I'd Like Some Tips On Graphics Please :-)

by Toniy
30 replies
Hey all...

So... I don't know anything about making graphics... but I know I need them.

I've been putting together some 'ebooks' in my role as a content creator, but I was thinking it'd be nice to add a little extra kick to them.

I notice that a lot of the best looking products have site designs, ebook graphics (both internal and external), front covers etc.

And I want them too

Now I don't know whether it's worth learning to design them myself, or asking someone else to help me.

I'd be looking for top notch work... but what would I ask for and how much does that usually cost?

Alternatively... can I do anything with MS Paint?

Cheers guys,

Adam S.J.
#graphics #tips
  • Profile picture of the author Bill Farnham
    Now I don't know whether it's worth learning to design them myself, or asking someone else to help me.
    Adam,

    Pay someone else to design them.

    The ability to create good designs is a talent.

    You'll be far better off and big money ahead if you concentrate on your business and outsource those things where the learning curve is 10X the ROI.

    ~Bill
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Mayo
      Originally Posted by Bill Farnham View Post

      Adam,

      Pay someone else to design them.

      The ability to create good designs is a talent.

      You'll be far better off and big money ahead if you concentrate on your business and outsource those things where the learning curve is 10X the ROI.

      ~Bill
      I have to agree with Bill.

      I'll do it for you and I don't charge an arm and a leg for my work.

      Here is a sample of what I can do with MS Paint.



      Let me know if you want to hire me. J/K

      Seriously, If you do outsource the graphics be sure to check out
      previous works the designer has done for others if you can.

      There are many graphic designers here on the WF.
      I would check them out first. You will find specials on their work in
      the WSO and Warrior For Hire sections here.

      Have a Great Day!
      Michael
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      • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
        Toniy, if you truly want to be an entrepreneur, you have to learn how to delegate. Believe me when I say this, because I have learned the hard way trying to do everything myself for years before I finally burned out in the process.

        Spend the money and have the graphics professionally made for you. I'm sorry but MS Paint is just not going to cut it.
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  • Profile picture of the author bladecantsleep
    Or just take a quick college class on photoshop or something along those lines and make as many as you want, instead of paying per graphic.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Miller
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    • Profile picture of the author PatriciaS
      Yep, you can shave expenses and do it yourself and totally screw it up. Or you can pay someone who is trained and talented to do the job right.

      While I admire the emphasis on independence, I rather decry the dismissal of graphic design as something oh, anyone can do. Same for writing. SURE you can write an ebook, article, report, whatever. Everybody who went through much public education at all can. And it may be good, or it may be awful, or somewhere in between.

      Same thing for SEO -- sure we all can do it. But I can tell you this, I bought a WSO report the other day from an SEO "expert" that blew my socks off. I THOUGHT I knew something about SEO but I was mostly wrong.

      DO NOT denigrate the professionals who provide services to the IM community. It makes you look unprofessional yourself. Use them or not, do it yourself or not. But just don't be dissin' 'em as unnecessary or useless, okay?

      Edited to add: Besides, spread the wealth around a bit. Outsourcing saves you time and headaches, and the U.S. economy could use it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Henry White
    Graphics are bandwidth hogs, so don't go overboard with them. And make sure they're hosted on your server - most people have the patience and attention span of a three year-old, so if the browser is going to another host, they'll probably leave before it loads.

    Also be careful about content solely in graphics. Many of us routinely browse with our preferences set NOT to load images automatically.
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  • Profile picture of the author Karen Barr
    Absolutely agree with Bill, Michael and Karen. Play to your strengths, or you will find yourself having to learn 40 new skills. That is a massive investment of time.

    If graphic design interests you, then by all means go for it - but if you have no interest in that area, then outsource it. If you're going to build a business then you have to learn when to outsource and when to use your own strengths. The time investment in learning Photoshop or similar programs is huge. To get really good, you're talking months of full-time study, honestly. I've been using PS casually for over 5 years and I still don't consider myself skilled in it.

    Try freelancer.com, elance.com or the Warriors for Hire section here.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Warriors for Hire section will have more than one person who can do everything you need to have done. Read the testimonials and pick the best person to do it. If you aren't already knowledgeable about graphics creation, it's pointless to learn it to launch your products, unless you want to be a graphics person.
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  • Profile picture of the author jbsmith
    Outsource for graphics creation unless you intend to turn this into a business. Secret to succeeding fast, do what you are good at and get the rest done.

    Jeff
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  • Profile picture of the author timpears
    I am all for outsourcing everything I can. I am not real creative and figure that they will do a much better job most times.

