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Graphic Design explained

by | Last updated: Dec 17, 2023

Do you need a Graphic Designer or can you do it yourself ?

In this Graphic Design explained article, we recommend a range of FREE Apps that will allow you create some good original images,for flyers and material for web or print.
Plus some useful paid apps.
Plus some technical words and terms are explained briefly
Plus a guide to the best Free and low cost images.

BUT, whilst you may be able to use some of these, we always pass the important stuff to a qualified, experienced Graphic Designers, to get a quality innovative finish, by people who can really use these tools. A good graphic designer has the sort of spark of creativity that we lack in design, plus the earned experienced, so we love to work with the pro’s. But these apps can help for quick fixes or when you have no available budget for graphic design.

20+ Recommended Apps for Graphic design explained:

MeanIT Graphic Design file formats

1. www.gimp.com which is like a lite version of Photoshop for Linux, Mac or Window

2. www.pixlr.com FREE User Friendly Basic version. And download PIC2PIXLR to get images to PIXLR easily. This is a simple tool to resize images and then reduce their dpi for a smaller file size. For more information on PIC2PIXLR from our short guide click here

3. www.canva.com FREE with charges for images that are owned oR read our intro to Canva here

4. www.prezi.com ideal for Presentation preparation

5. www.inkscape.org/en/ FREE Inkscape is Free and Open Source Software licensed under the GPL. General Public Licence

6. www.serif.com/ FREE Basic versions

7. Paint – Comes FREE on any Windows PC and is easy to use, if somewhat limited

8. www.sumopaint.com – FREE Basic version to edit images

9. SVG Edit from Google https://code.google.com/p/svg-edit/

10. http://vizualize.me/  ideal for Resumes etc

11. www.xnview.com/en/ FREE Image viewing,reading and converting app

12. http://placehold.it/  How does it work? Just put your image size after the URL and you get a placeholder.

13. http://fontawesome.io/  A font and CSS toolkit which gives you scalable vector icons which can simply be customized — size, color, drop shadow, and anything that can be done with the power of CSS

14. Piktochart – Create your own Infographics – FREE limited basic version and Paid version for templates

15. Snappa – Like Canva with more options

16. Fotolia – Cheap Royalty free images

17. WikiCommons – Freely usable nedia files

18. TinyJPG – Free image compression app

19. FastStone Image Viewer and resizer, ideal for resizing  images in bulk.

Photopea_logo_Wikimedia_file20. Photopea – the new app on the block. It is very useful and it is free at present.

21. Bulk Resize Photos – If you you to resize photos in bulk, check it out.

22. Adobe Express – a Free tool.

23. Squoosh from Google – we recommend this.

24. Optimizilla as in Image Compressor

These apps are more complicated, more powerful and best used by an experienced graphic designer, but you can get training in loads of Youtube video or Graphic Design explained type courses if you want to learn.

1. Corel Draw and

2. Adobe Illustrator for more options and professional graphic designers, printers, sign makers and Fashion houses.

3. www.sketchup.com/  for Architects and Mechanical Drawing.

4. www.design-seeds.com – a good place to match colours

10 common image file formats used in graphic design explained:

Images have a variety of formats, so here are some of the most common.

1. JPEG or JPG is a common image format created by digital cameras and popular in web use in websites.

2. PNG or Portable Network Graphics format is ideal for transferring images on the web, although it does not support non-RGB color spaces such as CMYK.

PNG was created as an open source option to replace 4. GIF Graphics Interchange Format.

3. TIFF or Tagged Image File Format is an old format from the 1980’s

5. pdf Adobes portable document format”for Adobe Acrobat which is a program or reader on most pcs.

6. eps encapsulated postScript, can be vector or raster

7. ai Adobe Illustrator

8. psd Photoshop file format

9. Photoshop .PSB, or “Photoshop Big” a large document format, extends the PSD file format

10. bmp a Windows specific file format

Read a lot more details in a good blog post by Brent Morrison at Stryve Marketing here.

A few more graphic design terms that may need explaining

Scalable Vector Graphics – SVG format is an open standard created via the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in 1999 in XML text files, which can be indexed, searched or scripted, and compressed. As XML file types, any SVG image can be edited or even put together with any standard text editor.

Raster file formats include: jpeg/jpg, png, psd, tiff, bmp and gif whilst Vector file formats include: eps, ai and pdf. 

Bottom line – Raster Graphics are great for photograph colour detail, but cannot be enlarged. Vector Graphics are better for Logos and fonts and can be enlarged without losing quality, but with color detail somewhat limited.

Why should you invest in good graphic design ?
The answer seems obvious, but many people do not do it, or do not have the budget. A good chef can make a feast from basic ingredients and a good graphic designer can make a big difference, even with a small budget. Spend some time getting your graphic design explained, in terms of how your web presence could benefit. A good graphic designer will do that for you, if they want to work with you.

Brand Recognition

Your company will obviously need a Logo, a brand identity and a feel, to connect with your target market and it is important to get it right, so that it connects all aspects of your business, rather than creating lots of fragmentation in your stationery, business cards, vehicle livery, email, advertising, website, everything for the sake of clarity for customers and staff alike.

First impression

Poor quality design will reflect poorly, just as good design will reflect well.


Good graphic design can convey a message through the design, the branding and the feel, think Toyota or McDonalds.

Getting your graphic design right

Design is so important as visitors will leave if they are confronted with poor design and they are not coming back ! So get it right. Easy navigation is vital, if you want to have visitors stay with you, buy something or ask you a question.

Bad design graphics will chase visitors away and increase the Bounce rate, which is the number that tells you that you are getting it wrong or getting the wrong visitors.

Expense – a lack of spending on a good graphic designer will cost a lot more later, when you go to improve the look and re-promote your new look, much like redesigning your house after it has been built.

Tip: If your budget is tight, get some free or low cost images for your website, logo or social at:

Wiki Commons

Flickr Creative Commons


Low price

Deposit Photos
Envato Elements


If you use images by someone else, always pay for them and/or credit the photographer/owner. Readers and Google like to have pages of text broken up and supported with good images. Also be aware that your audience will possibly like moving parts a giphy or video, that grabs attention and explains a point.

About The Author

Do you want more traffic?

Hi, at MEANit we help 34 ‘Professional Services Firms‘ to be effective online annually. Will your business be one of the 34 in 2024?


Written by Michael MacGinty

Michael is a well known speaker, author and coach on SEO and how to use the web to grow a business. He is also WP Elevation certified as a Digital Business Consultant.
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