Here are what I think are the two best free easy ways to create graphics for blog posts and presentations if you’re not a graphics wonk. (Note: I am not a graphics wonk.)
I’ve written over five hundred posts on this blog over the last ten years. As they tell you in SEO School, every post has at least one image. I often find an appropriate image on the web, but sometimes I feel inspired to create a graphic that fits better.
In addition, I frequently present at meeting industry events and to clients. Good presentation graphics can really help communicate what I’m trying to say, and strengthen my message.
Are you also “not a graphics wonk”?
I think there are a lot of people like me who have difficulty easily creating even simple graphics. My problem is that I simply don’t use “professional” graphics creation tools enough to be able to reliably memorize the variety of techniques, tools, and processes needed to speedily turn what I visualize into reality.
My graphic designer, whom I happily hire for complicated stuff, can quickly create perspective drawings, remove unwanted photo elements, and tone down someone’s bright clothing. For me, attempting any of these things takes a few hours on the web figuring out how, and making lots of mistakes along the way. The next time (if ever) I want to repeat the process I’ll have likely forgotten how to do it.
Graphic design software like Photoshop and Illustrator — kitchen-sink tools that can do almost anything — are overwhelming for me. What I need is software that:
- Allows me to easily work with and position images and vector graphics.
- Has easy to use, intuitive methods for duplicating, manipulating, aligning, and spacing graphic elements.
- Provides a text tool and a simple palette of basic graphic shapes.
- Includes object grouping to speed up repetitive graphic element duplication.
- Can easily add drop shadows to objects.
- Includes a gallery of my existing work, allowing me to create a new graphic from an old one.
- Can export anything I create as a jpeg.
- Doesn’t include a ton of extra capabilities I’ll never master and therefore never use.
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