Graphic design is an intimidating subject for many Internet entrepreneurs. However, most of us must learn some basic design techniques to avoid high costs of hiring a professional graphics designer.
You can create your own graphics that can look just as nice as some of professionally created graphics for a fraction of cost.
In order to create your graphics, you will need to invest in a good graphics program. You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on a fancy graphics design software. Paint Shop Pro is a wonderful graphics program and is only program you'll need to design professional looking graphics. You can download a free 30-day trial and register software for only $99. http://www.jasc.com/download_4.asp
The first and probably most important graphic technique we're going to discuss is text. This is probably what you will use most. Not just any text, but text to be used with your logo, banners or page titles.
When you're ready to begin, open Paint Shop Pro and click on "File" then "New" and type in a width and height for your image. Make sure your "Image Type" is set to 24-bit and select your background color. You can leave other settings at their defaults. Make sure you give yourself a large enough space to work with, as you can reduce it later.
Your first step will be to select a good font. Depending upon effect I want to achieve, I use one of three different fonts; Impact, Verdana, or Arial Black. If you don't have these fonts installed on your computer, you can find them here: http://www.microsoft.com ypography/fontpack/default.htm
The first text effect we will be creating will display your text in a large font size with a drop shadow effect. This drop shadow effect can also be used with any other images you create.
Your first step will be to select your text color. To change foreground and background colors, double click on top and bottom color squares on right. Your text will be displayed in color within top box, which is foreground color. For this example, I will be using a light color as my foreground color.
Once you've selected your text color, click on text tool on left side (It looks like a capital "A"). This will launch your text window. Select your font and text size from drop down menu and type in your text. I will be using "Impact" bold, size 24. Make sure you select "Antialias" and "Floating" then click "OK."
Antialias will smooth out all of rough edges of your text and blend it in with your background color. You will use Antialias setting with various graphic tools when designing your graphics, so it is important to remember its function.