Friday Favorites: Graphic Design

I have had a few people recently ask me about some of the graphics and things I have created for my Trades of Hope business and for here, so I thought I would share my favorite programs/apps that I use to make them.  I like using the creative side of my brain to make eye catching graphics.  You could even say that I am a little crazy about it.  I will see a graphic that someone else on my team has created, and I will recreate it for myself because I need it to be “just right.”  It is pretty much making extra work for myself, but it is the kind of work that I enjoy so I guess that means it is ok.  For some reason, I feel the need to put my spin on it. I literally will spend a whole day working on a set of graphics until I start to go cross-eyed from staring at my screen.  Sometimes I will get an idea for a graphic in my head and then spend hours working on it trying to get it “just right.”  I get super frustrated with myself when I can’t make my vision a reality.  That is the perfectionist and a little bit of the OCD in me.  Bottom line….Despite the hours I spend on it, I love creating graphics. I did, for a very brief time in my life before college, want to go into graphic design.  I think I would have been good at it if I had taken the time to hone my craft.  Anyway, here are my favorites to use. 


Word Swag is an app on my phone that I use when I want to take a photo or image and add words to it.  I use this app mostly for the blog like the one above.  There are so many free stock photo images available in the app that you can use and then simply add whatever text you want to it.  You can also use your own images and add the verbiage you want to them as well.   I like this app because it is simple to use, and I can throw a cute graphic together with it in just a few minutes. I can also easily add my logo to any image I create which I really like too. 


Pic Stitch is another app that I have on my phone. I use this one when I want to put several images together into one graphic to create a collage. These aren’t ones that are super creative or very eye-catching.  This app is really just good for putting multiple images together.  You can’t add text or anything within this app.  Sometimes I will use Pic Stitch to create the image I want and then plop it into Word Swag to add some text to it.  I use this one mostly when I take a group of photos from the blog and put them into one image to share on social media. I do this a lot of times with many of my style posts.  


Canva is my absolute favorite when it comes to creating graphics.  I have the app on my phone, but I mostly use this one on my computer.  I feel like I can manipulate things and make it work better on my laptop than on my phone.  For several years, I used the free version of Canva and loved it.  I would pay a dollar here and there to be able to use a certain image or template that I really liked and was totally happy with it.   Then about 4 or so months ago, I decided to try out the paid version with a free 30-day trial.  I loved the app even more for one simple reason…the background remover.  That feature is only available in the paid version, and I absolutely am obsessed with it now.  I went ahead and started paying $12.95 for it every month, and I am not sure I will ever go back to the free version.  While I think the free version is great, especially if you just use it occasionally, I have to say that I think the monthly fee is worth the investment for the amount of time I use it and the number of graphics I create.   The paid version opens up so many more templates, images, and features that I really like using, but the background removing feature alone really makes it worth it for me.  I highly recommend this program/app if you make a lot of graphics.

Those are my three favorites that I use ALL the time. All three are easy to navigate and really do help make the prefect graphics. All you need is a little creativity.


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