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Designing Graphics by Repurposing Images

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

Once you're familiar with the fundamental concepts of graphic design, you've a set of brand guidelines you can follow, and fully understand the design goal for your project, you're ready to design and build 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.

Finding the right image

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 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.

Repurposing an existing image

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 images.

Benefits of repurposing

Repurposing offers many benefits:

  • Repurposing is quicker than creating from scratch – and time is a precious resource
  • It’s also more cost-effective than purchasing
  • If an image appears in more than one place, it reinforces the message

In short, if you have good evergreen content, always look for opportunities to maximize reuse and save yourself time.

Using pre-made design templates

There are some great pre-made design templates out there for most of the jobs you need to do. Editors like Pixlr and Canva have libraries with extensive templates and examples for producing social media images and blog graphics that you can use.

Here are some rules for using design templates that you should be aware of:

  • Ensure that the quality of the images is HD and free from any copyright
  • Ensure you remove any placeholder text or content
  • Be inspired by these sources, but don’t just copy them directly
  • Be careful of the contrast and fonts of some of the templates
  • Watch out for inaccessible text
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Philippe Polman

Philippe is a digital engagement specialist with extensive experience helping clients to create and manage deeper, more personal relationships with their target audiences. In previous roles, Philippe has designed and executed international communications programs focused on internal communications, UX, brand management, media engagement (traditional and digital), investor relations, and corporate positioning. More recently, he has founded his own aviation consultancy business, which combines both his passion and experience for the aerospace industry.

By the end of this topic, you should be able to:

  • Understand the principles and best practices underpinning graphic design 
  • Appraise the design of consistent, brand-approved graphics that supports a business goal

    If you are interested in learning more about Content Marketing, DMI has produced a short course on the subject for all of our students. You can access this content here:

    DMI Short Course: Content Marketing

    The following pieces of content from the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library have been chosen to offer additional material that you might find interesting or insightful.

    You can find more information and content like this on the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library


      Graphic Design Essentials for Marketers
      Philippe Polman
      Skills Expert

      In this short course, created by Digital Marketing Institute in partnership with HubSpot Academy, you'll learn about the fundamentals of graphic design: color theory, imagery, typography, and composition. You'll walk through each of these fundamental elements and their best practices, including tips on incorporating them into developing simple visuals for your business. You'll be able to apply the knowledge you learn in this lesson to graphic design projects, big and small. We include links and references to free resources to help you design graphics without a massive budget or a degree in graphic design.