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On-line Design Instruments for Solopreneurs

For those who’ve spent any time on the lookout for on-line design instruments lately, you’re most likely all too acquainted with the painful reality—there are manner too many choices. And, even when you occur to encounter one or two instruments that you just love, there’s nonetheless that complete rigamarole. You already know the one. . . .

Join an account. Determine how issues work. Wow, this device is wonderful! Wait, why isn’t it working like they mentioned it will? Hmmm, let’s simply export my design. UGH, can’t get the precise file sort. Again to the drafting board. Once more.

If you’re already dealing with every thing else about what you are promoting—solo!—these little wastes of time can compound right into a critical headache.

The excellent news is that you just completely can discover a design device with out giving into overwhelm or throwing your arms up within the air. You can accomplish DIY branding and design utilizing the instruments accessible.

Let’s see how.


A Easy Tip for Avoiding DIY Design Overwhelm

License this picture by way of fizkes.

The very very first thing to know about on-line design instruments is there’s no such factor as good. Why? As a result of the idea of good implies “one-size-fits-all.” It means that there’s one device on the market that can meet all of your wants, all my wants, and all of the wants of hundreds of thousands of different solopreneurs around the globe.

It’s simply not doable.

So, as a substitute of framing it as discovering the “world’s finest design device,” consider it as discovering what’s finest for you. To try this, begin by asking your self some important questions:

  • What am I seeking to do with this design device?
  • How a lot graphic design expertise do I’ve?
  • Am I keen and/or capable of spend time studying this device?
  • How a lot time do I need to spend on every design?
  • What’s my price range for this device?

Put one other manner: A very powerful a part of the seek for a design device is YOU. 

Earlier than you begin sifting via lots of of instruments on the web, you may proactively keep away from overwhelm by getting clear on what it’s you actually need and want.

With that in thoughts, you’ll be extra able to weigh the elements we’ll focus on subsequent.


Pensive female solopreneur working in alternative workspace at park
License this picture by way of Davide Zanin Photography.

Like virtually anything in life, selecting the very best design device for you comes right down to asking the precise questions and understanding the tradeoffs.

Since there’s no such factor as the right device for everybody, the bottom line is to search out one which balances the tradeoffs in a manner that works effectively for you and what you are promoting.

That can assist you consider on-line design instruments, listed here are eight key elements to think about (and why).

1. Design Performance

The primary query to ask: What are you seeking to create with this device? A DIY logo, a customer thank you card, a business flyer, a social media put up, or the entire above? 

For many solopreneurs seeking to bootstrap their branding and advertising and marketing, the important performance of a design device would come with the power to:

  • Add your individual property, corresponding to a logo
  • Take away any built-in watermark from the device
  • Freely measurement and resize designs to suit any print or net want
  • Customise all design components by cropping, altering colours, eradicating backgrounds, and so forth.
  • Check out completely different fonts (with out downloading something)
  • Add a number of pages to a design
  • Export any design at different sizes for different social media platforms

2. Ease of Use

The key trade-off with performance is at all times going to be ease of use. A robust device that permits you to do actually limitless issues will take some critical time to determine. (In spite of everything, there’s a cause professional designers spend years of their lives studying the Adobe suite!) 

For many solopreneurs, the candy spot of “ease of use vs. performance” will lean towards user-friendly with out getting too simplistic.

If you must pore via documentation written in developer communicate, suppose twice.

3. Inventory Belongings

Until you’re a professional photographer, you’ll nearly actually want inventory property all through your branding and advertising and marketing collateral.

Selecting a device with a built-in stock asset library won’t solely prevent from having to buy one other subscription, but it surely’ll additionally help you preserve productiveness.

No must interrupt your inventive move to look on-line for pictures or movies, obtain them, and produce them again into your device.

4. Templates

Business design template examples in Create
Business design templates will make your life a lot simpler.

If you’re brief on time, templates could be a lifesaver for any piece of content material you’re creating: business cards, flyers, professional letterhead, direct-mail postcards, you title it.

The extra templates (and the higher designed), the extra versatile your design device can be for what you are promoting.

