One of the most stressful aspects of blogging for me has always been the graphics. I am not a great photographer and I am mediocre at best when it comes to Photoshop. My early graphics were a bit...rough. I thought that I had to use Photoshop to make my blog and my post graphics look professional and I ended up with just the opposite. Flash forward a few months and I found out about stock photos, PicMonkey and Canva. My blogging life was forever changed.
You can check out the first post in this series all about stock photos HERE.
PicMonkey, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Seriously, I am in love with PicMonkey, it is by far my favorite online graphics tool. I do pay for their premium-- or "Royale" subscription, but even their free version is AMAZING. I use PicMonkey for everything from post graphics, printables and social media shareables. One of my favorite features of PicMonkey is the ability to use your own fonts (this applies to the paid and free versions), any font that you have on your computer will appear as a choice in the "Yours" section under the "Add Text" option. The only thing that I really don't like about PicMonkey is the inability to save your work as you go. There is nothing worse than working on something and losing all of your work due to an internet outage or your internet browser closing.
Once you start playing around with PicMonkey you will find all kinds of sweet tricks and uses for it.
Check out some of my posts about different ways I've used PicMonkey:
Canva can be used in many of the same way as PicMonkey, but it has a lot of its own unique features. There is a huge database of free and paid stock photos and graphics that you can incorporate into your project. I have made some gorgeous shareable social media quotes using Canva. As you can save your work and make multi-page projects, it's also a great way to make short eBooks. The main con of Canva for me is a limited font selection and the inability to add your own fonts.
Logoist 2 is a graphic design app for the Mac, currently $29.99 in the Mac App Store. It is made for designing... you guessed it: Logos! I purchased it initially to create the Finding Morgan logo that you see today and decided that it was way too awesome to use only for logos, so I started exploring the program and learning how to use it. While it's not quite as simple as PicMonkey, it is fairly easy to use and well worth spending a little time with.
90% of my blog post graphics are now created with Logoist. I love how sharp fonts look in my designs created with Logoist. After never feeling fully satisfied with the category boxes in my sidebar because of the "blurry" way that the text looked, I remade them with Logoist.