Top 5 design tools for non-creatives

There’s a famous Maya Angelou quote in the Prezenter office that states: “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”  And the message certainly rings true to us EVERY DAY. We’re a team of presentation design experts but, above all, we are designers with endless creative ideas. We use an array of tools and softwares available to put our ideas into practice, just like painters use colour palettes and brushes to experiment with techniques and styles.

From Prezi and PowerPoint to Google Slides and Keynote, we pick the best presentation tools to match each client’s brief. As a result, we build astonishing presentations, videos, and animations that not only meet the criteria but also exceed our clients’ expectations.

However, our mission is to help and inspire every presenter to create powerful presentations. As we know that not everyone is a qualified designer, we compiled a list of our top 5 creative tools that are easy to use and don’t require a degree in graphic design:

 

1. Canva – for all your business needs

If you need to create a range of materials quickly, then www.canva.com is an incredible resource for your business. The screenshot below gives you a glimpse of just what’s possible to create.

Canva templates

What makes this tool so amazing is that whether you are creating a poster or a presentation, you have hundreds of different templates to choose from. It’s like a virtual designer: you add the content and it makes everything look fantastic. Plus you can also go in and easily adjust the design, should you feel like flexing those creative muscles.

There are different payment plans available (including a business package), that enables you to add your own branding. You can easily apply this formatting to any templates you chose. If you fancy flexing those creative muscles, there is also a Design School with short video tutorial that you can follow at https://designschool.canva.com/

2. Prezi – for presentations

As Prezi design experts, we couldn’t leave out www.prezi.com here. If you’re looking to impress in your next pitch with a more creative presentation, then Prezi is certainly the fastest and easiest way to do so. The result will be a visually-impelling presentation and a more engaged audience.

Prezi templates

To save time, you can choose from the free templates available in the Prezi software – as seen in the screenshot above. If you can find one that links to the overall message of your talk, then you’ll definitely be remembered and make an impact on your audience. Like most of the tools in this article, there is a free trial option and then paid options at various levels, which offer more functionality and options.

If you wish to see an amazing example of what is possible with Prezi, check out this design we made recently for National Trust.

Many people report struggling with the learning curve of Prezi, but in my experience of delivering Prezi training for nearly a decade now, these difficulties merely come down to the fact that when people think ‘presentations’, they picture a linear flow of slides. However, Prezi is very different, so I’d recommend going in with an open mind and checking out some examples before you get started. It isn’t PowerPoint, so approaching it with that mindset will always slow down your learning. It is easy to pick up the basics and get started in just a few hours of training.

3. Adobe Spark – for social media

This is one of the most used creative tools for small business owners. Even though we are extremely well versed in all of the Adobe Packages like Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, we often use Spark because it’s fast and easy to use, including on your phone.

Spark has a big library of templates, images, and icons. You can easily input your own branding and logo, so that everything you make is consistent. It can be used for free (more info here) although, like other tools, you benefit from many more features once you pay for a license.

4. Noun Project – for icons

While the Noun Project has been around for a few years now, it is still relatively unknown amongst ‘non-creatives’. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear that it offers a library of over 2 million curated icons that can be dropped into a whole range of Microsoft, Google, and Adobe packages.

Imagine you’re writing a report about the impact Donald Trump is having on politics in the US. You could go and search for photographs online for your report, or you could use an interesting-looking icon instead. That’s where the Noun Project has you covered! You can then decide what colour you’d like the icon to be, drag and drop it onto your document, and resize it to your heart’s content.

Our design team at The Prezenter is extremely capable of making icons from scratch, but even they will use Noun Project to save time on a project, if needed. You can use this tool in a limited way for free but, at just $39.99 per year, it’s worth its weight in gold.

5. Remove Background – for image editing

As a non-creative, there are lots of things you’ll want to do with imagery but you just won’t have the time or knowledge to do so. One of the biggest questions I always get asked in my training sessions is ‘How do I remove the background from an image?’

Of course, if you’ve spent hours tediously teaching yourself Adobe Photoshop, you’ll know the answer to this. But for those of you who are not training to become Graphic Designers, here’s an amazing new tool for doing just that.

Woman smiling

Remove Background is a free online tool that we think must use actual magic to do what it does. It’s fantastically accurate. All you have to do is upload an image that you’d like to remove the background from.

As you can see from the example above, remove.bg has taken out the blue wall from behind our happy chappy and I can now download that image in .png format, which retains the transparent background. This means you can build really nice visuals in your presentations or for your social media posts by combining images together and avoiding lots of unattractive white rectangles. It’s one of our favourite new tools and it helps us save time. Go try it out!

Would you like to know more?

If you’d like to know more about these creative tools, get in touch at info@theprezenter.com. We’d be more than happy to help you explore how you could use and benefit from any or all of the above tools.