In the world of web design, one has many options on how they wish to build their website. Some folks prefer simplicity – white background, black text, easy to navigate and easy on the eyes. Other folks like to go all sorts of crazy, adding flash animations, animated buttons, cinematic swipes that supplement website navigation. In any case, if you want your website to stand out of the pack, you’re going to need custom graphics not seen anywhere else. This applies whether you’re going for a more simplistic website design that is easy to navigate, or for something more complex and in-depth, with music players, flash animations, and the whole nine yards.
Custom graphics are essential. For example, say you’re attempting to sell a product or service – you’d want your product or services to stand out from the rest, correct? Why else would someone invest in your skills or products if they think they could find them somewhere else? The internet is a tough place to start a business, considering how many other people are doing just that – millions of people across the world make their income primarily from their respective internet home pages. So instead of falling by the wayside amongst the internet flock, get your website to stand out with some custom graphics!
An eye-catching logo is almost necessary to build up a brand name. Logos, customized fonts, banners for both the website and social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr…it’s all necessary to grease the machine that is internet sales. Again, who is going to buy products from a poorly designed websites riddled with graphics that are offensive to the eye? Better yet, who would want to purchase products or services from a person who steals other images from around the internet as their source of web design?
Free Graphic Editing Programs
While some people simply do not have the time available to spend on the creation of custom graphics, instead hiring freelancers or established graphic designers to capture that image, that edge, it is an important and very useful skill set to possess. Why wait on graphic designers to get back to you, and why spend valuable cash on something you can learn to do yourself for free?
The best course of action for budding graphic designers is to look into freeware and open source programs. There are a number of options available for graphic editing software that won’t even cost you a penny, as opposed to the dreaded and overly expensive subscription plan offered by Adobe for their programs, such as Photoshop. I’m going to briefly detail two separate programs and how they can help you jump-start your creative juices!
You ever catch a friend cooking up some graphics in MSPaint and shake your head in disbelief? The simple act of using such a primitive editing software conjures nostalgic memories of 4th grade computer class, drawing dirty graphics on MSPaint and saving it to the school’s computer. Simply put, MSPaint is just not powerful enough for heavy duty tasks. It doesn’t even have a layer feature! Enter: Paint.Net.
Paint.net is entirely free, and best of all, it’s rather easy to get started with. Unlike Photoshop, which may take some time getting used to, Paint.Net is simplistic in it’s ways, similar to MSPaint, but is so much more powerful. There are also loads of free tutorials available online!
Many refer to GIMP as the freeware Photoshop. The fact it is an open source program is a big ‘selling’ point – many, many plugins are available for GIMP, most of which are for free. Be warned, however, as the learning curve is quite steep. GIMP is a powerful program and may even take a while to load, depending on how many custom brushes and presets you’ve loaded it with, but once you learn how to best utilize the software, you’ll be making professional looking designs in no time!
So instead of dishing out wads of cash to graphic designers, consider getting some freeware graphic design programs yourself. Look up some tutorials, learn a new skill-set. It could end up saving you a lot of money in the long run!