4 Free, Online Photo Editors

GIMP

Source: snapfiles.com

Source: snapfiles.com

GIMP is an open-source, image-editing tool that allows users to customize additional features and abilities into their software. It’s a free, downloadable application (from their website) that focuses on photo enhancement and digital retouching. This program works on various operating systems and supports numerous file formats.

PicMonkey 

PicMonkey.com

PicMonkey.com

PicMonkey is a photo-editing tool that focuses on photo enhancement, adding text, providing touch ups on people, and offering layout design options to make sharing across media platforms smoother (think: PicStitch app, but online).  Photo adjustments include a variety of frames, textures, and cute overlays ranging from comic bubbles to scrapbook effects, more filters than Instagram, and numerous other quirky photo garnishes. (more…)

Edit and Create For Free with Pixlr

Photoshop is amazing, but the cost is a bummer. However, there are many other free online photo editors you can use. For instance, Pixlr Editor is a free online image editor. Pixlr offers three application services for their users: Pixlr Editor, Pixlr Express and Pixlr-o-matic, and all three are free.

Use this program to create images for social networks like Facebook, MySpace, Tublr, or image sites like Flickr, Fotolog, Instagram, and Photobucket (which are all free), or even for a class assignment. Even professors can use Pixlr to give stunning presentations. If you’d like to have a free experience, then just click here to go to Pixlr Editor, and create.

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Subtle Patterns & Transparent Textures

Patterns and textures are fantastic ways to add a little depth to any project, but they can become overwhelming. From this problem comes a simple solution: subtlepatterns.com. It’s exactly what it sounds like, and with a library 377 patterns strong (and growing) there’s sure to be something to your taste.

Plus, the website is absurdly easy to use, allowing whole-page previews of each pattern and one click downloads straight from the browsing list.

BONUS:

If you want even more room to play with texture and pattern, check out transparenttextures.com, a project by Mike Hearn. Transparent textures takes directly from subtlepatterns.com and converts the patterns into even more easily usable transparent versions. The similar whole-page preview function even has a color picker so you can see the pattern in any color before you download.

And the cherry on top? The entire gallery for both sites is situated under a creative commons license – giving you full freedom to create without stepping into the tangles of an intellectual property lawsuit.

Free Fonts You Can Actually Use

free fonts gif

Free fonts are awesome, but it’s so easy to end up with a computer full of fonts you’ve only used once. To avoid this trap, it’s preferable to stick to high quality, versatile font families with full character sets and multiple weights. With this in mind, check out the free fonts below, handpicked with an eye for usability. They are ordered in terms of license – at the top you’ll find fonts you can use even for commercial projects, where the strictly personal use families are at the bottom.

Bebas Neue

A tall, clean sans-serif display face that has been called “The Helvetica of Free Fonts”.

  • free for personal AND commercial
  • multiple weights
  • all caps

Simplifica

Another tall sans-serif with a bit of a sci-fi vibe, great legibility, and a ton of glyphs.

  • free for personal AND commercial
  • upper & lowercase sets with full punctuation

Odin Rounded

A super-round, super-versatile display with a HUGE glyph set and stylistic alternates for a varied look.

  • free for personal AND commercial
  • multiple weights (and italics)
  • upper & lowercase sets with full punctuation
  • stylistic alternates (more…)

How To Start Your Own Magazine with Joomag

Wouldn’t it be great if you could own a magazine company? What if I told you can and you could do so for free? YES, for free. Create your stunning digital publications and let the world know about them through Joomag. Use Joomag to create a free online interactive magazine. Upload videos, sounds and animations for your audience to enjoy right off the page of your magazine. You can also design catalogs, reports, brochures and photo albums; don’t worry, this is all still free.

It gets better! Create your magazine, and share your link with anyone. There is no limit to how many magazines you can create or how many issues you can have. Your magazine is accessible and compatible on any mobile device. Publishing the next Sports Illustrated or Poets & Writers magazine is a click away.

Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 7.07.30 PM

Global App Design Dos and Don’ts

Have the next big idea for a global app? It’s important to think about basic rules that will help make your app design a success. The Next Web offers some important tips to keep in mind. TNW knows that designing an app takes a lot of creativity, planning and intensive labor and it doesn’t get easier when you’re designing for a global audience. Some do’s to keep in mind are; assessing the viability of launching in a new market, simplifying functionality, visualizing consistency, getting in real content ASAP, starting with high resolutions and double checking mobile OS adoption rates. Don’t forget the don’ts, which include leaving out animations, ignoring culture nuances, executing your strategy remotely and taking visual language lightly.

Source: blog.logmein.com

Source: blog.logmein.com

Coming up with an app may be easy; it’s getting it running smoothly that’s the challenge. For instance, animation is an eye catcher when designing. Animation brings characters to life; why not bring your app to life. Yes, animation may be the most difficult part to include when creating an app, but instead of trying to avoid it altogether why not include some sort of animation. Animation helps user to better understand the app and stay engaged.

Source: www.mobileapptesting.com

Source: www.mobileapptesting.com

Keep in mind that the key focus is to make this a global app and your audience is huge. People you least expect may end up downloading this app. Therefore, don’t ignore cultural nuances. You will be reaching out to different markets, don’t assume that all markets take the same language similarly. You don’t want to end up disrespecting someone or giving wrong instructions. Take the time and see which symbols, drawings, or text have mutual meanings no matter who is using it. Overall, just remember your audience is global and it’s important to properly cater to them. Always get a second opinion before you launch your final product. So there you have it folks – tips from the experts at TNW to get you started in globalizing your app.

Avoid Copyediting That Can Lead To Design Issues

It’s rare for originality to pass by nowadays. Instead new writers take old products and remix them for new advertisements, which is a form copyediting. I’m not saying there is something wrong with this approach, but be careful not to be a victim of a design issue. Sam Wright from Smashing Magazine shares his knowledge on this matter. He offers multiple tips and approaches on how to avoid designing issues when copying content.

He mentions that, “Self-Awareness is perhaps the hardest and most important thing for any writer to learn.” We are thought to plunge in and start designing, writing or drawing without uncertainty. Once we pause we allow doubt to consume our thoughts, we began to ask questions like, What if I’m not any good?” or “Why would anyone want to read this?”  At this point self-awareness has knocked on your door. Sam mentions,when you start trying to read their work with eyes other than their own; and if you can’t do that, then copywriting really isn’t where you want to be.” As writers we need to aware of the message we are sending out. It’s okay to switch places and be the audience and approach your writing in a different angle. He also talks about the importance of tone and self-importance. Take a second and advance your knowledge and avoid simple mistakes.

badThe common misconception about editing is that it’s about fixing the grammar and punctuation, removing repetition, and making text easier to scan. But there is much more to editing. A true editor takes into consideration the audience and the message. For instance, the image to the left was a Burger King ad that got innumerable complaints of how distasteful and inappropriate it was and later banned. When this ad was first launched feminists, women and parents were pissed, because the images promoted oral sex and sexist remarks through picture. Consequently, instead of BK promoting its new burger it left a nasty taste with some of its audience.

It may sound good, it may look good, it may be catchy and it may even work, but is it really speaking to the audience and saying what it needs to say?  Is it really advertising the product the way it was intend to be sold? Unfortunately, in magazines and billboards we constantly see the repetition of copy design issues. Don’t be part of the misconception, be the educated professional and design an amazing campaign.

10 Crucial Tips for Web Designing

Less is more but simple is hard. Designing for the web can be the most rewarding activity, creating an interactive interface that many people will use – but it can also be the most tedious. There are a lot of things to consider before you start spinning your threads to create your website. The most important one is you can’t know everything. No designer knows everything. You know those programming geniuses on routine cop shows that know every possible route and there’s nothing that they can’t do? Wrong. Nobody is really like that. Designing for the web is about learning what tools work best for you and taking it day by day. Every project is going to be different: varying audiences, content, contexts, and reasons you’re doing this project. You’ll learn the most by doing – so go create! But first, you should probably read more about the things you need to know about designing for the web at Treehouse Blog.