Free Graphics Design Tools

My Favorite Free Graphics Design Tools

Everyone likes the word “free.” However, the word “free” often means you “get what you pay for.” In the case of the following tools, you have found a gold mine. If you are a client of mine, you will know that I am all for teaching you how to edit and maintain your website. Not all things can be done simply with a website editing tool. Sometimes you need a program to create a graphic or just resize a graphic.

If you are serious about graphic design, you should get industry standard tools like CorelDraw, PhotoShop and Illustrator. They are definitely not free. However, the following tools complement these high-end programs.

Free Tools for Creating Website Backgrounds

Stripe Generator: Renders stripes (like the background on this site) with Web 2.0 styling.

Stripe Designer: Another great background image generator.

The tools above are useful for creating patterns within PhotoShop.

Choosing Colors

Colr.Org: Color pallet. Users create pallets of colors and use tags to describe them. Type in “orange” and you will get multiple results of “orange-based” colors.

Colour Lovers:

Color Picker: Ever have difficulty matching font colors with a picture? This small application allows you to choose a color from anything on your screen and match the color exactly. Use this tool to choose colors and create backgrounds that match exactly. My favorite feature of this tool is that you can save your own pallets.

Graphics Editing/Manipulation

GetPaint: This is a step up from the standard paint program in Windows. It allows you to edit images using “Layers.” It is not compatible with PhotoShop.

Windows Vista Snipping Tool: Under “Accessories” in Window’s Vista is a great new tool called the “Snipping Tool.” It allows you to capture images on your screen. If you do not have Windows Vista, you can still use the PrtSc (Print Screen) function to copy your screen to the clipboard.