Posts, Photos, and Infographics: Graphic Design for Non-Designers

Design is a vital aspect of crowdfunding campaigns. It’s such a powerful force because it works on both a conscious and unconscious level: potential donors will always have an impression of your organization based on what they see, yet may not be able to express this in words. Yet their subjective impression counts and will directly affect their willingness to give.
If you’re crowdfunding for a small organization and don’t have access to professional graphic design services for your campaign, don’t worry! Creativity and authenticity also go a long way in building connections with potential donors. If you want to present your campaign in the best possible way, here are some tips for all budding designers.

1. Be consistent.

Consistency is the basis of building a brand and a brand enables recognition and trust. Use your organization’s brand manual or style guide as your starting point and work with a small set of institutional colors and typefaces or fonts across all your campaign materials.  
When selecting images, make sure they all tie together visually. In terms of narrative content, establish the tone of your campaign and maintain it across all communications. Some organizations work with issues that require a forthright, combative tone; others invoke empathy and bring emotion to the forefront, while still others can get away with adopting a more light-hearted, humorous approach. Whatever you do, be friendly and avoid academic or formal jargon. 

2. Be visual.

There’s no doubt that attention spans are decreasing, social media spaces and email inboxes are filling up, and images are the way to grab an audience’s attention. By nature, we’re simply attracted to images, especially those with people in them.
According to digital marketer Julia Campell, you should focus on creating images which are:
  • Compelling 
  • Tell a story
  • Educate and inform
  • Elicit emotion
  • Showcase impact
  • Are shareable

Ideas for improving your visual content

The good news is that many apps are available today to help us create these images. We’ve put together a full list of online resources, many of which have easy-to-use drag and drop interfaces and templates which even beginners can use.
  • Keep it simple—use blocks of colors and line-based icons where possible. Avoid unnecessary detail and always reduce your text to the bare minimum.
  • Photos should always be high resolution, preferably with close-ups of people’s faces. You can edit them to crop out unnecessary backgrounds or details. Always add your logo to images and, where possible, include a short text explaining its relevance.
  • Use infographics to share information about project impact and beneficiaries. With templates and pre-designed color schemes all you have to do is add in the data.
  • Make use of the banner spaces in your social media to highlight your campaign. Canva has size-specific templates to speed up the creation of custom-made banners.
  • If you need to prepare several pieces around the same theme, it's a good idea to use the same photograph but apply filters. This enables visual consistency but gives you great flexibility. Here’s an example: 
Original campaign banner: 

Banner with a blue filter and reduced in size, becomes a background for a matching funds ad:
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