The tools and tips of the Christmas countdown

On the last day of Advent, I thought I’d share with you…
The tools I used and the website too!

Over the last three and a half weeks of Advent, we have brought you over 10,864 words, 17 festive blogs, and even some fun, holiday-themed jokes for the weekends!

We’ve each shared shared some of our tips from us to you every day of Advent but I thought I’d end this Christmas series by sharing how I created some of the content. I began my role at D365 Life Without Code as an apprentice Content Producer in March and have loved working on this project. Keep reading to see how I did it!

The Tools I Used

Procreate for Digital Art

Procreate is an application for iDevices like iPads and iPhones and can be purchased for a one-time cost of £8.99 (/$9.99) and it is what I, personally, used to create the digital art for the Advent content. Using my iPad and Procreate, I was able to create the drawn images such as the baubles for the Advent page, the banners for some of the blogs and other artwork you can find interspersed with the written content in this mini-series. It is a raster graphics editor for digital painting and features over 200 hand-crafted ‘brushes’ to use within the app. Each brush can be customised and you can even download more / create your own!

From customisation option to accessibility, the application offers artists a lot when it comes to design. Read more about the application on their website.

Creating the Content

I’ve updated our main Advent page daily during the run-up to Christmas. What were once blank baubles have all been updated with the corresponding date and linked with the festive-themed Advent blog of the day. For this, I needed both a blank set of baubles and the completed images with the numbers. See the process of how I created the designs in Procreate below:

1. Drew template on separate layers.
2. Created a colour palette with the company colours.
3. Filled in base.
4. Finished with patterns.

Once all the baubles were ready, they were added to the Advent page! And, from there, they were updated with the link to next blog in the series daily.

One of the most useful features in Procreate is that you’re able to create your own colour palettes and save them for convenience! I input the official RGB codes we use in out company colours and saved these for use across all the Micro Office Advent design projects. This ensured that all the content created was appropriately branded with our favourite shades of pink and purple!

Add a festive banner to your email signatures with Exclaimer!

Pixabay for images

For a few of the blogs, I used some free stock images that are available online. These were all found on Pixabay’s website! You can see examples of these images in the creation of the wrapping paper, the header images of our winter webinars, and even the Christmas tree on our Advent page.

Find your own images on Pixabay!

We altered the wrapping paper ever so slightly and made copies which incorporated everybody’s names to use for our office Secret Santa. We used these, then, to individually wrap our gifts (as you can see to the right), which added a far more personal touch than store-bought paper could bring!

If you’ve now come to the realisation that you’ve forgotten wrapping paper in your Christmas plans, (and, trust me—you’re not alone!) then why not have a go at designing your own wrapping paper using PowerPoint?

Wrapping Paper Design
End result

Micro Office Advent

This blog is the last in our Micro Office Advent! Thank you for following along. We hope that you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have! For a look back at all the blogs and features we’ve shared, see our page.

These are some of the tools I use to be creative—but why not join us at our Huddles to learn some more? For more tips and tricks just like this make sure to take a look at our Micro Office Huddle group where we share free bits of information about all-things technology!

To read the previous post on how you can set up Automated Replies in Outlook, see here.

When will the Micro Office Huddle run?

The huddles will run on Tuesdays from 08:30 – 10:00. Join our Facebook group and sign up to join the huddle!

Remember you can also follow us / keep up to date at…. Facebook Linked In / Blogs or sign up for our newsletter D365 Byte Sized.

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