6 Graphic Design Tools That Let Non-Designers Create Beautiful Visual Content

August 21, 2014 Monika Jansen

A beautiful free image from Death to Stock Photo

For a few years now, “learn graphic design” has been on my to-do list. It somehow keeps getting pushed further and further down the list, so I do what anyone else would do in my shoes: 1) Fake it, and 2) buy stock photos.

I wanted to find alternatives, so here are 6 graphic design tools that let non-designers create beautiful visual content – starting with the most obvious:

1. Photo filters and editing tools

The easiest way to create beautiful photos is via filters, whether you use Instagram or your smartphone’s built-in filters or an online photo editing tool like Fotor or Pixlr-o-Matic. There are lots of options, and the best part is you get to use your own images.

2. Canva

I have already played around with Canva a bit, and I have to say, it’s great fun to use. After choosing what kind of design to create (Twitter post, Facebook cover, blog graphic, etc.), you can choose the image and layout, add text, insert background, resize, and boom, you’re done.

3. Death to the Stock Photo

I read about Death to the Stock Photo on HubSpot, and wow, these guys are brilliant! It was started by two self-taught photographers whose friends – fellow creatives – were having a hard time finding authentic photos to use on blog posts, etc. Sign up, and they will send stunningly beautiful photos to you every month.

4. Easelly

Have a great idea for an infographic? Create your own at user-friendly Easelly. First you pick your vheme (visual + theme). Then you drag and drop icons, shapes, and text, which you can easily change with a quick double-click.

5. Library of Congress Digital Collections

On the CreativeBloq blog, I found a really interesting idea: Peruse the Library of Congress’ vast digital collections. Surprisingly, many of the photos and images are free and not copyrighted.

6. Skitch

I take screenshots all the time, so I was really excited to discover Skitch. This tool (brought to you by Evernote) lets you annotate screenshots with markups like arrows, text, and sketches.

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Image courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo

Author information

Monika Jansen

Monika Jansen

Monika Jansen is a freelance copywriter and editor who helps with companies of all shapes on sizes kick their content up to the next level. You can find her online at www.jansencomm.com.

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