Design

The best free graphic design software for 2023

December 4, 2022

Graphic designers spend hours creating beautiful designs for websites, logos, brochures, and social media posts. But what about those of us who aren't skilled in graphic design? This is where we'll need the assistance of a graphic design app.

There are tons of great online resources for learning how to make your own graphics, but many of them will require a subscription or premium fee.

That's why we created this list of the best free graphic design tools available today. These programs will help you learn how to create professional looking graphics without the premium price.  

Canva

canva.com

Canva is a great resource for teachers and students alike. It makes it super simple to create professional-looking graphics without needing any technical knowledge. You can easily add stock photos, videos, and illustrations to your designs. And there are tons of templates to choose from.

Coupled with its user-friendly interface, a left sidebar of options with the main workspace on the right, you'll feel right at home from the start.

There are thousands of professionally created templates available for you to choose from. And if you ever run into trouble, there's support available through the Canva Help Center.

Canva is easy to sign-up for, using either an e-mail address, Google account, or a Facebook login. 

A premium subscription includes advanced features like background remover and magic resize. 

Stencil

getstencil.com

Stencil is a great option for anyone who wants to create beautiful designs quickly. You can use it to create images for websites, blogs, presentations, social media, and more. 

It has an intuitive interface very similar to Canva's and boasts a wide range of features like a huge library of over 5 million stock photos, over 5,000 Google Web Fonts, and over 3 Million Icons and graphics to name a few.

With the WordPress plugin, you can create an image right inside the dashboard by going to your Media settings without ever having to leave the WordPress ecosystem.

See an image you'd love to modify from the web? Just right-click, select Stencil, and your image magically pops into the Stencil editor. Add some text and you've now got a new image ready to share.

So whether you're a blogger, designer, or marketer that needs social media graphics, Stencil is a great choice for creating beautiful designs quickly.

Adobe Creative Cloud Express

adobe.com/express

As an alternative to the power-packed Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Express is a great resource for designers who want to create graphics on a budget. You can download thousands of unique templates, design elements, and fonts. There are also stock photography options available. And if you need to edit or add special effects to your designs, you can achieve that in Adobe Express too.

The Free version comes with 2 GB of storage space, whereas the Pro version gives you 100 GB. But if you only plan to use the basic functions, then you should definitely opt for the Free version.

With Adobe Express, you can also create graphics on both web and mobile devices.

So whether you're a beginner designer or a pro, this is a great resource for anyone who wants to create graphics without spending anything extra.

Vectr

vectr.com

Vectr is a powerful vector graphic editing app that makes designing graphics easier than ever before.

You can easily collaborate with others using its chat feature, and keep your team up to date with the changes that are being made to your designs.

If you're worried about the steep learning curve, they even have a variety of tutorials to get you up to speed on creating vectors. Just check out this one for drawing tree vectors.

If you're looking to quickly create vectors in the browser (i.e., available on all operating systems), Vectr is for you.

Tips For Beginner Graphic Designers

If you're a graphic designer just starting, below are some tips to get you started.

Pick The Right Hardware

Have you ever sat there watching the spinning wheel while your laptop or workstation was struggling? That's because you don't have enough RAM to run multiple programs at once.

To avoid this, you need to carefully consider the type of laptop to purchase for your design work.

A balance between enough RAM and CPU power will go a long way when you're trying to export your large designs.

Use Templates

Templates are pre-designed graphics that you can customize as needed. They come in all shapes and design concepts.

When you're just starting out, it's hard to create from scratch, so we recommend borrowing ideas from templates and modifying them from there.

As you get more skilled in design, you can mix in your own flavor to create a truly unique design.

Select Only 2 Fonts

It can be tempting to try to mash together 3 or 4 fonts.

Instead, stick to two fonts. This will help you focus on what matters most—the content, and provide uniformity when transitioning from page to page. Font pairing is paramount when it comes to design.

Understanding White Space

A lot of beginners struggle with understanding white space. But if you understand how it works, you'll be able to use it to your advantage.

White space is the area that isn't being used by anything else. It's the space between design elements. Using white space helps you balance design elements to improve communication with your readers.

When used properly, it will help keep your reader's attention and provide an overall better user experience.

 

Wrapping It Up

Graphic design has become an integral part of a designer's workflow. Whether it's a logo, book cover, or web page, graphic designers create beautiful images that tell stories.

Especially if you have no design experience, these are the go-to apps that we wished we had years ago.

Featured Image by Theme Photos on Unsplash

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