Making website graphics used to be both hard work and expensive. You needed to be imaginative, have an eye for colour. You needed expensive software such as Photoshop or Illustrator. Thankfully, there is now a whole range of free graphics tools that even the most design shy can make use of. Here are our top 5.
1 – Canva
Established in 2012 by Melanie Perkins, Cliff Obrecht and Cam Adams. Canva has grown into an amazing tool that can create graphics of all kinds – many entirely free. Their online design software is very intuitive and you really can make professional looking graphics in minutes.
2 – PlaceIt
PlaceIt offers mockups of devices displaying your images or website. Many of which are available for free in a small size. There are 2870 options available, which a whole variety of devices which can be made to show your content. A lovely way to use stock images that are pre-customised to your needs. Larger downloads and some of the transparent images do have a small fee to download, but the site is very clear and you don’t need to provide card details to signup.
3 – Paletton
One of the toughest parts of designing your own graphics is selecting the best colours. Paletton is a completely free tool that helps with this task. It allows you to find complementary colours, different shades of colours and build your own perfect colour pallet. Paletton even allows you to preview what your colours would look like on websites, graphics and animations.
4 – TinyPNG
A lot of high-resolution graphics on your website may make it look beautiful. However, for some users, it may bring your website speed to a crawl. Luckily, this is easily remedied. TinyPNG offers to compress your images without anyone being able to tell the difference – except that your site loads more quickly, of course. Two apparently identical images below. The one of the left is the original (291KB), the one on the right has been compressed (139KB). Click to enlarge the images and see the difference (or lack of) yourself.
5 – Fiverr
A service, really, rather than a tool. Fiverr is an online army of people waiting to help with a variety of services for as little as $5. (currently £3.78). You just go to their website and browse through the different categories of service available, you’ll then be presented with a list of people offering the ‘gig’ you’re looking for complete with prices, reviews and samples of their work. The different providers also advise how long it will take and often offer to speed up for a few extra dollars. There are some fantastic creatives on the site and well worth considering if you’d like someone else to do the hard work for you.
Other Graphics Tools
If we’ve missed out any of your favourite graphics tools, please add them in the comments – we’d love to give them a try.