Top 5 Budget Content Tools

We live in a world where image is now ruling the internet.

When we all have a camera in our pocket, it’s no surprise that we’re becoming our own amateur photographers and uploading it to our favourite image sharing social sites.

We expect to see images everywhere we go, and it’s becoming the biggest tool in marketing. Nothing quite sells a product like an image. So why are so many small businesses still not understanding the importance of this huge marketing magnet?

An image draws us in, gives us a snippet of the story and encourages to read on.

Without them your marketing and written content is like a whisper in a crowded room, it’s never going to get the impact that you intended.

Many small businesses are under the illusion that great graphics and pictures are going to eat away at their marketing budget. A costly resource that they feel they don’t need.

But with the right resources and just a little amount of time, businesses can create their own bespoke images and get a far greater ROI on their marketing efforts.

Think of it from the customer’s perspective. Do you really want to be faced with reams of lengthy text without any images to help keep you interested or help to explain your words?

Flickr – Creative Commons

The most commonly used photo sharing platform on the internet. Flickr’s Creative Commons allows you to use others images for free as long as you provide them with a credit.

This is such a simple solution if you’re searching for an image specific to your subject, and with creative commons spanning across the globe, you’re sure to find something that fits the bill.

Canva

Growing in popularity, Canva is a free online image editing tool that anyone can use without being an expert.

Simple to use and with a library of cool graphics, templates and icons, it’s a small businesses dream, as any image can instantly be turned into an eye catching marketing tool.

No matter your marketing needs you can create social media graphics and printed artwork without any need for experience, which for a small business with a limited team and perhaps limited design skills, means you can use it with confidence knowing that your artwork is going to look as though it’s been done by a professional.

Budget Content Tools

Gratisography

Stock images can be expensive and it’s unfortunately often the case that the same image can be purchased by a competitor, leaving both parties looking a little red faced at the fact they’re unable to afford their own.

But small businesses can ease this embarrassment now with the help of a free stock image site Gratisography. Not only are these images unique and high quality, they are completely free for you to do what you wish. They would like it if you could offer a donation now and again to keep the site ticking over, but apart from that it’s yours for the taking.

The current portfolio of images is quite limited, but they’ve seen rapid expansion already this year, so it’s certainly one to keep your eye on.

Pixabay

With a vast library of images, Pixalbay is a hidden gem on the World Wide Web, but with such a great portfolio comes great power, and all they request is a credit to the source of the image.

A very small price to pay for images that could instigate a better reaction from your marketing.

Have a play around with what they have available and try to think outside of the box with the image that you want to represent your campaign.

Unfortunately there is no guarantee that likeminded competitors are also using this an image source.

Photoshop

You may think I’m throwing a curve ball mentioning the holy grail of image editing that is Photoshop. But Adobe have realised that they’ve been alienating small businesses with their large lump sums for the software, so in order to encourage more users and less illegal downloads, Adobe now offer monthly low payment fees for anyone to have the software.

This could be a far more affordable option for businesses, as they could then invest in training a member of staff with companies such as Xchange Training, who offer bespoke courses to fit the needs and requirements you wish to gain from the software.

With so many options available for better images, there’s no need for your content to lack any excitement.

Choose relevant images that tell the story of your marketing and it could boost your business in more ways than one.

How to Create Instagram Widget in Photoshop

Instragram has evolved as an effective tool recently. In the following tutorial, we will be discussing the process for creating Instagram widget in Photoshop by following some simple steps.

Instagram Widget Creation

  • One should start by making a simple shape of about 415pxls in height and 775pxls in width.
  • For the user interface piece, one will need an attractive and nice background that fits nicely to the design.
  • The widget-work can get started by simply creating a rectangular shape of about 335pxls in width and 350pxls in height. A nice grey colour touch can also be added to it.
  • A subtle shadow needs to be applied on the image so that the base doesn’t look too flat. The distance can be set to 3, opacity to 47% and size to 5. The colour must be set to black.
  • A little noise can be added to the shape, but one should be careful at the time of using them so that there is no scope for any “overdose”. It should be used only if necessary and should not be hurting the viewer’s eyes. Noise effect can be added in a number of ways but the popular among them is to apply it as a pattern.
  • The base shape can be finished by applying the effect of light stroke. The size needs to be set at 1pxl and in dark grey colour.
  • Now to make the shape come alive one can find a pretty picture that will be covering the shape’s entire width.
  • A white shape is needed of 80x80pxls to create the avatar box. Next, one will need an image of 70x70pxls and then put it right on the centre of it.
  • A call-to-action (CTA) button needs to be placed below the avatar. For that the Rounded Rectangle Tool can be put to use and create a shape of 40pxls in height and 145pxls in width. The effect of drop-shadow can be applied here.
  • By setting the distance to 1pxl and opacity to 30%, one can continue the process for the buttons.
  • The effect of “Bevel and Emboss” can be applied on the button.
  • Last step before completing the widget’s “header” part is by adding a catchy, short yet usual phrase.
  • Next, is to add some information about the fictional profile.
  • Then one needs to add a little widget that will be showing the counters of followers, number of images posted and the number of follows.
  • Finish the thing by simply putting some numbers and division lines between the stats. To create the grey horizontal line, one can use the Line Tool and round it up by lightly applying the Drop Shadow Effect.
  • Two images need to be added that actually will be representing the images “feed”. A 2pxl white stroke can be given to them.
  • Now, the entire widget can be finished by adding 3 pins, imitating the functionality of a slider. To do that, one can use the Elipse Tool.

