If you've landed on this blog post, it's probably safe to say that you've weighed the pros and cons of hiring a professional graphic designer, and have decided to go the DIY route.
You understand that there will be challenges ahead. After all, designing a strong logo, unifying a memorable visual identity, and presenting an impactful brand image to the world at large is no small feat. That's why you're here. You're determined to generate the most professional-looking designs possible for your digital marketing campaigns, but you aren't sure where to start.
Don't worry. You've come to the right place.
Creating your own professional graphic designs isn't beyond your reach, but it will require that you use the best graphic design software you can get your hands on.
No, we don't mean Photoshop or any of the Adobe products. For the average, professionally trained graphic designer, Photoshop is the gold standard of design software. But you aren't a professionally trained graphic designer, which means that Photoshop and its prosumer counterparts, like Gimp, Corel Draw, Inkscape, and Affinity Designer, are not the best options for you by a long shot.
You're going to want to use graphic design software that is user-friendly, intuitive, and built for novices. It should come with a full library of pre-made design templates for your industry, and include holiday themes, so that you never have to create a design from scratch.
Ideally, the software's pre-made templates will have been designed by professionals so that the digital marketing graphics you create will look as good, if not better than, your competitors' marketing materials that were designed by hired professionals.
Of all the novice graphic design software on the market today, the only option that checks all of the boxes is FTx AdPro.
AdPro provides users with a level of graphic design quality that's on par with Photoshop, but unlike Photoshop which comes with a hefty price tag, AdPro is available for free.
USE REPETITION IN YOUR GRAPHIC DESIGNS
Hands down, the #1 trick to ensuring that your graphic designs look professional is to use repetition, period. You cannot establish a strong brand presence unless all of your digital marketing materials across all marketing channels use the same logo, the same slogan, and the same branded color scheme. Repetition is not boring. It's imperative if you want your brand to be remembered.
Let's take a look at how AdPro can help...
Tools to Help You Create Your Own Graphics for Social Media
- • Log in to the online FTx Control Center
- • The Dashboard will open
- • Click AdPro on the left-hand column
- • Choose between the two options that appear 1) Browse Templates 2) My Designs
- • Click Browse Templates
- • In the Choose Dimensions dropdown menu, select IG Square (1080 x 1080) or any social media platform dimension you like
- • A grid of templates will appear for all industries, holidays, and promotion "types"
- • Narrow the grid of options down by using the left-hand dropdown menu to choose your specific industry
- • Further narrow the options down by using the left-hand dropdown menus to choose the holiday and / or promotion "type"
- • Click on the template you want to use, select the Save-To Account, and click Clone Template
- • Once the template opens, edit the text boxes and promotional information, upload and position your miniature logo, then click the blue Export box in the upper right-hand corner to download the graphic
TAKE A STEP BACK & KNOW WHEN TO STOP
Professional graphic designers have a gift for knowing when a design is finished, and they tend to understand that oftentimes "less is more." But not everyone is born with the same artistic eye. That's why FTx has stockpiled AdPro with a virtual treasure trove of templates that are "visually complete." Simply swap out text, change fonts to match your brand, upload and insert a minimized version of your branded logo, and in minutes you'll have a completed design.
Here's an effortless step-by-step glimpse at how to work with AdPro's templates...
Industry-Specific Templates to Get Your Marketing Campaigns Started
- • Follow the outlined steps above until you've opened a template in AdPro and are in the Edit Design browser
- • If the template features a photo, you can replace it if you want by clicking the yellow Import box in the upper right-hand corner
- • Adjust the size of the imported photo, image, or graphic by using the blue-dotted corners
- • Once you've positioned your imported photo, double click it to see the Layer Positions and Layer Actions you can use
- • Click Layer Positions, then select to move the imported image Forward or Backward, or any other option
- • Follow the same steps to import, resize, and position your branded logo
- • Edit the text boxes so that all of the promotional information is correct
- • Click the blue Export box in the upper right-hand corner to download the graphic
ALIGN & ORDER YOUR DESIGN ELEMENTS
A design element is any visual component that you include within the graphic you're making. Common design elements are text boxes, background layers, images, shapes, icons, and even animations. While a professional graphic designer might opt to "eyeball it" when it comes to placing design elements on their graphic canvas in an artistic way, you don't have to do the same if you don't want to. With AdPro's Snap, Grid, and other alignment tools, your designs will be orderly and aesthetically pleasing.
Using AdPro's alignment tools is as easy as 1, 2, and 3… Let's take a look...
Design Editing Capabilities that Provide Professional-Looking Results
- • Follow the outlined steps above to select a template, swap out images, and edit the promotional text
- • In the bottom right corner of the screen, you'll see the Snap tool
- • Toggle the Snap tool into the blue On position
- • Click and move one of your design elements around, and you will notice red dotted lines appear whenever the design element snaps into an aligned position
- • In the upper left corner of the canvas, you'll see the Position dropdown menu
- • Click the Position dropdown menu and select from the Align Elements, which are Top, Middle, Bottom, Left, Right, and Center
- • Whichever design element is highlighted will "jump" to the Position you've selected from the Align Elements options
- • Once all of your design elements are aligned how you want, click the blue Export box in the upper right-hand corner to download the graphic
• Can I upload my own photos, images, and graphics into AdPro?
Yes! Whether you want to design a graphic from scratch through the +Create New Design function or have Cloned a template to alter, once you've opened the Edit Design function and your canvas has appeared, simply click the Uploads button in the left vertical column, choose or create a new folder, and then Drop the files you wish to upload into the Blue Box.
• If I use the pre-loaded images, photos, and graphics from AdPro in my graphic designs, will I have to pay to use them in any paid advertisements I place in the future?
No! FTx AdPro provides total design freedom and comes with no hidden costs, catches, or legal caveats! You are free to use any and all of the pre-loaded photos, images, and graphics that you find in AdPro without having to purchase additional licenses. When we say that AdPro is "free," we mean it!
• Does AdPro offer training courses for people like me who struggle with using the simplest software technologies?
Of course! And true to our commitment, our FTx AdPro webinar tutorial training videos are completely free as well! Click here to begin watching our how-to series, and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter so that you'll be the first to know when a new training video goes live on the FTx Lifeline page of our website!
In these uncertain times, signing up for FTx AdPro comes with no risks and you won't be asked to submit payment information in order to begin using this graphic design software. The only information you'll be asked to provide is your full name, company name, telephone number, email address, physical address, and industry.
If you'd like to speak with a representative from FTx about AdPro or any of our other business solutions that are fully compatible with AdPro, such as FTx POS, FTx Digital Signage, and FTx Loyalty, contact us at your convenience and we will be more than happy to answer all of your questions. And if you'd like hands-on help with your digital marketing, check out our sister company, FTx 360.