Not everyone can afford expensive tools like Photoshop, but that doesn’t mean your blog can’t be beautifully designed! There is a plethora of free design tools out there – ones that I have been relying on for years to create my own blog headers, buttons and logos as well as edit my photos. Here are my top 8 tools for improving your visual content.
This is probably my worst kept secret – I tell everyone about this fantastic tool. Even those with no experience in design will be able to create gorgeous images and graphics with Canva. It’s easy and simple to use with its free pre-made icons and illustrations, amazing fonts and attractive layouts. You can make online graphics such as Twitter headers and Facebook cover photos, as well as ready-to-print documents like CVs, letters, posters and business cards.
You can pay to upgrade to Canva for Work and some images cost $1+, however for the most part it is free. I have used it for a few years now without spending a penny! The only annoying thing about the free version is that it doesn’t allow you to alter the dimensions of your design once you start on it. There is also a free Canva app but in my experience it’s quite laggy and I personally prefer to work on a larger screen anyway.
2. PIC MONKEY
PicMonkey is a well-known blogger favourite, but if you haven’t heard of it, it is basically a free photo editor. With basic editing essentials as well as more advanced filters, overlays and touch up tools. You can also make fun collages, which are great for weekly or monthly round-up posts. Again, you can pay for some additional features but I’ve managed to get by using the free version. I edit most, if not all of my blog photos with this extremely useful website.
BeFunky is a new discovery of mine and one I hope to use more. A brilliant photo editor, this website offers stunning vintage filters as well as some design tools and a collage maker.
Pilxlr is another way to fine-tune your images. With additional stickers, effects and overlays you can add a personal vibe to your creations. Pixlr is free but you can pay for additional features – it is the cheapest upgrade I’ve found at $1.99 a month, however I still use the free version.
If you prefer a desktop program rather than an in-browser tool, GIMP is your answer. Don’t be put off by the unfortunate acronym, because GNU Image Manipulation Program can do most, if not all things that Photoshop can, without the price tag. It often lags and slows down my computer, but I wouldn’t be without it – I use it to create my blog header, logo and buttons.
Nothing is more annoying than falling in love with a font and being unable to find out what it’s called! Thank god I found out about What the Font – a huge database that will find an exact or close match when you upload an image with text in it. No more tireless google searching and scrolling through font sites!
Speaking of fonts – I’m such a font geek and love finding new ones. Da Font is my go to resource for free fonts that you can download and install to GIMP, word and any other creative programs on your computer.
Pick out colours from webpages and images with an eyedropper tool. You can probably install the Eye Dropper Extension on most browsers but because I mainly use Chrome when editing, I use this tool. They’re brilliant when overlaying text onto an image. With the hex code of a colour you can find the perfect contrasting colour, or expand your colour palette, by simply googling the code or searching it on websites such as Colour-Hex.