Best Image Design Programs and Platforms
Do you love the idea of creating artwork, embellishing images what have you…but not sure you want to pay for software…or maybe you’re on the fence right now and just want to have a little fun with some image editing before you jump in with both feet. If that’s you, I got you covered!
If I take a snapshot of something I made recently and I just want to jazz it up a little…yanno, add a few little bits of bling before I upload it here. And to do that, I need the use of an image editing program at my fingertips.
Why Use an Image Editing Program Instead of Software?
Yes, you know how much I love to draw…but sometimes it can get laborious. It’s a “fun” kind of laborious, but sometimes I want to take a few shortcuts. As a craft and DIY blogger, I definitely need lots of images at my disposal, otherwise how else could I show you all the fun that I have?
It only makes sense to using a super cool image editing program so I can work smarter not harder. Imagine that if you had one picture – but with a few simple edits here and there you could just change the title or message on it and add a few finishing touches and, bada boom -it would be a lot easier on you especially if you have lots of products to showcase.
The Top 5 Image Editing Programs
For your eyes only I want to show you some of the best image editing programs out there that I use to accomplish whatever I need to do without having to do some of that labor-intensive stuff I might need to do with more professional grade design software.
I learned about iPiccy when I was watching a video about creating your own logo for your online store, blog, or other place. I’ve been using iPiccy regularly to create or build upon most of my images here. There is a design from scratch option, an image editing option, and a collage creator.
I love the collage option as it lets you pick from a large variety of templates with different sizes and even change the color of the border around it, have as much space for little teeny pictures or just three or four if that’s all I need. Putting three or four images together in one image is great when I’m doing “how to” posts and I want to consolidate my images a little.
Oh, did I mention it’s totally FREE? Yep, sure is…as far as I know I haven’t seen an upgrade option. There may be an ad or two but they are not the kind that’s annoying and get in the way. If you’re looking for a good online platform to create images on the fly or to touch up an image with no fuss, give these guys a try.
They seem to be improved lately and there are more fonts available now and the features are easier to navigate so there has been some updating done.
Pros: Free, user friendly, You can edit images, create designs from scratch, and create collages
Cons: Fewer template options
Canva is a great place to create online stuff and a lot of my fellow internet marketers rave about them a good bit. It is free to use and I believe there may be a paid upgrade. Haven’t used them as extensively as iPiccy and PicMonkey but I did find the image creation process enjoyable, I used them to create the banner for my Etsy shop as I was informed that they had all the correct sizes for every platform available including social media.
If you’re looking to create images for social media platforms, you’re in good hands here because the templates are all sized according to each platform’s requirement.
Pros: Lots of templates to choose from, pre-sized for banners and social media platforms
Cons: None that are obvious at the moment
This is another biggie I highly recommend. It’s free to dabble with but there are 2 paid upgrades which will unlock more and better features. I took them up on the first premium upgrade as it’s a great deal and I can take my stuff to the next level more with the vast array of templates, overlays and banners available.
There’s more to be found than iPiccy as far as embellishment options go, so I never run out of unique ways to give my pics the ol’ spit-shine. One really cool thing you get if you choose one of the upgrades is the storage “hub” which lets you save images you’re working on instead of needing to save them on your thumb drive or other storage place of choice.
Check ’em out right here:
Pretty much everything you could ever want or need in an image editing program is on PicMonkey….whether you need design templates, image manipulation tools, or start-from-scratch design tools, it’s all here! Even theme-based templates for events like parties, holidays, and occasions too so you can easily get down to the business of creating invites, greeting cards or what have you.
If you’re creatively challenged you might just surprise yourself with what you can do here!
Pros: Lots of features (more with paid upgrades), many templates, can edit, create designs from scratch, newbie friendly, enjoyable to use
Cons: None at the moment
Pixlr is a great tool that is reminiscent of Photoshop and you can do pretty much everything you can there. Pixlr has 2 different apps, Editor and Express. Editor is for more serious work, things like working with layers, palettes and filters, and Express lets you do image touchups on the fly.
If you’re just looking to take your preexisting images and add some nice finishing touches to them I think Express would give you what you need. You can find some “getting started” info on the blog but it’s pretty much a shorter learning curve than Photoshop.
You can also take Pixlr on the go as it has mobile app access as well which is another plus.
Pros: A good free alternative to Photoshop, user friendly, mobile access
Cons: Tutorials may be hard to come by unless you visit the blog on site.
If you love drawing from scratch in the form of vector art this is the best program to use. It’s an open platform for your creativity and the gallery there is pretty impressive too! Definitely a great alternative to Corel Draw. If you’re somewhat interested in Corel Draw or just want to go a “cheap” route first you can do the same kinds of things using Inkscape.
Unlike the above programs, you will have to install Inkscape on your computer by selecting the version compatible with your operating system.
Pros: Free, great little online community present, can create vector art easily, tutorials available
Cons: None at the moment-except that you have to install the program
Best part is that you do not have to be a full-on Picasso to make use of these programs and platforms. You just have to get in there and play around with them a little to get the feel for what they do. And better yet, they are FREE or cheap to use too because they are online platforms (by “cheap” I mean a gourmet coffee drink price for every month!)
Having your own software is great, but I think you’ll find that you can streamline the process not to mention have more fun! Have you tried any of these programs yet? If you’re out of pocket the above programs are free/cheap so what have you got to lose?
Want to make the most of these programs? See my post Five Tips For Making Images That Beg to Be Clicked On to take it up a notch.
As a final closing argument, be warned…sometimes working with these programs can get addictive; read: fun!