The precise kinds of templates you’ll want will rely in your trade, however listed here are some must-have classes that apply to most solo companies:

5. File Varieties

Practically all on-line design instruments will help you export web-ready file varieties like PNG and JPEG. For those who plan to print your designs, although, you’ll need to examine for 2 further choices:

  • The power to obtain a PDF (or one other lossless file sort)
  • The power to obtain a PDF with bleed—important for getting clear, professional-looking prints with out margins

One other essential file consideration is compatibility. Some file varieties, notably these of the Adobe Inventive Cloud, can solely be opened in native packages.

For instance, when you create one thing in Adobe InDesign, however later cease paying for the subscription, you gained’t be capable to open or edit the .INDD file.

Simply one thing to bear in mind.

6. Ease of Future Updates

When issues change—as they at all times do in companies—you want to have the ability to replace what you’ve created with out redesigning all the factor from scratch.

To keep away from a significant and all-too-common pain-point for future you, search for instruments that save your initiatives to a non-public account within the cloud.

It will make it simpler to maintain observe of information over time and edit them from anyplace.

7. Price

The price of on-line inventive platforms runs the gamut from fully free to lots of of {dollars} monthly. Whereas some folks imagine that dearer should be higher, this isn’t essentially the case for a lot of design instruments.

The costliest platforms might certainly be higher for extremely specialised, processing-heavy work—like motion graphics or 3D modeling.

However, for almost all of solopreneurs creating their own designs, inexpensive instruments will supply loads of performance (and possibly higher ease of use).

8. Total Workflow

Design instruments by no means exist in a vacuum, so it’s essential to consider the way you’ll use this device in your total day-to-day workflow.

Are you going to be brainstorming in a single device, moodboarding in one other, designing in one more, after which getting issues print-ready in one more? Sounds exhausting, proper?

Lowering the variety of instruments in your course of will assist forestall a few of that DIY design overwhelm.


Screenshot of customizing a design in Create
Via Shutterstock’s Creative Flow suite, you could find trending pictures, customise them, and get AI-powered insights.

For those who’re on the lookout for the precise design device for you—one that provides a pleasant steadiness of all of the elements listed above—attempt Shutterstock’s Creative Flow suite.

Inventive Movement is an all-in-one platform that hits the candy spot for a lot of people who run their very own full-time solo companies, side hustles, and artistic passions.

Via a single on-line platform, you’ll get all of the instruments you want for DIY branding, advertising and marketing, and design.

Right here’s how:

  1. Browse Shutterstock’s massive asset library, residence to hundreds of thousands of photographs and illustrations—with AI Powered Search to assist establish which property will finest join together with your viewers. (Need to save time on format? Begin immediately from a pro-designed template as a substitute.) 
  2. Whether or not you edit a inventory asset or a template, you may customise every thing to perfection in Create. Take away picture backgrounds, change colours with a click on, add textual content, apply filters, contact up pictures, and extra.
  3. Save the precise file sort(s) for skilled printing, at-home printing, or sharing in your web site or social media. 
  4. Must replace your designs sooner or later? Initiatives are saved to the cloud, so you may return to edit them any time. It’s additionally straightforward to leverage your current designs to create new ones, constructing out a seamless model.

For those who’d like somewhat professional validation when designing your property, Creative Flow can help there, too. 

Thanks to 6 billion+ information factors aggregated and analyzed by Shutterstock Predict, your inventive selections gained’t be primarily based on private desire or a intestine feeling. As a substitute, you’ll know that you just’re at all times capitalizing on probably the most present and clickable traits. 

That’s the way you construct a solo model with confidence.


The Backside Line: You’ve Bought This

Whereas on-line design instruments can actually be so much to sift via, you do have the assets to make an excellent selection for you. (In spite of everything, you’ve succeeded as a solopreneur to date, proper?)

Begin by getting clear on what you want, after which weigh the important thing elements mentioned above to search out the precise design device in your solo enterprise.

And, when you’d like to start out tackling your design to-do listing proper now, give Shutterstock’s Creative Flow a attempt.


License this picture by way of Alphavector.

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