I’ve always ended up using vector graphics on every website I’ve created. They can be used as an icon for services widget, an illustration for a sales page funnel, a graphic for a sidebar, footer or header. Vector graphics as well in landing pages, pop-up subscription forms and templates. They are handy and many available are just as free as the royalty-free stock images most folks search for. (If you need free vector graphics, keep reading…)
One nice feature of vector graphics is that they are already in a format that is easily edited, resized, or recolored. Unless you’re into pricy subscription fees for Adobe’s powerful suite of tools, you do have free editing alternatives when it comes to making quick edits with vector files.
While vector graphics are essential for websites, social media and print projects they need to be converted into appropriate files types for use. Vector converter software is readily available depending on the original vector file format. Here are some fantastic options for converting vector files into usable web and print friendly formats (think jpg and png).
Option 1. INKSCAPE
If the file is an SVG then Inkscape the way to go. Inkscape default file format is SVG although it can import and export to other vector and non-vector file formats. In fact, many of the free vector graphics I edit for my website and social media content are modified using Inkscape. The software is free and available for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.
Option 2. GIMP
While GIMP isn’t the easiest program to learn it is one of the most popular free vector and image editors available. GIMP doesn’t work well with SVG files but handily manages Adobe’s AI files, PSD and generic EPS file formats. Removing backgrounds, re-coloring images, icons or portions of is fairly straightforward in GIMP.
Option 3. Pixelmator
This pay for program works only on Mac but its feature set is powerful and rivals many of Adobe’s features at a fraction of the price. There is no subscription fee only a one time paid version with updates. Pixelmator does open Adobe files and generic EPS files but its default is to save to the Pixelmator PXM format.
Option 4. Pixlr Editor
There are several versions of Pixlr. The 2 online versions ( original Pilxr Editor & the newer version Pilxr X) don’t understand vector files. However the downloadable version called Pixlr Pro can handle all kinds of vector files.
While there are many other free vector graphics editors, these 4 are the handiest I’ve used and have recommended to others.
Are you looking for free vectors or royalty-free stock images, icons or illustrations to use with these editors? I’ve compiled a list of 72 sites of royalty-free images and vectors (14 sites include vector files) that you can use. It’s the most extensive list I’ve seen to date and I use all the time.
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