5 Go-to Design Tools for Church Communicators

5 Go-to Design Tools for Church Communicators

November 13, 2017 by

In one of my Facebook communities, CRTVTALKS, people often ask about colors, design inspiration, and other design tools. So, I decided to put together a list of my top five go-to design tools. All of them are completely free to use, so check them out!

1. Coolors

Sometimes, the hardest part of design is finding the right colors. And, even if you find a good color, it can be a challenge to find colors that complement it. Thankfully, I discovered coolors.co about six months ago, and now I use it for almost everything. Coolors filters palettes based on color, mood, and other tags. The palettes can be downloaded for future use. The tool is available as a plugin, too, so it can be accessed directly from Illustrator or Photoshop. Promise: This tool will not only save you hours but also prevent headaches.

2. Sketchbook

Keeping a sketchbook is just a good practice.

Keeping a sketchbook to jot down ideas and design concepts before you start working on the computer is a good practice—it gives you the freedom to visual, conceptualize, and start to fit the pieces together before committing it to a file. I personally carry a small sketchbook at all times for notes, doodles, or ideas that appear on the fly. It’s also fun to look back at a sketchbook and see how I’ve grown. Not to mention, it’s a great item to share in a job interview because it shows you can take ideas from concept to finish.

3. Pinterest

Designing for a church can be tricky at times; you use a variety of different styles to accommodate the women’s ministry, kids ministry, weekend sermons, et cetera. If any of those styles are out of your comfort zone, head to Pinterest. It’s a great place to get inspiration for more than weddings, food, and decor. Simply type in the style you’re going for, and browse the boards and pins until you find something you like.

4. Canva

While Illustrator and Photoshop are industry standards, we don’t always have the luxury of time. That’s what makes Canva so great. Canva offers tons of beautiful templates for social media, posters, business cards, and more. Choose what you need (i.e., a social media graphic), browse the templates, and change up the text, colors, and images, and you’re done.

5. Unsplash

Stock photos get expensive. We know we need to pay for them, but we don’t have money in the budget for Shutterstock or something similar. Try Unsplash. The site offers stunning, high quality, stock photos completely for free. Unlike other stock photo sites, Unsplash photos aren’t cheesy or tacky and they have just about everything you could think of. Plus, the site adds 10 new photos every week.

What are your go-to design tools?


Need more design help?

  • We did a series on design basics a few years back, including common mistakes, overused imagery, typography, and more.
  • If you want even more tips and resources, check out our Courageous Storytellers Membership Site. We put together a month’s worth of design resources to help the beginning communicator, including video Photoshop tips, templates, proofing checklist, copyright guide, how to work with pastors who don’t get design, a decision guide for stock vs. original photography, and more. If that sounds like a lot, it is. Join now! 
Image: Varlan (Creative Commons)
Post By:

Kyler Nixon

Kyler is the creative pastor at Crossroads Church in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and serves other churches in the Midwest by creating sustainable communications and digital media. Connect with him on Twitter or Instagram.
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One Response to “5 Go-to Design Tools for Church Communicators”

  • Lauren Rose
    November 13, 2017

    I live on Canva and Unsplash- thanks for the suggestions of coolors.co, will definitely check it out.

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