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7 FREE and Simple Graphic Design Tools Anyone Can Use

By: Elaine Fogel

 

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Small and medium businesses and nonprofit organizations don’t always have the financial resources to pay for costly design tools. So, I compiled a list of seven of my favorite tools that are totally free.

 
 
And… I’m going to share them with you!
 
1. COLOR COP
 
I use this tool all the time. Anytime I want to match a color, I launch Color Cop, drag the eye dropper to any color in an image, and the tool gives me the RGB and Hex codes for replication. This free multi-purpose color picker for Windows comes in different languages.
 
If you’re not familiar with RGB and Hex colors, they are used primarily for electronic media. Check Wikipedia for explanations. And, please note that the Color Cop developer accepts donations on the download page.
 
For print purposes, you’ll need to convert these colors to CMYK for 4-color print (cyan, magenta, yellow, black). Visit RGB-to-CMYK Color Conversion and Hex-to-CMYK Conversion.
 
Here are six more… 
 
2. WIKIPEDIA
 
Another excellent source of colors comes from Wikipedia. When you need help choosing colors, visit its List of colors: A–F, List of colors: G–M, and List of colors: N–Z. Lists appear by name, color, Hex, and RGB, in addition to two other color formulas.
 
3. PICTACULOUS
 
When you want to build a color scheme based on an image, Pictaculous allows you to upload the image, after which it will give you a color palette of five colors you can use with it.  You can only upload PNG, GIF, and JPG files that are 500K in size or smaller.
 
4. FONT YUKLE
 
If you’re looking for some new font styles (typography), this site has plenty! Just one word of caution. Check for licensing restrictions. If the style you select comes with restrictions, you’ll want to use one you can use freely.
 
5. TAGXEDO
 
Here’s a free site to make your own word clouds. You can design them in real-time customizing fonts, themes, colors, orientation, and shapes. Or, you can use the urls of blogs, tweets, famous speeches, news articles, slogans, or tags to create unique word clouds. Have fun with this one!
 
6. TAGSMAKER
 
Tagsmaker is an online generator that enables you to add text on images. You can make cards, invitations, posters, and more. Use it to write quotes, sayings, marketing messages, comments, tags or anything you want.
 
All you do is upload or select a picture, write the text you want, and follow the steps to customize it. It’s very simple.
 
7. REDKIT
 
Redkit has a sign generator that enables you to create customized content within images such as cartoon figures, fortune cookie sayings, movie theater marquis, and so many more. Try it out to see what I mean.
 
Have you discovered any other design tools you’d like to share?
 
This article was originally published by Elaine Fogel
Published: April 17, 2014
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