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“First impressions matter”. Especially for an e-commerce store.
When it comes to building a beautiful and high converting store, image matters. Powerful graphic design can give your brand credibility, likeability and sends a message of professionalism. It builds trust.
Yes, you may not have access to expensive software or big budget designers, but you are surely aware of the importance of a visually attractive Hero Image on your store or an eye-catching Instagram post. This is why you will find great help in DIY graphic design tools that are readily available at little or no cost, yet come with excellent features.
In this post, we will discuss 19 graphic design resources which will make you a better designer.
Graphic Design Tools
Snappa is my personal favorite of the list.
If you’re looking for a tool that lets you create professional looking graphics that are fully customized and slightly more advanced in terms of features, Snappa is the answer. Though a bit more advanced than the other tools mentioned here, Snappa is still fairly easy to use. Know that you’ll be greeted by a quick video tutorial once you sign up for a free trial.
To design a graphics you can either customize existing templates or create the entire image from scratch.
Another huge advantage of Snappa is its stunning library of visual assets. You get a massive library of 500,000+ photos, 70,000+ graphics and 200+ fonts to use. All photos and graphics are 100% royalty-free and licensed for commercial use.
Price: Free for 5 downloads or shares per month; from $10/month for unlimited downloads, shares, and social accounts, as well as full access to Snappa’s template library and Buffer integration.
Canva is a super easy tool for designing simple graphics like a Hero banner or an Instagram post.
Canva is designed around a template-based work model that will be equally efficient both in the hands of a layman or an experienced professional! Templates are easily customizable by dragging and dropping various objects. In addition, you can change the image’s properties, fonts, and colors on the fly. You can also make a design of any size.
Price: Subscription to Canva for Work is $9.95 per month when paid annually or $12.95 per user/month.
With an astounding image archive of over 65 million files, 12,000 templates, and hundreds of fonts, Crello is a frontrunner for most professional graphic design software option on the list. With expertly created templates that can be customized in a simple and streamlined way, Crello makes designing enjoyable.
This design software can help you create an extensive array of aesthetically stunning designs for print materials, digital ads, and social media posts. You can even create animated graphics!
Price: It has a free version but you will get watermarked files to download. Try the PRO version for $16.67/month
Anyone can create captivating, professional-grade visual content with this free graphic design software. BeFunky’s main offering comprises three creative tools that are simple enough for beginners but powerful enough to tackle a variety projects: Photo Editor, Collage Maker, and Designer.
BeFunky’s “fun and functional” design software proves that you don’t need a background in design to produce stunning results. With the option to work from beautiful pre-designed templates or build your own from scratch, there’s a ton of creative flexibility.
Price: BeFunky Plus plan costs $6.99/month but you can start with the free plan.
If your startup does not have the budget to go with the full-on Photoshop package, yet it needs a quality image editing software, look no further than PicMonkey. It is a powerful tool which allows you to make your images slicker than they already are. PicMonkey works its magic by allowing you to combine graphics or add text, together with options to play with its borders or coloring.
Price: PicMonkey’s Premium package costs $7.99 (with monthly billing) and $3.99 per month if billed on yearly basis. Supremium plan includes annual billing and costs $8.33 per month.
Free Stock Photos
Unsplash offers a variety of high-resolution stock images from portraits and landscapes to architectural and lifestyle for both personal and commercial use.
Pexels offers an endless array of stock images free for personal and commercial purposes and they don’t even require attribution. Though giving photographers and Pexels credit is always appreciated by them.
Pixabay features images released under Creative Commons CCO into the public domain, which means they are free of all copyrights.
Lifeofpix offers free high-resolution photography and features different photographers each week.
Founded and created by Ryan McGuire, Gratisography aims to take the “stock” out of stock photo and provide a carefully curated collection of authentic images for your photography needs.
Pic jumbo offers both high-quality images for free, but also design resources for a variety of categories such as icons and fonts.
Need some free vector designs? FreePik is the place for you. Claiming to be the leading search engine for such graphics, there are over a million free vectors and photographs at your fingertips.
FancyCrave offers high-resolution images that you can use for both personal and commercial projects for free, though they do ask that you provide attribution.
Magdeleine has a wide variety of stock images with a great filtering system. You can filter by categories, such as city and architecture or objects and food. Perfect for a photo in a pinch!
Some other useful resources
Adobe’s Kuler is the best source for all color related things. It will help you in case you’re trying to determine colors for an existing pallet or starting completely from scratch. Simply moving the dots around the color wheel you’re able to select a wide range of, analogous, triad, shades, or custom colors, and Kuler will give you the RGB and HEX codes which will help you in creating a masterpiece.
Eye Dropper is an open source extension which allows you to pick colors from web pages, color picker, and your personal color history.
Eye Dropper is an extension for Google Chrome and Chromium. It allows you to pick a color from any webpage or from the advanced color picker. It is a great tool for web developers.
Need some inspiration?
Sometimes, ideas spark instantly. But other times? They can take hours or even days to develop. When this happens, it’s useful to step away from the project for a moment and look to others’ work to find inspiration.
Dribbble is the best website to find design inspiration.
This site is an online community for designers to showcase their own artwork. Dribbble uses an invite-only membership system, which helps to keep the quality of artwork up. Members are given a handful of invites to freely give out to other designers. This ensures the artwork on the site is from talented designers and not someone who can just use Photoshop.
Behance is another online community for designers to showcase their artwork.
What differentiates Behance from Dribbble is that anyone can join and post on the site. This gives Behance a bigger archive of artwork compared to Dribbble. The large assortment of artwork makes finding specific design inspiration much easier.
Awwwards is a professional web design and development competition site.
This is my favorite place to find web design inspiration. Awwwards’ search tool allows you to filter for the exact inspiration you are looking for. Since it is also an award site, you can also see the best work from specific categories.