Why you should trust me...
The reviews I write are brutally honest. Since 2004, I've been designing graphics and editing images, and I have over 12 years of experience developing websites and online games. I'm also a huge tech dork. FotoJet reached out to philandmama.com and requested for Mama Kat to write a review of their service. FotoJet is a free-to-use service; I received no financial compensation for this review and all opinions are my own.
What is FotoJet?
FotoJet is "an all-in-one free online tool for photo editing, graphic design and creating photo collages. It's a web app that could potentially be a great resource and tool for bloggers and vloggers like me. Is it user-friendly? Let's see!
Registering a new account
Starting a new account was fairly simple, and it's free so that's a plus in my book. Also, I have not noticed any advertisements on the site and I still don't know how FotoJet makes money off of its users. Does it offer "premium" membership or graphics that you have to pay for? I still haven't figured this out, so to me, the answer to that question is no.
Site loading time
The web app does take a second or two to load here and there, but that doesn't detract from the experience. On an occasion or two, the site did freeze and I had to reload it.
Here I worry because the platform FotoJet uses is Flash, so you will have to have Adobe Flash Player installed to use FotoJet. If you're a Mac (Apple) user like me, you'll know that Mac has little to no love for Flash. You'll need the most-up-to-date version of Flash to use FotoJet.
Creating a new design
There are three options you can choose from when you begin a new design: Make a Collage, Create a Design, or Edit a Photo. If you start with the first two options, you're given pre-set templates to work on. With Edit a Photo, you can quickly upload a photo or image and edit it there. At any time, you can switch amongst Design, Edit, or Collage. Honestly, FotoJet could easily have two options, Design and Edit, and fit Make a College and Create a Design into one category. The two offer very similar options. With Create a Design, you're making social media headers and banners. With Make a Collage, you're making flyers, posters and e-cards and of course, collages. You can also easily make baby announcements, shower invitations and birthday invitations with the Make a Collage option.
What I love about FotoJet is that it offers a generous number of clipart sourced from the Internet, and I assume they are free to use because I haven't found any policies or terms on graphic use. Here I made a set of Halloween stickers. The resulting image file, as you see below, is quite nice, but when I saved it as a PDF, my one page of stickers is split into two pages. You also can't change the color of the clipart (or maybe I don't know how to do that) but I'm used to being able to customize clipart with another art web app I use.
Templates and Backgrounds...
The pre-made templates and backgrounds in FotoJet are very pleasing, and there is a generous offering of them. They're very well-designed.
Photo Editor... (or shall we say, Foto Editor? har har)
One of FotoJet's strengths is its photo editor. You can edit the heck out of any photo and feel like a professional photographer who can process photos well. It's one of FotoJet's newer features. You'd think that a web app named FotoJet would focus on photo editing, instead of having the editor as a newer feature!
Want to make a 3-D collage? Well, you can make one with FotoJet. That's pretty cool, I have to say.
Now, let's nitpick...
I have a few qualms about FotoJet. First off, it doesn't have a cloud where you can save your creations. You can save the finished product as an image (JPEG or PNG) and choose its resolution such as high or low quality, or save it as a PDF, on your computer only. You can also share the finished product on the web. If I wanted to come back and edit the design or replicate it.
You can only create one design at a time. I create a lot of printables and e-cards at once. I'd like to be able to create more than one design in one session, rather than having to leave the platform and start a new design from scratch.
What I meant earlier by the splitting of the resultant PDF into two pages: above, there is a screenshot of the Masquerade Party flyer I was playing around with in FotoJet. When I saved it as a PDF and printed it as well, the result is two pages. See here. Don't forget to use the scaling feature so that you fit everything into one page when printing! Scaled at 100%, you will have two pages to print out, so scale at 80% or so.
I played with FotoJet for around two hours before I wrote this review. Admittedly, I could have spent a bit more time navigating the system, but I think I've seen enough to award FotoJet with 3.5 out of 5 Pandas. Frankly, I'm not 100% in love with this web app and feel that it could afford some enhancements, such as moving away from Flash. Those who know me well know that I've developed online games using Flash for years, and I mourned when Mac showed no love for it, leading to its eventual decline. In fact, I had to install Flash back into my Mac just to use FotoJet.
For those who are looking for an easy-to-use photo editor, collage and or social media graphic designer, look not further. For me and those who have higher demands and need a more powerful web app with a built-in cloud, this is not the primary or sole web app for us. I will of course, use FotoJet every now and then to get ideas, create some e-cards and perhaps printables. I look forward to seeing improvements from FotoJet and thank them for giving me an opportunity to review their product!
Good luck, FotoJet!