Archives For Design

Fall is just around the corner and maybe you need a few new fonts to spark some creativity in your slides, flyers, and calendars. Here’s a great post over at Hongkiat.com with 20 free minimalistic fonts you can use.  Minimalism is the name of the game in design right now, so this is a great cheap way to keep your designs looking fresh.

Here are a few of my favorites:

20_Free_Fonts_for_Minimalistic_Designs

20_Free_Fonts_for_Minimalistic_Designs

free font

See All Fonts

Photoshop

In youth ministry today creating graphics has become a necessity.  Maybe you need them for your slides, your making a flyer, or just for a new cover image on your Facebook page, graphics touch so much of what we do.  Not all of us have the budget to cover Photoshop, so I thought I would cover a few options out there to help make creating and editing graphics a little easier.  Even if you don’t feel like you are the most creative person, these tools can help you look like a pro.

1. Canva.com

Canva is a great and easy to use way to create great looking graphics. They have a number of pre-defined templates you can start with (social media images, flyers, posters, business cards, invitations, collages and more) or you can design a custom one. You can upload your own images, use their stock images or buy premium stock images from their library to use in your projects. The cost is free so it’s hard to argue with that. As a bonus they have some great tutorials if you are new to design that will help teach you about using colors, fonts and more.

2. Pixlr.com

If you are used to working with photoshop and are looking for something that’s closer to that experience you might like Pixlr.com/editor. It has a more traditional photoshop like screen with your toolbox floating on your canvas.  It also allows you to upload your photos for use in your projects, but they don’t have the library of included images like Canva does, but you can start with a URL to an image if you’ve already found one online you like. It’s also a free tool, but to get the most out of it, you need to create an account.  They also have some more basic design tools with Pixlr Express and Pixlr-o-Matic.  These are really designed for photos that allow basic cleanup, filters and boarders.  They also have some mobile apps you might be interested in, you can get links HERE.

3. BeFunky.com

BeFunky is another Free service that allows you to edit photos and turn them into graphics that you can use for slides, flyers or elsewhere. They do have a paid version that gives you more filters, graphics and frames to use, but the FREE level still is robust. They also have mobile apps you can use on iOS (free or pro) or Android.

What tools do you use?

In our next post we’ll explore more mobile options.

Image Credit: geralt

5 Sites for Free Fonts

Chris —  May 19, 2014 — 5 Comments

Letters, A, Abc

Have you ever sat down to make a brochure, calendar or flyer and realized you really need a new font because people around the church have seen the same font on the last 7 flyers you’ve made for your youth ministry? Well, here are 5 sites with 1000’s of free fonts you can use in your next project.

  1. Dafont
  2. FontSquirrel
  3. 1001 Free Fonts
  4. Font Space
  5. 1001 Fonts

Summer is coming, maybe experiment with some new looks this season.

Pre-Service Slides

Jon —  October 13, 2012 — 4 Comments

Each week at our Sunday morning worship service we have slides that scroll during pre-service. Here are a few examples for you to use. In our ministry we constantly rip others off. I am not a graphic designer by any stretch so I have learned to imitate others. You will notice hat tips to YS! and Simply both. And on that topic, feel free to rip us off as well. This is about Jesus and his love for teens!

Welcome to DRIVEN Sneakers

A welcome slide of some sort is always in the mix. I recommend checking out Saddleback HSM’s facebook page regularly for ideas.

Everyone Has a Story

Everyone Has A Story is the title that Doug Fields used years ago to represent student testimonies. In our youth ministry we have developed a handbook/DVD combo that is free to students that helps them write out their own testimony and prepare to share it in our services. This is the slide we use when they are on stage.

Homestar Runner Slide

Lego Sermon Series

Among the slides that we have scrolling is usually a slide that tells students what the current sermon series is.

Small Group Couch

RAID Fall 2012 Slide

Superhero Dinner Theater

The 15 minutes before a service when students are milling around is a great time to promote things like small groups and special events.

Stache of the Month Beiber

Stache of the Month Queen

Stache of the Month Stewart

Well I hope this gave you all some sweet ideas!

Some slides are just for fun. Our recent Youth Ministry Magazine was dubbed the “Stache Issue” so we have been exploring all things stache.

Everyone loves fonts, right?  There’s nothing like a new font that can make your next flyer or calendar really feel fresh and fun.  Here are a couple of links of over 80 FREE fonts for you to use.

The first group has a bunch of great looking new fonts that can help direct the look and feel of your piece:

45+ Latest Free Fonts To Enhance Your Designs

And if that wasn’t enough, here are some great movie style fonts for you.  Fonts like Harry Potter, Disney, Lord of the Rings, Twilight and more.  Great for spoofing popular movies with your own version.

35 Movie Fonts That Are Free To Download 

Best of 2011

Jon —  December 28, 2011 — Leave a comment

2011 was a whirlwind year for me. While serving in our student ministry, I also spent half of the year revamping all of our discipleship courses, and the other half of the year directing our elementary ministry. We built a website to host all of our discipleship course registration and blog content, directed the largest children’s Christmas production our church has ever hosted, and are in the middle of planning a county wide student conference. At the same time I am pursuing an MDiv in Apologetics. I have relied heavily on technology this year but have also found some other non-techie favorites. Here they are in all of their glory:

Adobe Indesign CS5

Having done all of my publications in Microsoft Publisher over the years the switch to InDesign was fabulous!  In an effort to keep users from messing up, Publisher limits the ability to manipulate the document however you want. While this is not a problem most of the time, there are moments when it becomes quite bothersome. Publisher often gives me grief when I have images layered one on top of the other. InDesign has been a breath of fresh air. The program offers so much control over the document. The learning curve is steep at first but you catch on. I highly recommend this software if you want to step up the quality of your publications

 

Color Scheme Designer (colorschemedesigner.com)

Creating a professional looking publication means you don’t need to guess about your color scheme. While most of us can “eye-ball” a good color, this web app takes all of the guess work out. Plus, the app allows you to choose between monochromatic, complementary, analogous, split complementary and every other scheme you can imagine! I found this one late in the year but it has quickly become a go-to app.Samsung PX2370 LED Monitor:

I purchased this monitor at the beginning of the year and I have enjoyed every minute in front of it (well, maybe not every minute). The LED backlighting and 5,000,000:1 contrast ratio makes for a crisp display. Once again, if you want a top notch publication you need to create it on a display you can trust.

