Photoshop has been out on the market for a long time and there isn’t a designer who hasn’t heard about it. That’s a fact. Professionals use it to edit everything, from photos, movies, to anything graphic design related. Undoubtedly, Photoshop is a leader among the editing tools, and rightly so. The multitude of features and options it comes with make it a software for the advanced. Unfortunately, its complexity can be an impossible labyrinth for some, an unpenetrable mystery. For this very reason, we decided to make all your lives easier by putting together a handy list of the best Photoshop alternatives.
We know the hassle that Photoshop comes with, and we know the price. Not only does it need hundreds of hours of practice until you get familiarized with it, but it can also be quite costly for designers at the beginning of their career. Our goal on Webdesignledger is to make designers’ work as enjoyable as possible through accessible resources. Today’s blog post is for those who have been looking for Photoshop alternatives that are easier to use and more affordable. Check these out and choose your favorite:
The reasons we love this tool are quite numerous. We’ll start with our favorite: it’s free. Don’t we all like free quality products? Krita is Photoshop’s younger sister, they look and feel very similar. It’s feature-rich and highly recommended by the people online. We recommend you all to use Krita as a Photoshop alternative because:
it has a ton of cool effects
it offers a multitude of templates on different subjects
you can use it on tablets
Unfortunately, Krita doesn’t keep the history of your edits, nor does it have a camera RAW filter. But these little negatives don’t matter so much when all the other features complement each other so well.
One of the downsides of Photoshop is that you need room for it. You may have to delete stuff on your computer in order to install it. This is where Sumpaint comes into action. This amazing alternative is an online tool which means you can keep everything on your laptop in place. Sumopaint is on our list today because:
it’s super easy to use
it has plenty of features
it offers support for layers and blending modes
Edit on the go with your tablet or smartphone with this amazing Photoshop alternative. Multi Layer beats all the other phone tools with its richness of features. Believe it or not, the app offers grit support and even support for blending and layers. Being a free tool, they have to financially support the app through ads which will pop up at times. But even so, we love it for:
its simple utilization
its curve editing feature
its multitude of options
Unlike Krita which doesn’t feature a history toolbar, GIMP does! It is also free and that always makes us happy. Plus, what if I told you that it’s able to do almost everything that Photoshop can, sometimes even better? No wonder people recommend it so much online as a Photoshop alternative. It’s easy to work with and we wouldn’t trade it for Photoshop as:
it offers layers support and blending modes
it features a history toolbar
it supports image slicing and Rulers and Guides
We dare to say that Affinity Photo is better than Photoshop. First, let’s start with the price. Compared to Photoshop, Affinity Photo is so much cheaper! With a one-off payment, you are good to go. Its creators openly affirmed that the aspects Photoshop lacks in, they’ve got it covered. Affinity Photo is among the best on the market, and this is why:
it’s much faster than Photoshop
crashes less than Photoshop
features unlimited undos
This list could not exist without Sketch. The tool is as feature rich as flexible. Although it is a paid software, you get a ton for the price. And that’s due to the numerous community-created plugins you can access anytime to extend its functionality. The only downside to Sketch is its limited platform availability. Unless you are a Mac user you can’t enjoy this amazing tool. But even so, we applaud it for:
its infinite zooming
the ability to build a new graphic with the vector and pencil tool
including color picker, layers, gradients, and style presets
This app is for free. You’ll want to know this little detail when I tell you that it comes with more than 600 effects. Pixlr is that app that you must have on downloaded on your phone for quick edits that actually look good. Crop, resize, whiten teeth if needed, it’s all possible with Pixlr. We added the app to our list due to:
its availability on iOS and Android
the 600 effects, overlays, and borders
Aviary specializes in basic editing and it does it in style. It’s a super tool for editing images into memes and not only. It’s easy to use, yet full of features. You can edit small details such as blemishes, add stickers, and change the depth of focus. Aviary can be accessed both online and on phones. We mostly like that:
it’s free and the online editor is add free
it comes with a wide range of tools
it’s easy to use
Which Photoshop alternative do you use? We would love to know your recommended tools and what makes them special in the comment section below. Also, stay up to date with the latest news and trends in design by visiting us daily. We strive to bring the best and most useful content and would appreciate if you liked, shared, and subscribe to our blog.
