It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but you don’t want those thousand words to be incredibly negative because you shared a low-quality image! The Internet can be awfully unforgiving and the backlash on social media can be remarkably harsh. We’re not all professional graphic designers — I know I’m not — but we should all be paying closer attention to the images we use on our blogs, in our marketing materials and on social media too.
Yes, it is absolutely true that you can invest in more professionally-geared programs like Lightroom, PhotoShop and InDesign to handle visual tasks like this. It’s also true that these tools can be too complex, too confusing and ultimately too overwhelming for a lot of people. You want to have the powerful of these types of solutions without the unneeded frustration.
Thankfully, there are some great options that you can access on the web to help you create beautiful images and designs to share far and wide.
One of the more popular graphic design apps, particularly among social media influencers and bloggers, is Canva. What’s great here is that you have access to a number of purpose-built templates to help you get started with whatever graphic design project you might have.
If you’ve ever seen one of those stylized quote images on Instagram, it may have been created on Canva. If you’ve seen a captivating image on Pinterest, it may have been created on Canva. There are layouts for everything from business cards to ebooks, photo collages to media kits and Facebook cover images.
Apply filters, access millions of stock photographs, choose from hundreds of fonts and more. There’s also a simplified image editor if all you want to do is adjust an existing image.
Arguably one of the biggest direct competitors to Canva, PicMonkey boasts that it offers “everything you need to make your designs come to life.” This includes standard photo editing, as well as collage making and graphic design, as well as photo touch-ups.
The goal here is that it’s “never been easier to feed your creative beast.” You can apply watermarks with ease, brighten eyes in portraits, apply filters and overlays, and even utilize fun effects like turning a photograph into a pencil sketch.
And just like Canva, PicMonkey can also be used for all sorts of brand graphics, like what you might need to make a logo, create social images, design a poster and more. There are templates for almost anything you can imagine.
Geared more toward online photo editing and less toward graphic design, Fotor is akin to an online PhotoShop. You can utilize simple sliders to adjust everything from brightness to saturation, or you can go more advanced and shift the RGB curve to achieve the color balance you desire. There are even HDR effects for advanced editing needs too.
If you like playing around with the different photo filters in apps like Instagram, then you’ll also enjoy going through the various photo effects here, which have been created by Fotor’s own team of designers.
And then there are the photo retouching tools for helping to clean up the blemishes and imperfections you might find in your portraits. Add radiance without making it all look too artificial.
Going back to the world of graphic design, DesignBold offers an easy-to-understand drag-and-drop interface so you can “create a stunning design in just 5 minutes,” allowing you to “save more time for imagination.”
As with Canva and PicMonkey, DesignBold also helps you get started with a broad range of template choices. There are literally thousands to choose from here, including more formal creations like documents and invitation cards, as well as a good selection of templates for marketing materials, social media, blogging and ebooks too.
Want something for an Instagram post, Instagram story, Facebook profile picture or Soundcloud banner? There are specific templates available for each of these specific uses. Combining a drag-and-drop interface with keyboard shortcuts, DesignBold is quick, efficient and beautiful.