If your budget is limited or you just fancy having a go at designing your own roller banner, read on for advice on how to get started and which online design tools to use.
What online design tools are available?
Graphic design can be an expensive business if you choose to recruit in your own professional but there are many other options for those brave enough to put together their own design online. But which packages are best for you? It depends on your designing experience, your budget, as well as your self confidence in trying something out of your comfort zone. There is a plethora of design tools that can be used for free if you’d like to try the DIY route when putting together a design for your roller banner or print advertising. We’ve listed some of the more user friendly and popular brands below:
What are the pros and cons of each graphic design tool?
Inkscape is an open source (original source is available for redistribution and modification) and vector image editor which means graphics are scalable without blurring. Widely thought of as the counterpart to Adobe Illustrator this programme uses high quality colours, gradients and a comprehensive toolkit. It’s adaptable and powerful with excellent file format support, (different ways of storing encoded information.) On the downside it can be a little slow processing tasks and does not have the same commercial credibility as Illustrator.
Ease.ly is a web tool that assists in creating and designing infographics online even for those without design experience. It also offers infographic design templates that contain pre-inserted graphics and allows you to share these when completed. One of the benefits highlighted by users is the support provided by the professional design team on all projects.
Gimp (GNU Image Manipulation Programme) is a free photo editing software with similar functionality and power to Adobe Photoshop. The users rate its effective and comprehensive set of features as world class although it does lack the same level of support and variety of tutorials offered by its commercial counterpart.
Gravit has impressive cross platform capabilities and an easy to use interface, along with great functionalities such as pen shapes and layers creating high quality vector designs. One fall back is it appears to be a vector art tool rather than a web design tool.
Krita is a fast performer with extensive features suitable for both professional and amateur graphic designers and works well on desktop and graphic tablets. There are many tools offered for achieving numerous effects and design types, including blenders, colour mixing, transforming, layering and mirroring, amongst others. But it has been reported that text is not easy to use and new features have been known to contain bugs.
Vectr is intuitive and easy to use with seamless cross-platform capabilities. Designs created are of consistently high quality regardless of size or scale and there is a good selection of free tutorials and guides to support users. It does, however, lack a number of advanced features of the high-end applications, but does offer all the basic features of a good graphic designing tool.
Crello is a good graphic design software for beginners offering a 65m different files, 12,000 templates and hundred of fonts. Its simple to use interface, access to many design features and plethora of help features, tutorials and how-to guides makes it a high value professional option without the high cost. A couple of minor issues to consider are the lack of basic fonts and presentation templates.
Snappa enables users to create visual content quickly and easily without the use of complicated tools and requires no prior knowledge of editing. Ideal for teams working on a design project that need to share files, images and designs stored within a cloud. Cons include no mobile app and a lack of downloads.
Pixlr is regarded as the free alternative to Adobe Photoshop and is easy for any beginner to pick up thanks to an express tool that offers a variety of one-click changes. Features include its own file format (.pxd) for easier editing and a variety of free fonts, graphics and stock images, as well as the useful"Grabber for Firefox," download enables you to right-click on any image in a web page and load it into Pixlr for editing. Users comment on the need for more tutorials to make full use of the editing programme.
How to use Canva to design your own roller banner
Graphic design tool website, Canva, is used by non-designers and professional graphic designers alike. Featuring a drag and droptool to create content for print media as well as the web there is access to over a million photographs, graphics and fonts. It’s simple to use interface means that beginners can add, edit, or delete graphic elements with no former design experience and professionals are able to design at a far quicker rate.
There is a whole range of different functions for users to add to their design, such as text, background, grids, lines, shapes and illustrations. Special features include a photo straightener, image cropper, text filler, speech bubble maker and design grids.
If you don’t have any other applications like Photoshop or Illustrator, then Canva is a really good free alternative to put together your roller banner artwork. You’ll need to set up an account to use the tool free of charge, although there is the option to buy specific images or backgrounds and to upgrade if you desire. One useful upgrade is the Magic Resize Pro which enables you to set up your artwork to the exact sizing required for your roller banner so you can send your design to the studio exactly as it is.
Follow this easy 10 step guide for a professional result
- Check the specified artwork size of your chosen roller banner. (See artwork FAQ and artwork guide)
- Search for Canva in your website browser and load the home page.
- Scroll down to the
marketing collection of design formats and select ‘poster’. This is not the
size you want but the exact dimensions can be set up on the next page.
- Your blank artwork page will appear ready for you to start creating your work. Click on ‘resize’ in the main menu bar at the top left-hand side and select custom dimensions. (You may need to select the free 30-day upgrade to do this, but it will setup your artwork to the right proportions for printing.) Each roller banner has its own print ready measurements on the product page, enter these but make sure you allow an extra 100mm to the height to allow for the bottom of the graphic to roll back into the base.
- Choose a template from the listings on the left-hand side of the page and be sure to select a template marked ‘free’ if you wish to keep the cost down.
- Choose your images from ‘Photos’ or select your own by clicking on uploads and choosing one from your own files or dragging one from your desktop.
- Replace existing text on the template by clicking on the wording and deleting this and then replacing with your own headline, sub-headings and body text. Click on the ‘add a heading’ in the display box to set up the size, font, colour, spacing and alignment of the text. You can use the reverse arrow in the main menu bar if you need to delete a task. Do the same for the sub-headings and body text clicking and dragging to adjust the location and layout of the text.
- If you click on ‘elements’ in the left-hand toolbox you can add extra charts, grids and shapes to your design.
- Don’t’ forget to check
and double check your grammar and spelling as your artwork will not be proofed
once submitted to the studio!
- When you are happy with your artwork go to ‘Print Posters’ and download saving as a PDF file. You can then email it straight to the studio for printing.
If you would like to be walked through the process or have any issues whilst designing your roller banner artwork call the RB Team on (02380) 700111 or chat online.