Get the Picture: Web Tools for SMB Graphics

Finding the right images — or correcting images so that they’re right — for your small business marketing needs is a familiar task to any small business owner. But you don’t have to spend big money to handle minor issues, and it’s good to know that the Web is full of easy and free graphics resources. Our small business marketing guru has three graphics-related tools to help simplify your work life.
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The name gives it away, doesn’t it? You probably own some kind of image-editing software such as Photoshop, Corel Draw etc, but there are times when you’re traveling and away from your computer that it’s useful to have access to a free online application.

Obviously the functionality of doesn’t compare to the full-featured image editing software apps, but that’s part of the appeal, honestly. It does a few things very well. After you’ve selected the image you want to edit (from your local hard drive or from a Web site URL), you can resize, crop, rotate, make a mirror image or adjust the brightness/contrast etc.

There’s also an “effects” tab with auto presets such as “auto levels”, “auto contrast”, focus, blur, grayscale, emboss etc. The other nice feature about the site is that there are two ways to access the interface — an html version and a flash version. I found the flash version to be easier to work with (and a lot more attractive), but I guess the html version is probably more compatible with a wider range of browsers. Once you’re done editing, you export the image to your hard drive.


One way to ensure that your advertising stands out from the crowd is to use an unusual font. For example a font that ties in with the industry you’re in. The problem is where do you find these types of fonts?

Well, one of my favorite graphic design resources for fonts is called Fawnt. There’re always about 50 featured fonts on the home page, but the site actually hosts around 10,000 in total and ­­ get this — they’re all available for free.


This one is a real gem that I’m confident you haven’t come across yet. One of the challenges of using image sharing / photography sites like is that the default views make the images small and difficult to browse. solves this issue with a simple plugin for Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers. Once installed, a little button appears in the corner of each image, and you can select to see it full screen.

The software works with Flickr, Facebook, Google images, Yahoo images, Friendster and Picasa photo albums. There are plenty of other features that make this worthwhile and best of all it’s free.

You’ll find lots more small business marketing tips and resources from Andrew Lock in our Small Business In-Depth series, Lock in Your Marketing Resources.

Andrew Lock is a self-described maverick marketer and the creator and host of Help! My Business Sucks, a free, weekly Web TV show full of practical marketing tips, advice and resources to help small businesses “get more done and have more fun.”

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