One Place To Get FREE Design Resources Every Week
We all know that the look and feel of your church website, worship slides, and even printed newsletters or bulletins can make or break a first impression. The graphics you use set the tone for what to expect, whether you want them to or not.
Good design is absolutely not more important than a church that practices spiritual disciplines, seeks to make disciples, and fosters a loving and accepting community. However, getting the raw elements for good design may not be as hard as you think.
I highly recommend that you check out the Free Goods page over at CreativeMarket.com. Creative Market is a great place to get reasonably priced, high quality design elements. They have literally everything you need to put together great graphics.
The best part about it is that they give away 6 items for free every week!
These elements are not always going to be something you will use, but I have rarely had a week when I didn’t download at least one thing for safe keeping. It is true that the free items are usually not the top sellers (as those products/designers don’t need the bump), but that doesn’t mean they’re bad.
For example, this week (week of July 5, 2015) I grabbed:
- The Nature Photoset – Great for backgrounds, especially if you blur them a little and/or layer over a slightly transparent solid color
- The Tribal Icon Set – Some of these icons would work as illustration elements or repeated as patterns without even needing to be in a “tribal” or southwestern context.
- The Vintage Logo and Badge Set – This retro/vintage/hipster style is still fairly prevalent (though on the way out) and you could easily edit one of these to become the logo for your fall retreat or camp out.
As an example, here is a graphic I made in less than 2 minutes using at least one element from each of the three free items:
A couple important points that will hopefully be helpful:
- Creative Market assumes some design knowledge, so you are going to be getting the elements without much, if any, instructions on how to use them (like how to install a font, for example).
- Creative Market is heavy on trendy styles–like the retro hipster look or the watercolor/brush script style. It can be a great place to get inspiration and the elements to recreate what is cool at the moment, but do not go overboard. You want people to recognize your church and its personality in what you produce.
- You will need access to and familiarity with design programs to use many of the elements. The image above was made using Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. There are free alternatives – see this Lifehacker post for details and recommendations.
- Not everything in the image above was free. Since I did not have the fonts used in the original logo file, I substituted in some of my own- one of which was free and two of which I paid for (look for a future post about why you may want to pay for a font or two for your church’s “brand” – gosh, I hate that term in the church world…).
- However, the header image and sharable image below were made using all free elements–fonts too! Keep in mind that the free Creative Market elements are free for only one week – that’s why you want to check it every week!
With all of those scary clarification points out of the way, let me encourage you. You can do this. There is a learning curve, but in a short amount of time and with a little practice, you can put together this type of image. Still nervous? Don’t have time? Check with you congregation or a local college or young adult ministry. Chances are good there is someone who can do this kind of thing for a couple bucks a week – or even as a free donation of their time.