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How to Make Graphics: A Beginners Guide

Written by
Jackie Pearce

Published on
August 11, 2022

If you’ve been wondering how to make graphics, this article should help get you started in the right direction and pick software that works for you.

Graphics can help you create blogs, social media content, book covers and a million other things, and there are a ton of sites and softwares out there to help.

If you want to start making graphics, you might worry about your lack of technical knowledge.

Thanks to advancing technology, more and more programs are coming out to help people create amazing graphics, even with limited skills.

This article will go over some of the options out there to teach you how to make graphics. Whether you have beginner skills or advanced skills as a graphic designer, you’ll be able to find the right software for what you need and your skill level.



Before you make your first graphic

Before you make your first graphic, there are some basic design elements you should know.

First, you need to know what your end goal is.

Are you making a social media graphic? A blog graphic? A cover for your book?

(We recommend only making mockups/samples and entrusting the final cover design to a professional. graphic designer.)

This will help you decide the size and basic framework you’re working with. For example, social media networks generally have certain sizes for each of their platforms for images to fit within. Check out this helpful article from Social Pilot for a complete guide on the top social accounts and their image sizes.

Second, determine how you want the person to feel when they see it.

Do you want them to pick up your book right away? Be hooked into reading your social media post?

You might not be a design expert, but starting with the end in mind can help guide you along the design process.

Once you have those two decisions made, then you’ll want to take the time to select the right color palette, alignment, and typography that will go into your graphic.

How to make graphics: the options

If you need graphics, you have two choices: you can either make them yourself or hire someone to create them.

Hiring someone to create graphics can be quite expensive, especially if you need them regularly. Fiverr and Upwork do have some affordable outsourcers, but you’ll have to vet the quality. The old adage is true, you generally get what you pay for.

That leaves you with the choice of making them yourself.

For the most part, you’re going to want to pick software based on your own skill level. There are some programs that really make it easy and give you templates to start with.

The next options are arranged by skill set and also overall recommendation.

ProgramEase of UsePriceBest for
CanvaVery EasyFree, with paid optionsAll Graphic Design
Get StencilEasyFree, with paid optionsAll Graphic Design
Adobe ExpressEasyFreeSocial Media Posts
Adobe PhotoshopExpertPaid, start at $20.99/month USDAdvanced Graphic Design
Self-Publishing School Book Mockup GeneratorVery EasyFree, with paid optionBook Promo Images
DIY Book CoversVery EasyFreeBook Promo Images
MockupShotsEasyPaid, lifetime access for $207 USDBook Promo Images
RiplEasyPaid, start at $12.99/month USDVideo Editing

Canva

If you are starting with no graphic design knowledge, Canva is one of the best choices you can start with.

Canva is incredibly user friendly and one of the easiest ways for you to begin creating professional-looking graphics.

There are not only easy-to-use graphic design tools but there are templates for every kind of graphic design you could possibly need to make.

Some include YouTube thumbnails, Instagram posts, ebooks, logos, posters, and 100+ other design options.

What Canva offers:

  • A basic Free plan to get you started
  • Thousands of templates and images to choose from
  • Options for teams to collaborate and work together
  • Drag-and-drop editing
  • Download, schedule, share, and print each design you make

Get Stencil

Get Stencil allows you to quickly and easily create graphics for bloggers, businesses, and for social media.

With over five million stock photos, five thousand fonts, and over a thousand templates, you don’t need to spend hours laboring over the perfect design. You can simply create one in minutes.

Get Stencil also has preset sizes so you don’t have to format and size your own graphics, depending on what you need. You can simply choose the size and get to creating.

Adobe Express

how to make graphics

Adobe offers a completely free program (no credit card required) to create social media graphics.

They offer a template library so you can get started right away with creating eye-catching graphics. They even have typography and design assets to add in.

You can easily duplicate designs you make to keep your branding consistent as well.

With both mobile and desktop options, you can create quickly and easily on the go. Especially considering these are social media posts, being able to make them and then upload them right from the same device can save you a ton of time.

They also have an automatic resizing option so you can create one graphic but fit it perfectly for different social media networks.

If you need your team to give their opinion, you can also invite more people to work on a design together to make it just what you need.

Photoshop

Photoshop is the most well-known graphic design tool that gives you the most customization.

It is used by professional graphic designers and offers endless options to create exactly what you need.

With that being said, unless you’re ready to take classes on how to work the software, it’s not a good choice for beginners.

It can also be quite costly, starting at $20.99 per month.

It is, however, worth it if you plan to make a ton of graphics and take the time to learn the software since it truly can create almost anything. You can retouch photography, images, graphics, change color, and customize every single inch of your graphics.

Best 3D book mockup software:

There are a lot of 3D Book Mockup software options out there. We’ll highlight two of the best free options and one paid option.

SPSBookMockupGenerator

Self-Publishing School Book Mockup Generator

Our friends at Self-Publishing School made this book mockup generator a couple years ago. It was designed to be simple, with only about 40 promo images to choose from. The images are clean, simple, and adaptable for hardcover, paperback, kindle, and audiobook. Simply choose the promo images you want, upload your cover, and then you can download the images in any social format you need. You can visit this link to begin creating your own 3D book mockup images today, for free.

DIY Book Covers

If you need to create a book cover, DIY Book Covers will help you create a free 3D book mockup.

3D book mockups create the look of your physical book in the real world. It’s a great way to create marketing graphics and social media posts.

All you need to do is upload your book cover, select how you want it to look, and download your free mockup to use as you please around the web or on your website.

Mockup Shots

MockupShots

For a paid, premium version, check out Mockupshots.com. For a small fee, you can have lifetime access and endless promo images, videos, gifs, and more. This is a very robust program, with all the capabilities you could possibly need, and for a very affordable price. If you’re a career author with multiple books, this could definitely be a good choice for you.

Ripl

Ripl lets you create short animated video right from your mobile device.

With professionally designed templates, you can create great videos that look like they were created by a videographer and can stand out.

If you’ve been keeping up with the social media trends lately, you know how important it is to have videos to use in your overall marketing strategy.

While it is a little more expensive at $12.99 per month (for the monthly plan, you save if you go to the yearly one), you also have the ability to send posts within the app itself if you choose to go with that plan.

For an upgrade to the $19.99 per month plan, you can also schedule posts in advance, which is great for people who want to schedule posts and forget about it. That plan also allows you to post to multiple businesses from one account.

Finding a tool that’s right for you

No matter how great all the tools are, you need to spend time thinking about what you actually need and will use.

Don’t sign up for video editors if you just need some simple social media graphics. Don’t sign up for complicated software if you’re going to download it and never learn how to use it.

Figure out what you need and then analyze which tool will get it done for you. There are plenty to choose from and know you can always switch later on if one tool isn’t what you need.

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