    But that being said, you can find tools to help create a lot of stuff, like the covers for the supposed book you are selling. Something like ecover design - design it yourself online will suffice for most folks. And there is lots of free graphics out there that will be good to sprinkle throughout your e-book and many of those graphics will just be screen shots in my experience anyway. Those are easy to generate with any graphics program.
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    Tim Pears

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    • Profile picture of the author Toniy
      Bill Farnham - Thanks Bill, I've got to get out of the home project mindset and realise I'm building a business here. ROI is definitely something I need to pay attention to, it's slipped me up in the past certainly.

      bladecantsleep - I'd like to think that I'd be earning enough with the result of using the graphics to make the expense a non-issue... but it could be something I look into in the future... it's all about development... thanks

      Brent Mihalov - I guess that's similar to people wanting to get into Pay Per Click advertising... yes it can make you a lot of money, but there's a big expense involved in the first place too. I get your point... and I'll take a look and see what's involved, cheers

      hwhite - I did not know that Fascinating... see I love graphics, I think it looks so pretty... I guess I'm not a 'no-frills' kinda guy. Good advice though... I'm hoping most of the images I'd be after would only be a few KB though... headers, sidebars, footers and a product image (maybe a logo), with the other images saved for the product itself.

      Michael Mayo - It's so messed up that I liked that cover You made clouds and everything! Thanks a lot for the buying advice though... do you actually design graphics, or is it purely MSPaint you focus on?

      Karen Blundell - Right... totally right. Again, I have to remember that this is a business. I still want to manage the operations entirely myself, content creation and such (I'm a writer after all...) but for other areas, I've spent too much time on half-arsed efforts when I could have hired someone to do it well. I think this is one of them certainly.

      Karen Barr - I agree... I thought about learning DreamWeaver a little while ago... got hold of a tutorial book and my mind started to bleed. I simply have no interest in it and it'll take ten times as long because I just don't get excited by it. Graphics would be the same. I'm a writer and a people person... there's plenty enough there to keep me busy Thanks!

      sbucciarel - Thanks again... I don't want to be a graphics person... I'm a content person I'll check out the WFH section and look for a few designers... I think I know what I'm after and I'm sure the good ones will give me some advice as well.

      chi-whiz - Well said on all account Chi I agree... I was freelancing for a while myself and I wouldn't have got this far without it. It's tough to get into and make a good go of it because people really do want to do everything themselves. I admire those who want an understanding of their operations 'from the ground up' but that doesn't mean you have to do it yourself, does it? You COULD build a complete business from scratch all by yourself but it would take months. Why miss out on all that profit when you could get in running in weeks? Besides, I like the idea of a Dream Team.

      jbsmith - Short and sweet, thanks Jeff. I understand completely and it's taken a while to get into that mindset. I know what I'm good at and it's fortunately the bulk of the business I've chosen to do. I'm happy that way.

      timpears - I appreciate that Tim, thanks That's a good point and a useful resource as well and it would do for most folks. But one thing I've realised in the past few months is that quality pays. I learned that from my freelancing, competing against low paid writers. I was able to command a high end fee based on the fact I supplied the best and it brought more success to those who were serious about their business. Guess I should follow suit

      Thanks to everyone for chiming in... it's much appreciated.
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      • Profile picture of the author Toniy
        Ah... one other thing I just thought about... MUSIC.

        How would one go about getting a cool little intro / outro track that didn't sound like it came from a 90's motivational tape?

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        • Profile picture of the author KabirC
          Originally Posted by Toniy View Post

          Ah... one other thing I just thought about... MUSIC.

          How would one go about getting a cool little intro / outro track that didn't sound like it came from a 90's motivational tape?

          Do not do music on a page unless it is a flash intro! It annoys the **** out of people and they will exit your page instantly since it is ANNOYING!
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        • Profile picture of the author weblink29
          Originally Posted by Toniy View Post

          Ah... one other thing I just thought about... MUSIC.

          How would one go about getting a cool little intro / outro track that didn't sound like it came from a 90's motivational tape?

          Google: "royalty free music"

          It's amazing how much music is available.
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          Nothing to see here folks.....move along.

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  • Profile picture of the author WebPen
    Fiverr isn't bad for graphics or music, you just have to find the right gigs.

    I'm trying to learn graphics myself, but it just doesn't come easily to me. I think I'm gonna have to just stick with hiring the Warriors who are masters with it, and I'll stick with what I do best:

    VIDEO GAMES.
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  • Profile picture of the author Toniy
    KabirC - OH JESUS... No man that's not what I meant. My word, I hate that stuff more than anyone... you load up a few pages on the go and then this god-awful sound starts playing and you panic, trying to find which page is responsible and you end up hitting the hard reset just to get some peace :p

    I'd never do that to anyone... I was just thinking of some sound to go along with the intro to a welcome video I'd have playing on the site (that wouldn't play automatically)... like a welcome video... 'da da da whooosh... welcome... here's what I'm selling today '

    Weblink29 - Thanks for the awesome tip there... I'm sure I'll be able to pick something out, that's great

    Justin Stowe - Thanks buddy, I'll have to start checking that out... and like we've said, stick to your talents Just wait for 'Gamer' to become a reality and you'll nail it
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  • Profile picture of the author Toniy
    Ahhh... awesome... I think I've found the perfect track
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    • Profile picture of the author RichPargeter
      If you have no interest in being a designer, the best bet is to outsource.