Screencast-O-Matic

When we built our discipleship website for our church members to register an account on we created a screen cast video to walk them through the registration (basically a video that captures everything happening on your computer screen). The software we used cost a pretty penny. Well, just the other week I found Screencast-O-Matic! It has 95% of the features as the expensive program but only costs $12 a year to use. I am amazed at what we are doing with web apps now, and this one is one of the most impressive I have seen yet!

Ethics for a Brave New World:

I took an ethics course this semester and this was one of our main texts. The title plays off of the famous work by Aldous Huxley, Brave New World. It’s a massive work (close to 1000 pages), but boy does it cover a load of pertinent topics. The Feinberg’s set out to give evangelical views on issues ranging from abortion to just war theory. If you want to give yourself a kick in the pants, pick up a copy and begin working your way through it.

Well, it’s Christmas eve when I am writing this and I am wicked tired and ready for Santa to get here! Hope 2012 treat you all well, and I hope all your techie dreams come true.

Free Fonts to Kick Off the Fall

Chris —  August 21, 2011 — 1 Comment

With back to school in full swing or coming very soon, you may be working on flyers or calendars for your fall season.  I saw these two collections of free fonts come across my twitter feed this week, and thought i would pass them along.  Enjoy!

Fresh Collection Of High Quality Free Fonts for Professional Designs

Read more: www.smashingapps.com

50 Fresh and Beautiful Fonts From 2011

Read more: www.1stwebdesigner.com

I was working on a project recently and decided I really needed to find some new fonts for it.  I came across a few collections that I thought would be fun to share:

1. 40 Free Comic and Cartoon Fonts: These have youth ministry written all over them.  Lots of fun ones to play with.

One of my favorites:

2. 40 Free Hand Drawn Fonts: I’m a big fan of the hand drawn look.  I’ve seen some of these before, but there were some great new ones also.

I love this look:

3. 100 Abstract and Grunge Fonts: I really like a lot of these, very current and a lot of fun for ministry.

Check these out:

Maybe these will be just what you need for your next project.  Enjoy!

Sign and Image Generators

Chris —  August 27, 2009 — Leave a comment

I saw this post over on Mashable, 13 Fantastic and Fun Image Generators, and quickly thought of many youth ministry applications.  The post lists a number of different online sign and image generators.  You put in your message, photo, and depending on the site you get a sign back.  Here were some of my favorites (with some youth ministry appropriate samples I created):

Warning Labels and Signs


warninglabel

Advising people to the dangers of the situation has never been so easy. Simply pick a label style, a warning icon, and enter your desired text into a simple web form and voila, you’ve got a standup warning label.

For a vertical sign-style warning image, check out the companion site Warning Sign Generator.

De-Motivational Posters


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Annoyed by those superficial and unflaggingly insipid motivational posters we’re subjected to in dentists’ and corporate offices everywhere? Why not take a stance against mass-produced pseudo-solutions to important problems?

With the Demotivators tool you can easily generate a realistic illustration of the trials and tribulations of Real Life. Just choose an image from your desktop to create a motivational parody from, customize your image settings, add a title and de-motivational text and you too can contribute to the better psychological health of us all.

Movie Posters


movie-posterAnother project from Big Huge Labs, the movie poster tool is a web form that helps you design a film-style poster from your own images. Choose an alignment for the photo, a poster style, text and accent colors, title fonts and colors, and enter your own custom text for the film title, taglines, credits and MPAA rating.

They also have them for X-box achievements, magazine covers, street signs, 13 different ones in all.  Just think of the fun for signs around the youth room, promotional fliers and posters, visuals in your message slides or just for fun.  It seems like this is one set of sites that every youth worker should remember.

Check-out the entire list HERE.

Earlier I posted about what was at the time my favorite site creation tool for ministry.  And that remained my favorite until I tried Squarespace.  It is quite simply the next generation in web design and management tools.  The highlight of the platform for me is the interface.  Instead of having to navigate away from a page to edit, post, or change the color of the menubar items, every action brings up a simply HUD (heads up display) that hovers over, just translucent enough to be pretty, and allows you to edit instantly.

By instantly I mean just that.  If you are editing the background color, they change immediately without having to click update and return to the page.  Want a column wider?  Move a slider and BAM!  Done!  This site is so amazing it makes the little Emeril inside me come out.

I have been waiting for a while to develop a site where a group youth pastors from my denomination could post resources available for download for free, and within a couple hours of my free trial umyouthpastor.com was born.  Depending on the level of service you purchase (ranging from $8 to $50 per month) you can go from a basic site with one editor to a full ecommerce mogul.  There’s incredible server scaling in case you get dugg, social network intergration, and the list goes on an on.

There is far too much to detail it all here, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention their incredible support.  There have been many 1am support tickets filed by yours truly that have been answered before 1:30, and that is above and beyond.  Like I said, amazing.  Check it out: www.squarespace.com.  If you want to see what a non-programmer can accomplish in a couple of hours with the tool, and with content from a bunch of talented youth pastors, check out umyouthpastor.com and tell me how it could be better!