Handling Design When You’re Not a Designer with Maggie McGary

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“I can do a lot of social media graphics myself. There are ways I can figure that stuff out. But I also have an outside designer for more complicated things. I don’t know anything about resolution formats or bleed…so when things need to be printed and things need to look good, I send them out.” – Maggie McGary, Communications and PR Manager, Society of Fire Protection Engineers

For online media alone, you need different size images for Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other sites. Within these sites, different pieces of content need different size as well – and all this isn’t even mentioning print! If you have a design team or budget this may not be a problem, but for many organizations, those resources aren’t always there. This week, Maggie McGary of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers joins to share her journey in finding the best design tools for non-designers. She contracts most of her print design work, but ends up doing most of her digital and web design herself. The concepts of image size, resolution, and layers are often lost on non-designers, so Maggie has played around with many free online tools to make the design process easier. From websites like Canva and Paint.net for image sizing to apps like WordSwag and DipTic for image overlays, there are ways anyone can get design work done. As Maggie says, “sometimes all you have to do is Google ‘free whatever.’”

Beth and Maggie discuss:

  • The best ways to repurpose images across multiple platforms
  • Pros and cons of several online and application-based design tools
  • Tips for imaging resizing and getting resolution right
  • When to use templates and when to start on your own
  • Why Beth thinks “just PhotoShop” should never be used in a sentence

Resources:

Driving Participation: Beyond Photoshop: Other Great Programs for Customizing Photos with Kelly Meisnner

Connect with Maggie on Twitter or read her Blog

Online Tools: CanvaPaint.NET, PicMonkey

Apps: WordSwag, eZy Watermark

Program tutorials from the Nonprofit Toolkit

Society of Fire Protection Engineers on Twitter

 

Download the Full Transcript

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