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:
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.
20. 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
Paid Apps for Graphic Design explained
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
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.
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.
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:
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 like moving parts a giphy or video, that grabs attention and explains a point.