As a Church Staff Designer or Volunteer, it can be difficult to get a budget for design software and resources for creating the church bulletin, social media post, blogs, and even audio/visual content. Over the 10+ years that I have been working in the creative industry, I have seen changes in the monetization of resources and software. Now instead of dropping $2,000 on new Adobe software every year, you can pay a low monthly fee instead and it comes with so much more. And changes in how stock assets are priced or not priced. Here are the top 5 resources that I would recommend for the budget conscience church staff or volunteer designer.
Top 5 Resources
If you pay for Creative Cloud from Adobe you have access to a massive library of free assets such as icons, shapes, and patterns. I have found these assets to be very useful especially in a crunch. You can also create your own libraries of assets to share with other people on your team. I have personally used Creative Cloud Libraries to store brand assets that I use over and over again.
Keeping with Adobe products. Adobe offers Spark Post as a free service for creating easy graphics for social media. It comes with a library of templates that are constantly being updated and added for easy creation of social media memes, post, ads, etc. You can also create short videos with Spark Post. Videos are high performing on social media so even if you are just sharing a simple thought or announcement. Consider making it a 15-30 sec video instead. Adobe Spark Post is available as a web portal and as an App for your phone. And you do not have to have Adobe Creative Cloud to use this app. Spark also gives you an option to plug in your brand assets and then presents you with templates based on those assets.
Similar to Adobe Spark, Canva is a platform for creating social media images using predesigned templates. Also available as a web portal or mobile app this platform distinguishes itself with a huge variety of templates for almost every online situation as well as printed materials such as fliers and posters. Canva has a very large searchable library, but not every template is free. Some do have a cost associated with them.
(NOTE: One major drawback of any of these predesigned templates is the risk of not having your own unique branded look and feel, so depending on the project you may still want to hire a professional designer for more branded, and important design pieces.)
Soundstripe is a great low-cost library for licensing music for a film. $15/month for unlimited access to their library. There is great music for putting behind interviews, announcements videos, you name it.
This resource is definitely my personal favorite of my Top 5 Resources. 100% Free Zero License Creative Commons Photos. For personal and commercial use. Unlike a lot of free stuff out there on the “interwebs”, it is high-quality photography that has been offered up by many talented photographers. Unsplash is changing the way we think about stock photos. Unsplash photos are some of the most authentic looking photos on the web. This site is perfect for the low budget no budget designer. Be sure to show appreciation by crediting the photographers.
These are my Top 5 Resources and now for a couple of bonuses!
The Bible App by LifeChurch.TV has a really nice built-in feature that allows you to create verse images from verses that you read. Great for that inspirational verse of the day for your church Facebook page, etc. A major drawback, however, is having your post look like everyone else. So what I typically do is use this feature to get the verse into a format to where I can select and copy it over to Adobe Spark or Canva to create my own image and look.
ANOTHER BONUS RESOURCE!
Church Motion Graphics has graciously provided an awesome free page that they regularly update with the best stills! I used them as is for announcements or as an overlay in photoshop to add an interesting look to a photo.
None of these resources mentioned have sponsored this content. This is just some of the resources I use every day and want to share with you!
[Photo by Kaboompics.com from Pexels]