Desygner is an online tool that runs in a web browser on a PC or Mac and it enables you to create artwork for various purposes. Here I show how to create images for social shares.
This browser-based tool can create banner ads, social posts, web graphics, presentations, business cards, invitations, flyers, posters, certificates, newsletters, menus and much more for both the web and for print purposes. It could be considered to be an alternative to Canva, which is an online tool with similar capabilities.
The Desygner online app does much more than I can cover in this article and it is well worth exploring. You can start with a blank page and create whatever you want, but it is really aimed at those who don’t have the time or the artistic skills to create something from scratch. It provides ready-made templates, a photo library, many fonts and a collection of shape, frames and other objects to enable you to create whatever you need very quickly and easily.
It is free to sign up and this gets you a 14-day free trial of the Pro+ account. It normally costs $4.95 a month and it is designed for small teams of up to 6 users – you and five others. That is reasonable for one person and very cheap if you have the maximum users.
No payment information needs to be entered for the free Pro+ account trial and if you don’t pay, your account will be downgraded to Free. You will lose access to some features, but it looks like you will have most of the core features of the editor. If you want to see what you get with Free, Pro+, Business and Enterprise accounts, see the Desygner Pricing page.
Here is a Pinterest pin I created by going to the Desygner website and signing up for a free account. This is just one way to use the tool and there are many more.
1 Browse the Desygner templates
After signing up and signing in, clicking Templates at the top enables you to browse the template collections. They are organised by topic, broad For Print and For Web topics, then subtopics depending on the type. I selected Social Posts in the left column and the social networks are listed across the top, like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Snapchat, and the one I selected, Pinterest.
At this point, you are looking for the general design and layout, and the content is unimportant. The idea is that you find something that looks similar to what you want and then you customize it.
2 Open a template
Choose a template and open it. Pay no attention to the text or images on it because these will be replaced using the items in the left-hand toolbar: Images, Text, Logos, Elements, Video and Animation. This has the design I want and it is time ti customize it.
3 Replace the images
Click Images in the left toolbar and a large collection of photos can be browsed and searched. A small label on each one shows whether it is free or only for paying Pro+ users. I recognized some of the free photos from other free photo libraries, but you also have access to Shutterstock photos too.
Photos from your own computer or online drives can be uploaded and they can be grabbed from social sites like Facebook. Images appear as thumbnails on the My Assets tab of the image browser.
A photo can be added anywhere, but if you drag a thumbnail from the browser and drop it on a photo in the template, it replaces it. Keep browsing the photos, search for topics you need and replace the template photos.
4 Replace the template text
Clicking or double clicking the text in the template enables it to be moved, resized and replaced. Here you can see that I have begun to replace the dummy text with my own. Select text and a toolbar at the top enables the font, style, color, alignment, spacing and other attributes to be changed.
Styles can be applied to text, such as title, subtitle, body text and text block. There are also ready-made text items on the Banners tab. What they say isn’t important because all the text is editable and can be replaced with your own. If you like the style of a banner, add it and edit or replace the text with your own.
The My Assets tab enables you to save blocks of text. This is useful for businesses and it enables approved text to be stored and re-used in designs.
5 More tools
There are many more tools than I have covered here and I have barely scratched the surface of what is available. For example, the top menu has Drawing, Shapes, Frames and Text tools. The left toolbar has Logos, Elements, Video and Animation tools.
If you wanted, you could add video or animation to the design. The whole design can be animated or you can select a single element and animate it. The heading could spin in, fade in or perform some other animated effect for example. This type of thing is common in videos and presentation slideshows. I won’t use them here because I just want a static Pinterest pin image, but special effects are easily added.
6 Save your design
The export options are JPG, PNG, PDF for web or print, and video. It is a good idea to download images in PNG format because it offers the best quality, then if you intend using them on the web, an optimizer can be used to get the best trade off between size and quality (Optimize web images for speed with Squoosh).
7 The finished Pinterest pin
Here is the finished Pinterest pin created with Desygner in a browser. I have shrunk it and compressed it to fit on this page and the downloaded PNG image is bigger and higher quality – a 1500 x 1000 pixels PNG.
Desygner is a useful online tool for creating a wide range of images, cards, banners, ads, social shares and similar things. You don’t need to be a design expert and you have access to templates, photos and illustrations that can be dragged and dropped to create the design.
The Pro+ account is cheap for small teams and is reasonable even if you are the sole user. A free account is available, which limits some features, but is worth trying if your budget really won’t stretch to it.
I found the web-based editor running in a browser to be a little bit slow compared to what you would expect of software running on the computer, but it was OK and it is certainly usable. I recommend you try it, it won’t cost anything. It many ways it is like an alternative to Canva and it is just as useful.