11 free graphic design tools for the non-designer

graphic-design

Visuals are everything when it comes to digital marketing these days.

That applies to everything, from the design of your website to the images you use on your brand’s social media channels.

Consistent brand presentation across all platforms increases revenue by up to 23 percent.

Of course, the cost of graphic design is a concern for many small businesses. More than 50 percent source their design work in-house or do it themselves.

But just because you might be looking to save money on your graphic designing doesn’t mean that you can’t still reap the rewards of great design. The following are 11 free graphic design tools for the non-designer (i.e. the beginner).

Canva

One of the most popular design tools, Canva typically ranks toward the top of many lists when it comes to design.

The available templates not only are a great source of inspiration for any beginning designer, but can make an entire project that much faster and the results that much better. Canva also features an image library where some images are free to use and others require a paid subscription.

You’ll likely also appreciate the automatic color suggestion feature that can suggest colors based on images within the design. That means you can match your brand color with ease and use complimentary colors from an image that pulls together your overall design.

Canva has an app as well for on-the-go designing.

Granted, the free version of Canva can be limiting depending on how much you want to create (and to what degree you want to customize and share), but this application is being used more and more because of its easy-to-use interface and powerful features.

DesignWizard

DesignWizard resembles Canva in a lot of ways, except it includes all of its available design features in its free version.

Where the free version can limit you is when you would like to export your work. “Pay-as-you-go image and video downloads” is listed on the Pricing page.

Nonetheless, the application offers more than 10,000 free templates and a library with more than 1.2 million images, videos, illustrations and graphics.

Piktochart

Specifically looking for an application that will make infographic design easy? Consider Piktochart.

This application can act as a fair replacement for more premiere (and expensive) software, like Adobe InDesign. There are hundreds of templates, icons and graphics to choose from.

The free version does give you a lot of options to explore. One downside is that downloads from the free version will include the Piktochart watermark on them.

Pixlr

Both browser-based and offering an app, Pixlr is a free image editor that helps you edit your photos with hundreds of overlays, effects and borders.

It’s been referred to as a decent replacement for Adobe Photoshop (when considering the cost). But this application tends to have more power when it comes to photo editing than true graphic designing.

PicMonkey

If you’re looking for a fast and easy photo-editing tool, PicMonkey might be for you. You can quickly resize, crop and color-correct your photos.

It doesn’t have as many free templates and elements as Canva. However, you can upgrade to the paid version if you like.

Adobe Spark

Considered the free alternative to the more premium (and expensive) Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Spark is worth checking out.

The application comes with a fair amount of free templates. These can be particularly helpful if you’re looking to create posters or videos for ad campaigns.

Spark also supports integration with other Adobe products, which can be helpful if a project becomes more complex.

Krita

Depending on the design project, paint elements could be needed. Fortunately, Krita is a free, open-source painting program intended for artists.

Its user interface is entirely customizable with an advanced toolset.

The features available in Krita can help add an extra impact to your design efforts, so don’t be afraid to try it out, even if it is a little more advanced.

Vectr

Vectr is a graphic design software that offers the ability to design in your web browser or download a free desktop app. 

It is a great choice for presentations, logos, cards, markups and even 2D graphics since it prides itself on helping you create simple and clean vector graphics.

Vectr also has various fonts, shadows and filters, along with live collaborations and synchronization features. This means that you can share your work and collaborate with your team if needed.

Inkscape

A great alternative to Adobe Illustrator, Freehand or Corel Draw, Inkscape is an open-source graphic tool where you can create logos, illustrations and graphics.

It’s user friendly with a clear, easy-to-use interface and some advanced features, such as:

  • Alpha transparency support
  • Markers
  • Clones
  • Embedded bitmaps

Google Chart

Need to convert your data into a more eye-catching visual? Google Chart could be a solution.

The application helps you create graphs and charts that can be easily embedded into a webpage or spreadsheet.

All charts are totally customizable as well.

Infogram

Another tool that can help with infographic design is Infogram. Not only can you design infographics for free, but you can upload pictures and videos as well.

The templates Infogram provides can help inspire you to better engage your audience. The application also offers features to animate and make your charts and/or graphics interactive.

In conclusion

It doesn’t matter what tool (or tools) you ultimately decide to use for your graphic design projects. Just be sure to try a handful to make sure you end up with the application that best serves your preferences and needs.

Visuals are more important than ever. However, you’ll be surprised at how quickly any of these tools can make you look like a pro.

Not stopping at simple graphic design? Check out our list of 18 video-editing apps you should be aware of.

After leveling up your graphic design game, consider your digital marketing process. Visuals lose their impact if they’re not reaching the right people at the right time. Schedule your free demo of DailyStory today.

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