Creativity is storytelling, art, and strategy all in one — and it’s not easy to do, especially in today’s fast-paced digital world. Consumers are bombarded with ads, making it more important than ever for brands to develop impactful creative that will stand out in a crowded marketplace. If you need help enhancing your company’s creative strategy, check out this ultimate list of creative resources to help marketers win big.
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Learn the Trade
Have you ever had one of those moments when you come up with an awesome idea, but have no clue on how to execute it? These tutorials will help you navigate the complex worlds of graphic design, copywriting, and other creative skills.
- Canva Design School: The chosen platform of social media marketers, Canva also has a design school with a plethora of tutorials, tips, and even in-person classes available around the world.
- Skillshare: Skillshare offers all the classes you need to become a well-rounded designer. Whether it’s the fundamentals of DSLR photography or learning the basics of animation, you’ll find a relevant course.
- Creative Cloud Tutorials: For designers who prefer traditional software, check out Adobe’s lessons on its various apps, such as Photoshop and After Effects. The company also provides downloadable sample files to help you master different creative skills.
- Typogui: No more using Comic Sans in your ads after learning about the basics of typography with this resource.
- The Data Visualisation Catalogue: Struggling on how to graphically summarize your massive customer survey? This website has all the deets on data visualization, from Gantt charts to scatter plots.
- Grammar Girl: Even the most prolific copywriter makes a grammar mistake sometimes. Check out this site for quick grammar tips.
- Design Mistakes to Avoid: Here’s a great list of tips on how to improve your visual content. Pro tip: Use this website as a checklist whenever you create a new design.
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Move Your Ideas Onto Paper
Clunky creative software can give you a headache, but these well-designed tools will make the creative process a much more joyous one. Whether you’re a creative director or someone starting a new blog, use these creative resources to move your design ideas onto paper (or a blank screen) with ease.
- Canva: This go-to free tool that makes creating custom graphics a quick and easy process. If you’re strapped for time, just dive into their massive repository of templates and export a graphic in minutes.
- Animoto: Think of Animoto as a useful website for making drag-and-drop professional videos.
- Unsplash: Make blurry and poorly lit photos a thing of the past by downloading free, high-quality stock imagery from Unsplash. If you can’t find what you need, similar websites include Pixabay, Pexels, or Picjumbo.
- Creative Market: This is an online marketplace for curated design assets like backgrounds, graphics, and fonts.
- The Noun Project: Their extensive icon library comes in handy for presentation decks and infographics.
- Coolors: Create perfect palettes with this extremely visually satisfying feature — a great way to find complementary colors when designing.
- Dragon: If you’re tired of typing or want your copy to sound more conversational, try using a speech recognition software like Dragon to transcribe text through voice.
- Grammarly: Banish embarrassing spelling and grammatical mistakes with Grammarly. Not only does this browser extension check your spelling and grammar, but it also detects awkward phrasing, passive voice, or repetitive word usage. It’s the next best thing to a real-life editor.
- Hemingway App: Similar to Grammarly, the Hemingway App analyzes your writing and highlights grammatical mistakes, unnecessarily complicated sentences, and overused adverbs.
- Scrivener: A popular writing tool for authors, Scrivener is great for organizing and editing complex marketing projects, such as e-books or downloadable guides.
- Paragraphs: If you’re someone who gets distracted easily, check out this minimalist writing program. With a clean writing interface, Paragraphs is a distraction-free zone. Just open it up and type away.
- Thrive Theme’s Headline Optimizer: Make sure your headlines are snappy and punchy with this WordPress plugin. Write several headline options, plug them into your WordPress blog post, and this feature will automatically complete an A/B test to determine which one works best. The winning headline will then become the default one your readers see.
- InVision: For those designing websites or mobile pages, Invision is an excellent software for creating interactive prototypes before handing them off to your development team.
- Facebook Creative Hub: Facebook’s Creative Hub is a powerful tool that allows marketers to mock up every possible ad type for Facebook and Instagram, from carousels to video ads. It’s an easy way to familiarize yourself with the most popular types of social media ads.
Conquer Writer’s (and Designer’s) Block
We’ve all been here before: You sit down to design or write and come up with… nothing? You’re in luck because these tools will help keep your ideas flowing.
- Evernote: One of the first digital notebooks, Evernote is a desktop and mobile app that will capture and organize all your random thoughts.
- Pocket: Want to file away a cool blog post that you just stumbled upon in a fast and organized way? Download this browser extension to save your inspiration links for later.
- Drafts: Instead of a haphazard notes document on your phone or laptop, this app allows you to jot down notes without scrolling through other half-baked thoughts. It’s great for those sudden lightbulb moments.
- Trello: This is a valuable tool for marketers in general, but it can also be transformational for creatives. In less than an hour, you can create a kanban-style project plan with lists of ideas that are organized according to progress, such as “rough draft,” “editing,” and “published.”
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Learn From the Best
When you’re stuck in a creative rut, sometimes the best solution is to look at someone else’s work for inspiration. Here are sites that showcase the best of innovative marketing ideas.
- Awwwards: It’s the Oscars for design, creativity, and innovation on the internet, but also a convenient place to view some of the latest and greatest websites.
- Call to Idea: This is a collection of web design examples — from video players to 404 pages.
- Behance: A popular platform for designers to save their portfolios, it’s also a nifty source of artistic inspiration.
- Designspiration: Pinterest for designers.
- Friends Of Type: For typography lovers, this website is the one to bookmark.
You’re All Set
It’s time to save these creative resources and begin producing thought-provoking, awe-inspiring, and emotion-inducing advertising and creative strategies. The artistic possibilities are endless.
Angie is the Content Marketing Manager at AdRoll. Prior to AdRoll, she was a Content Writer at various digital marketing agencies. A writer by day and a reader by night, Angie’s other hobbies include cooking and learning useless movie trivia.