5 min read
Your digital toolbox: design tricks to help power your side-hustle
Things happen at breakneck speed in digital, and as content creators we’re always on the lookout for tools to help get shizz out there fast. But often being fast isn’t enough. That’s where these top digital tools come in. Meet these neat bits of tech or sweet ideas that will help you spread your side hustle further.
1. Nifty icons from Noun Project
Why not tighten up your brand (be it business or personal) with smart icons? This resource let’s you browse and download pro icons without having to go anywhere near Illustrator. Use them for branding your topics in Featured Stories, or for adding thumbnail icons to each of your links on Linktree.
Even if you’re just starting out, having a cohesive brand look, that follows a few simple design rules around color, style and font will mean your audience takes you seriously. We were rather impressed with the number of tree icons Noun Project carries.
Go take a look for yourself here.
Just a handful of a veritable forest of tree icons available on Noun Project.
2. Beautiful imagery from Unsplash
We might all like to think we’re a dab hand at photography, but if you’ve tried uploading that iPhone pic to be your website header, you’ll know your work doesn’t quit cut the mustard.
Thankfully for those of us without a DLSR and a killer eye, there are sites like Unsplash, a library of imagery from legit photographers. Even more amazingly, you can download the jaw-dropping pics you like for free.
We've not been here, but thankfully Patrick Hendry on Unsplash has.
The hi-res snaps are perfect for site imagery, blog posts, backgrounds for quotes, hell even print them out and hang them on your walls! You don’t have to credit the original photographer, but we’d encourage you to – it’s little shout outs that keep communities like this available. 🙂
Find your perfect snap here.
Plus, Linktree integrates with Unsplash, so you can use their beautiful hi-res images as custom backgrounds on your Linktree, with PRO.
Another top tip: if you want ye olde pics and vintage snaps, head to New Old Stock.
3. Get picture perfect flat-lays
We dotty for this one. Instaset was founded by Slovenian mom, Danaja in September last year. As if living between the Alps and the Adriatic sea wasn’t a stunning enough backdrop, Danaja came up with the idea of creating backgrounds for styling products or Insta shots on.
Even if you're still living at home with your parents with their not-cool-at-all house decor, give your pics some extra oomph with Instaset.
These genius PVC backdrops are printed with brilliantly on-trend patterns, colors and effects. We love the pink and grey peeling paint of the Jaipur wall and the sleek tiles of the Midnight Hexagon. Or perhaps you’re after the perfect marble counter top for your food snaps? They’ve got it all.
What’s more, they’re light, roll up and wipe clean. If you’re launching a product, or running a food or beauty blog, you’ll use these time and time again, making the 32 euro price point well worth investment. As Danaja says in her own words – ” You can use Instaset backdrops even for, well not so pretty products, and yet the result is pretty amazing at the end!”.
4. Apple-worthy mock-ups
Creating content around things which exist in the digital space can be tricky. How do you tell your audience about your new website, without doing a screen-recording or screenshot?
Enter Mock Ups For Free, who do exactly as they say. Their files let you put your work-in-progress into real life situations. Visualise your work on basically anything, from smart TV screens, to a coffee jar, swing tab labels to a finished book.
See your work-in-progress in its final place, with mockupsforfree.com
It’s a simple way to give your work some serious finesse ahead of launching the real deal. They’re all free to boot!
5. Get font nerdy, for free
Flex your fonts, folks! There’s no excuse to ever use Comic Sans again (except for lols), with Behance’s free fonts library. Primo font selection is such a simple way of showing you’ve got an eye for design.
So what will it be? Does a bit of Tuna Typeface or Frontage Condensed float your boat? Or maybe you’re more into a spot of Glacial Indifference. (Yep, it’s a thing.)
"The wrong typeface can make your brand aesthetic feel confused" says Nick, Linktree Creative Director.
Linktree Creative Director and all-round-cool-guy (you should see his shirt choices), Nick Humphreys, has some words of advice when it comes to choosing fonts for brands or marketing. “The wrong typeface can make your brand aesthetic feel confused. Sometimes a sensible serif is all you need, and sometimes you need something more.”
Pick Konstant Grotesk by Stephen French for those millennial vibez.
Nick warns that you should be aware of new type trends, but not bow to them. “Trends are often fleeting and ‘hot new fonts’ often burn out quickly leaving the user with a dated type aesthetic.” Instead, use typefaces that communicate and facilitate your brand’s personality. “Knowing why one typeface feels right over another is due to the character of the typeface.”
“If you went to a doctor that used a swirly bubble typeface, they are either a children’s doctor, or you should walk backwards out of the clinic quickly! If they are using a traditional serif, you feel they are experienced, knowledgeable, have seen it all. a modern sans serif typeface feels cutting edge, at the forefront of medicine.” There is power in typography.
Go drool over the delicious freebie fonts on Behance now.
That’s it for now, but we’ll be adding to our recommendations over the coming weeks. What are you fave tools for supporting your side hustle? Slide into our DMs on Instagram and we’ll share your words of wisdom with the Linktree community!