Branding is a competitive game. In your industry all of your competitors are vying for the same eyeballs as you. So the question is how do you stand out among the rest of them? Of course, quality product and service will get you noticed and so will price. Simply competing on price can be a difficult business model to execute and maintain over the long run however. Trying to excel in all different aspects of your business will certainly set you in the right direction. On top of that a memorable brand will also help. This post will explore 8 graphic design tools that you can leverage to elevate your brand assets above the competition.
Business cards are still a powerful promotional tool. After you wrap up your presentation or meeting a prospective partner at a tradeshow the act of exchanging business cards is personal and memorable. Make sure your business cards look professional or else this will do your branding more harm than good. A tool like Business Cards lets you design free cards in just a few minutes. To start your project choose your industry and then select a fitting template. Once the template loads onto the canvas, enter your details such as name, job title, website and contact information. Upon completion you can download your printable card right away.
Using a poorly designed pitch deck is another way to hurt your branding. Many entrepreneurs settle for the basic sales templates provided in programs like MS PowerPoint. Stick out from your competitors and create visually pleasing and brand consistent slides with a design tool like ViseMe. The process is quick and easy, choose a template, copy and paste your content and then customize. Be sure to add your logo and to adjust the color palette to match your brand.
3. Adobe Spark
Another way to tell a professional brand apart from an amateur one is through their social media channels. Most companies these days leverage social media in some way or another. However, their branding is often very inconsistent across their different social media accounts like Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. To stand out be sure to use your logo and brand colors across consistently and to publish only visually pleasing content. To add a professional touch to your posts use a free tool like Adobe Spark. Choose a template to get started and then enter your content and make adjustments so the look and feel is consistent with your brand.
Another opportunity to show of your brand savvy is through email headers. Many of your competitors are most likely content simply adding their logo and some contact details. A beautifully designed email header can set you apart from spam emails and competitor outreach. Try a free design tool like Crello to come up with a professional looking email header design. Their web based design application is easy to use and allows you to quickly edit any of their email templates.
One of the most impactful brand assets is your website of course. Getting this right deserves extra attention since this is one of your most important communication and sales tools. If you don’t have the budget to build a custom site that’s perfectly tailor to your needs and logo you can go the template route. Don’t just go with any cheap looking template. Try a resource like Colorlib to find and download a beautiful website template. They offer over 800 free templates sorted by category. Once you find a design you like simply download it and share with your web designer or developer for easy implementation.
6. Free Images
If you are looking for an easy way to enhance your graphic design pieces across the board, it’s through the use of images. Not just any photography but professionally shot images. A site like Free Images allows you to browse and search over 300,000 free images. The trick to using images consistently is to find a set by a photographer you like and to use that almost exclusively across your website, blog posts, social media posts, presentations, etc. This will give all of your brand assets a similar look and feel instantly without having to do much work.
7. Flat Icon
Similar to using professional images, icons can make a big difference. Most entrepreneurs who don’t have an eye for design either don’t use icons or settle for cheap clipart that’s provided in most word editing software. Flat Icon offers over 3 million vectors organized by categories and tags. You can download any of these beautifully crafted designs and use them with confidence since you are granted commercial usage rights. Once you find an icon or set you like simply click download to get access to files formats like PNG, SVG, EPS and Base.
8. Google Fonts
Last but not least on this list are fonts. A quick way to elevate any graphic design piece is through the use of appropriate and artistically balanced fonts. If you are consistent in your use of fonts your business stakeholders will soon start to recognize them as part of your branding. Use a free resource like Google Fonts to find a couple of different fonts that pair well. Once you download them in TTF format you can start using them across all of your content pieces right away.
Before Your Get Started
Now that we have reviewed some wonderful free design resources you are probably excited to work on your next graphic design piece. Before you do so, let’s quickly summarize. Professional branding is all about consistency. Be consistent across all of your brand assets and be consistent in the use of your logo, brand colors, images, fonts and icons. Branding takes time but if you follow these guidelines and do-it-yourself resources like the ones listed above your brand will start to take shape and become memorable to your customers and potential leads. And that’s how you beat out your competitors when it comes to branding.
Joseph Trevino, Travel blogger by day – freelancer writer by night. Traveling and writing are my two passions in life. When I’m not out exploring a new city in a new country I’m posted up at a café writing. I’m also a part time designer who dabbles in illustrations and some abstract art.