Lindsay Mueller, Bizwomen Contributor
Here are some of the most popular no-to-low-cost graphic systems for small business owners.
As a continuation of the digital enabler’s series, where I have discussed how to build a website for specific customers and implementing a CRM system, this column will highlight the importance of graphic systems, digital tools with built in graphic design capabilities.
First, it’s important to understand that visuals and design play a critical role in any business. They help support communications with current, new, and emerging customers – allowing businesses to expand their brand and share messages out to the public. For small business owners still building their business, graphic designers can be cost prohibitive. This leaves the execution of branding materials to be the responsibility of the business owner or an in-house staff member.
Graphic systems offer design support and solutions to those with limited design experience. This makes it easy for businesses to create cohesive branding materials and messaging even if they don’t have a graphic design background or access to a professional designer.
There are a variety of different graphic systems to choose from and their capabilities tend to vary based on whether it is a free or paid version of the program. The free version of the graphic system will often be all that beginners need to get started with a graphic system. These free versions often only offer the basics and have limitations on what can be done. Paying a subscription will lift many of those restrictions and offer expanded offerings like access to premium designs, fonts, and more. As with any digital tool, I highly recommend trying the free version first, and then upgrading only when you have decided which tool is right for your business.
Here are some of the most popular no-to-low-cost graphic systems for small business owners:
1. Canva: This graphic design software comes with thousands of templates that facilitate the process of creating a graphic design. It is user and beginner friendly and makes customizing branded material easy with its wide range of premade templates.
2. Gimp: GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is a graphic system created for image composition, retouching, authoring. It is similar to photoshop in its capabilities, and it often recommended as a free alternative.
3. Figma: Figma allows users to create both digital and print projects through its web, mobile, and desktop application. It is a collaborative software with the ability to work a project simultaneously and in real time.
4. Easel.ly: This web-based design system has the capabilities to create infographics and visualize data. It’s drag-and-drop interface makes it beginner friendly, and all of the designs are based on the templates offered in the program.
5. Visme: This digital tool helps create branded visual assets such as slideshows, charts, and storyboards. Its capabilities include features to save videos, images and other company assets.
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