Mar 9

Written by: Laurie Wakefield
Wednesday, March 09, 2016  RssIcon

I began my career long before personal computers, the Internet and social media existed. As an advertising art director, I spent many hours at my drawing board, light-headed from the Design Marker fumes as I hand drew comprehensive layouts - "comps" for presentations to clients. Once approved, we used those layouts to direct professional photographers and illustrators to produce final images for our campaigns. I have enjoyed working with many talented individuals throughout my career and I still have great respect for the value of professional content development.


Today - more than ever, it is critical that we utilize unique visual content to standout from all of the distractions on the Internet. It becomes challenging to create unique content while keeping pace with social media so I am constantly looking at tools and techniques to generate more interesting visuals.


A few years ago, I began using iPad apps that would allow me to create digital content and it didn't take long to create quick, simple and unique graphics for use in blogs and social media. In this article, I am sharing some of my experience with these tools, however I do want to stress the importance of seeking support from experienced professionals when budgets and time allow.


Many of these apps can also be used to sketch ideas and concepts that may be used to communicate and direct professional photographers and illustrators. Individuals who design, illustrate and shoot professional images every day can provide creative input, produce higher quality images and bring technical expertise to ensure that the images created are in the appropriate proportions, formats and resolutions to apply across multiple campaign elements. 


Apps that Enable You to Generate Graphics for Blogs, Tweets & Posts

Even if you don’t have drawing experience, many of these apps enable you to create interesting backgrounds and sketches, import photos and add typography to generate graphics that are appropriate for use with blogs, tweets or posts.


At first, I was disappointed that my iPad drawing skill level didn’t equal that of a real pencil on paper. There were so many tools and aspects within each app that it was easy to become frustrated. Inspired by a patch of spring Daffodils, I decided to draw the same thing over and over again so I could focus on the tools and less on the subject matter. Within a week’s time, my skills grew significantly and I became interested in whether the images would be useful beyond a hobby.

Visuals are Important for B2B & Tech Companies Too

I chose Daffodils for practice but my wheels began turning with ideas about ways to create and use digital images for my B2B and technology clients. Working in FiftyThree Paper, ArtRage , NotesPlus and SketchTime, I was able to export images as JPEG files and import those files into other applications. I realized that I could generate unique backgrounds and images, apply typography and create a variety of images worthy of use for presentations and Internet posting.


I decided to document my experience with the Daffodils in FiftyThree Paper and ArtRage and I created presentation elements in Powerpoint as well as Canva and PicMonkey applications. After adding typography to create title slides I imported images into iMovie and created this animated video.


Most of the applications that I have mentioned have excellent videos online to inspire and help you learn how to use them, including this one from FiftyThree.

Put It On Paper from FiftyThree on Vimeo.

Be Intentional About Communicating Visually

I am always intentional about creating relevant and engaging images for my clients and my own content. I rarely post anything personally or professionally without an image. Examples of these images can be viewed here in my blog, Facebook posts, LinkedIn posts as well as my tweets @wakefieldpr@lauriewakefield and @gardenzeal.


I provide a variety of PR and Marketing Communications consulting services to my clients including visual content development. If you’d like some help generating unique visual content to give your website, blog content and social media posts a visual boost please contact me here

Copyright ©2016 Laurie Wakefield

1 comment(s) so far...


Re: Several Ways to Create Quick and Unique Visual Content

Nice, succinct and informative - especially with regard to creating unique backgrounds and typography. Very helpful when trying to standout from boring visuals we mostly see today.

By Fred Spring on   Thursday, March 10, 2016

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Laurie Wakefield, a communications professional with more than 30 years of experience, blogs about Public Relations and Marketing Communications, highlighting programs and techniques that attract and engage, leaving lasting impressions and inspiring action.
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