Do you have an idea? Design it. Even if you’re not an expert.
Nowadays there are literally apps and softwares for everything. But if you’re planning to start your own project (be it a blog, an e-commerce or even a mobile app), there’s no way you can survive without great visual content.
Even if you don’t have a major in graphic design or the money to invest in one, it is so easy to find platforms that do the hard work for you, and help you turn your imagination into reality.
So stop making excuses and try these design tools down below!
For material design guidelines
Material.io is an online platform designed by Google that brings Material design tools for developers and designers in an innovative simple way. It is not only the perfect platform to learn about the basics, but an authentic library with icons, device metrics and material components.
Although it offers around 6 different tools I personally use the Color Tool more often. This feature allows you to create a material pallet for your user interface, along with each respective color code and accessibility.
The icon pack is also very useful whether you’re designing an app or a creative poster. It’s an open source library where you can download icons in both white and black, and in SVG or PNGS files.
For creating logos, posters and banners
Canva, besides having a great free version, is so freaking useful and easy-to-use. It offers a bunch of layouts that you can edit to create banners, logos, infographics, posters and anything you want really.
An intuitive graphic design software with a huge collection of themes, photographs and illustrations. Their tutorials and inspiration gallery will also be of great help to get you started.
There you can literally design social media posts, ads or even album covers in a matter of minutes. Canva also features a branding tool where you can set your brand’s colors, fonts and logos, or create your own team to share your work.
For quality copyright free images
If you’re in need for some high-resolution photographs for your website or marketing strategy, Unsplash is your answer. And no you don’t have to worry about copyright or spending money (which is amazing).
An online platform filled with high quality free images from a community of photographers and users around the world, who generously share their creative work and put it available for download and use.
From food to fashion and technology, you can find stunning images to design an awesome flyer or enhance your social media pages.
For designing app screens
Proto is a great tool if you’re designing a mobile app for your business. Its easy and intuitive layout allows users to create interactive prototypes without coding required. This means you can create flow by simply dragging and connecting components between screens (just an example).
Seriously guys, I have been using it for a while now and I managed to design screens pretty effectively and quickly (without being an expert on the matter). They have a large library of icons, shapes, animations for IOS and Android devices, but you can also import from Sketch or Photoshop.
After you finish, you can see your hardwork displayed in a mobile screen and test it out freely with their Preview feature. And, of course, share with your colleagues.
For editing pictures
If you don’t know how to work with Photoshop, Pixlr might be your way out. It’s a free online platform that enables users to import and fully edit images. It includes two different features: pixlr editor and pixlr express.
The Pixlr Editor is slightly more complex since you have to work with layers and objects, yet it offers plenty more options to transform your photographs. Pixlr Express, on the other hand, is super easy to use and allows to edit contrasts, colors, add filters, crop images and create collages. This feature is super handy to plan your IG feed by the way.
If you’re in need for some quick visual content, this might be handy. Import an image, add some vintage filters and text and you have yourself an article banner for the day. You should also check out PhotoScape (I have been using it for years).
For editing and creating videos
If you’re thinking about starting a youtube channel, Filmora is an easy platform to use if you don’t have a clue about editing videos. This little fellow offers a wide variety of filters, typography, transitions and even music that you can use to enhance your content.
A simple interface where you can easily edit the video’s timeline and add overlays and effects by simply dragging to where you’d like it to be. You can also remove unwanted background noises and fasten or slower your videos.
It has everything you need for video editing and it’s super intuitive. What’s more to ask? Go get them subscribers.
For free technology mockups
Are you in need for some neat mockups to display your product or service? You don’t want to pay for it? Smart Mockups is your answer my friend.
Besides providing a stunning photo gallery with plenty of different categories (which include not only smartphone and laptop mockups, but also TV and prints), each photograph has great quality and can be used freely.
Their feed is very clean so it will be easy to find the perfect one. Then, you have two options: to upload the image from your computer or let the platform capture it through an url (it’s much more effective). And there you go. Download and play with it.
Hope this article turns out useful and helps you on your next project! Let me know if you agree with this selection of design tools for beginners or share any other platforms down below, I’d love to try them out. See ya 🙂