Rumor in the online world is content is king, but the type of content you’re putting out does matter. Text is great, but visual content is more like the king’s crown jewels. So what happens if you aren’t a born designer, have the artistic abilities of a toddler, with no budget to hire a graphic designer? Fear not. There are some awesome tools — many free — you can use to get yourself started.
Free Graphic Design Tools for Freelancers
The majority of the tools we’ll recommend here today are free. That doesn’t mean there‘s no cost involved in creating visual content, though. You can avoid some of the most expensive and unexpected costs in the form of lawsuits by using legal images. Make sure you’re either using images from the libraries provided or that you’re using properly sourced, royalty-free images in your artwork. The last thing you want is to get slapped with a lawsuit for using an image you had no rights to in your designs.
Now that we have that issue out of the way, you should definitely check out some of these programs:
- Canva: This is one of our absolute favorites. There are tons of premade templates to choose from. The majority are free, but those that aren’t are usually only $1 to use. You can upload your own images, choose from a library, and create designs pre-sized for just about any social platform or purpose.
- Crello: This tool, like Canva, is particularly easy for beginners. The platform is packed with free templates and photos, but you can also access Depositphotos for $0.99. There are some really cool animated options on this site, too.
- Easel.ly: Want to make nifty infographics? You can do them on some of the other sites, but this tool is absolutely amazing. Pssst – pro tip: According to Search Engine Journal, infographics are read 30x more often than text.
- PicMonkey: This is another fan favorite, especially because it can be used to create collages. You can, of course, use it for other types of editing and scratch creations. This one is, unfortunately, not free, but the $8.33 per month fee isn’t too bad if this is the type of branding and design work you need.
- Easil: This drag-and-drop platform is incredibly easy to use and will make you look like a pro. There are thousands of templates to choose from and editing is simple. There are some free elements and images, but you can also upload your own or pay for additional stock choices.
As a busy freelancer, you’re eventually going to want to outsource image creation. In the meantime, having a few tricks up your sleeve so you can promote yourself, or even give clients images to compliment your work, isn’t a bad idea.
Play around with a few tools, enjoy them, and let us know which you like best!
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