A Brief Tutorial on Type Styles in Photoshop CS6

Type Styles are the latest interesting features in Photoshop CS6. They enable users to define customised style for characters as well as paragraphs. Therefore, users can easily and quickly change the style of text with the help of these Type Styles in Photoshop CS6.

About Type Styles

It is the latest feature in Photoshop CS6 that can save the attributes of texts, which are customised by users according to their preference, in the form of groups. Type Styles in Photoshop CS6 have two categories – Paragraph Styles and Character Styles. Character Styles controls only character attributes, like size, font, colour etc., while Paragraph Styles controls both paragraph and character styles.

Type Styles setup

The first requirement to setup Type Styles is texts. Type Styles can be set on the basis of attributes of the texts or they can be defined first and then texts can be formatted accordingly.

Photoshop CS6

Creation of Character Style

As said, texts are required to create Character Style. The texts can be first formatted and then a style created on the basis of that format. Else, the style can be created first and then the texts can be formatted. It works either ways. When character style is created for numbers then only the font-size and the colour need to be changed.

Modification of Character Styles

Styles settings can be viewed by double-clicking on its name at Character Styles panel by selecting the name and clicking Style Options at the Menu panel. A dialogue box that contains all the necessary tools for the task, Character Style Options, opens to allow modification.

Application of Character Styles

Styles can be applied by selecting the required texts with the help of a Type Tool. Next, the required style has to be selected to apply the desired effect.

Multiple Character Styles

There is no limitation to the number of character Styles that can be created. As many number of styles can be created as desired or required by users. The selection of required texts is important as; otherwise, the effect gets applied to the entire block.

Duplication of Character Styles

The original name of the Style has to be selected from Styles Panel. Then the Duplicate Style option on the Menu of Character Styles Panel has to be chosen. The settings can then be modified from character Styles Options and saved with a new name.

Deletion of Character Styles

The simple way to delete a Character Style is to select it and click on Delete Current Character Style on Character Styles Panel. Another way to delete Character Styles is from Delete Style option on the Character Style Panel menu. The latter method deletes the Style but its effect remains applied to the texts to which it has been applied. Of course, users can apply another style to those texts, if required.

Some Great Photoshop Web Design Tutorials

Photoshop has been a preferred tool for web designers for the last two decades. However, despite being popular many web designers are not aware of the possibilities which the tool presents. In order to facilitate their learning the article below presents some great Photoshop Web Design Tutorials which could really make the process of creating amazing designs much easier. The tutorials discussed below when followed could even let people copy designs but it is not suggested to use them and reproduce the exact copy in one’s name.

  1. Clean Portfolio Layout: A simple yet soothing web design layout which could be created by using simple techniques and following simple steps.
  2. Making one vibrant looking web design for a portfolio: While one uses this tutorial it would use the 960 Grid systems to layout a web page.
  3. Elegant Photography layout: Among the popular Photoshop Web design Tutorials, this would help in showing the methods for applying background textures to the web designs.photoshop web design tutorials
  4. Design for a Movie Streaming website: When one uses this tutorial they would be able to use the layer styles for creating great web design components within their designs.
  5. To create a simple yet extremely dark web design: One of the very few Photoshop Web design tutorials which would help the designers to learn the methods for making a web button in their designs.
  6. Get that vintage look to your design: Making a stylishly vintage looking theme can be possible by using this tutorial.
  7. Get that perfect yet simple portfolio design: It is among the popular Photoshop Web design Tutorials which can create the perfect portfolio sites along with web app sites.
  8. A Dark Layout with a 3D effect: This tutorial would help in creating layer styles and give a 3D affect to the web design.
  9. Colourful tutorial for the Ecommerce lovers: One of those Photoshop Web design Tutorials which can make an awesome looking colourful ecommerce design.
  10. Getting a sleek design for a Mobile app site: This Photoshop tutorial can be used for creating a simple dark themed web design which utilizes the basic techniques of Photoshop.
  11. Get a warm yet cheerful web design: This is an awesome tutorial which can help the designers to create warm yet cheerful web designs. It also has the conversion follow up for converting PSD into HTML.
  12. A theme tutorial for the WordPress Lovers: Quite popular for its functionalities designers have a craze to develop designs for WordPress these days. Using this tutorial creation of a WordPress design in Photoshop would be much easier.
  13. An Elegant pattern for a web design: The is among the few Photoshop Web design Tutorials which help in designing elegant patterned we designs using Photoshop.
  14. Design one corporate website: For the corporate designers out there this tutorial can be an easy yet clean way to create a corporate web design.