Additional Graphics Resources
Color Tools and Resources
Color Conversion http://web.forret.com/tools/color.asp - especially see the link references
Color Scheme Generator - helps find complementary and contrasting colors to enhance your design process. Especially interesting is the ability to view your selections from the perspective of various types of color blindness. To get the best use out of the tool see the Help and information page.
Colors on the Web The Color Contrast Analyzer will tell you whether two colors meet the accessibility guidelines defined by the W3 consortium. Since this is designed for on-line viewing it doesn't deal with CMYK colors, but it is very useful anyway. It is very clear in explaining.
HTML Color Code Combination Chooser - an aid to web site design. You enter a base color and the combination chooser will show various color schemes with their HTML values. This is especially useful for those who are color blind or simply "design challenged."
- Apparel color swatches - people ask for this from time to time, although I'm not sure how useful it is. Print on demand systems just aren't that color accurate. For the most part color picking from the product thumbnail should be close enough to use just to check against a design. Remember that the ink is translucent so the shirt color will show through. That means you need to reproduce that effect when testing your design.
Image Resizing Tools
If you have an image that is too small for your products you have the following choices
(1) redraw the electronic version - open it, copy it to a new file so you don't mess with the original, put a new layer on top, make it the size that you need, then use the drawing tools to recreate the logo. There are tutorials on the internet, but I like the Peachpit Press book for learning to use the tools.
(2) use specialized software to enlarge it
(3) scan the original at a very high resolution e.g. 1200 dpi, enlarge it and use filters and tools to clean up the edges etc.
(4) hire someone to do one of the three things above
Applications and tutorials for creating vector or raster images suitable for CafePress products.
Confused? Check WikiPedia for comparisions.
Note: If you need gif format you may have to pay for the graphics application. GIF has licensing issues. While the problem causing patent has expired many free applications have been developed without gif support. So if you need gif, check the application to make sure it is available.
GraphicWorks 2.0 - Make CafePress Graphics Quick and Easy! Designed to be easy to use for people new to creating graphics. An affordable means of creating a simple graphics for CafePress products.
GraphicConverter is a Mac program that can open and save many formats including PNG.
Cenon (Free) for Mac OS X is vector based. Also available for Linux.
Photoshop CS2 / Photoshop Elements - Many tutorials will work for both Photoshop and Elements This application is the most popular among graphics professionals.
Paint Shop Pro -
Adobe Illustrator - commercial vector graphics application
CorelDraw - a vector based application. It has a strong following, plenty of support and tutorials are available.
GIMP (Free) - a raster based application. Much more powerful than most free programs but less well documented and supported than paid applications. A great choice if you are ready to experiment and explore. There are windows, mac and linux versions available. Gimp shop has been modified to give even more similarity to Adobe Photoshop.
Paint.net (Free) is a raster editor for the Windows platform. Supports using layers, painting and drawing tools, special effects, unlimited undo history, and levels adjustments.
Artweaver (Free) is a raster editor.
Inkscape wiki - (Free) A vector graphics application using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format.
Sodipodi - Sodipodi is a free vector graphics application using W3C SVG as its native file format. Sodipodi works under most versions of Unix and Windows. It will really only be comfortable for the adventurous.
Sketsa - a commercial JAVA based application for producing SVG (scalable vector graphics) images
Sketch (Or Skencil) - (Free) Vector graphics application written in Python for the linux/unix environment.
Pixia (Free) - is a raster editor for the Windows platform. Supports custom brush tips, multiple layers, masking, vector- and bitmap-based drawing tools, color, tone, and lighting adjustments, and multiple undo/redo.
VCW VicMan's Photo Editor (Free) - For the Windows platform. Painting and editing tools including a text tool, gradients, selections by color or region, color replacement, etc.
Ultimate Paint - is a raster editor for the Windows platform. The free version is more limited than the paid version.
ImageForge (Free) -is a raster editor for the Windows platform. Compares itself with MS-Paint because MicroSoft Paint is included on most windows systems.
Project Dogwaffle 1.2 (Free) - is a raster editor for the Windows platform.
ArtRage is a raster editor. It includes tools such as oil paint, spray paint, pencil, acrylic, and others, using relatively realistic physics to simulate actual painting. Other tools include tracing, smearing, blurring, mixing, different types of paper for the "canvas," (i.e. crumpled paper, smooth paper, wrinkled tin foil, etc) as well as other special effects.
"Free" graphics programs that are not free for commercial use.
PhotoFiltre (Free only for personal use) - For the Windows platform.
Serif PhotoPlus 6 (Free only for personal use) - For the Windows platform. Supports export optimizer, editable text, image slicing and image maps, selection tools, smart shapes, third-party plug-in support, red-eye removal tool, and photo enhancement tools.
Tutorials for multiple applications
These tutorials offer resources for Photoshop Elements, Adobe Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro and many others.
- Scrapbook-Bytes.com - Photo Imapct, Digital Image Pro, Paint Shop Pro, Photoshop Elements, Photoshop - learn how to create a text circle in Paint Shop Pro, use the color replacement tool and more.
- Laurie McCann's Art Site
General Tips on Images for CafePress