      But that being said, it'll do you no harm to play around in Photoshop to plan out ideas and get a feel for the creative process a designer goes through.

      It might also pay to learn the basics if you need to customise any of the graphics a designer does for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author RobertAxelsen
    I recommend pixelofgenius.com. Used them myself to great satisfaction
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  • Profile picture of the author Toniy
    RichPargeter - You might be right Rich... as I said, I like having an understanding of all elements of the business from the ground up. I think I gotta remember 'one thing at a time' but a reasonable suggestions certainly Cheers.

    RobertAxelson - Wow... those graphics are incredible... exactly the kind of quality I'm looking for, thanks for the tip Rob
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    • Profile picture of the author RobertAxelsen
      Originally Posted by Toniy View Post

      RobertAxelson - Wow... those graphics are incredible... exactly the kind of quality I'm looking for, thanks for the tip Rob
      I am glad you liked their sample graphics. Email them for price sheet (they reply quickly).

      Best of luck with your project, Toniy!
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt.Lake
    Hey Adam,

    If you haven't used somewhere like Elance before, it's worth doing so just for the experience. It's free to list a project then you just sit back and let the various providers come to you.

    Provided you gave a good description of what you wanted and set a budget of what you're prepared to pay, you're almost guaranteed to find someone suitable for the job, at a great price.

    Much more fun than learning how to use photoshop.

    I'm sure you can find someone on their to do a music track for you too.

    Matt
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    • Profile picture of the author highrank
      Have to agree with the post above, outsource it mate

      It's already been said, but hiring a freelancer is an experience everyone should try at least once. Elance is generally good, but I hate them for ignoring my customer support messages.

      Benefits:

      You can have someone design everything you want, for less than the cost of buying Photoshop.

      You don't waste time trying to learn something you don't enjoy.

      You can build up working relationships with people you can instantly contact if something goes wrong. If you go about it the right way, they will even do it for free.

      Drawbacks:

      It can be difficult to find a freelancer who is actually as talented and useful as they claim to be.

      You're from Swansea so they won't understand your accent on skype. haha bit of Cardiff rivalry for ya :p

      Good luck mate, PM me if you need any work done. (I'm awesome)
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  • Profile picture of the author Toniy
    Matt.Lake - Thanks for the tips Matt... I'll give elance a go. You're right, it'd be a good experience, I'm sure I'll need more assistance in the future

    highrank - Well said buddy... thanks.

    Also... I moved here when I was 23 so they didn't manage to rope me into the Welshy lingo... My buddy's brother who moved here when he was 18 sounds more Welsh than Rob Brydon :p
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    • Profile picture of the author mrbawb
      Hi Toniy,

      I agree with Bill, don't skimp on this.

      (And with that said mrbawb advised), perhaps you could find someone on Fiverr to get it done.
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  • Profile picture of the author Toniy
    Mrbawb - I like the advice, and the way it was presented bawb, cheers

    RobertAxelson - I think I'm going to... I need an ecover, a bundle... and I think maybe a sales page done... how easy is it to integrate your own stuff into the sales page? Like a Video, and the content etc. How is it delivered?

    Thanks again guys!
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  • Profile picture of the author Asa Williams
    I think in order to avoid a headache I would hire a professional graphics designer as it will take a lot of time and effort to learn the skills yourself and it will be expensive to acquire the tools and equipment in order for you to achieve a "professional look"
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  • Profile picture of the author Domenic Carlson
    If you're looking for high-quality graphics, I would definitely recommend finding an experienced graphic design freelancer or agency to create your designs. Compelling visuals are essential for effective web design, and mediocre work can detract from the power and retention of your web content.
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    Always interested in news about Bing, SEO, SEM Internet Marketing and Search Engine Optimization.

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  • Profile picture of the author Christophe Young
    When I need graphics; banners, ecovers, headers, anything... I just ask Mitch at Monstercovers.com and he usually has them back to me within 24 hrs. It's great having this kind of arrangement as I don't even need to think about creating them myself.
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    • Profile picture of the author Toniy
      Asa Williams - I think you have a good point Asa... division of labour wasn't created for no reason at all now was it? Although they do also say the specialisation is for insects... so....

      Domenic Carlson - Totally right and that's what I want to avoid. Fortunately I've got some guys working at it now so I should be all set!

      Christophe Young - Thanks for the tip Christophe, I'll check them out! I like the idea of having an established relationship with a designer too... or I could just get it set up once and re use the same template over and over!

      Thanks again folks
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