A nonprofit blog or newsletter that’s illustrated only with traditional “news release” photos can get a bit dull after a while – except maybe for the folks in the photographs! Could your illustrations use a bit of a fresh look for summer? There are lots of free and low-cost image editing tools, but for a really quick way to add a special effect or picture frame to your online images, try Tuxpi.
Tuxpi is a free web-based tool that makes it incredibly easy to add special effects or whimsical frames to any photograph or image that’s stored on your computer or available online. The site is quick to load and the tools are intuitive to use, with lots of options to choose from. Because Tuxpi is web-based, there’s no software to download and install, and, as mentioned, it’s free – you don’t even need to sign up for an account.
Here are a couple of examples, based on an image from Wild Apricot’s Facebook Page (http://facebook.com/wildapricot), I had fun putting together just to give you an idea or two. You may recognize the style of this first frame – the motivational (or demotivational) poster popularized by despair.com and I Can Haz Cheesburger:
Making your own version is as easy as uploading your photo (or supplying its URL, if you’ve got it stashed somewhere online) and clicking on the “Motivational Poster” option. Both lines of text are fully customizable, too, so your “poster” can be made to say anything you want.
Or how about this one?
“Newscast” is based on the traditional television news channel screen, complete with onscreen text – again, you decide what you want it to say – and make-believe channel ID; at the bottom, it’s even got the little stock ticker so common to 24-hour news channels.
There are more than 40 different picture frames and photo effects at Tuxpi – and that’s not counting the many sub-options that are available. The “Shape Tool” default, for example, shows a heart-shaped cutout (perhaps of limited use to most nonprofits, except around Valentine’s Day?) but check the drop-down menu and you’ll find there are actually 19 different shapes to choose from – from stars to polygons to shattered effects to the “Button” with gently bevelled edges. Add your campaign slogan or tagline and it could be a fun way to add flare to a sidebar or even your email signature!
You can also crop, rotate, and select certain areas of your images to work with when applying effects. Add multiple frames and effects, if you like. Finish off with custom text messages – even cartoon-style speech bubbles – to your images in your choice of about 10 fonts, a good selection of sizes, and a full range of colors. Once you’ve created your text, you can drag it around the image to place it exactly where you want it. Tuxpi will save your versions for a short time, too, in case you change your mind and decide you preferred the image the way you had it several edits back.
Not bad for an easy-to-use free web tool, eh? Have a look around Tuxpi.com, upload one of your own photos to play with, and you’ll soon start to see how a simple frame or image effect could perk up your nonprofit’s publications this summer!