get going with graphicsIt’s not that everything Guy touches turns to gold—but that Guy only touches things made of gold.

Guy’s most recent touch: Canva, an online graphics program.

Kawasaki, the co-author of APE (Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur), noticed his social media guru was spinning out some amazing graphics. She was using a new tool, but was reluctant to let anyone know about it. The tool was too good to be true.

When she (Peg Fitzgerald) showed it to Guy, he got excited too. Consequently, the former chief evangelist for Apple and adviser to Motorola is now evangelizing for Canva.

Check out the following design tools to amplify your online content:

Tools for Graphic Creation & Sharing

Canva is certainly among the top contenders for the crown. It’s simple to use, either free or inexpensive, and churns out professional-looking results. That’s why Peg was sold on the idea. Canva offers quick and easy tips to help designers create compelling graphics.

Pixlr is a photo editor that users love. It’s a membership service, but don’t let that scare you off—membership tuition ranges from free to cheap. You can use Pixlr online via a web-based tool, offline via a downloaded application, or even run it on your mobile device. Pixlr works with both Windows and Mac, Android and iOS. You won’t find a more versatile tool than Pixlr. Combine a few tutorials on how to boost your photography skills with a Pixlr subscription, and you are good to go.

Shutterstock, a subscription-based royalty-free digital imagery service, is a great resource for graphic content. From short videos and clips to high-quality photos and illustrated graphics, this online resource can connect you with thousands of contributors around the world. Use this resource to get started and supplement your text content, on your blog or in your social media posts. Research conducted by eMarketer states that photos are the most engaging type of content on Facebook, with an 87 percent interaction rate. So, before you post remember to attach a compelling image.

Photoshop is still the professional’s choice. Let’s not pretend otherwise. Sure, other tools may not have as steep of a learning curve, and they may cost less, but if you plan on creating graphics for a lot of years, don’t turn away from Photoshop just because some say it’s only for the elite. Just a few years ago, you were looking at a steep investment for Adobe programs. With the advent of the Adobe Creative Cloud you can run the best for a whole lot less than ever before.

Social Media Imagery Is a Booming Pursuit

According to the Pew Internet Project, 74 percent of the adults online use social networking sites. The research further explains that 46 percent of adult Internet users post original photos online that they have created. The researchers call this group of people “creators.”

eMarketer reports that the global social network audience will grow to 2.55 billion users by 2017. Images and social media are an inseparable pair. It’s obvious that the demand for high-quality images will grow. Here are the top tools for creating compelling images to supplement your content.

Of course, the best bet is to choose the tools that best suit you, your work, and your style. Try them all. You really can’t go wrong with any of these tools. Either one can help you pump out graphics that are socially shareable.

Do you have other favorites? Tell us about them in the comments below.