With an increasing need for visual content, companies and organizations are becoming reliant on graphic designers and videographers to promote their campaigns. Luckily, there are dozens of free programs out there that can do the heavy lifting for you!
I scoured the interwebs to find the hottest design softwares that are available at no cost. I tested 10 different websites and programs to determine which three provide the best interface, toolset and quality. To accomplish this I spent about 20 to 30 minutes on each one to see what I could create. (Caveat: By no means am I a professional graphic designer; so please show some grace with my designs.)
Just as its name implies, easel.ly is a simple tool that focuses on graphics, shapes and colors. Its “drag-and-drop” feature makes adding images, shapes and graphics a breeze. The design tool’s best purpose is creating infographics. The website has hundreds of templates and samples to start, making the process quick and easy. You don’t even have to download anything, and everything is labeled very clearly. As with any free software, there is a premium version that gives you access to its entire library of templates and illustrations. If you are in need of a stat sheet or a quick poster, I would highly recommend it! easel.ly can be run right from your browser! (Not to be confused with ease.ly.)
GNU Image Manipulation Program is an open-source graphics editor used primarily for photo editing, free-form drawing and reformatting images. GIMP looks pretty overwhelming at first with a lot of grey sidebar buttons and dozens of tiny tabs. However, every tool in the program is available with just a right click of the mouse! The software has so many different features that you could spend a whole day applying new filters, transformations, pathways, color scapes and more to your photos.
A variety of color applications and functions are offered in GIMP, which was my favorite part. While it may take a while to learn everything, the professional features available in GIMP make it a go-to for picture editing. You must download the software before using it.
I will finish the list with the most impressive software I encountered: Gravit Designer. Available directly in your browser, this all-in-one tool gives the user a wide range of creative space with an intuitive interface. The program is capable of graphics manipulation, creation and illustration. The screen is your digital playground in Gravit, and it was easy to find the tricks I wanted to employ. It has great functionality and allows you to develop shapes in a simple way. I would highly recommend using this for poster design, presentations and illustrating. It is available to download for any platform as well.
While these are my top three suggestions, the best program is the one YOU like the most! Below all are the programs I tried. Find the one that is most suited for you! Share your favorite programs with us on Twitter!
Cover Photo Credit: © [Redpixel] / Adobe Stock
Written by intern Nathan J. McDaniel, a senior at Western Carolina University.