Talking Tech Friday – Aviary

This is a site recommended to me by a friend, who knows I love experimenting with these photo editing tools.  Presenting Aviary!

What is it?

Aviary is a suite of graphic design tools: Phoenix – for image editing, Raven – a vector editor, Toucan, for color swatches, and Peacock – a “visual laboratory”, basically a tool that lets you a lot of very creative things. Aside from the graphics, Aviary also allows you to create a profile and join a community of other designers.  You can vote on the creations of others, browse for ideas, comment, and ask for tips.

How does it work?

To use Aviary, just sign up for a free account.  Aviary doesn’t require any information other than a username, email address, and password.  Once you’ve created an account, you can choose to fill in a more complete profile, but this is not required.

Aviary has a nice group of tutorials that give tips and tricks for using their tools, as well as a variety of design techniques.   This is very helpful for those of us who just like playing around.

Additionally, when you choose one of the toolboxes, such as Phoenix, there is a friendly invitation to view an introduction to each tool.  These introductions are also available on the help page.

I admit that I did not watch the introduction, nor am I an expert at this sort of thing.  I tried to alter a picture, and was baffled by the array of choices.  This is definitely a much more sophisticated application than Picasa or Picnik, my usual image toys.  I haven’t used Photoshop, so maybe that lack of experience really shows.  However, I really love some of the examples they have in their galleries, so perhaps I’ll take more time in the future to learn how to use this tool.

Here’s an example from the Phoenix tool:

Peacock:

And from Raven, I couldn’t resist this one:

Possible Library Uses
I think this could be a very useful tool for marketing and outreach: a creative person on the staff could design some really interesting and eye-catching posters and flyers, or images to use on the website.

It’s also a great tool to recommend for art or design students.

If you try it out, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Reviews:

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~ by Anali on April 10, 2009.