If you’re anything like me, you probably do not have a single creative bone in you when it comes to creating eye-catching graphics.
Oh, I appreciate fine art.
It’s just that I have attempted learning Photoshop and Illustrator in the past and I found VERY quickly that they were not my strengths.
And so, again, if you’re like me, you are probably very grateful that creative geniuses like the people at Canva decided “Hey, we are going to make it easy for everyone to create beautiful graphics for their projects without purchasing Photoshop or paying someone $$$ to do so”.
I know I am.
There is no reason or excuse for ugly graphics in the world ANYMORE. I created this mini-monster post of graphic resources that will have people believing you are a graphic design genius.
Let’s get to it.
Stock Images & Illustrations
Photodune is owned by Envato Market. It is a great place to get amazing stock photos for starting at $1.
Other sites I personally love for stock photos include Pixabay (free , no attribution required), 123rf.com (you’d usually have to subscribe to 123rf however you can download some of their images (over 30,000 of them) for free everyday for a limited out of time), Death To The Stock Photo (Free) , Unsplash (Free) , Stocksy (paid). Wherever you get your stock photos from please do well to read the attribution instructions.
Envato market (another marketplace that will occasionally send you free goods) is the home of Themeforest for WordPress themes and AudioJungle but is another amazing source of predesigned graphics you could use in your designs.
Kayla over at Ivorymix will give you 300+ free styled images for free when you sign up for her e-mail list. Beyond that, you can purchase extra items in the Ivorymix shop or sign up for $10/month membership so you have access to even more phenomenal photos. Getting pictures from the Ivorymix Shop is worth every cent especially if you are a blogger like me who is always on the look out for gorgeous, unique + clean-looking photos for work.
Chaitra from PinkPot is a genius and I see people use her styled photographs all over the internet. In fact, if you hop on over to her site right now, she will send you a photo pack immediately for signing up to her e-mail list. And then she sends a pack to you monthly (sometimes more frequently).
Thanks Chaitra. You’re a treasure.
Creating, Designing & Editing
Adobe Spark is a new kid on the block and like any other Adobe product, I see it helping people like you and I do amazing things with graphics.
Snappa is fairly new to the online graphic design game & yet they have managed to make me a believer. You can sign up for a free account but get the full use of all Snappa has to offer with a $15/month plan.
Best graphic tool invention since sliced bread. 🙂 And if you think their free version is heaven, Canva for work is their paid version that takes things to a whole new level.
When I first started online, I did all my graphics with PicMonkey. I don’t use them a lot now but they do have a delightful blog that shows you how to use different features within PicMonkey.
I love Buffer as a social media management tool and that they added Buffer to their platform was genius. Pablo certainly does not have all the bells and whistles Snappa, Canva or Picmonkey have but it is still great for when you’re short on time and want to create something simple.
Create gorgeous infographics with PiktoChart. It is very easy to use and you do everything online and download it after you’re done. There are hundreds of free icons and beautifully drawn graphics you can use in your creations as well.
COST : There is a free trial (you don’t need to give them your credit card so you don’t have to be afraid of getting charged after your free trial is done. We’ve all been there. Nightmare.) and then it starts at $29 per month.
If you like data and creating charts and graphs, you will enjoy Infogr.am.
COST : Free
Easel.ly is a new discovery of mine. It’s great for creating good-looking infographics as well. Extremely versatile too if you ask me.
COST : Free. $3 per month to upgrade to PRO.
Need a striped background for your graphics ? You can go to Stripemania to do that. When you are doine choosing the colors and the size of stripes you want, you simply download it and use it for your designs.
COST : Free
Pixlr has certainly grown up since I first discovered it 4 years ago. If you’re familiar with Photoshop BUT don’t necessarily want to spend money on it, Pixlr is a wonderful alternative in my opinion.
Great for creating mockups of your physical or digital products.
I use the “PrintScreen” button on my PC desktop A LOT. I use it to take screenshots which I then can annotate using Windows Paint.
Awesome Screenshot is a Google Chrome tool that is wonderful for taking shots of your computer screen and annotating them as needed.
You are not restricted to using the fonts your computer came with.
Need cool fonts for your designs ? You can go to Dafont.com to download some.
COST : Free
If Google wasn’ t in on the font game, I would seriously be wondering why.
Creative Market is another great source of beautiful fonts as well.
Picking Color Palettes
Hubspot is constantly giving stuff away. And it’s not just marketing stuff, which Hubspot is known for.
I have come to love Hubspot for the graphic creation tools they make available for absolutely free.
COST : To download, you will need to enter you e-mail. Small price to pay for huge profits if you ask me.
I’ve been using Fatcow for website hosting for 3 years now and it is only recently that I discovered that they actually have over 3000 icon graphics you can download for free.
COST : Zilch.
SIDE NOTE : Fatcow is also the company I have used for hosting my blogs for the past 3 years. Their customer service has been nothing but stellar since I started with them and I highly recommend them if you’re thinking of starting your own blog.
You don’t want to be the person who creates charts and infographics with wrong data. To get accurate data and research that you can use in your charts and infographics, Pew Research is a great place to go. Gallup is another useful resource to find data and research. Data can defintely have it’s biases however, you are better off using these resources than simply typing your search into Google or Wikipeida.
COST : Free.
I’ve been using Photobucket for about a year now to store and host my images. There is a paid ad-free version. I don’t store so many photos there and so I use the free version which is riddled with SO MANY ads it is annoying. However, I am not going to complain about free. I can put up with it for a few minutes a week.
I also love Photobucket because when I write blog posts, I don’t insert images into the posts using the local Media Uploader. I instead copy the html that Photobucket generates for my picture and put that in my post instead. I find that the pictures load faster that way than if I uploaded them using the in-built WordPress media tool.
COST : Free. Paid version available.
Speaking of large photos and how they can slow down website load times, you can minimize the size of your graphics without losing quality using when you use Jpegmini. ImageOptim is another useful tool that achieves the same result.
COST : Free
Last but not least, if you really want to be able to use a Photoshop-like application without having to worry about downloading anything, Sumo Paint is worth trying out. Sumopaint has this to say on their website :” Photoshopping in your browser. Sumo Paint is an online image editor, without need to install anything to your device. It’s the most versatile photo editor and painting application that works in a browser. You can open and save images from your hard drive or save it to cloud.”
It used to be that you could use Sumo Paint for free or pay $4 to upgrade to PRO. But now, you have to e-mail them to use their software.
A tool you use that is not listed here ? Let me know in the comments.
P.S – If you enjoyed this post, I would really appreciate it if you could share it with your people. Like they say, “sharing is caring”. A little cheesy, but true 😀 !
*This is a an updated post from December 2014*