Finding Pictures and Making Them Pretty

Or, how to get by without a graphic designer.  

Let me be the first to say that I have a high appreciation for the skills and abilities of an awesome graphic designer.  In setting up a brand and managing huge collateral they are necessary.    

But, sometimes we all need the ability to add text overlays or resize pictures to use as our facebook page header.  If this is you, then this post was written with you in mind.  

Getting Images

A note, picture taken on iphone, customized in a beautiful mess, posted on instagram and emailed to client.  

A note, picture taken on iphone, customized in a beautiful mess, posted on instagram and emailed to client.  

Beth Kanter recently wrote a blog post about free sources of pictures.   It is by far the best round up of stock images.  Here are her seven picks. 

1.   Flickr Creative Commons
2.  Microsoft Office Clip Art Collection 
3.  Morgue File 
4. Photoshare
5. Wikipedia Public Domain Images 
6.  Wylio
7.  Stock Exchange 

Visit her blog post for a detailed list of which ones to use. 

Making Images Pretty

My first two pics are based on website products.  

1. PicMonkey - This is a mostly free website that gives you the ability to edit, add text overlays and otherwise make images better. There are some premium services but all you need to do is free.  Under the collage feature they even have a facebook cover collage maker.  

Testing out the FB cover tool. 

Testing out the FB cover tool. 

2. Fotor - Similar features to picmonkey.  Here you can make a pinterest deeply vertical picture to take advantage of that landscape.  

Pinterest tool on Fotor. 

Pinterest tool on Fotor. 

If you are on your IPhone, Ipad or other smart phone here is a round-up of a few apps that make customizing your pictures so much easier.  

1. Instagram   - bigger than just an editor, but it was born as just that FREE
2. Beautiful Mess - text overlays, cutesy backgrounds and doodles $.99
3. Layrs - allows you to edit background and foreground FREE 
4. Google Snapseed - my favorite for editing pictures FREE
5. Tips and Tricks for editing on your smart phone.  This link is specific to IPhones, but everyone will find it helpful. 

 

There are perhaps a million more, what is your favorite?