There’s no doubt about it, style is almost as important as substance when it comes to the success of your online marketing campaign. However, the cost of design software, as well as the time it takes to actually work out how to use it, can make it all too tempting to neglect the aesthetic appeal of your marketing material.
Luckily there are plenty of free, easy to use tools available to simplify the design process for you. Here’s a look at 13 of the best design websites, tools and apps out there so you can create professional visuals that make your marketing stand out from the crowd.
The colour you use in your marketing materials can say a lot about your resort’s brand, so it’s worth spending some time getting to know how to use them. Take some time to refresh your basic HTML skills so you’re comfortable using a HEX code (a six character code that represents a colour).
Designer and colour specialist Jessica Colaluca, the brains behind Design-Seeds, groups bold photographs alongside matching colour palettes. If you see a colour palette you like, simply hover over the colour chips on the right to access the HEX codes.
2. COLOUR PICKER
Want to match your new call to action design to a pre-existing design? Upload a picture of the existing design to ImageColorPicker.com. Just select any point in the picture to discover its HEX code and create matching colour schemes.
3. Colour Scheme Designer
Just like the name suggests, Colour Scheme Designer allows you to create custom colour schemes to bring your marketing material to life. Simply select a colour and try out different schemes of your choosing. It’s even possible to see a sample website with your colour scheme in a light and dark version.
You’ll find plenty of pre-made colour palettes and corresponding HEX codes at COLOURLovers, or you can opt to make your own if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for. Some of the most handy tools available include PHOTOCOPA, which uses your photo uploads to come up with a set of matching colours, and THEMELEON, which allows you to design and implement a Twitter theme.
One of the best free resources for choosing border or gradient colours, 0to255 offers many subtle variations of the same colour – much like the paint samples you can see at DIY stores.
Font and Icon Tools
Although simpler is often better when it comes to fonts, sometimes something a little different can serve as the perfect finishing touch.
6. Google Web Fonts
Google Web Fonts is a directory of just under 600 fonts that you can use on your website or download to your desktop within a few clicks of your mouse.
Seen a font you’d like to use in your marketing material? Snap a screenshot and WhatTheFont will tell you both the name of the font, and where you can download it.
8. 1001 Fonts, Font Space, Font Squirrel
IcoMoon is the place to head for free, re-sizeable vector icons that are ideal for navigation buttons. You can select the icons you like to use on your resort’s website and export them as a font.
When vector icons just aren’t enough, you’ll find heaps of livelier designs in the huge library at IconFinder .
Vecteezy offers a wealth of free, high quality design resources, including wallpapers, vector graphics and icons, all ready to make your marketing material shine.
Image Editing Tools
All these great tools are pretty useless without a professional looking image to work with. Below are some of the best image editing tools you’ll find out there ... completely free, of course!
Skitch is a screenshot tool which allows you to quickly grab sections of your screen to edit. You can annotate images with text and objects, and even blur out any confidential information your screenshots contain.
Featuring all the basic features of Photoshop, Sumopaint is a free and easy to use web-based photo editing app. Take advantage of it to create an eye catching new photo for your resort’s Facebook page, or to give your logo a stylish makeover using effects like Bevel, Drop Shadow and Inner Glow.
Are you ready to revamp your resort’s marketing campaign using these free online tools?