It’s an exciting time to work as a creative. There are so many ways to create and distribute content, and more tools than ever to produce high quality materials. These days, you don’t need an art school degree to make solid creative – you just need to know how to use the right set of tools!
At PACE, we still use manual design programs like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator (which require more technical skill but also give you the ability to design from scratch). But especially when time is of the essence, there are a number of resources that we highly recommend for creating visually compelling design.
Here is a list of must-have branding tools that we use often in our campaigns:
Hubstop’s Brand Kit Generator:
Sometimes, in creative content campaigns, you’re tasked with creating a whole brand from scratch. Hubstop offers an easy and effective solution, or at least a place for you to start building your brand, through their Brand Kit Generator.
A brand kit is a collection of assets, such as colors and fonts, that will help others to make content for you while following your brand’s style. Hubstop does this for you in an easy, quick process. Start by entering your business name and info, preferred icon, color, and font. In as little as 5 minutes, you will have a selection of logos to choose from – and they are actually not bad! Move forward, and you’ll see your brand kit, consisting of your logo, color, font. You can download these assets, and it will spit out the font file, a brand kit pdf, logo files in all the formats you’ll need, and profile pictures for all the social media platforms you’ll need.
Our take on Hubspot’s tool is that it works well and efficiently. However, the logo designs aren’t up to par with what a talented designer can do for you. We like it as a foundation to start experimenting with a brand’s direction, or something to use in a pinch if you need to stand up a brand quickly.
A few years ago, Canva was hard-to-use and not a smart alternative for professional graphic designers. Today, that story is completely different. Canva has any type of graphic element, photo, and icon you can think of. Simply search in the Elements tab and see a large selection of assets to use that do not get pixelated upon scaling. You can even upload any font from your device – provided you have rights to do so.
Canva is a tool we use virtually every day. It’s a great tool for working on creative campaigns because it’s fast; it saves your content automatically; and it has almost all the assets you’ll need to design your graphics in the same place. You can even share the editable link with organizers so they can edit on their own for future occasions.
Flaticon is a website where you can download any type of icon, whether it is in full color or a black outline. We use Flaticon if we can’t find a good icon on Canva. It’s easy to search for what type of icon you are looking for, edit the colors (if you sign up for a free account), and download it in the format you need.
Blush is a website that provides graphic illustrations, usually of people in work or corporate settings with a creative style. We use Blush if we can’t find a good graphic on Canva. You can search for any theme; choose a graphic template; and change the colors and skin tone of the characters. It’s flexible, it’s consistent, and it works.
By Sean Pacheco