Say you’re working on a project for your executive and there are tasks that require some level of design skills. You are not a graphic designer, and you don’t have the latest version of Adobe Creative Cloud installed on your computer—no problem! These tools will help you create great graphics, and they are free of charge.
Start with the first 3 tools below to make your graphic palette/foundation, then add tools 3–6 to bring your graphic to life.
Unsplash is a collection of thousands of free images, made available to anyone by generous photographers. You can search for specific types of photos, or browse their categories to find images that will fit your needs. The images can be downloaded and used in projects (such as web pages, infographics, and brochures), or you can group your favorite images into your own collections to share or access later.
Have you been asked to re-create a document, but you don’t have the fonts, just an image of what it should look like? Or, you have seen the perfect font for your project on a website, but you don’t know what it is? WhatTheFont is here to help! Take a screenshot of the font you want to match and upload the image into their tool. WhatTheFont will identify fonts as close to your image as possible and make it possible for you to download (or purchase) that font.
You have a beautiful image you want to use in an infographic, but you can’t quite find the right colors to match it throughout the project. Coolors is a color-scheme generator that will pull the colors out of your image, suggest a scheme, and give you all the tools you need to customize it for your project. You can adjust shades and hues, and access color conversions across color spaces (HEX, RGB, and CMYK).
You can save and share palletes with your whole team so no one deviates from the set colors.
Coolors also has a library of schemes to browse through if you don’t have an image you are trying to match. No more wondering if you are pulling the right colors together; Coolors does it for you.
Use these next 3 tools to pull together the resources you’ve gathered above to make a stunning design project.
Figma is an online graphic design tool that has a free version for individuals (if you are working with a team, you may be interested in the paid version). It allows you to design in vector, which is great for graphics and logos. It gives you the tools you need to create your own unique graphics from scratch (or not!), with many features to easily tweak and perfect your work.
Adobe Spark is a free tool that will bring together all the work you’ve done up to this point. Take the colors you’ve found, the images you love, the fonts you’ve chosen, and bring them together into a beautiful web display. That display can be a video, presentation, infographic, banner, or graphic. Adobe Spark also provides templates, stock images, stock audio tracks, and much more to help you get your feet off the ground. This intuitive tool is easy to use and produces great final pieces.
Canva is another tool that brings it all together and then some. It provides templates for all things design—print, graphs, presentations, and even social posts. You can edit photos or create logos, infographics, and even resumes. Don’t have your own images or don’t want to create your own icons? Canva has you covered with a library of free images and icons right in the tool. This tool is broad, easy to use, and offers tons of resources to help with your projects (including resources for choosing fonts and colors).
Do you have Adobe Suite software, but are not a pro at using it?
Use this Adobe Creative Cloud YouTube Channel to find tons of video tutorials to help you make the most of your design programs, no matter your skill level!
These free tools will help you step up your design game without committing to expensive software or classes. Start creating!