Once you're familiar with the fundamental concepts of graphic design, you have a brand style guide you can follow, and fully understand the design goal for your project, you're ready to design and create your graphic.
Before you get started, ask yourself: Can the graphic you need use images and logos that already exist? Most of the time, the answer to this question will be 'yes' – especially if you’re just starting out.
Let’s look at what you can do to save time in finding the right image to use. There are many places you can go to search for and find your ideal visual. Internally, for example, as you’ve seen, the brand style guide is a great place to go to get pictures and logos. You may also have a number of existing company assets either purchased from third parties or built in-house.
There are also good web sources for images, fonts, and so on, both free and for a small fee. Finally, you can use templates and graphics provided by free online graphic design tools like Pixlr or Canva.
Another great option is to repurpose an existing graphic – like using a stock photo as the background for a social media image, for example.
By 'repurposing' an image, we mean adapting it or breaking it up to use for another purpose.
For example, you can take an infographic and turn it into a number of individual graphics. Notice how the below remote work-themed infographic is split up into sections covering topics like:
This makes it easy to repurpose each section into a shorter, more specific graphic.
Repurposing is quicker than creating from scratch.
It’s also more cost-effective than purchasing a graphic. And of course, if an image appears in more than one place, then it reinforces the message. In short, if you have good evergreen content, always look for opportunities to maximize reuse and save yourself time.
It’s worth saying also that there are some great premade templates out there for most of the jobs you need to do.
Pr tip: Use Canva for finding free graphic design templates. Canva offers a vast library with extensive templates and examples for producing social media images and blog graphics that you can use.
Here’s a list of tips to consider in order to stand out when using graphic design templates:
On this template image from Canva, here’s an example where some of the text might be accessible on the image, but the subtext may be more difficult to easily read.
Want to learn how to create an image from scratch, step-by-step? We collaborated with HubSpot Academy on their free Graphic Design Course. Check out the course and equip yourself with the knowledge and tools needed to become a graphic design professional.