaborative UI and UX designing tool that helps to create apps, websites, and basically anything in between.
Here is an example of a Canva project:
Figma is known for its flexibility and shape tools to help you draw and size shapes using your drawing tablet or mouse. It comes with a drawing pen tool which is lacking compared to Krita’s brush collection.
Figma offers the following:
- Text effects
- Hand tool
- Arc tool
- CSS support for elements
- Grid system
- Layer exporting and duplication
- Image support
- Auto Layout
In my professional option, I would suggest Canva for someone who just wants a simple infographic or social post. If your workflow requires a bit more than that, give Figma a try.
Inkscape vs Krita for Graphic Design
Inkscape is a free open-source vector graphics editor that comes with a wide range of digital painting features which can be super useful when graphic designing. Artists and designers alike can freely express their imagination on a digital canvas.
Krita is open-source as well with amazing illustration and digital painting tools. Not only is Krita amazing for drawing, designing, and sketching, but it also introduces the basics of animation.
Krita is capable of creating artwork such as this:
While there are a ton of Adobe Photoshop alternatives such as Inkscape and Krita. There aren’t many that are totally free. Inkscape and Krita are both completely free and useful to learn as their programs (short keys, UI, things like that) are very similar to more expensive paid programs.
Also, I’d just like to mention here, if you’re interested in illustration, animation, or digital sculpting try picking up Blender. It’s a super complex program, but it’s totally worth learning if you’re into that sort of thing.
Okay, let’s get back on track. If you were to compare Inkscape vs Krita, Krita is known for having wider functionality and powerful tools. A lot of brush bundles are also compatible with Krita so that’s something to keep in mind.
If you need a vector program with a great graphics editor, check out Inkscape because it’s the superior program for designers and artists who are at a higher level. It also has a neat drag-and-drop feature that makes workflow easier to manage.
Free Tools and Programs for Graphic Design
There are tons of free tools and programs you can use right now to help you grasp at least some understanding of graphic design. Canva is my personal favorite, simply because it has a windows app, templates, and built-in features and helps you stay symmetrical and balanced.
Not only can Canva be used to create stunning graphics for website content, but you create professional logos, book covers, banners, cards, and so much more!
Additionally, here is my list of free tools you can download right now to help you get started:
|4.||Design Wizard||Free +Premium||Download|
|5.||Adobe Spark||Free Trial +Premium||Download|
|12.||Ibis Paint X||Free +Premium||Download|
That Sums it Up!
Graphic design and SEO content can be difficult, so if you don’t want to figure it all out on your own, contact me today! I got you!
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