8 free design tools and resources for your next project
Even if you are not a trained designer, you can still create your very own standout images for social media with the help of some design websites available on the Internet.
Whether it’s for your personal project or your company’s social media account, here are 8 design tools and resources to make your posts pop — all without costing a dime.
For those who need a ready-made template or looking for inspiration:
If you haven’t heard of Canva, you are probably someone who is new to the design scene. From presentation slides to YouTube banners, be prepared to be wowed by Canva’s spectacularly wide range of templates available for different types of uses.
How to use: Decide on a template you like by searching on their website. To customise the template, simply add any images or brand elements you want using the drag-and-drop editor. You can also upload your own designs and use them on the editor. If you’re using their premium asset in your design, you need to pay to remove the watermark, from $1/asset onwards.
Click Download or Share once you’re satisfied with your design. The file can be downloaded in PNG, JPG, and PDF formats.
- Biggest collection of templates available
- Extremely beginner-friendly design website
- Can share and collaborate your template design with others
- Mobile app available for designing on-the-go
- Designs are pretty recognisable as it’s such a widely used design platform
Price: Free but you can choose to subscribe to Canva Pro for $12.95/month (with a 30-day free trial) for access to millions of assets, unlimited storage, and more.
If you think Canva’s designs are becoming too recognisable, why not try Snappa, an alternative design website similar to Canva that provides templates for graphic designers.
How to use: You can either create your design from scratch or select a template to get started. Next, change the template as you see fit and click Download. The file can be downloaded only in PNG and JPG formats.
- Can access all the templates, graphics, images, and other design resources, including premium content
- Templates provided may not be as eye-catching as other design websites
Price: Free for first 3 downloads or shares per month. It costs $15/month onwards for unlimited downloads and shares.
Spark is a design website by Adobe that helps you create social media and web graphics. It features a ton of templates for you to work from. There are also a great choice of premium templates that are only available to subscribers.
How to use: Choose and click on the template you want. Customise the post according to your liking. Once done, click Download. The file can be downloaded in PNG, JPG, and PDF formats.
- Over 34,000 templates to choose from
- Can share and collaborate your template design by adding one’s email address
- Many of the templates are Premium templates
- Website can be rather laggy at times
Price: Free for basic features. Pay from $9.99/month onwards for premium features, such as logo upload and placement, branded templates and tools.
For those looking for free icons, vectors, and/or stock images:
Boasting over 1 million graphics, LogoMakr allows you to source for icons in PNG format and to create your own logo on the website itself.
How to use: Simply type in the type of logo you need and the search engine will pop out a dizzying array of icons. Select the icon that you need and you’ll be brought over to the design workspace, where you can change the size and colour of all the icons you selected previously.
- Wide range of icons available in PNG format
- Icons are customisable
- Unlimited free downloads
- Rather low resolution of icons if you download them for free
- No stock images, only icons are available
- Credit is needed for free icons
Price: Free to use, while its premium subscription starts from $7/image onwards.
Make use of Pngtree to download high quality vectors, cliparts and stock images for free! Different download formats are available such as PNG, PSD, AI and EPS. You can also Pin images to your Pinterest account.
How to use: Search, select, and download the image you need on the website.
- Website is easy to navigate
- Filter is available for easier searching
- Can only download 2 images per day unless you get a premium account
Price: 2 free downloads/day unless you have a premium account that starts from US$59 onwards.
flaticon advertises itself as having the largest database of icons available in PNG, SVG, EPS, PSD and BASE 64 formats. It is another popular free tool for designers to get their icons for free.
How to use: Search, select, and download the icons you need on the website.
- Able to download a surprisingly large number of icons, even without paying for the premium plan
- Cheaper premium subscription compared to other sites
- No stock images, only icons are available
Price: Unregistered users can download 10 icons per day and create 1 Icon Collection while registered members can download 100 icons per day and create 3 Icon Collections. Premium users can download an unlimited amount of icons. Subscription starts from EUR$7.50/month onwards.
Best for: Designers who are creating a company’s brand kit.
Coolors can help you generate colour palettes to establish your primary and secondary brand colours for better brand recognition.
How to use: Simply click “Start the generator” to create colour combinations for your designs. If you don’t know where to begin, simply browse their list of trending palettes to get some inspiration.
- Quickly generate or browse beautiful colour combinations for your designs
- Can compare different colours
- Can be used on ios app, adobe extension, chrome extension, and Instagram
- Useful, but with little features other than generating colour palettes
Price: Free to use.
PicMonkey helps you easily create beautiful brand kits that saves you a lot of time. Rejoice, because you don’t have to re-create branded materials from scratch anymore.
How to use: Go to Hub. Select “Brand kit” from the left panel. Click the “+” sign to add your assets to each category like Logos, Colours, Templates, Fonts, and Graphics
- Can design on-the-go with its mobile app
- Free trial available
- As the brand kit is saved on the website, this is better suited for designers already on PicMonkey
Price: Free trial available, with premium plans starting from US$7.99 onwards.