Visual content is increasingly finding its place as a marketing tool in numerous platforms. Almost one-third of marketers surveyed by HubSpot see visual images as the business’s most important form of content, followed by blogging (27%).
Surprising? Perhaps not so.
Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text. And visual content is 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other content types.
Producing visual content may not be that simple, and there isn’t a real replacement for the creativity and skill a professionally-trained graphics designer.
But if budget doesn’t allow you to hire an in-house or freelance graphic designer just yet, here are free graphic design software you can use to get started first.
Canva is a simple online platform for graphic design. It stores a huge collection of templates, with the most popular templates being for posters, presentations, social media and infographics.
Backgrounds can easily be found with Canva’s built-in photo library. With a huge variety of subjects and themes, you’ll easily find the type of images you need. Or if you wish to add graphics, head over to the ‘Elements tab for free and paid icons. The latter can be identified by the dollar symbol at the bottom right of the icon.
If pairing fonts give you a headache, use Canva’s font pairing tool here.
I tried to look for a font that could match with Lato, and Canva suggested me Droid Serif.
While Canva has a paid version, its free tools are sufficient for you to create a decent poster or infographic, much simpler than starting with a blank canvas.
Created in 2011, Piktochart allows users to create infographics, flyers, posters, presentations and reports easily on their platform. Like most of the popular graphic design software out there, Piktochart provides hundreds of templates sorted by type. Choose a layout that suits your needs to get started.
What stands out is its map and chart builders. For its map feature, you can easily customise the countries or regions that you wish to include in the graphic. With this, you don’t have search painstakingly from Google for the countries or regions that you need.
As for its chart builder, a handy feature is the ability to import data from Google Drive or Excel. You can also choose which diagram you want to represent the data, and customise the colour according to your preference.
For the free version, you are only limited to five projects at one time. But this is almost no problem at all – you just have to delete the projects that you no longer want to create a new one.
Launched in 2013, Visme is an online design tool that allows users to create engaging graphics. To spice up your content, Visme has tons of assets such as icons, photos, data widgets and flowcharts.
What’s unique about Visme is that you can add video or audio content into your graphic,
For slides, you can even choose the type of slide you wish to design, rather than having to design from scratch on Microsoft Powerpoint. Users can even add slide transitions on Visme.
One limitation for free users is that you can only save in JPG, which can be troublesome if you are working on a slide deck. Other than that, the free version is rather sufficient for basic use, you get to create and save five projects.
Venngage is an online infographic design tool that was founded in 2012. To create visually appealing infographics, choose from over 100+ infographic templates that are provided.
If you will be creating many infographics for your business, you can also create a branding kit so all of your graphics have a consistent look and feel.
There are even interactive options such as adding polls, quizzes, or sign-up forms, but these are only fully functional with a premium account, where you can expert as an Interactive PDF. For free users, you can only export it as a JPEG.
With a free account, you get to create up to five designs.
Visuals Are Here To Stay
Most of these graphic design software have similar features, so the only way to figure out what works best for you is if you take these tools for a spin.
And with these free design software, there’s almost no excuse to not create engaging visual content. While it may be intimidating for non-designers to get started, the free templates provided will help you get started and save time on designing visual content.
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