Graphics make any blog or social media update more interesting, and while its good to curate images from around the web, its far better to create your own. Thats because you can annotate or brand them with your librarys name and generate traffic to your website.
According to Clash Graphics of Atlanta, graphic design software, such as Adobe Photoshop, can cost as little as $80, but it does require a somewhat steep learning curve. However, there are several easy-to-use websites that allow novice designers to create their own images for free.
Here are seven of my favorites.
- Recite This (http://recitethis.com/): With a few dozen note-sized templates and a text box, all you need are a few good quotes to create an unlimited collection of original images. Post to Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Stumbleupon, email to a friend or download it.
- Microsoft Office Templates (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/): This may seem like an unlikely website for great graphics, but Microsoft offers a wide variety of images and templates that can be tailored to just about any need or social network. Customize invitations, presentation, certificates and more.
- PhotoFunia (http://www.photofunia.com/): The effects and formatting options offered by this site take the yawn out of photo editing. Add a back to the 60s filter or put your image on a street in Rome for that bit of pizzazz that make visitors to your website stop and pay attention.
- Pinstamatic (http://pinstamatic.com/): If youre running low on ideas for Pinterest, test out this site for creating original and unique pins. My favorite is the ability to create a pin from a Spotify song. Pick a tune, and Pinstamatic creates a pin using the songs cover art and links it to Spotify. Visitors with Spotify accounts can click the pin and listen to the song.
- Quozio (http://quozio.com/): Like recitethis, this website offers a text box with dozens of templates for creating quote images. Images can be shared on Facebook, Pinterest and through email.
- BgPatterns (http://bgpatterns.com/): Most people focus on the image in the foreground, but background images are important too. BgPatterns allows you to create patterned backgrounds for your website or YouTube channel. Its flexible enough that you can create a background using your brands hex color information.
- Pixlr (http://pixlr.com/): Customize and edit photos with this online photo editor. With more than 600 effects, overlays and borders, there are plenty of options for creating playful and original images.
These are only a handful of the graphic design and photo editing resources that are on the Web, but these few can help you create hundreds of original and unique pieces of artwork that your fans and followers will love to share!