Managing all areas of your practice can be a great balancing act, especially when it comes to eyecare practice marketing. Graphic design can be challenging for many independent businesses who don't have the funds to pay a ton of money to hire a designer. While creating a seamless professional look is best achieved by hiring a design professional, we asked our in-house visual designer for some tips and resources that can help eyecare practice's design on the cheap. Even if you aren't the most design savvy individual these free or low cost resources can help you create simple visual pieces for your eyecare practice marketing needs!
If you have content that you are ready to share, but are confused where to begin with laying it out, then Canva will be a great resource for your practice. Developing clean layouts is one of the largest challenges with graphic design, which is why Canva's hundreds of predesigned templates are perfect for practices who just need a little help getting started. Their templates come in a variety of sizes that are already optimized for various social media posts, cover photos, blog graphics, presentation documents, and so much more. This is a resource that could be used in various aspects of your practice. (See that pretty little image there to the right? That's just one example of a quick image you can make in Canva!)
You might be familiar with Wordpress as a blogging platform, but it can be used as a website builder as well. wordpress is an open source which means that there are thousands of developers across the globe working on themes and templates that your practice can use for various prices; some are even free. Wordpress is great for practices who want to try their hand at building a website, but lack coding experience and knowledge. The downside to Wordpress is that your practice has to pay extra to get an unbranded domain (yourpractice.wordpress.com vs. yourpractice.com).
Creative Market is a shop that allows for contributors from all over the world to sell their designs. You can pay lower prices for everything from logos, Powerpoint templates, stock phtotos, illustarations, website templates, fonts, and more. The shop describes themselves on their website as a platform that is "passionate about making beautiful design simple and accessible to everyone." If you sign up for their newsletter, you'll get weekly emails with deals and discounts on useful items from the shop.
If you're looking for some royalty free stock photos for your practice to use, we suggest checking out Pixabay. The site also includes free vectors and art illustrations as well.
Font Squirrel is a great option for a practice looking to set themselves apart with a unique font as a part of their brand. This site offers free fonts that can be used for commercial use.
Windows Movie Maker is probably one of the most popular free video editing resources available today. Its drag and drop features are easy enough for almost anyone to use, so your practice can make videos complete with music, captions, credits, and more.
If you're looking for something a little more advanced than Windows Movie Maker, you might enjoy Lightworks. The sophisticated effects offered in the free program is a great starting tool for practices, and if you're looking for more, they also have a paid verson with even more features.
If you're not looking to purchase Adobe Photoshop, GIMP is a nice alternative that you can get your hands on for free. You won't get all of the features that Photoshop has to offer, but it is a great way to start learning how to edit photos.
Pixlr is another great Photoshop alternative for practices who are looking to do their editing online instead of downloading software. The simple features and layouts will get your practice started with image editing without over-complicating the process.
These resources are great options for practices who aren't prepared to dish out large amounts of money to begin their design process. However, we want to note that with these programs and sites, you get what you get, and your options can at times be limited. Truly great design can't always come cheap, and if you are looking for a truly professional and customizable look, we suggest hiring a designer. We also want to encourage you to always read the terms and conditions on these sites to make sure you are using them correctly.
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