5 tools that enable non-designers to make infographics, header images, and videos.

Can impactful infographics and social imagery only be conceived by skilled, highly-trained graphic designers? Conventional wisdom would dictate yes, but in recent years a range of accessible, easy-to-use software has made it possible for even amateur designers to produce bold imagery and eye-catching graphics.

Read on to learn about five handy tools that you can use to instantly elevate your marketing game, without hiring an in-house design team.

1. Canva

As paradoxical as it might seem, the problem with many graphic design software programs is simply that they are too comprehensive. Loaded with features that allow for the most minute adjustments, these programs are staples for professional designers, but can be overwhelming for amateurs.

Canva offers a great entry point for beginners, combining a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface with professional-level quality, making it easy to create everything from header images to infographics. The program provides many different templates and layouts, and hosts a large collection of images, graphics, and fonts to choose from. Canva follows a “freemium” format — most images and features are free, but premium options can be purchased at a low additional cost.

2. PowToon

PowToon was created to address two major roadblocks in the animation industry: time and cost. Traditionally, making even a short animated video requires contracting an animation studio, which is not an inexpensive (or particularly quick) endeavor. A 90-second animated video, for example, can cost anywhere from $2,000 — $25,000.

PowToon provides a simpler, cheaper alternative, providing templates for a variety of animated videos — from consumer-facing social media clips to those tailored to internal sales pitches or presentations. PowToon offers scaled pricing, ranging from a free version to a $59 per month plan, depending on the complexity of your needs.

3. Word Swag

Word Swag excels at a single task: creating great-looking text overlaid onto images. For visual-centric social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, the polished appearance of these images can be highly impactful (and may even stop interested consumers mid-scroll!). Word Swag is powered by a “typomatic engine,” which allows the user to instantly select fonts, layouts, and colors to craft customized text. The app comes with a variety of standard options, but users also have the option to upload their own custom fonts as needed.

4. Venngage

We live in an increasingly data-driven world — so what better way to display your industry know-how than with an informative, statistics-driven infographic?

Venngage makes it easy to create engaging infographics that bring your data to life. It includes a variety of customizable templates, and the platform allows you to easily collaborate on your design internally as well as share the finished product on social media or your company blog. At $49 per month for businesses, Venngage provides a definite bang for your buck, and it’s no surprise that many major companies like Google and Airbnb make use of the product to create noteworthy marketing collateral.

5. Weld

Many design tools are marketed as being accessible to both professionals and amateurs alike, but Weld actually delivers on that promise — providing a means of creating dynamic and responsive web content for non-coders. Unlike its competitors, Weld eschews templates, which may seem daunting but ultimately offers its users more freedom. In addition to creating animated content for websites, Weld can also be used to embed content within email marketing campaigns on Mailchimp, or on many social media channels. Weld is priced on a sliding scale, allowing you to select the right plan (at the right price) to fit your needs.

Longneck and Thunderfoot offer digital strategy services, including website branding, style guides, persona development, and audience segmentation. We’re a partner in making content work for your business. Learn more about digital strategy here.

Author Tom House

Tom helps L&T deliver effective, compelling creative by designing professional publications and graphics. In the past, he has done work across a range of industries and his writing has been featured in USA Today. Before joining L&T, Tom studied Journalism and Graphic Design where he developed his skills in digital communications and print design. When he's not hard at work spinning up original designs, Tom loves to hike, draw and teach himself how to surf.

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