You probably know this feeling…you sit down, ready to start designing a logo for your client and…nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada. The logo design inspiration fountain runneth dry.If that sounds like you (sometimes), you’re definitely not alone. It’s something all creatives struggle with, which is why we have terms like writer’s block and designer’s block.And if you are hit with designer’s block, sitting there stewing about it is rarely the best way to approach the situation. So to that end, let’s go through some tips for where to get logo design inspiration when you need help. I’ll split the list into two parts:
A list of websites where you can get design inspiration
Some non-website tips to help get the creative juices flowing
What’s The Line Between Inspiration and Plagiarism?
I want to lead with this because it’s a hot debate whenever the topic of inspiration comes up. My take is this:
If you have to ask the question, you’re probably leaning towards plagiarism.
Inspiration should be about using an existing idea to inspire a new idea. It’s not rote copying.
While not all of my tips involve looking at other people’s work, I think it’s important to consider because you always want to stay respectful of the work and creativity of others, even if you draw on it for inspiration.
The Big Tip: Logo Design Inspiration Websites
The Internet has left us spoiled for choice when it comes to logo design inspiration. Beyond the ability to instantly pull up any brand’s logo from pretty much any point in history, there are whole websites dedicated to providing you with an easily filterable gallery of logo inspiration.
Below, I’ll take you through some of the best options when it comes to inspiration sites.
Behance and Dribbble
I lumped these two together because I’m guessing you’re already familiar with them if you’re a graphic designer.
On the off chance that you’re not, both Behance and Dribbble are design portfolio sites. Or, as Dribbble puts it, “show and tell for designers”.
While it’s not all logos, you can find plenty of logo inspiration by simply searching for something like “logo”.
Rather than opting for any type of filter, Logospire is one long infinite scroll of logo design inspiration. You just keep scrolling. And scrolling. And scrolling. Until you find one that catches your eye.
The sheer volume of logos flashing by is a good way to break free of a design funk.
Logopond is the opposite of Logospire. Instead of one long feed, you can search for logos by both title and tag. Then, you can further refine your queries by categories like:
WIP (work in progress)
If you want inspiration on a specific topic, it’s a good option for niching down your inspiration sources.
LogoLounge is another inspiration site that focuses on making designs searchable. Currently, LogoLounge offers up more than 260,000 designs, which should give you ample opportunity to strike inspiration.
To browse all those logos, you can search for keywords and then sort by chronological order.
The only downside? LogoLounge is not free. If you want access to those 260,000 searchable logos, you’ll need to shell out $100 per year.
If you’re not familiar with Reddit, it’s basically a collection of different topic boards called “Subreddits”. These subreddits cover pretty much every topic in existence. Including…
You can find subreddits for both pure design inspiration, as well as for design critiques that might spark something creative in you. It pays to search around, but some good starter subreddits are:
If the websites alone aren’t lighting a creative fire for you, here are some other ideas to help get the creative juices running.
Brainstorm With a Mind Map
Sometimes it pays to go at things conceptually. Brainstorm ideas, concepts, and aesthetics that apply to the logo. Then use mind mapping to connect associations and find patterns.
If you’re not familiar with the concept of mind mapping as it applies to design, The Graphic Design School put together a great post with some examples of how mind mapping can help spur creativity when it comes to graphic design.
To actually get your thoughts down, you can either use pen and paper or go high tech with a tool like MindMeister.
Doodle it Out
It’s easy to become too focused on creating something “productive”. Sometimes, it pays to take a step back and just let your mind take your design wherever it wants to.
Imagine you’re back in your middle school days just doodling away on your notebook. Even if you don’t find sudden inspiration in the doodles, you’ll still succeed at clearing your mind, which is a win all by itself.
Go For a Walk
I’ve met plenty of designers who swear their best source of inspiration is stepping away from the screen and going for a walk outside, whether that means nature or the city streets. Not only is it another way to take your mind off the issue, but it also opens you up to all sorts of inspiring sights and sounds.
Additionally, a Stanford study found that a “person’s creative output increased by an average of 60 percent when walking.” So walking is actually scientifically proven to make you more creative!
Look to the Past
If your client is an established entity, they may have a back catalog of logos that you can pull inspiration from.
Can you take one of their original concepts and pull it into the modern world? Or maybe an element in their old designs kicks you into gear.
Live to Fight Another Day
If none of the above is working for you – you may just need to completely take a step back and return another day.
