The web is evolving alongside all of its elements, including one of the most popular aspect of the web — images. Images are like the petals of the flower, expressing the beauty of the creation that it is. But unfortunately, images have not been so quick to adapt to change and evolution of the web, and these days it’s still the most space consuming element of an webpage, accounting for up to 80% of any given webpages size, and it’s common knowledge that the bigger the size of a website, the longer it takes to load, and the longer it takes to load, the more likely it is that we are going to lose visitors, leads, potential customers, and ultimately business.
With responsive web evolving, it’s becoming more and more important to serve the kind of content that scales naturally with the resolution of the device that is browsing the particular website and/or page, and Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is the one kind of image format that will scale without losing its quality, although not infinitely (we will eventually get there), SVG images provide so much more freedom over the size of the images you are using, as well as the way they interact with your design.
Scalable Vector Graphics are an XML based markup that can contain two-dimensional vectors. The vectors can be simple shapes, paths, or well just about anything you can do in Illustrator. It’s an image format that has more in common with a web page that it does with a JPEG. SVG is much more powerful than other image formats we can use on the web as we can manipulate them with code (either in our text editor or with CSS / JS). And with this in mind, let us take a moment to focus on some of the most useful and exciting free SVG editor tools available for exploration.
SVG in itself is very popular, but another popular area opening up for this media format is animation, and more and more free platforms and tools such as Raw are making their way into the graphic designer market. Raw is an open-source web app for creating vector based visual animations and charts with the help of the D3.js graphics library; through the use of a simple editing interface. RAW provides 16 different choices of pre-built templates for displaying your data. Be it movie statistics, song lengths, or custom data sets that you need to visualize in SVG format — Raw has the capability to do it all for you.
Inkscape is a popular graphics editing engine that’s famous amongst freelancers and indie designers. This open-source and free graphics (vector) editor is used by tens of thousands of people to build and optimize vector graphics in the form of charts, logos, illustrations, diagrams, and more; even multiplex imagery. It’s well-known for having full-on SVG support, but unfortunately since 2015 the platform does not anymore support features for SVG animation.
We are still on the topic of SVG animation, and the SVG.js library gives developers and designers the kind of features that will let you stitch together multiple SVG images to create funky animations that you can use for your video projects, your website needs, or simply to express your creative drive.
Method Draw is a straightforward online web app for free editing SVG files; specifically it has been built as an online vector graphics editor, and the only way to learn more about its capabilities is to load up a quick vector file and take it for a spin.
Adobe is the global leader in developing the kind of graphic design tools that make graphic design easy and flexible. Adobe is also in fully alignment with the latest web design standards and understands that sometimes it takes more than just a pretty picture to keep your visitors and customers entertained, which is where Adobe Edge Animate comes in. If you are looking for a quick and easy way to create stunning SVG animations, then take some time aside and get yourself a subscription to Adobe Edge and start creating. YouTube is overflowing with tutorial videos on how to use Adobe Edge for SVG graphics.
Want to add some interactivity to your SVG images? Use Morpheus to morph together multiple SVG images for fancy effects. Is supported by the principles of Google’s Material Design.
Immerse yourself in the creative aspects of web and graphic design and use the Quasi app to create beautiful quasicrystalline patterns that will amp up your apps, website designs, or simple backgrounds for the projects you are building. The options panel lets you build truly custom patterns that will compliment a variety of designs.
For web designers, the Plain Pattern app is a simple to use application for creating plain color patterns that can be exported in SVG format. More features are hopefully being added soon, with the full list of expected features available at the About page.
The beauty of graphic design is that it can be easily integrated with a variety of content formats, projects and applications. Chartist helps designers, developers and even simple webmasters to amplify their content visual appearance with interactive and dynamic charts that look and feel amazing on any device. Chartist’s goal is to provide a simple, lightweight and unintrusive library to responsively craft charts on your website. It’s important to understand that one of the main intentions of Chartist.js is to rely on standards rather than providing it’s own solution to a problem which is already solved by those standards. We need to leverage the power of browsers today and say goodbye to the idea of solving all problems ourselves.
Have an SVG image but want to spice it up with some custom filters? Fildrop gives you access to 26 individual filters ranging from Matrix to Gamma to Blur and many more. Once you choose the filter, you are given back an HTML5 code that you can input straight into your project.
Bonsai is a light library for graphics editing that supports an intuitive API and renderer platform for SVG.
Whilst SVG is a pretty old vector graphics format, the introduction of it to the modern web has only been very recent, and many of the older browsers are unable to support the new HTML5 technologies and capabilities. With that in mind was built SVGMagic, to help webmasters convert any stalled SVG content back to PNG so that the browser can execute and display it. It uses jQuery for its base platform and back-end.
Glyphter gives you access to 16 different sources of SVG optimized icons and fonts that you can then use to map out your own SVG fonts sprite. Load up your favorite glyphs and watch the font develop.
Have a list of SVG animations and/or drawings? Put them all together and have Iconizr convert them into a fully usable CSS icon kit.