Unless you plan to publish text-only sites, chances are you’ll need to know
how to create web graphics.
You have to have an image to save an image, so before we jump into the nitty-gritty of file formats, let’s look at some ways to get images in the first place. There are many options: from scanning, shooting, or illustrating them yourself, to using available stock photos and clip art, to just hiring someone to create images for you.
Creating your own images
In most cases, the most cost-effective way to generate images for your site is to make your own from scratch. The added bonus is that you know you have full rights to use the images (we’ll address copyright again in a moment). Designers may generate imagery with scanners, digital cameras, or a drawin program
You can capture the world around you and pipe it right into an imageediting program with a digital camera. Depending on the type of imagery you’re after, you may get sufficient quality with a standard consumer digital camera or even the camera in your phone.
Tools of the Trade
What follows is a brief introduction to the most popular graphics tools among professional graphic designers. There are many other tools out there that will crank out a graphic file; if you’ve found one that works for you, that’s fine.
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe Fireworks
- Adobe Illustrator
- Corel Paint Shop Pro
GIMP is a image-editing tool with features very similar to Photoshop. It works on Linux, Windows XP and Vista, and Mac OS X. Get more information and free downloads (Elements – 1).