Sometimes it’s just not the right time for creative work – and when that happens, there’s no use banging your head against the wall (unless you have an unavoidable deadline, of course).
The array of logo design inspiration websites that have popped up make it easy to quickly draw upon hundreds of thousands of logo examples. But they’re not always an instant source of creative eureka.
Sometimes, it pays to step back and let your mind wander by mind mapping, doodling, going for a walk, or anything else that helps jog your creativity loose.
But as we as know – this is a fairly personal thing. So I’d love to hear from you all. Where do you look for logo design inspiration?
Trouble is, a 2016 small business survey revealed that while 72% of small businesses plan to allocate the majority of their marketing budget to customer acquisition, only 28% plan to allocate the majority to customer retention.
To help marketers refocus their retention plans — especially those in the ecommerce industry — I’ve put together six creative ways to keep your loyal customers coming back. Check them out below.
6 Little Ways to Reward Your Customers This Holiday Season
1) Offer a compelling discount.
By a compelling discount, I don’t simply mean “20% off your next order.” Instead, try a discount that will inspire your customer to continue shopping with you.
What does that look like? It depends. And there are a couple things to consider:
Focus on the value your product or service provides customers, not just the price you discount it by. In other words, position yourself in a way where buying your product is a complete no-brainer.
Choose your words carefully. According to research from Psychology Today, a “Get $ Off” promotion emphasizes achieving a gain, while the “Save $” wording emphasizes avoiding a loss — and customers recognize that difference.
For example, check out how T-Mobile positioned this holiday deal on the Samsung Gear S2:
2) Get personal.
Great customer service is about more than just solving your customer’s issue. Try going above and beyond by creating something awesome to remind your customers why they love your business.
For example, you might send out a personalized holiday card or thank you note to their home address. Even though we’re in a digital word, it means a lot to receive something handwritten, and capitalizing on the holiday spirit in this way can build a positive brand association.
3) Tap into referrals that reward.
Referrals are a great way to get customers to sell your products for you. It’s a simple evolution of word-of-mouth marketing, as customers usually refer friends or colleagues.
For example, when shopping with The Clymb, you are gently reminded to refer a friend in the website header:
Notice how it provides a clear call-to-action along with an incentive — $10 for your loyal customer and $10 for a future one — encouraging visitors to take action even before they start shopping.
4) Use premium packaging.
Anyone that’s spent any amount of time wresting with a roll of wrapping paper and tape dispenser knows the value of a pretty package. In fact, according to a 2015 Dotcom Distribution packaging study, 49% of online shoppers said that branded packaging made them more excited about receiving or opening an item, while 44% admitted that packaging reinforces that a product is worth its cost.
The lesson? First impressions make a huge difference in our fast-paced lives, so by using premium packaging you allow your product to stand out against others. Take Pad & Quill, for example. This tech accessories company packages its iPhone and iPad cases in paper with friendly messages printed on it. It even uses an authentic-looking Roman seal to give a more hand-wrapped feel.
5) Turn the small print into a feature.
Refund and exchange policies are often part of the small print on your website. During the holiday season, you have an opportunity to make them a feature. After all, these policies are in place to increase trust and promote sales, right? Make them known.
When buying gifts, customers prefer a return policy that ensures that if the recipient doesn’t like it, they can easily return it. If you can offer this, you have a better shot at increasing sales, while keeping your customers happy.
Nordstrom does a great job of displaying all of its holiday shopping, shipping, and return perks right on the homepage, giving potential and existing customers peace of mind during one of the more stressful times of the year:
6) Create a holiday-inspired video.
Why does everyone love and anticipate the John Lewis holiday advertisements year after year? Because they tell a story that evokes emotion.
Fortunately, you don’t need a million-dollar TV advertising budget to do this, just an idea for a great story. As video is becoming more and more popular, it’s key that you apply it to all areas of your marketing strategy.
Back in 2014, the Lowell Police Department went viral due to its “Christmas Surprise Traffic Stop” video. In the video, police officers asked the folks they pulled over for traffic violations questions about what they wanted for the holidays. Meanwhile, their behind-the-scenes crew quickly purchased the items and drove them to the scene. Watch the magic unfold below — trust us, it’s worth the four minutes:
The holiday season is a time of giving, so be creative with how you can implement goodwill into your marketing campaign.
Offering compelling discounts with creative call-to-actions will inspire your customers to buy, but great customer service is why they return.