As a graphic designer, your design software is your lifeline. It’s the one thing that will bring your designs, next big project or best logo yet to life. What about the needs of social media? Your design software can actually slow you down. Fear not! I’ve got 5 social media hacks ready for you to use right now to cut out unnecessary, wasted time.

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Want 3 more hacks? Of course you do! Learn these 3 productivity hacks for Adobe Illustrator.

Hack #1: How to Save Photos from Instagram

Instagram is such a great tool to showcase your designs, your company culture or like the hipsters do, their dinner. The most frustrating part of Instagram is the seemingly impossible task of downloading the photo you or someone else posted. Until now. Presenting DownloadGram. This free online tool will do all the work for you and allow you to download any instagram photo in seconds. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to the website (www.instagram.com), and find the post you want to download your photo from
  2. Click on the post and copy the URL
  3. Go to the website (www.downloadgram.com), and paste the link
  4. Click on Download and claim your photo

Hack #2: How to Create a Browser Bookmark Library of Client Color Palettes

If you’re working at an agency like me, or you’re a freelancer, you’ll more than likely manage multiple clients. It takes SO much time opening up a brand guide and navigating to the color page. Instead, build an online color palette library and store them in your bookmarks bar. Trust me, we do this at Red Branch Media because you can access a color palette in seconds using Colorpeek. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open up Google Chrome (or your preferred browser)
  2. Create a folder in your browser’s bookmark bar and label it “Client Brand Colors”
  3. In a new tab go to the website (www.colorpeek.com), then type in the color codes one by one until you’ve added them all
  4. Add this page to your “Client Brand Colors” folder
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 for all of your clients to complete your library
Save time on #SocialMedia with THESE 5 #GraphicDesign hacks from @KyleJCDesign: Click To Tweet

 

Speaking of libraries, build your design library with these essential freebies PLUS a bonus icon pack, made by me!

Hack #3: How to Type Emojis on Your Mac with a Simple Shortcut

Emojis are becoming ever popular as a secondary language in the digital age. Don’t believe me? According to the World Emoji Day statistics posted on July 17, 2017, “5 billion emojis are sent daily on Facebook Messenger.” Holy crap, people. It’s time to get with the times and include emojis in your messaging. Sure, you could use the pre-made emojis on Facebook or Google, but what if you’re on LinkedIn or Twitter? If you’re on a Mac, you have complete access to ALL emojis with just a flick of a keyboard shortcut. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Click in a type field of whatever social media platform you’d like to write your message in
  2. On your keyboard, press these keys at the same time: Control + Command + Spacebar
  3. Choose whatever emoji you’d like to use from the emoji pop-up window
#DYK you’re one shortcut from an entire emoji library if you use an @Apple computer: Click To Tweet

Hack #4: How to Blur/Pixelate Unwanted Faces in Photos Online

Ah, the photobombers. While it’s all fun and games to photobomb some rando, it can be a pain to remove their face if you don’t want them in it. Yes, you can use good ol’ Photoshop, but if you need a quick fix, you’ll want to turn your attention to Facepixelizer. This online tool allows you to blur or pixelate any face or area of a photo and download it with the edits in seconds. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to the website (www.facepixelizer.com)
  2. Drop your image into the drop area (as shown on the website)
  3. Select Pixelize, Blur or GF for the “Face Detection”
  4. Choose Manual for the “Selection Effect”
  5. Under “Manual Effect” choose the type of edit you’d like to perform (blur or pixelize)
  6. Adjust the intensity of the edit by using the slider under “Size”
  7. Click and draw a square or rectangle over the area(s) you’d like to blur or pixelize
  8. Crop your image if you’d like under “Crop”
  9. Click “Save Image”
Have an annoying #photobomb in your picture? Use this #free hack from @KyleJCDesign: Click To Tweet

Hack #5: How to Compress PDF & Image File Sizes Online

File sizes are the death of designers when their work meets the web. Especially because it’s best practice to keep images and files under 5mb on websites to improve performance. This is because it has to do with load time. The lower the file size, the faster the load. What person on social media wants to wait a few minutes to download that whitepaper your client is offering? What person on social media wants to wait for an image to appear? The fact of the matter is they don’t want to wait so you’ll want to make sure all of your images and files are compressed with a few free online tools called SmallPDF & TinyPNG. Here’s how to do it:

PDFs:

  1. Go to the website (www.smallpdf.com)
  2. Choose “Compress PDF”
  3. Drag and drop your PDF in the area as shown on the website
  4. Download your compressed file

Images:

  1. Go to the website (www.tinypng.com)
  2. Drag and drop your image in the area as shown on the website
  3. Download your compressed image

Design software is great, but there are times where it can slow you down. You can hold fast knowing these 5 hacks will help you avoid the wasted time. Bookmark this page and share it with your fellow designers! Afterall, no one likes to waste their time.

Kyle Christensen
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