Recommendation based on my experience…
Here I would like to share my experience on some of the essential graphic tools that you can use to help you in your marketing campaign or even online business. These graphic tools are the one I use all the time, and it is absolutely free. Some may only need you to opt-in only.
This amazing piece of software enable you to create any graphics that you want that can be used in website or print. Be it blog graphic, presentation, Facebook cover, eBook cover, social media posts, flyers, brochure, posters, invitation cards, etc. All you need to do is just sign up (free) and you can use the tool to create any graphics! This software is cloud-based, so you can only use it while you are online, and save your work for later edit.
There are plenty if templates available. So you will not start from scratch. Easy to use and design. Just need to drag and drop.
Updates: Mobile app is available now! Go check out Google Play Store or Apple App Store
Ever used Photoshop before? This would be another great graphic tool that you can used. You can use Pixlr editor to create amazing graphics, layer by layer just like in Photoshop. But it is not simple as Canva though. The advantage of using this is it is cloud-based as well. So you can actually saved the work on Pixlr library and then edit again somewhere else in the country with internet connection. All you have to do is just opt-in (for free).
There are 2 types of editor: Pixlr Editor and Pixlr Express. Both are web-based. Editor is what I meant previously like Photoshop. Express is a quick fix to apply filters or personalize effects. Though Pixlr is powerful, you do need some Photoshop skill before you know how to use it.
If you scroll down further, you will find another 2 types of Pixlr softwares, which is not web-based. These are software that you can download and install into your mobile or desktop and use it to add personal touch to your graphics and make it unique.
GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a cross-platform image editor available for GNU/Linux, OS X, Windows and more operating systems. It is a free software that you can download and install, then use it for editing or creating graphics. This would be similar to Photoshop as well. Though it is offline software, it proves to be the best alternative. This would require some Photoshop skill though.
This tool will be useful if you want to make a logo fast. Sometimes you may want to brand your website, then you can use this tool to create your unique logo. There is already library of shapes (.svg) available for you to search. And you can export the logo after customization like change colour, size and shape.
You can create your unique logo for your company or website just using this tool. Find several shapes and mix them together based on your creativity! I’ve used this tool to create my own website icon. 🙂
Another great graphic tool is the ScreenHunter. As the name speaks, it’s actually used to capture your desktop screen so that you can use the image captured later.
This will be useful than pressing the “PrtSc” on your keyboard because you don’t need to edit the picture later on in Paint software to crop out the section that you don’t want to display.
ScreenHunter is free for download and use, although they’ve paid version with more advance features. In my opinion, free version is already enough to help me in my website.
Note: If you are using Windows 10 OS (and beyond), you can actually utilize the Snip & Sketch app that comes together. A quick shortcut to snapshot what is on your screen without opening the app itself is by pressing Windows logo key + Shift + S.
This is yet another great tool that you can use and it’s free. TinyPNG uses smart lossy compression techniques to help you reduce your picture file size. You can reduce your .PNG or .JPG picture files using this amazing tool.
Why do you actually need this tool? It’s because the bigger the file size, the longer your page loads. And we’ve only 30 seconds to capture visitors’ attention once they land on our webpage. Thus, loading speed is important and we need to optimize our pictures to load faster (smaller file size).
What’s great about this tool is you hardly able to tell the difference between the original file and the optimized file. This makes this tool worth to use.
Here’s another very simple to use graphic editing tool. It’s called Lunapic. This graphic tool basically help you to edit your picture just by a few clicks. This is best for those that don’t have Photoshop skill. And yet still able to make a great editing to the pictures.
The most frequently used option (which I usually used) is remove background. What it means is to create a transparent background for an object on your image. This function is especially useful for us to create advertisement graphics. Easily you can just remove the background, save the picture as .PNG, then pair with Canva to create impactful photo ads.
If you want to use an alternative solution to Illustrator, Inkscape would be a good choice. It is basically a professional vector graphics editor usable for Linux, Windows and macOS systems. Open sourced, it is free of all. You can download the latest version here. The software itself is perfectly compliant with SVG format editing and file generation. It also includes PNG, OpenDocument Drawing, DXF, sk1, PDF, EPS and PostScript export formats and more.
In case you don’t know, Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is an Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based vector image format for two-dimensional graphics with support for interactivity and animation. This format is very useful for graphic design creation because it will not loss any pixel data (resolution) whenever you want to resize it. You can use the .svg file for logo creation, T-shirt design, banner, etc. and it will still looks great and high resolution.
I hope you will get some useful tips here. If there’s any new free software that is useful, I’ll keep update this post.
Thank you for reading.