I’ve been looking into the benefits of a Google Apps account lately, and was interested in trying out one of their free offerings – Aviary, a design suite. I signed up for the free account today, which is still being validated. While waiting for my account to become available, I searched for other completely web-based design programs outside of the Google Apps environment. I discovered that Aviary.com exists for all to enjoy. Aviary has an amazing collection of eight design programs that are all free and accessible via the web. This design suite has tools for vector design, photo editing, sound and music creation, and design effects. The site is easy to navigate, welcoming, and the icons and program names have flair.
My initial experiment involved Raven, the vector editor, and I’m very impressed. The features are very similar to Adobe Illustrator, and the vector images easily transfer to or from Illustrator or the design program of your choice. Raven can export files to EPS, PDF, SVG, and bitmap.
Being cloud-based, there is no software to install and your work can be saved in your online account. Aviary makes it easy to share your work in their gallery, Facebook,MySpace, Digg, Twitter, StumbleUpon, and Tumblr. My quick tour made me question how is this all free and so inventive. My guess is that they are building a foundation and user-base for future monetization.
Aviary is on a mission to make creation accessible to artists of all genres, from graphic design to audio editing. We’re a privately held company currently headquartered in New York City with team members around the world. Our founders also created Worth1000.com, a talented community of 500,000 digital artists that participate in amazing daily contests.
The screenshot below is just one of 290 hall of fame pages. There are already 5,800 works of this quality that were created with the Aviary tools. The collection may look intimidating, but hopefully it inspires you and illustrates the power of Aviary’s, cloud based programs. There are tons of tutorials on the website for each of the programs. Have fun.