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Free Resources for Your Next Profile Design
YouTube allows you to control many aspects of your channel design, but sometimes finding images, design inspiration, or free image-editing software, can be a pain. So, I’ve put together a resource list here of some free stuff that will ignite your creative spark!
- Readability is key. If you have yellow text on a white background, I’m not going to even bother trying to read your channel page. If you have an animated gif in the background flashing me into a seizure, the back button becomes my best friend. Don’t turn viewers away on purpose!
- Copyrights. Not every photo you find online is free for you to use. In fact, most of them aren’t. You don’t want to get yourself in trouble by using someone else’s creative works without their permission. Below, I’ll show you a few places where you can find great images that you can use for free.
- Banners and Icons. YouTube Partners have a few additional channel design options, including big banners across the top of their profiles. Use this space wisely and include a “call to action” such as ‘subscribe!’ or ‘click here for my blog’. If you don’t tell people what you want them to do on your site, they won’t know.
The following is written with YouTubers in mind, but these resources will work for any profile, from MySpace to Facebook to Twitter. Okay, now let’s move on to the resources. Follow the links below, after reading through the whole article, for some wonderful, free software, stock photography and inspiration.
1. IMAGE EDITING – GIMP is a free photo editing program. With many features similar to what you’d find in Photoshop, most of your image editing can be done here. GIMP might carry a bit of a learning curve if you’re used to Paint or Photoshop, but your time invested in learning the program will not be wasted, you’ll come out with much better looking icons, background images and banners. The GIMP website also includes a wiki where users can find additional helpful information. But what if you need some photos to start editing? Continue on to the next section where I’ll map out a few free stock photography sites.
2. STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY – Little-known fact: some of our YouTube friends actually create free stock photography! The very easy-on-the-eyes Kristina italktosnakes (aka Monday on the fiveawesomegirls) runs a stock photography site called Intergalactic Stock. You don’t need permission to use Kristina’s stock in your own creations, but you do need to credit her and e-mail or message her about where you use it. So show her your channel if you decide to use any of her images. Other free stock websites include StockVault (all images are free to use in personal and non-commercial works) and FreeRangeStock (images are free to use in both personal and commercial works).
3. DESIGN CONCEPTS & INSPIRATION – Not sure how well blue stripes go with green polka dots? It’s okay, not all of us were born with an eye for design, but there are a few tools out there to help us. Adboe’s Kuler is a really neat, interactive site that lets you build personalized color swatches, or use swatches created by others. You can even upload a favorite photo and Kuler will pull your color swatches from it. Cool! No more trying to find colors that match your favorite sunset, just upload a picture of it and Kuler will spit out a swatch ready for you to pull colors from.
If you’re ready to move beyond colors and get into layout, The Best Designs site showcases exactly that, some of the best designed sites on the web! Stroll through some of these beautifully designed sites if you’re stuck with a case of designer’s block (you know, like writer’s block, only while you’re in GIMP instead of Word).
Once you’ve used GIMP to create a bold background, an eye-catching icon and have decided on your color swatch of choice for text and table boxes, you may need to host your images online. Photobucket and (to a lesser extent) flickr are both free and allow you to link to your images offsite.
If you use any additional resources, or find any along the way to creating your perfect profile, please, leave them below in the comments so others can utilize them (myself included!).
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…is written by Alan “fallofautumndistro” Lastufka, co-author of the book, “YouTube: An Insider’s Guide
to Climbing the Charts“. This site offers resources
for readers of my book and new tips and techniques expanding upon what is in my book. Visit the Purchase page above to order your own copy today!