When you envision graphic design tools, what comes to mind? Photoshop? GIMP? Perhaps some generic, pay-to-use vector image editing software?
You may be wondering – Why graphic design? What makes graphic design an important piece of the ever-moving cog of the business world? Well, it’s really simple.
Graphic design is an important aspect of any business’ branding strategy. And yet, it’s often taken from granted. Imagine. You run a campaign without incorporating any sort of design elements. The results are boring ol’ posters featuring a black and white wall of text. Sounds dull, doesn’t it?
Without a seasoned designer, you’ll find yourself hardpressed for content for your marketing campaign. Furthermore, graphic design doesn’t only relate to your campaigns. Everything from marketing e-mailsto your web design, as well as your social media posts, require some form of aesthetics and design.
Plus, you will more likely attract (and maintain) the attention of users that visit your websiteif it’s well-designed. This translates to the possibility of convertinga user into a customer. On the other hand, a badly designed websitecould and will harm a business’s earning potential. On top of that, good design will help also help with your brand’s recognition.
In the realm of business, every little cost (no matter how trivial) contributes towards your financial planning in the long run. And besides, most graphic designers and artists have more than just the standard graphic design tools in their arsenal.
So with that in mind, here are five free graphic design tools you could integrate into your business.
Canva is a free graphic design tool that is also classed as an “image editing software”. Though, we’d argue that this freeware can be used for much, much more. Canva is a photo editor, colour palette tool, font combination picker, and more. It can be used to make everything from Facebookposts to album covers to advertorial posters.
The online software also features a ton of ready-made templates free for anyone to use. You can be a pro designer or a newbie, Canva will give your designs a more professional polish!
But, Canva’s true strength lies in its easy-to-use drag-and-drop design interface. Say goodbye to hours upon hours of fiddling with your generic graphic design tool to find that specific function. And say goodbye to complicated user interfaces that take time to master! With Canva, you can easily arrange elements onto a template to create your designs.
If you don’t already know, Google offers a ton of toolsthat can be used to create your designs. Depending on your business objectives, Google could be an ideal tool to use. Best of all, they’re completely free!
From charts to basic drawings, our Google-lords has them all!
If you haven’t lived under a rock, you would have undoubtedly heard of Google Drive/Google Docs. But did you know that there is a tool for creating images hosted within the application?
Meet Google Drawings, a free web-based diagramming software developed by Google (duh). Similar to Google Docs, Drawings allow users to collaborate and work together in real-time. Google Drawings is used to create flowcharts, organisational charts, and other types of diagrams.
With Google Drawings, you can expect features that you’ll normally find in any other image editing tool out there. Think flow-chart symbols and other shapes that can be dragged and dropped into place. Users can also move, resize and rotate images. Plus, it also allows for editing of images including layout customizations.
Google Charts’ tools are powerful and simple to use, but most importantly, free. With this freeware, you can choose from a variety of charts to display your data. Configure your charts via an extensive set of options to match the look and feel of your website! Also, if you like real-time data then Charts is the perfect infographic generator for your website.
Google Fontsis an extensive catalogue of free and open-source designer web fonts presented in an intuitive directory. Imagine a database of fonts to use for your website.
Also known as the Google Web Fonts project, the initiative invites users to explore and test fonts in more than 135 languages.
If you’re worried about your information coming off a little bit dull and dreary, then infographics are the way to go. Infographics have become one of the most widely used tools for modern business. And they work well in both digital and print media.
What appeal do infographics have, you may wonder. The answer is simple. They’re easy to digest by the reader. They’re a clear, effective, and artistic way to present data in a way that is not boring. And with the modern Internet being a cistern of information, you’ll need every advantage you can get to maintain attention spans. In this case, infographics are the best tool for presenting information in a fun and interesting way.
However, coming up with professional-looking infographics can be a tricky endeavour. Also, it may also end up costing you a fortune using expensive design software. But fret not, for Piktochart is here to alleviate all your infographic worries.
With Piktochart, you can create pretty infographics with ready-made templates and your own data sets. You can also choose to input your data manually or import it from a spreadsheet program. Piktochart’s simple interface allows any business owner to create their own infographics easily. Also, have we mentioned that Piktochart is free to use (for the most part)?
GIMP – an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program is next on our list. This free open-source graphic design software first made its debut on Unix-based platforms. Today it’s available on Linux, Windows, and Mac.
As for its look, GIMP’s interface differs somewhat from Photoshop. Though, there is a version of GIMP that mimics Adobe’s look, thus allowing you to move over to the software if you’re thinking of ditching Photoshop.
The full suite of tools includes every feature you should be accustomed to. This includes paint tools, colour correction, cloning, selection and enhancement. Basically, what you get in Photoshop, you can find in GIMP as well.
Fancy editing on the go? Or maybe you’re suddenly struck by a wave of inspiration? Pixlr is a free graphic design tool that allows you to quickly edit photos outside and away from your pc. All you need is a smartphone and you’re good to go!
Pixlr boasts over two million combinations of filters, overlays, and borders. It lets you do most of what you’d expect from a photo editor. From cropping to resizing to removing red-eye, Pixlr is equipped to fit your needs.
If you’re used to using Photoshop, then good news! Pixlr’s user interface is simple and easy to pick up as it’s very similar to Photoshop.
Pixlr is available on iOS and Android. The app is free, though it does offer in-app purchases to remove ads or for borders and stickers.
As far as graphic design tools go, these five tools are the crème de la crème for what they cost i.e. nada. That said, there may be some naysayers that only choose to believe in the almighty Photoshop. To them, we say: if it works, then great; but if it works, and it doesn’t cost a dime, even better!
Of course, our list is not a very comprehensive list of what’s available in the market today. So, do let us know if you agree (or disagree) with our list. Let us know if we missed out on anything or if there are other awesome free graphic design tools out there.