5 Best tools for creating visual content

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Content design is becoming increasingly accessible to those without years of training and professional qualifications. Not having the budget to employ a graphic designer doesn’t mean that the quality of your visual content has to suffer.

After my previous article ‘Heidi's guide: Repurposing a blog article into an infographic’, a number of you got in touch to find out what I used to create infographics and other types of content. That is why I have put together a list of the 5 best tools that I have found useful when creating visuals for social media. These websites and software come in a range of prices and require different levels of skill and expertise.

Now you have no excuses for not keeping your online platforms topped-up with eye-catching content!

Adobe Photoshop

Link: http://www.adobe.com/uk/products/photoshop.html?promoid=PC1PQQ5T&mv=other

Cost: From £9.98 per month

Skill level: Advanced

Great for:

Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard software for graphic designers and photographers. Its main use is for editing photographs and creating web graphics. It’s perfect for changing image colours, applying filters or adding special effects. However, designs in photoshop are made up of a series of pixels and therefore there is a limit to how much you can scale a design or image up or down. This software might not be ideal for creating infographics but will allow you to make even the most intricate edits to your Instagram snaps or Facebook photos.

Photoshop is not an easy software to master, however, Adobe provides an array of training videos to help get you started.

Venngage

Link: https://venngage.com/

Cost: Some features free for individuals or $39+ per month for businesses

Skill level: Beginner to intermediate

Great for:

Venngage provides customisable templates for infographics, presentations, reports and social media images. The site allows you to add in your own brand colours and images. While it offers a number of free templates, you need a paid account in order to download your designs. Templates are also labelled with the level of skill needed to edit them, helping you to distinguish between basic and more complex designs. However, more advanced designers may find this site to be a little restrictive.

Venngage is a great, time-saving tool for marketing professionals who need visual content for their online channels. Here is a tutorial on how to use the site’s many tools and features.

Adobe Illustrator

Link:  http://www.adobe.com/uk/products/illustrator.html?sdid=KKQPG&mv=search&s_kwcid=AL!3085!10!79027407095432!79027416398006&ef_id=WZrUegAAAdftf9Yx:20170830151715:s

Cost: From £19.97 per month

Skill level: Advanced

Great for:

Adobe Illustrator is another industry standard software for graphic designers. However, unlike Photoshop, designs are vector-based. This makes it ideal for creating logos, icons, typography and illustrations. Being vector based means that designs will not look pixelated when scaled up or down.  If you are short on time this program isn’t ideal, however, it allows you to create intricate designs that are truly unique to your brand.

It is worth taking a training course if you are committed to becoming a more professional visual designer.  However, Adobe offers a range of tutorials on their website.

Canva

Link: https://www.canva.com/

Cost: Basic package free or $9.95+ per month for businesses

Skill level: Beginner to intermediate

Great for:

Canva offers templates for a huge range of visual content. From banners, brochures and book covers to infographics, tickets and social media headers. If you are looking to keep all of your brand designs and visual content in one location, this site is ideal. The ‘Canva for work’ feature allows you to collaborate with team members, upload your brand kit and keep a folder of images within the editor. Canva is also available to download as an iPad app, meaning that you can work on your designs on the go.

It is easy to get started with creating content, with templates available in the recommended file size for most types of visuals. However, it is worth checking out Canva’s design school to learn about everything the site has to offer!

Piktochart

Link: https://piktochart.com/

Cost: Basic package free or $12.50+ per month for pro version

Skill level: Beginner to intermediate

Great for:

Piktochart’s main use is for creating high-quality infographics. It features editable templates and gives you access to thousands of icons and images to add to your designs. One unique feature that this site offers is the ability to import data from Microsoft Excel or Google Spreadsheet. This is a handy tool when creating visual charts to show off statistics and figures.

Piktochart is simple to use for even the most novice designer, here is a video tutorial, especially for beginners.

If you have found any of these tools useful for creating content, we would love to see your masterpieces! Tweet them to us @WinboxLtd.

Need a little inspiration for creating a visual and informative piece of content? Take a look at our Email Marketing for Winners eBook.