Marketers have long known that images are the ultimate online marketing power-up. They attract attention, hold that attention, and increase engagement.
Many small businesses find images online  to be an affordable approach that suits most situations. What happens however, when you need an original image, one that needs to be created from scratch?
If you have design skills, buying the software to create images can blow your small business’ budget. If you’re a graphic designer or artist, the expense, especially at the get-go, can be burdensome as well.
Then along came Gravit .
What is Gravit?
Gravit is an online graphic design solution that you can use for free. You read that right, free.
While the software includes many of the features and functionality of top graphics design applications like Adobe Illustrator, it is also less complex, making it usable even by beginners.
In addition to the core design tools, Gravit provides a space for community. You can interact with fellow Gravit users, view their creations, and even include their art in your own work.
For a peek what Gravit offers, watch this quick introductory video for new users:
Next, let’s take closer look at some key parts of Gravit.
Once you register and login to Gravit, and every time you login ever after, you’ll be taken to the Workspace where you can quickly access everything you need within the solution from the designer to the community, shared designs, and more:
Two outstanding features of Gravit are their documentation and tutorials. Use the links shown on the Workspace to visit both to become familiar with the solution.
One you click the, “Create Design” link, you’ll be taken to the Designer where all the magic happens.
First, you’ll be asked to choose from one of two options to start:
- Blank formats such as correctly sized social media images and mobile device screens, or
- Templates created by both Gravit and the Gravit community.
Once you make your choice, you’ll be taken to the designer:
(click the image to view a larger version)
As you can see, Gravit’s features compare favorably to those of much more expensive solutions. These include:
- Pen tools;
- Transformations; and
- Clipping tools.
In addition, you can import Gravit’s photos and icons, as well as your own and community elements, into your work:
If you’d like to learn more about the Designer, sign up for your free account and go play. That’s the best way to discover if Gravit has everything you’ll need to create your own images.
Gravit enables you to share your designs with the public or a smaller group of people:
In addition to this sharing panel, there’s an advanced sharing panel where you can tweak permissions more precisely.
Organizations and Teams
If you work together with others to create images, then you’ll love Organizations. You can create, and belong to, as many as you’d like. Think of Organizations as “default sharing” and their function should be clear.
Underneath an Organization, you can add Teams that control sharing at a finer level. Using Teams, you can prevent different parts of your Organization from accessing your group’s work.
The Explore section enables you to see all the images that were made public by other Gravit users.
You can view these images in one of three ways:
- By design;
- By user; and
- By Organization.
The Market section enables you to see the images that were approved by Gravit and are available to all designers to use in their own images.
There are four views here, each one showing you different types of designs:
- Icons; and
Explore vs. Market
So, what’s the primary difference between Gravit’s Explore and Market sections?
- Anyone can add an image to Explore by making the design public.
- Gravit must approve your image before it’s added to Market. Once there, it can be used by all Gravit designers in their own images.
In the “What’s the same” column, all the views in both Explore and Market can be sorted in one of four ways:
- Most liked;
- Most viewed; and
- Most commented.
The community is where Gravit users can make suggestions, report bugs, and share their knowledge with others.
Free Alternative to Adobe Illustrator?
While Gravit may not be as fully robust as Adobe Illustrator, its features and functionality should suit most small businesses and even many graphic designers.
Add to that all the re-usable images, templates and icons in the Market section as well as the fact that Gravit is free and the site is clearly an alternative to more expensive options.