Moondog Marketing is proud to have Nick Budden guest blogging this week. Budden is the CEO of Vectr. a free graphics software used to create vector graphics easily and intuitively. It's a simple yet powerful web and desktop cross-platform tool to bring your designs into reality.
Brilliant Graphics Lead The Way
Engaging blog content is distinguished not only by great copywriting but also brilliant graphics. If you want your blog to be successful and your customers coming back again for new pieces – it’s very important for bloggers and content marketers to figure out a consistent visual strategy.
Other visual elements of the blog are very important too. Your logo must be clear and sized correctly on your web page. Blog articles’ covers must be simple and yet informative. Newsletters and infographics you are sharing with your customers on social media must contain well-formatted graphics.
It is especially important for B2B marketers – each reader of your blog is a potential or existing customer interested in purchasing your company’s product. And if the content on your blog and the visuals are amazing – the odds and overall engagement are getting higher!
Let's Get Visual
Most of these visual elements of your blog must be vector graphics – scalable and clear kind of graphics that use mathematical equations to draw out your designs. Fear not though – they are much easier to create than it sounds!
Many bloggers and content marketers are getting confused how to deal with graphics design. Which tools to use for different graphic design projects, where to take the materials, and which tutorials to follow?
In this article we will try to point out some useful hints on how marketers can get started with graphics design and how to avoid some basic pitfalls.
What Are Vector And Raster Graphics
Vector graphics are drawn using mathematical equations. These mathematical equations are translated into points that are tied up by lines or curves, also known as vector paths, and they make up all the different shapes you see in a vector graphic.
This allows vector graphics to be scaled to any size without sacrificing image quality as well as maintaining a small file size. Amazing, right? Most common vector file formats are .svg, .cgm, .odg, .eps, and .xml.
Raster graphics in contrast are optimal for photos editing since they are able to portray the color depth better. Each pixel can be any one of the 16 million different colors available. So if you’re modifying a project which is not a photograph – vector graphic format is always better to go with.
What Projects Can Marketers Create Themselves
Bloggers and marketers working for enterprises in various industries would need to create projects for different purposes. Except for normal things that you visualize: like charts, quotes, numbers or lists, there are also industry specific things. In the construction you’d visualize blueprints and in the mechanical engineering it could be technical plans or charts.
There are some generic projects however that any marketing person could learn to create themselves.
Logotypes are the most essential to any business. They are the most powerful element of personal branding present at about every important page of your website.
Do not make the mistake of using Photoshop of any other raster graphics editor to create or edit your logotype. Always use vector graphics editor like Vectr or Inkscape for your logos – this way you can make sure your logos are sharp no matter how you resize them.
Creating collages is really easy and fun. Collages are great both for social media and blog articles – you can republish them easily and generate even more attention of your readers. All you need to create collages is a good software allowing you to edit both images and graphics to add some frames. Any raster or vector graphics editor would be fine for creating collages.
Social Media Graphics
Marketing professionals definitely don’t need a designer to create the social media graphics. One thing you have to be careful with is the size of your graphics – make sure that you double check it before actually uploading it to Twitter or Facebook or YouTube.
Website UI MockUps
When redesigning your website it is great to be able to prepare some basic user interface mockups to convey your vision.
Vector graphics software makes it really easy to prototype your ideal website. That would make developer’s life easier and save you lots of time and surely some money too. Why not raster graphics? Because when it comes to prototyping interfaces the precision and attention to detail are very important. Therefore anything you create must be scalable and easily changeable.
Most of the marketing professionals, especially in the B2B sector, would need to create the business cards either for themselves for their boss.
Vector graphics editor is a perfect tool for creating such projects. Anything that needs to be printed must be top quality and clarity. It is pretty easy to design your business cards yourself, all you need is to play around with some fonts, backgrounds and your logotype.
Graphic Design Tools
As we have mentioned – in your toolbox you are going to need two kinds of graphics design software: for vector and raster graphics. What is most important is that professional design software is most often not a good fit for marketers – it’s overpriced and too complicated, which creates a big learning curve and makes work inefficient.
For vector graphics design we would recommend using Vectr. Vectr is a free and very intuitive vector graphics editor which works both on the web and desktop. Vectr’s team has also prepared a set of design tutorials and a complete graphic design user-guide for you to learn even faster.
When it comes to raster graphics, Pixlr – another free software – would be a good choice. Pixlr has been on the market for years now and has since become the leading images editor on the web. It’s got multiple filters and effects to make your images and photos look brilliant.
Images And Icons Resources
There are multiple resources marketers could use to source some great images, graphics and icons for their work. It is always more efficient to download some ready-made pieces and then modify them than creating everything from scratch.
We are going to list the best of them here:
Royalty Free Images
Free Vector Icons
Hope that is going to be useful in your work. Please remember to use royalty free images for whatever marketing materials and campaigns that you’re engaging with – in the enterprise sector it is really important to keep your company’s name clear of copyright infringements.
Graphic design may oftentimes seem hard and complicated. But actually once you pick the right tools and back your skills up with some theory and practice – it get much more fun. Any marketing or content professional is able to create simple and yet professional looking graphic pieces – it’s just the matter of a little of courage and a motivation.