If you want a strong web presence, you will need at least a few graphics or logos for your web page design. Fortunately, many graphic creator tools use templates, and all you need to do is add some text and tweak the look. Even though these tools are simple to use, they are robust enough to produce professional-looking graphics.
Useful Graphics Creator Tools
Many graphics creator programs are web based, so you don't have to install anything. These tools help you turn boring text or images into professional-looking graphics, and some even include special effects like animation. When you have finished creating your graphics, all you have to do is use a snippet of coding or the image they provide and place it on your web page.
Logo Maker is an inexpensive online service that helps you easily create your logo within minutes. Simply select the industry your logo falls in, select an image, add your text, tweak it to look the way you want, and then and Logo Maker will generate the image. If you want to make sure your design looks great before exporting the file, click "Show a friend" and send your chosen person a link for a second opinion.
The company will let you to create up to six logos for free. If you go beyond six, or need your logo for print applications as well as the Web, the service only costs around $50. The strength of the tool is that an amateur can create professional-looking logos.
Cool Text is a great, free source for creating quick logos or downloading fonts. Logo creation is simple. Select the logo style you want on their home page, and you will be redirected to the generator. Type in the words you want to appear on the graphic, and complete the form with the special effects of your choice. The only downside of this program is that some of the graphics lack the 'wow' factor.
No website is complete without a favicon, which is the small image located in the far left of the browser's address bar. Favicon Generator is fast, easy to use, and free. All you do is upload the image you want to use as your favicon. The generator does the rest and outputs the graphic in the size you request.
The Favicon Generator also has a color drawing tool that lets you create your favicon from scratch. However, since the tool has limited capabilities, it's better to create your graphic in another program, and then import it into the generator.
Text and Buttons
Flaming Text does more than its name suggest. Besides fire, you can choose from at least 10 more types of animation, from spinning text to moving stripes. If you do not want animation, you can create graphics based around the text you input. The advanced options of the generator let you rotate the text, slant it, add padding to it, and more.
There is one disadvantage to using Flaming Text. Although logos for personal use are free, logos created for commercial use cost around $10.
My Cool Button
My Cool Button is an inexpensive tool you can use to create navigational buttons for your website. The generator lets you start from a preloaded icon, or you can upload your own. From there you can customize size, color, and text as desired. One problem you may face is finding a way to create buttons that don't look like everyone else's since the templates vary little between styles and types.
Although, annual membership is about $10, memberships dip down below $4 if you hit the site at the right time.
To get the most out of Web Animator, you will need to purchase a deluxe membership for about $10 because the free banners and graphics you can create are somewhat limited. However, for about $40 you have access to some really cool Flash-based effects for your site.
MakeaGif is an excellent, free source for creating animated gifs based on images. Think of these as super-short video clips. You create the gif from your images, Youtube video, webcam, or video by uploading the element. Once it's created, you'll receive a link to paste on your site.
There is one potential issue to be aware of. Since you only receive a link to the graphic instead of the gif, you would have to ask for the gif to be removed from MakeaGif's server if you ever want to delete the graphic.
You can create a small image to tile as the background of your site by using Tile Machine. It's free and extremely simple to use, but you are only going to be able to create simplistic designs. Since learning how to use Tilemachine is easy, you can play around with potential background images for your site and decide which one looks best.
You can use stripes to create an intriguing background design that gives a site some texture and depth. Stripe Generator is free and lets you customize just about everything associated with a stripe, including color, width, direction, shadow, and more. Once you create the stripe you like, simply download the generated .png.
Pixlr Editor is a free, web-based application that has the flexibility and features that are better suited for advanced designers. More like Photoshop than other free editors, you can create almost any type of graphic with this program. However, since it is an advanced program, the learning curve is somewhat steep for the advanced options.
The Logo Creator
Although the primary focus of The Logo Creator is logos, you can create page headers, timeline images for Facebook, or even watermarks for Youtube videos. With unlimited revisions and a wide range of templates, creating your graphic should be fairly straightforward. This powerful tool is simple to use, but it still has enough features for advanced users.
This software program can be purchased for just under $40.
Professional Graphic Design
If you need a high-end professional graphic, you can purchase high-end software like Photoshop or Illustrator, but these programs tend to have steep learning curves. If your needs go beyond your skill level, consider hiring a professional graphic designer. A highly skilled designer can create a powerful set of graphics for you in considerably less time, which may save you money in the long run.