It's important to make a great first impression with your online store's design and graphics. Luckily, the big wide world of the internet has plenty of free offerings to help you jazz up your site and entice customers. Read on to learn five of our favorite free design tools.
You might have an awesome product and the best intentions, but if your online store's design is plain and boring, you won’t grab your customers' attention. It's definitely important to have an eye-catching site, but between graphics, fonts, color schemes, icons and more, there's a lot to wrap your head around when planning the visual aspects of your online business. Luckily, the internet has come to your rescue. There are tons of free design solutions out there, from image editing to font ideas to color ideation. Just like everything else online, these sites can range in quality from amazing to disappointing. Set yourself up for online design success by exploring five of our favorite free solutions, and you'll see that jazzing up your website can be a breeze.
We love Picmonkey, and you will, too. It's a web-based image app that easily enables users to edit and enhance photos. Picmonkey is easy to use – if you can use Instagram, you can figure out Picmonkey. (Much like Instagram, Picmonkey has tons of filters you can apply to your photos to achieve that vintage-y Polaroid look that's so popular right now.) While Picmonkey offers a premium version for paid users, most of its features are completely free. Resizing, cropping, adding borders and frames, adjusting saturation? Yep, Picmonkey's got that all covered for you. It's especially convenient because you don't have to download anything or open any other programs – it's all right there on the site.
Sidenote: If you're a more advanced image editor, check out Gimpshop – it's basically Photoshop, but free. You can download it for PC or Mac.
Who doesn't love a good screenshot? They definitely come in handy for visual communication online, but sometimes taking the perfect screenshot can be more trouble than it's worth. That's where Skitch comes in – it's a free custom screenshot app from the folks who brought us Evernote. Simply download the app and open it when you want to copy something from your screen. (You can do a full screen or just a selected area.) From there, you can add captions, arrows and icons to areas you'd like to draw your readers' attention to. You can also blur out sensitive information or highlight important sentences. There's no end to the usefulness of Skitch, and it's extremely user-friendly. We were using it upon seconds of downloading.
For merchants who aren't quite expert photographers or graphic designers, sometimes stock photos are the best option. But searching for them can be a real pain – there's so many poor quality images out there and they can be shockingly expensive. Freepik aims to fix this dilemma. As the name implies, all its photos, illustrations, PSD and vectors are completely free to download. Unlike some resources that claim to have free images but turn out to have tiny databases to choose from, Freepik really delivers. Check out this search for "puppy" – 740 free graphics available. (Aww!) There's no tricky sign-up process, either – all you need to do is click the download button.
Have you ever been captivated by an especially interesting font and had no idea how to find out what it is? The good people at MyFonts created WhatTheFont want to help solve your font envy. Simply take a screenshot of the font you'd like to learn about, upload it into WhatTheFont, and they'll tell you the closest match they have in their database.
For those of you who want to change your site's font scheme but don’t even know where to start, we also recommend checking out Google Fonts. You can search hundreds of font families, add them to a collection of your favorites, compare fonts against each other using sample text and design schemes, then get the code to implement the chosen font on your website with the click of a mouse.
These days it's practically mandatory for your site to have visually appealing, clickable icons and logos that take visitors to social media profiles and other interesting pages. We're not all designers, though – so where to get these icons? Iconizer is your new best friend. Search for anything you'd like and tons of options will pop up. For example, a search for "Facebook" yields 169 different icons to choose from. Not only that, but once you pick your favorite, you can edit its colors and effects to match your site's design scheme.
With these five tools just a click away, your online store's design will be refreshed and revitalized in no time.
- Emily Teachout, Volusion