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How to Create Stunning Visuals for Your Website as a Non-Designer

Images matter. In a world where the average attention span keeps increasing, pictures are a way to quickly grab the attention of a site visitor or potential grabber in an instant. In that respect, images can work much better than text – that doesn’t mean they have to replace it, but they are a needed supplement to your content. Like salt to a great meal.

You probably know that. We’ve all heard the saying “a picture is worth more than a thousand words”. And it’s true – whether you’re thinking about your blog, website or Facebook posts, images matter.

Learning to utilize them is no longer something that should be solely left to designers. With some basic understanding of designer principles and the right tools, freelancers can create stunning imagery.

To help you on that journey, we’ve comprised a short list of the basics you’re going to need to create some real eye-catchers.

1. Familiarize yourself with a basic toolkit

Photoshop is not a must if you’re a designer looking to utilize the power of beautiful images. Sure, it’s a powerful tool, but it requires a decent level of knowledge to start out and doesn’t come cheap. The full suite is priced at around 50 dollars a month currently – that kind of money adds up.

However, there are plenty of alternatives you can use to create and edit images:

One of the most popular alternatives to Photoshop is GIMP. It’s an open-source tool and it doesn’t cost a single penny. There is a large community behind GIMP which will provide you with useful tutorials, many of them suitable for beginners. Pixlr is another useful tool which packs quite a punch. The basic options, which will be enough to let you edit photos for a while, are also free.

2. Embrace the power of infographics

Infographics are awesome. They can convey a lot of information much faster than an article, since they don’t only include text, but also allow you to visualize relationships between different elements. Thankfully, great infographics don’t have to be crafted manually from scratch, there are a ton of useful resources out there to help you build them.

For beginners, Piktochart is one of the best places to look if you want to create cool infographics. The tool has a basic version plus it offers some very valuable design insights, essentially teaching you how to create great visual content. Visme is a similar tool that also has a free version. With Visme, you get a bunch of content to start with. Utilizing that can help you create awesome graphics without having to create any of the basic images yourself.

Here are 4 free infographic creation tools for you to check out.

3. Hierarchy is crucial to great design

Now that you’ve got a good starting array of tools, let’s talk about some basic design principles. First of all, hierarchy is something very important when creating images. That’s pretty intuitive – you want the most important stuff to be biggest and preferably on the top (where people first look). Additionally, you might want stuff like “buy” or “add to cart” buttons to really pop out from the rest. Give them a whole different color, preferably brighter, than anything else – you’ve now created a visual hierarchy.

Size, color, position and font are all parts of that process.

4. Don’t be afraid of white space, utilize it

Most people who create a website or an infographic for the first time, really try to stuff in anything they can think of. That can be a huge problem. Scroll through the interfaces of your favourite apps and you might notice something that unites them – there’s a lot of empty space.

Empty space might not offer any information or be entertaining, but it’s just as valuable as the content around it. Those white spaces let you highlight things. They let the eye rest. And they help you, the person designing the image, draw attention to the important parts (hierarchy, remember?)

5. Strive for consistency

Another rule in design is that repeating visual elements is not necessarily redundant. Quite the opposite, repetition can lead to consistency. Using the same colors, attaching your logo or having a slogan that is always on the header of your website is the kind of consistency you want.

Utilizing that consistency means your brand will get remembered. When people see the particular color combination which you often use, they will know associate it with you. Those kind of visual prompts are important to ensure people remember your name – and that’s what a big part of marketing is all about.

Regardless if you’re a visual beginner or expert, we’d love to hear what you think about our basic tips for creating stunning visuals. Join the discussion by leaving a comment below this article!

Of course if you need a more professional design, do not hesitate to hire a freelance designer!
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