Useful Graphic Design Tutorials is the place where you can learn how to make your own visuals, with our help.
Whilst ‘tools’ won’t make you more money, they WILL make your on-line efforts more effective and efficient, and some of them you absolutely must have.
So here is a list of useful resources to help those of you just coming on-line generally and with graphics in particular – these are a little further down the page.
We use these tools in our business everyday and they comprise a mixture of free and paid for tools.
Some we consider to be essential and are marked as **, whilst others are nice to have and/or are free.
Graphic Specific Tools
This “I can’t do without” Graphic Tablet is a must if you want to make accurate selections in your photos, recolour the fiddly areas or just have more control when you are drawing and painting.
Cracking Colour Sites **
These will definitely give you inspiration.
+ Colour Lovers – a cornucopia of ideas for colour combinations, palettes and trends.
+ Fantastic colour search engine - which is quite incredible.
+ Adobe Color CC – which is a touch more complex, but a fantastic tool and worth getting your head around.
+ And Design Seeds - just a great site that we use all the time.
Image Credit: bernatcg
Matching Colours Online **
Digital Color Meter for those people who have a Mac.
It is in the Utilities folder in Applications.
ColorZilla - this is an extension for Chrome & Firefox.
It includes a Colour Picker, Eye Dropper, Gradient Generator and many additional advanced colour tools.
Free Images **
There are lots of these nowadays - too many to list here. But do come back often to this page because new ones are cropping up all the time.
Pixabay.com – Public Domain image
Photopin.com – searches the Creative Commons images on Flickr
Unsplash.com – free to use to commercial and personal use.
Wikimedia – a central resource for all Wikis
Google Drive – you need to have a Google Drive account and we show you how to access these images in this 2 minute tutorial.
Just be careful with all images sites as the word ‘free’ does not always mean you can use the images ‘freely’.
Always check out the license associated with the image and remember for each image someone somewhere has taken the time and trouble to create it. Take a look at our ‘easy to follow’ post of Crediting Creative Commons images correctly, which also gives you an overview of what Creative Commons is 🙂
Just plain 'tasty' tools!
Measuring anthing on a web page **
Couldn't live without this one. It’s called Measureit! and it works fine on Windows, but it doesn't seem to work on a Mac (Hah! there are some things that a Mac can’t do!).
There IS a measuring tool made for a Mac and you can find it at Pascal’s Free ruler for a Mac.
Image Credit: CleverCupcakes
Converting Pixels to Centimetres
Converting Pixels to Centimetres (and vice versa)
This really does do what it says on the tin. Simples!
The Noun Project is a favourite of ours.
Millions use the site to simplify communication - you can find an icon that expresses just about anything!
General on-line tools
Web Hosting (Paid)
Hostgator – a Web Hosting company (where your site lives) ** (Paid)
If you are wanting to set up your own website that you control, you have to have web hosting. Whilst we don’t believe that any web hosting company is problem free, we think Hostgator comes close.
We really think that their service is excellent and they have helped to troubleshoot issues that, quite frankly, are not really Hostgator issues!
They are currently offering 20% off their web hosting fees.
Set up your Hostgator account here.
Web Security (Paid) **
Just like you backup your PC or laptop, regular backups should be part of a regular routine.
This premier Plug In backs up your entire WordPress installation – widgets, themes, plug ins, files and database – the whole kit and kaboodle. Many (if not all of the free plugins) just backup the database..
With Backup Buddy, you can schedule your backups and have them sent to Dropbox, Amazon S3, your email or just download to your computer. This is one of the things that we think it’s important to invest some money in, and so this is the Plug In that we now use.
You can find out more about Backup Buddy here.
Skype (Free) **
Skype is a software application that allows users to make voice calls over the Internet.
Calls to other users within the Skype service are free, while calls to both traditional land-line telephones and mobile phones can be made at a cost that can be considerably cheaper than ‘normal’ telephone rates. There are also some other useful features of the service.
Click on the link here to see our own video showing the basics of using Skype – Vers 5.3.0 is what we are demonstrating here. Access Skype here.
LastPass (Paid) **
The last password you'll have to remember - honest!
This will manage all your Passwords safely in one place. If you don’t use this already, try it and once you start using it you’ll wonder how the heck you ever managed without it. Trust us on this one. Get LastPass here.
Aweber - Email Marketing Software (Paid) **
You've seen the ‘Please leave your details here to get our information’ box on the pages of our website? This service enables you to automatically gather your subscribers details, build a list and communicate with them.
The service is known as email marketing software and you can use it to send Newsletters to your customers, or use it as an ‘Auto-responder’ (messages sent automatically by you at pre-determined times).
We believe that it’s essential to develop a list of people interested in your business and there are several other email marketing companies that do this. We have only used Aweber, and you might like to take a look at our fairly candid review of the Aweber service by clicking on this link.
Aweber offers a 30 day free trial for all new customers. You’ll have access to all features a paid account is entitled to: unlimited lists, email campaigns, automatic follow-ups, broadcasts, and many, many more. If after 30 days you don’t like them, just let them know and Aweber will give you your $1 back. Guaranteed.
The links to the paid tools are affiliate links, which – at no additional cost to you – will put a little money in our Piggy Banks.
We’d appreciate you using these links if you feel comfortable doing so. A little extra income makes it easier for us to keep producing the tutorials on the site.
All the tools on this page have been tested by us. We have done some in depth reviews for some of the products (as indicated) and we plan to do more. If you have any questions about any of these do get in touch using our Contact page. We personally reply to all emails.