Spring has most definitely arrived and the sun is shining – if you’re anything like me you’ll feel more enegised and enthused, and raring to get going with that online project you’re working on.
Be it a brand-shiny-new website, a re-design or re-brand, the creation of some great new digital assets, producing branded merchanise, or developing a coherent packaging strategy – your visual assets are a vital part of your fledgling business. You want everything to be the best it can be, to portray the quality of your brand, and appeal specifically to your target market, and nothing does that half so well as imagery… a picture’s worth a thousand words, right?
Unfortunately we are not all Picasso – me for example, I like pleasing design, and I put pieces together to get a reasonable layout, but the artistic stuff is way beyond me.
So what are my choices?
Make do with basic visuals (web trends may be towards flat clean, design, but basic they are not – it takes flair to create harmony), spend many more hours that I really don’t have scouring the net for inspiration then plagerising someone else’s ideas and attempting to cobble something together with the amateur tools I possess?
No. Now is the time to call in the experts. They can do for you what it would take you many a long night to accomplish, without breaking a sweat.
They will also do it better. And cheaper.
Yes, cheaper – if you were to price up all the hours you would spend researching, copying, trying and re-trying then you would soon realise that you just cannot afford to do it yourself. How much money could you actually make in the hours it would otherwise cost you to attempt this project?
OK, so if I haven’t convinced you by now that there are times when you really do need tosplash out the cash for something so critical for your business then I guess the gig is up. But for those of you who are convinced, allow me to present my top picks for putting the spring in your Spring:
#1. Scene Creators
From my friends over at Creative Market come some great graphic scene creators – bundles of individual objects that you can piece together to build your own stylised room or workspace. My current favourites are these:
This bundle contains 600+ items, 15 scenes and over 3000 positions! There are wall textures and floors, you can pick the lighting angle by choosing the direction of the shadows (shadows are in separate files from the objects), there are toys, plants, office items, frames and furniture – oh you’re going to have so much fun with this!
From the same designer is this bumper bundle of over 1500 items, viewed from above this time.
For both bundles, the file resolutions are of professional standard, the license allows for commercial use, later bundle updates are free, and this all comes together with PDF instructions.
[click images for more details and examples from either bundle]
#2 Invest in a bright clean and functional web template
Talented designer Lindsey Riel of Pretty Darn Cute Design creates some truly stunning WordPress website templates. This is my current crush – and you can probably tell why it is called Pretty Happy – it just reeks of sunshine and freshness.
The theme is ecommerce ready, full-width, customisable, fast loading, and fully responsive. And just for kicks, Lindsey includes 20+ WordPress tutorials with every theme purchased!
#3 Get Some Motion
What says more than a picture? A moving picture!
VideoHive is the place to go for high quality stock video clips – they have a very reasonable flat pricing structure, the quality is amazing, and the uses inumerable… Here are just 3 from thousands (note these are watermarked stills from the video previews) – click the VideoHive link above and start browsing for your perfect clips – you’re going to love them:
#4 Buy Some Bespoke Design
99Designs is a fab online creative agency that offers bespoke design at a very affordable price – from cups-to-go to company logos, app icons, brochures, infographics, illustraions, banners, stationery, packaging, book covers, clothing … you name it they can pretty much design for it! There is a tiered pricing strategy, and it is a collaborative process based on your brief. All projects are offered with predefined time frames, and you will receive a number of options to choose from. They work with some amazing professional designers, so you are guaranteed a stunning end product. You simply must check them out.
And finally… yes, I know I am mostly expounding how to get the best results for free – but come on, this is the visual face of your business and deserves only the very best – and to be honest, all the sites and services mentioned here offer amazing value for money, I promise.