Let’s face it, not everyone is a professional graphic designer.

Take me, for example. When I was a kid, my drawings were so bad that my parents told me that we couldn’t afford fridge magnets just so they wouldn’t have to put them up there.

Okay, I totally made that story up, but you get the picture. Pun not intended but that worked out rather well, now didn’t it?

fridge drawing photo

Photo by kittischoen

The reality is also that, especially if you’re just starting out on your own, you might not be able to afford the services of a professional graphic designer.

Fortunately, there are some incredibly generous people out there who have created tools for you to use to get your content looking remarkably close to professionally-designed…for free!

Obviously, commissioning a professional designer is first prize, but the tools on this list will definitely get the job done until you have the capital to hire one. Sites such as Canva are so awesome in terms of variety and the quality of its content that one can scarcely believe that most of it is free! But it is!

Canva

This is one site that I simply can’t get enough of, and has gotten me well and truly addicted to creating infographics. If you’d like to create beautiful, eye-popping infographics, look no further than Canva. With thousands of stock images – many of them free – and a seemingly endless selection of gorgeous templates to choose from, you need to bookmark this site straight away. Do it. I’ll wait.

Picmonkey

Another site that I frequently use myself, Picmonkey makes it easy for anyone to upload and edit images and the site offers a plethora of cool features such as the ability to add text in a choice of great fonts, frames, overlays, effects, etc.

Unsplash

Think just because something is free you need to compromise on quality?

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Then you obviously haven’t visited Unsplash, a website that curates beautiful photographs from “the world’s most generous community of photographers”. You won’t find your typical (generally terrible) stock photography on Unsplash; the photos on this site have clearly been taken by professional – and highly talented – photographers.

Landscape by Sprout Social

For some bizarre reason, social media sites keep changing the preferred sizes for native graphics such as profile pics and cover photos. To avoid wasting precious time trying to find out what the latest dimensions are for a Facebook profile photo, head on over to this fantastic site that will resize your images for you in accordance with the latest standards used by the major social media platforms.

Image Inject

Image Inject is a free – and incredibly convenient – WordPress plug-in that does exactly what its name says it does. You just enter a keyword into the search box which will now be added to the bottom of the post editor, and Image Inject will search two free stock photo sites (Flickr and Pixabay) for relevant imagery. You can “inject” the ones that appeal to you into your post.

If a picture requires you to credit the photographer, the plug-in will automatically add the accreditation as a caption underneath the image.

All of these tools are absolutely fantastic (I’ve used all of them myself, so I’d know) if you’re on a tight budget but would still like your content to look great.

However, as your endeavor grows and your collateral requirements become more complex and multifaceted, you might want to consider hiring a professional graphic designer. I can personally recommend this dude from Magic-E, not only because he’s a great designer, but he’s one of the most genuine and warmest people you’ll ever work with. Go check him out.

 

Posted by Charl Mijnhardt

Charl Mijnhardt is an established freelance writer with a special interest in wellness and mental health. He is also an experienced technical writer with many years' experience writing for the security industry. He currently lives in South Africa with his wife, Nastasia, and his cat, Gizmo. Hire him to write engaging copy for your website, blog, e-book, newsletter or marketing communications.

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