People are always asking us is it really that easy to make a pinback button? The quick answer is, absolutely! The next question is, where can I get free button making software? The most challenging thing to accomplish when making a button is designing the artwork, everything else is a piece of cake! If you want to design a pinback button on a computer, then you need some sort of graphic design software. People are always looking for free button making software that works well and is simple to use.
Update: Speaking of button making software that works well and is simple to use, make sure you check out the Build-a-Button Online Design Center, developed and managed by ABM!
There are some different choices you can make for free button making software like Gimp, however we believe in the old adage, you get what you pay for. While Gimp is free and works for many people, it can be challenging to set up and use for a novice. This being said, if it is challenging to learn, you might as well spend a little money on Adobe Photoshop or Corel Draw as these are professional software packages that do not have the problems you might encounter with free button making software such as glitches and printer driver issues.
If you are familiar with Adobe Photoshop or Corel Draw, then you already have the button making battle won. Adobe Photoshop is the primary market leader for graphics, however we find Corel Draw much easier to work with for most people as it seems to be more user friendly for non-graphically minded individuals. You can buy a scaled down version of Adobe Photoshop called Photoshop Elements for about $100 and it will probably do everything you need in the Button-World. Adobe Photoshop does have a long learning curve. However once it is mastered your imagination is the only limit to creating incredible graphics.
Update: Since writing this post, ABM has made it even easier for you to create button graphics on your computer using Photoshop and Corel.
First of all, you can take advantage of special deals for Photoshop that Adobe has made available through us. Click on the following link to save $20 to $30 on NEW Adobe Elements 8 products with mail-in rebate. (Exp 10/31/2010).
In addition, we have created video tutorials and free Photoshop templates for a variety of sizes to make your Photoshop experience even easier.
[Note: Corel video and templates coming soon.]
Corel Draw is a vector based image software package. This simply means it is used to create and edit logos, stylized art work, maps, web graphics, and other images which can be rendered to any size. You can reduce or enlarge your vectored images to any size without losing any image quality. One really nice thing about Corel Draw is a function called Powerclip. PowerClipping is great for working with pinback button. In essence you can take a rectangle photo and “PowerClip” it into your round button template. The PowerClip will “clip” everything that does not fit inside your round button so you only print what you want to see.
Basically it lets you put a rectangular photo in a round hole (see before and after pictures above and below) so you do not waste toner or ink when you print a button. It is awesome to work with and one of our favorite parts to the software package.
There are many more benefits to Corel Draw which makes button making snap. This is why we normally recommend Corel Draw to customers if they are comfortable with moving around on a computer.
So what do you do if you need button making software and don’t want to spend $100 or more dollars? You probably already have a software program on your computer that will work. Microsoft Paint is a “very” basic software program. Many of our customers use other Microsoft Office Products such as Word to design text related buttons. While Microsoft Office is not a graphics program, you can still make simple buttons using their software. You can make name tags or add jpg files to your text and make a really nice button.
If you are a little more, shall we say “computer challenged”, then we have the perfect solution for you with our easy to use Build-a-Button Online Design Center.
If you can type on a computer, then you can use Build-a-Button Software to make some nice buttons. One huge advantage to using Build-a-Button is that you do not have to create your own Button Template as you do in Photoshop or Corel Draw. Build-a-Button does all the work for you. You simply insert text like a word processor. You can apply special art effects that twist, bend and contort the text into special designs. One nice feature is that Button Builder allows you to write text around the button in a circle, which is one of the hardest things to to accomplish when designing a button. You can easily center, rotate, copy and arrange with a single mouse click.
Did we mention that you don’t even need software to make a pinback button? Many people make custom pinback buttons to display their own artwork. Arts and crafts junkies can use stickers and ink stamps to make great looking buttons. You can even practice with pressing flowers and other organic material into a button.
If you are looking to make top notch professional pinback buttons, then you should go with a professional graphics package like Corel Draw or Photoshop. If you are more on a budget or need a simple design approach to making great looking buttons, then we recommend our Build-a-Button Online Design Center. Build-a-Button is an inexpensive button making software package designed specifically for making buttons.
Looking for free button making software? Snoop around your computer a little, you probably already have a piece of software that will work in a pinch such as Microsoft Paint or other Microsoft products. Have some time to learn a new software program and install printer drivers, then you can try Gimp. However it not be long until you will want to upgrade to better button making software to make your own custom pinback buttons.
Update: OpenOffice.org is another good option for free button making software. Open Office provides button making software that you can download for free and we recently posted an Open Office video tutorial plus free design templates in a variety of sizes that you can use to create your graphics.
Brighid Brown – Director of Blogging and All Things Cool at ABM