Great Drawing Programs for Social Media Design

By Janine Warner, David LaFontaine

One broad category of design tools you can use for your social media site allows you to sketch or draw anything from a simple cartoon-like caricature to a full-fledged work of art. You can create surprisingly complex drawings in the photo-editing programs, but professionals use drawing programs.

  • Adobe Illustrator: Use this powerful drawing program to create anything from a logo design for a local pizzeria to blueprints for the latest experimental Formula One dragster.

    The major difference between Illustrator and the photo-editing software packages is that Illustrator works with what are known as scalable vector graphics (SVG) files, which are images that can be resized infinitely with no loss of quality.

    For your purposes, that would mean that a company logo that was created in Illustrator big enough to be blown up and printed on a billboard, could also be shrunk down small enough to fit in a 2″-square profile photo box on a social media site. If you’re a good artist and love to draw, Illustrator can help you make your creations suitable for use on the web.

  • Inkscape: This is a free alternative to Illustrator, in much the same way that GIMP provides a free alternative to Photoshop.

    Inkscape may not have the sophisticated tools that Illustrator boasts to produce slick graphics that can be used on broadcast TV, in magazines and billboards all from the same file, but it does allow you to work with SVG files without having to invest in expensive software. Just as with GIMP, users around the world are turning to Inkscape to create illustrations.

  • Adobe Fireworks: Fireworks was one of the first image-editing programs designed to create and edit web graphics. Unfortunately, Fireworks was one of the casualties of Adobe moving to the Creative Cloud model of distributing and selling software. Created by Macromedia, Fireworks was popular among web designers and graphic artists for providing something of a bridge between Photoshop and Illustrator.

    Currently, Fireworks is still available in its last incarnation, as part of the CS6 software suite, and can still perform functions that are not yet included in the Photoshop and Illustrator CC editions.

Illustrations are otherwise known as line art.

[Credit: Tom Mccain]

Credit: Tom Mccain