Be it for print materials, in service screen graphics, or creative social media posts, you agree that this should be done and be done well. And most likely you fall into one of two categories (sorry in advance for “labeling” you), either you know how to do this the right way, or you don’t. As a youth pastor, I’ve had reoccurring conversations around the topic of wishing I could somehow add graphic design to my past formation. The truth is, however, software like Photoshop and Illustrator, while being industry standards, are both expensive and hard to learn (at least for the average ministry worker). You need apps for graphic design.
1. WORD SWAG
Word Swag is great for the ministry worker on the go, without much need for an eye for creative graphics as the app does most of the heavy lifting. This app is especially good for quotes [from] your speaker, recapping the weekend program. It also can be used to make incredible verse images that you can post as encouragement to your followers. The biggest con with this app, however, is the design limitations. Because of its ease of use, there are some things you may want to do, or features you would expect that simply aren’t here. Fear not, there are other apps for that.
- Access to a lot more stock photos and illustrations
- The ability to add team members under your same account that can access and even work on your designs for you
- Magic Resize which allows you to create something once and automatically have it resized for multiple platforms and design types (/disclaimer, I haven’t actually tried this feature, although it sounds like a real time saver/)
- The ability to save your brand’s color palette, logos, even fonts and “go to” designs for recurring use
3. PAGES FOR MAC
If you are looking for a true Photoshop replacement, then this is the app for you. Similar feel, features, tools, even the layout looks a lot like the Adobe original. And yet Pixelmator made more sense to me for a couple of reasons. First off, the price!! Coming in at $29.99 makes it a very affordable software. At the same time, the price point doesn’t make you feel like you are buying a super cheap knockoff. It handles a lot of the same tools and features as Photoshop has and it also has a wide variety of tutorials created by Pixelmator as well as online users. The cost of this application along with the ease of use make it a great alternative for someone who wants to do a little more than what a phone app could handle, but isn’t yet ready for the full blown software learning experience. There is also a recently added feature called Vectormator incorporated to the software which handles all vector aspects of your designs. A well-crafted software for a steal of a price. And the updates and new features keep rolling out.
- Custom canvas sizes including easy to select social media presets
- Access to images (/camera roll of course/), as well as Unsplash, Pixabay and Google images built-in
- A decent amount of fonts to pick from (/it is possible to add custom fonts, but on the iPhone, this requires a second app and access to cloud software like Dropbox or iCloud/)
- Graphics which typically are PNG images you can download from their databases or from your phone (/there is even the option here to store your PNG logos all in one spot for recurring use)/
- Those are the bigger features… adding photos, then adding text and graphic elements to them. The true beauty, however, lies with how easily you can then edit all of these choices:
- Font alignment, spacing, all caps and curvature
- Color adjustment for images, fonts and design elements
- Sizing, shadows, opacity
- Precision placement on the canvas called “nudging”
- A mask tool which really sets this app apart from simply placing text on a photo blending with a full set of filters and options