When you spend a lot of time online, especially as a creative, it’s very easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of content and software you’re constantly coming across, all sold to you in a way which will “increase your productivity”. So to ease a little bit of that confusion, we’ve listed our five must-know sites for creatives to streamline their process. Notice there’s no To-Do list app, because that’s best done by hand – now pick up your pen and add ‘visit these sites’ to that list!
Canva: Design is pretty hard and somewhere along the way it has become bogged down with expensive, complicated software that puts design out of reach for most people. Canva is here to change that, with a tool that makes design simple for everyone. “Canva gives you everything you need to easily turn ideas into stunning designs. Create designs for Web or print: blog graphics, presentations, Facebook covers, flyers, posters, invitations and so much more.” With preset design dimensions, preloaded fonts, formats and graphic to choose from – most being free – it’s a one stop shop for creative design!
Stokpic / Pexels: “Stock photos are used by hundreds of thousands of people every day. They are needed for websites, mock ups, blogs, businesses, print, advertisement, newspapers and so many other uses. You can spend hours looking through some of the big stock websites clicking through literally millions of images only to find that its going to cost about $10 per image. If you want a hi-res version for commercial print, well that can cost hundreds of dollars.” So Stokpic & Pexels are here to give you access to a myriad of amazing photos for free in full hi resolution. All photos on these sites are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. Meaning you can copy, modify, distribute and perform the photos. The pictures are free for personal and even for commercial use. All without asking for permission or setting a link to the source – so attribution is not required, although it’s always nice practice. All in all the photos are completely free to be used for any legal purpose.
PicMonkey: PicMonkey makes creative tools for photo editing and graphic design that you can utilise for free on the site. Whether it be editing out imperfections or fixing the light in photographs, it’s the easiest, no signup required site for online editing.
Creative Market: If you’re looking for fonts, logo designs, new website themes, or some outstanding photography, Creative Market is chocked full of them, designed by experienced and wonderful people and sold straight to you. They also give away six free things every Monday – from cute digital prints to design layouts, from invitations to CVs, all free and downloadable straight to your desktop. Because sometimes it’s great to pay in appreciation of other creatives.
Google URL Shortener: Shorten your URLS to fit them into Tweets or social sharing posts, and track the clicks with Google’s incredibly straight-forward program. Shortening your links is a great way to keep track of your community and your engagement.