Computer generated graphics are incredibly easy on the budget, and on time, depending on the type of tools that you have available, but they aren’t the end of the line for creating impressive graphics. There may be times when you need the right photograph for a particular image, but don’t want to rely on the usual stock photography. You may also find that there are some great touches that you can add that require your own personal, artistic flare. Here are a few areas where “offline” solutions can boost the quality of your graphics:
- Photography used to mean investing in a camera that could cost several thousand dollars, and hoping that you got just the right shot, at just the right time. These days, it’s far easier to capture some outstanding images with the high quality cameras that modern smart phones have equipped by default. When filmmakers are using the latest iPhone to film entire movies, you know there’s been a paradigm shift. On that note, you can also use some of the higher end smart phones to record footage, and then use images from those stills– the image fidelity and resolution are actually good enough for most graphic design tasks.
- Hand-drawn typography has caught the attention of designers since typography began to take off a few years ago, but it still remains as the hobby of those who have the actual ability to write in beautiful, bold fonts on paper. If you take the time to practice, picking up calligraphy actually won’t take you very long. If you’ve already got that skill, consider applying it to banner art, buttons, and just about anywhere you’d want a custom font to be used. Though it is niche, it’s still a fairly in-demand skill, and for good reason; it looks fantastic.
- Crafts can go hand in hand with photography, as you can’t exactly upload a clay sculpture or wooden frame, but you can use fairly simple craftwork to create some very interesting, organic looking photo assets all the same. One of the advantages with crafts is that you can also customize what you want to say in an image. For example, wood carved blocks spelling out a site name, or a company, can then be used in headers and other media. It looks very professional on the digital screen when properly applied.
A huge advantage of applying any of these skills is that you can save money and build up your own library of customized graphics to use for a website. By cutting down on your budget for image assets, you’ll be able to invest in some of the finer things in life, all while giving your site a very personalized look that will let visitors know that you’re not just shopping at the generic aisle of your local stock photography seller. You can even get friends in on the creativity, for added help, all at a fairly low cost.