For the amount of time I have been around with budding graphic designers, mostly students, the constant complaint I receive about their passion/hobby/interest/study is that the tools involved especially vector illustration and general high-quality image editing is the price of the software. Now, generally they have to shell out quite a bit for the graphics tablet (if they are seriously into design and illustration) and the add-on cost of the software compels quite a few of them to go the pirate way. Well, all that changes now as the powerful suite of online editors ranging from image to vector to even sound editing has become completely free!
I am sure there was a collective jump of joy when Aviary announced their decision. The feather in their cap (no puns intended!) is the Raven vector editor which is the first online vector editor in the world. It is easy to set up and you can be flirting away with creativity within minutes of signing up (it’s free now!). But that is just one part of the story. Couple this with Phoenix, the image editor with masks, layers, effects and all that good stuff and Toucan, the dedicated swatch editor as well as Peacock, the effects enhancing editor (aptly named the visual laboratory) and you have all the tools needed for a great illustration/drawing/fan-art!
But the remaining two are new and one of them is extremely pleasant to hear about! Yes, Myna, the audio remixing editor (I cannot even begin about how aptly their tools are named, but considering the fact that the myna bird consistently mimics other birds in its own voice really struck a chord!) lets you do quite a lot of things with audio. And to finish it all off, Aviary rounded it up with Falcon, the image markup tool, so you do not need to look around for an image capturing tool. It even has a Firefox plugin so rejoice!
Thus, online editing almost completes a full circle and cloud computing does look like it is the future. But for those who are not interested in the future of computing and all that mundane semi-philosophical stuff and who just want to design, Aviary is the way to go. Enjoy! And do tell us what you think of it in the comments.