10 free design resources to create awesome graphics

23 Jul

A few months ago my computer crashed. Luckily Apple’s Genius Bar was able to resurrect it, however one thing I wasn’t prepared for was my loss of software. In a blink of an eye my beloved Adobe Creative Suite was gone and the installation disks are buried somewhere deep in a storage unit. As you know, I take and create almost all of the imagery on this site, so to lose Photoshop and Illustrator was devastating! Thankfully there are tons of free online design tools to edit pictures and create graphics. Are they as powerful as the Adobe Creative suite? No, but they certainly are easier to use. And although I have the skills to do some fancy stuff with advanced design software, most of the time I only need a few basic tools to create the fun images and graphics for All Put Together.

So if you want to dip your toe in graphic design or simply would like to create enticing and pinnable images, take advantage of these 10 free, online design tools.

Free Design Software:
The great thing about each of these online design tools is you don’t have to download them. They are all ready to use as soon as you load the site.

Canva: This site is my favorite online design tool. Canva features an impressive collection of free graphics and dozens of amazing design templates. And it gets even better than that, the site’s premium images are only a $1.00 each! Although it can sometime be a bit glitchy, it’s insanely easy to use. Experienced designers and the everyday creative will find this site useful. I’ve created most of my recent blog images, plus all of my social media account imagery using this tool. As much as I love the Adobe Creative Suite, I still plan on using this site even after I locate my installation disks!

PicMonkey: This site is great for photo editing, featuring dozens of built in tools that make correcting common photo issues, like red eye, exposure, and blurriness really easy. Often times I’ll use PicMonkey to edit my photos and then import them into Canva for further embellishment. Although PicMonkey has many of the same graphic design tools as Canva, it’s not nearly as robust. It’s best for simply laying text over and image.

PixlrThe most powerful of the online design tools, this site looks and acts similar to Adobe Photoshop, so if you’re looking to do more than basic photo editing, like removing a background from an image, consider Pixlr for your design projects.

Free Image Sources:
Finding high-quality free images and patterns for my design projects can be tough. Here are seven great sites featuring awesome photos for personal and commercial use. Some don’t even require attribution!

PicJumbo: High-qaulity images of all genres. I’ve used this site a lot for my “Best of the Week” posts.

Unsplash: Beautiful, high-res images of all genres. 10 new images are posted every 10 days.

Foodie’s Feed: Gorgeous food photography that will make you ravenous.

ImCreator: An eclectic collection of photos and icons.

Splitshire: Bright and colorful photos of all genres.

Superfamous: Stunning landscape and nature photography. Not only will the photographer’s work look amazing in creative projects, the photos would also be lovely framed on a wall.

The Pattern Library:  Bright graphic patterns that are tileable for seamless backgrounds.

What are your favorite graphic design tools and resources. Please share in the comments!



4 Responses to “10 free design resources to create awesome graphics”

  1. Jamie July 23, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

    There are a couple sites that weren’t mentioned in your list that I use fairly often for work and personal design projects:
    http://www.subtlepatterns.com offers a bunch of free backgrounds (they also have a photoshop plugin)
    http://www.fontsquirrel.com offers loads of free fonts

    I’m in love with typography and fonts so if there are any other suggestions for where I can find fun, interesting fonts (preferably for free), please do tell!

    • allputtogether July 24, 2014 at 1:41 am #

      Thanks Jamie!! Subtle Patterns looks amazing! I can’t wait to start using them in my projects. I love Font Squirrel too! I’ll get to work on a round-up of font resources.

  2. Julie S. July 30, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

    Great post. I saved it for reference and shared it 🙂 Thanks for the links.

    • allputtogether July 30, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

      Thanks Julie! Glad you found it helpful!