Spotlight: PicMonkey

I love it when a student teaches me about a new tool. This week one of my students, Mary, introduced me to a new freemium web tool that I'm stoked about: PicMonkey. PicMonkey allows you to create icons, mask photos, and create other web content. It's the perfect addition to the toolbox we have for infographic creation. 

Changing Colors of Pre-Loaded Icons

PicMonkey has a ton of icons for free and even more icons if you're willing to pay to upgrade. From mustaches to stars to bugs, there are a ton of icons that you can customize to your own color - even to your own hex code.

  • Click on the butterfly icon in the editor.
  • Click your desired icon to add your image.
  • Change the color

Changing Colors of Your Own Icons

Similarly, you can change the color of the icons that you upload yourself. This is great when using the stuff from thenounproject.com, which is full of amazing Creative Commons Licensed icons. 

  • Download and/or find icon.
  • Click on the butterfly icon in the editor.
  • Click "Add Your Own."
  • Find your icon.
  • Change the color.

Utilizing a Transparent Background

Once you've made some great icons, it's important to change the icon to a transparent background that will "float" in your creation. 

  • Click the top adjustment icon in the editor.
  • Click "Canvas Color." 
  • Check the box that says "Transparent canvas."

Masking Pictures in Shapes

One of my students is making a infographic comparing the poverty levels in different countries. He wanted to utilize the flags while masking them in a circle. With PicMonkey it's easy! 

  • Upload a picture.
  • Click on the frame icon in the editor. 
  • Choose Shape Cutouts.
  • Choose your desired shape.

Downsides

  • There are advertisements on the bottom and side of the editor. But hey, it's free, what do we really expect?
  • You need to create an account to save your image, and there's no Google sign-on.