While most publishers consider content to be king, there’s no denying the truth behind the fact that people are, indeed, likely to judge a book by its cover—and, on that same note, a magazine as well. (And the rules for designing a remarkable magazine cover are definitely something to consider.)
Given the importance of first impressions, there’s no denying the role that great design plays in the success of a publication and its associated site, and as a publisher, Shweiki Media Printing Company has experience in every arena of magazine production and an extensive knowledge of the best design strategies for publications, social media pages and websites.
Here Shweiki presents the six best design tools available now for and expert tips on how they can be used to improve aesthetics.
ThemeForest is powered by Envato, an online company geared to help individuals online, and the resource pools their resources from hundreds of high-end developers across the world, creating an extensive and detailed database with over 13,000 templates and themes available for HTML, Email, WordPress, PSD and more.
Before any file is listed on ThemeForest, it is reviewed extensively by the Envato review team. Known in the past to be very strict on what they allow, it is not uncommon for authors to have their first submission denied.
This is a simple, user-friendly (and, as templates and themes start at $3, inexpensive) way for publishers to create sites that are clean, expressive and informative, providing a professional look that’s sure to, by proxy, be associated with the publication’s entire image.
Graphicriver.net is also in the Envato network, and works the same at its core. However, where ThemeForest uses developers that focus on email and website graphics, GraphicRiver deals more in Photoshop and logos. Publishers looking for an extra add-on or icon to their printed pages can browse between thousands of cheaply-priced options.
Icons and imagery are crucial to accompany the written word, and for those who are short on resources like time, money and ability, GraphicRiver is an effective source for illustration.
PhotoDune is the photography section of the Envato network.
Photographers from around the globe will sell stock photos for business use, free of any royalties. The importance of imagery to illustrate one’s content has already addressed, and this site solves two problems that publishers often wrestle with: gathering unique photos and being able to afford their use.
For a publisher struggling with finances, this is also a helpful resource, as for a lot of content it eliminates the need for a photographer. One can save their money and only pay photographers to shoot what’s really necessary for their publication or site.
For publishers looking to wean themselves off WordPress, Squarespace could suffice as a quality alternative. Squarespace deals mostly with blogs and websites, but it also boasts ecommerce and mobile capabilities.
They recently upgraded their designs to include an updated collection of looks, as well. That, plus 24/7 live chat capabilities and weekly workshops, give the user every opportunity to revamp their site. This is a perfect site for publishers to utilize if they want some advice and ongoing support to go along with their new look. And with said updated collection of looks, one can be sure that they’re not getting something that’s going to look like every other established site out right now.
Pagemodo is a design tool created for those looking to amp up their social media production.
Aside from veteran graphic designers giving one’s page a professional look, Pagemodo helps even the least tech-savvy business owners launch the added social media aspects that make some business pages so effective—without the added cost of hiring a professional.
Through Pagemodo, business owners can create custom tabs, program scheduled posts and easily manage multiple pages. And one of the best parts about the site is that it’s a great way to run contests, which have the ability to help one build a database, increase interaction, grow an audience and more.
Dlayouts is a design site dedicated to the creation of custom templates for one’s print layout needs. The site features thousands of layouts for everything from brochures to newsletters, flyers, and poster templates.
While Dlayouts assures their users that all graphics, photo, typefaces, and colors used are designed by highly skilled graphic designers, the option is still there for the user to customize certain attributes (such as color, font) if they so choose. This makes this site especially excellent for those looking to assert their individuality, as they can be certain that—due to this customizable aspect—no other publication’s materials will look exactly like theirs.