How does your ministry do with promotions? Do you feel like your flyers, social media posts and posters could use something more? This edition, we are highlighting a few resources you can check out for graphics and design for your ministry. First of all, this is not always something that you have to do yourself. Be sure to tap into the talents and passions of your students. It may take a little longer, you may have to be really good at offering construction feedback so that you can get what you need and they can learn as they go as well, but it will provide them with a sense of ownership to the ministry, hopefully save you some time and provide a product that is relevant to your students.
Beyond that, here are some resources: 1. Google. Yes...Google is a great way to gain inspiration and the graphics you need for creating great graphics. I will use google to give me inspiration on the design of the flyer/post. For instance, if I needed to create a flyer for a game night event, I might search in the images for a game night flyer, or ministry game night. There is very little chance that I find something that I can use lock, stock and barrel, but I might see a new layout for the flyer, or an interesting pattern on a flyer, that will give me a new starting point for the overall look of the flyer (or post). You can also use it to look for actual pictures or graphics for a post or flyer. There are three key steps to finding a great image: 1. type the search term and click on the image search. 2. Click on tools and set your size to "larger than" and set a size comparable to the size of poster/post you are making. For a FB or IG post, a 600x800 and larger search is good. If you are doing a poster or want to project it on a screen, I wouldn't look for images less than 1000 pixels in either direction. 3. Set the "Usage Rights" to "labelled for reuse". This makes sure that the image doesn't have a copyright that could get you in trouble.
2. ECatholic is a company that wants to help Catholic Churches have a better presence online. They have an article with several tips and resources on this very topic: https://ecatholic.com/blog/free-catholic-images. Check it out. They have links to some free Catholic images as well as a paid level that gives you a ton of options for graphics for a pretty reasonable price. It also introduces a site called pexel, which has a whole host of photos you can use under the Creative Commons Zero license, so you can use them for free after you create an account.
3. Powerpoint. If you have access and know how to use the high-end programs like Adobe Photoshop or CorelDraw, that is great. There are even Open-Source programs that are similar in nature and ability (GIMP or Inkscape). But most of the time, I end up using a program that most people have on their computer already: Powerpoint. While its designed for slide presentations, you can set the size of the "slide" to be whatever size you need it to be and it has a great selection of tools to help you on your way to a great flyer. It allows you to export entire slides or save a selected portion of a slide as a .png or .jpg file. One of the features I use the most is "Remove Background". There are very few times that I want a square/rectangle image on my flyer and the Remove Background allows me to find a cool photo and take out all of the superfluous stuff in the photo. It is a simple and powerful solution for creating good flyers.
Obviously, there is so much more to creating great promotional materials, but this is where I usually start. Another service I have used in the past if I have the ability to spend a little bit and don't have time to do it myself is something like fiverr.com. You can post the description of your job and how much you can pay and often times you can get some great stuff for as little as $5. I've mostly used this service for a logo or something like that, but you can usually find someone willing to create all sorts of different materials for you.