Linda Buquet

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Visual Content Tools & Graphic Resources for Local Search, Web Design & Social

GraphicDesignFreepik.jpg

<a href="http://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/city">City background vector designed by Freepik</a>


<p style="font-size:26px;color: #0099cc;text-shadow: 2px 2px 2px #666;">Graphics & Photos: Everyone Needs Them, Even in Local</p>​
Everyone here uses graphics, right? We don't talk graphics much here at the forum, but most of you still need graphics for your own site, blog posts, social media, business cards and especially if you do web design or G+ covers for clients.

I have a creative bent and could waste hours fiddling around with graphics. Not that any of them turn out that grea,t but it's sure fun trying. (The image above took me about an hour because I'm just learning Xara Graphic Designer 11 and am not used to editing vectors or using brush stroke fonts, so I had to play!)

Lately I've been investigating lots of stock photo and graphic element sites for various projects.

One of the big problems with the large stock photo sources like Getty and Shutterstock is the licensing. You really need to read the fine print and there are so many exclusions. Plus it costs a lot extra if you want to use the images for resale - for instance on a client's website.

At the bottom I'll mention places to get awesome images that are free to use, often without attribution.

But 1st some paid stock photo, video and other resources I think are worth checking out. Especially due to the easy licensing and lack of restrictions for using images for resale.


freepik - Free Vectors, PSD, Icons and photos

What I like: Free to use WITH attribution. Which is fine for stuff like images for blog or forum posts, like the one at the top of this post.

Pricing: You can buy a subscription for as little as $89 per year and then you can use images for resale clients and don't need to do any attribution. However with all of these sites, you really need to carefully read the license info to see what is and is not allowed.


<a href="https://www.colourbox.com/">Colourbox</a> - 16 million photos, illustrations & videos

What I like: This is a new one I just discovered and I LOVE it. They have beautiful vectors and illustrations and some great video backgrounds too.

What I especially like is the licensing. Basically no fine print. Use for anything and many times as you want even for resale. See <a href="https://www.colourbox.com/faq#C_what_does_royalty_free_mean">Usage Rights</a>

Pricing:Just need one image? $12.50 (Again no restrictions and full resale rights - but read the fine print!) For heavy image needs you can get subscriptions that bring the price down to $1.25 to $4 depending on which plan you get.


ToolsWMV10fps5Q.jpg

PresenterMedia - Presentation Templates, Animations, and Illustrations

What I like: They have Powerpoint templates and other goodies, but I use it for quickie animation. You've likely seen some of the animated gifs I use in posts, like the one above. That's how I create most of them.

Pricing: $59.95 a year. Can't beat it.


Inkthemes - Web Templates and Graphic Bundles

What I like: Here is a photo bundle that caught my eye for local. <a href="http://www.inkthemes.com/market/business-stock-photo-images/">1000 Royalty Free People Cutout Images</a>. It's hard to find good people shots that you haven't seen before. On every Dental site it seems I see the same smiles and family photos. This bundles is cool because the images are different than the ones you normally see out there and they are cut out, so you can put over any background.

For reviews need people giving the thumbs up or someone holding a sign that says "Check out our customer reviews". There are photos representing different sentiments and various professions too.


Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 11

I was using an old version of Xara and just upgraded to get the cool brush stroke fonts. That's how I did the chalky "Graphic Design" text in the top image.

I've tried Photoshop and Illustrator in the past but as a non artist, I found them too confusing.
Xara is much more intuitive and only $89.


<p style="font-size:28px;color: #0099cc;text-shadow: 2px 2px 2px #666;">Best Sources for Free Graphics</p>​
Quick Free Graphic Design - I'm sure everyone here knows about Canva - billed as the easiest design program in the world and all online.

But I just discovered a new super fast and easy way to make blog title images. Pablo by Buffer.
I just used it for the 1st time today, to make this title image in about a minute.

Lots of smart people have already done lots of posts about the top free graphic & photo resources.
So I'll just share a couple of their posts I found helpful.

<a href="https://css-tricks.com/sites-with-high-quality-photos-you-can-use-for-free/">Sites with High Quality Photos You Can Use for Free | CSS-Tricks</a>

<a href="https://www.semrush.com/blog/ultimate-list-visual-content-tools/">The Ultimate List of Visual Content Tools</a>

<a href="http://www.business2community.com/small-business/15-amazing-copyright-free-picture-resources-small-businesses-0931424#!7MRIH#ZRzKmQ5mCbyksjhS.97">15 Amazing Copyright Free Picture Resources For Small Businesses</a>

ToolsWMV10fps5Q.jpg


GraphicDesignFreepik.jpg
 
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Re: Visual Content Tools & Graphic Resources for Local Search, Web Design & Social

It seems like being a small shop entrepreneur puts a person in the never ending struggle between 'save money by figuring out how to do yet another entirely unrelated thing myself' and 'find some help/figure out how to present my business so it doesn't need this in the first place'.

When you get right down to it, I think most business owners end up grappling with a petty insane breadth and scope of work... everything from writing, client management, HR, graphic design, email list management, website development, to say nothing of the actual work itself. Resources to help make that learning curve and work load a little easier are always a good thing. Haha, luckily I've got two kick ass designer friends that I've helped out a lot, so I've got some help there too when I need it. Looks like you've got a handle on it though Linda, that header looks good!
 

heckler

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Re: Visual Content Tools & Graphic Resources for Local Search, Web Design & Social

I'll just leave this here.

Pixlr is great for quick photo edits (without having to fire up your Adobe subscriptions). I highly recommend using it in Chrome vs FF.
 
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