I'm absolutely, positively not a graphic artist myself -- or indeed any kind of artist -- but I have to pretend to be one at work. What I'm trying to do is set up little monthly logos for the newsletter of upcoming books that we send out to our stores. It's just a little four-page thing, but it's popular among the employees and the regular customers, and I want it to look decent.
The upper left corner, a space a little less than two and a half inches square, needs to contain the name of our stores and the month and year. I use Publisher, so I play with the Word Art features and such, plus border art and clip art, to try to make something halfway professional looking.
Trouble is, I can picture good ideas and arrangements, but my execution of said ideas is... a little lacking. For one thing, I lack certain tools that would probably be a huge amount of help, seeing as my boss is too cheap to buy anything like Photoshop. A second problem is that he won't spring for printing these things in color, only on colored paper.
So could anyone give me any hints as to the technical aspects? Point me to a useful website, perhaps, that offers up advice and assistance to the artistically challenged? My repertoire right now is pretty limited, and I'm tired of the same old look to these logos, so any suggestions on livening them up would be appreciated.