Marketing and Graphic Design are inextricably linked by nature. Powerful marketing needs great design and similarly, great design needs an effective marketing strategy. Visual design is so important that Facebook refuses to serve any paid ads with more than 20% text. We are a highly visual society that demands quality design to authenticate our purchasing decisions.
As marketers, this is not news to us. In fact, we are often pitching to clients why and how to allocate creative budgets to ensure successful campaigns. We know that quality design is imperative, but then reality hits. Tight budgets or fast turnaround times can make hiring a professional designer to create those amazing visuals out of reach.
Has anyone else received a 5pm email from a client asking for a “quick Facebook post” which outlines the copy but gives no hint to what creative should be posted? Or maybe you need to do a last minute post to capitalize on the momentum of a holiday but you weren’t able to get the request into the graphics department on time. What happens when we, as marketers, are left to our own devises to design? Does the stress creep in or are we prepared with basic resources and design principles to create effective design in a pinch? Check out these five tips for the next time you need to put on your designing cap.
Gather Inspiration – One of the keys to designing on the fly is having reliable go-to resources. Pro tip: save the designs that you find highly effective in your day-to-day social media browsing. Collecting these designs in a folder on your desktop or a Pinterest board will make it that much easier the next time your design skills are needed.
Really Good Emails – Email inspiration that can be filtered by category.
Facebook Inspiration Gallery – Find some of the most effective ads there currently are on Facebook and try to pinpoint why you are drawn to it.
Hubspot Facebook Ads – Let Hubspot do the work for you and tell you why certain ads are more effective than others.
Be Consistent – Consistent color and typography will go a long way to establish your brand. Wordstream states that 60% of top brands use the same filter on every post. If you have brand guidelines, use them!.. Even on those last minute posts. Google’s Color Tool also offers a wide range of color inspiration.
Use Free Tools – Not everyone can afford the Adobe Creative Suite, so be sure to know the free tools that are able to help in a pinch.
Canva – Create a free account to use existing templates and free images
Pictaculous – Find the colors used in photos for a consistent brand feel
CSS Peeper Chrome Extension – An amazing Chrome extension that allows you to find colors and fonts on any website in seconds
Shopify Logo Maker – Make quick graphics with just a few clicks
Google Fonts – Free fonts safe for both the web and downloadable for your desktop
Know Your Specs – All final designs that will be posted or printed must use the right specs in resolution, file size and dimensions. Trust me, you don’t want the stress of realizing your brand posted an image the size of a thumbnail that is completely illegible. Understanding Resolution and how to save them is key to avoiding posts that immediately disqualify you in your audience’s eyes.
K.I.S.S. – Perhaps the single greatest design principle taught in introductory graphic design courses is to Keep. It. Simple. Stupid. Top brands keep typography and images clean, consistent and clear.