There was only you and your laptop in the beginning. We’ve all been there as entrepreneurs: imagining a bigger-than-life vision for our app/product and trying to communicate that vision to the masses. You can’t do this on your own, without a team of designers, in the lonely waters of a rented office in a shared space.
You can still get the design from many freelancer networks like Upwork. But if you don’t want to take a chance or risk losing your money, this kind of glut is not for you.
Don’t waste your time learning and say goodbye to all the training wheels. Instead, dive into the design with these 20 tools that are great for entrepreneurs and marketers!
Canva and Canva Pro
This online tool is great for startups that are struggling to make a profit.
It can create everything from social media posts and covers to invites to events (like the launch event) with a cool image, a link to the savable calendar, and other useful tools.
You can also use the Photo Blur feature. This feature is an easy-to-use image adjustment tool to add atmosphere to images and texture to backgrounds. It helps to give your design a textured and organic feel, or by using a blurred photo it can evoke your design’s theme.
You can drag and drop your images into their templates, or buy most of their graphic resources starting at $1.
Canva Pro has the same power as the free Canva but is better in that you can create a brand kit using consistent colors and fonts. You can also customize templates and share photo folders.
A popular marketplace where designers can show their skills is a boon for anyone starting out. There are tons of graphic resources available, even 3D: icons, wallpapers and WordPress themes, brushes, and other Photoshop add-ons.
The “Simple License”, which covers most items on this site, allows you to use them for personal or creative purposes (within certain common-sense limitations).
Plus, six resources are given away every week. To be notified when new freebies are released, sign up for their newsletter.
Visme’s presentation maker makes it easy for businesses to increase their business communication and presentations.
With access to over a million design elements and hundreds of professionally-designed slide templates, you can create stunning slide designs.
You can choose from stock photos, stock videos, and vector icons. To easily create brand visual content, you can insert your company’s fonts and colors.
The Best part? The best part? Visme can be used for presentations and you can also create visual content using this tool. The business account costs only $29/mo and is charged annually. You can create infographics, reports, social media designs, and marketing materials.
This site is an excellent choice for anyone who moonlights as a designer or in training. The site is managed by a group of Spanish developers, designers, and other digital professionals. It’s your best source for icons, vectors, and photos. This site has everything you need to create a website or app.
It can be used in combination with Pixabay, Pixels, or any of the many free stock photos providers.
Buffer’s little tool for socially-engaged startups (meaning you, if smart) is an online tool that all sharing visual quotes to all your social networks with one click. You can link it to the popular social sharing platform Buffer, and you’re ready to go.
Pablo makes it easy to automate your design process. It provides both pictures and quotes, so you can just mix and match them to suit your needs. Pablo allows you to upload your own background image to the quote you want to share with followers and fans. You can adjust its contrast, add blur effects, or even create a blur effect to add some pizzazz.
Good design is not just about graphics. It also includes high-quality images that can help establish a brand’s quality. It can be difficult to find these striking, high-resolution images for your site/blog in today’s copyright-saturated environment. Pexels is the best option unless you want to risk ruining your image by trying to wing it.
You can access a lot of photos from it that are covered under the Creative Commons Zero license (CC0). This means you can use, modify, and distribute them for personal and commercial purposes, without having to link back to them.
The Instapage platform is the leader in landing page builders with more than 250,000 users around the world. It’s a great place to start pages for your website.
Instapage offers many options for contest information pages and signup forms. After you have settled on one, can customize it with your brand logo, message, and any images or fonts that will make the image stand out.
You can A/B-test your pages and make adjustments to them. Studies by Instapage (and others) show that keeping track of conversions for each variation will increase your numbers by a significant margin.
If you are a novice with no design skills, you can copy a designer’s eye by downloading the fonts from websites. That’s where WhatTheFont is. This tool is free and allows you to upload an image. It then generates the font that will be used within.
You should limit your image to 50 characters. Make sure you space them out as much as possible. There are also some tips for choosing the right image to load into the program. After you have the font name, search FontSquirrel for it, Google Fonts, or 1001 Fonts.
Adobe Color CC
This tool, formerly known as Kuler was once the best for anyone who is colorblind or color-challenged.
It works by using the color wheel to choose the four best colors for your website, blog, or page based on the rule in the upper left corner of the screen.
If you have a lot of time to spare, you can also use the “Explore” tab. This allows you to browse, copy, edit, and save to your library schemes from other users.
Another great feature of this Adobe tool is the ability to import your theme to Illustrator, Photoshop, or InDesign. To make the most of your themes, you will need an Adobe account. If you already have one, you are good to go.
Coolors is the best color generator with paint chips that are so large that a blind bat can see them. They also have a browsing feature similar to Adobe Color CC.
It comes with HEX codes (generated or that can be put in by you), color components, and toggles to adjust brightness, temp, hue, and saturation.
You can reverse engineer a color scheme you see online and get the codes you need to insert it into your website. There are many photo editors that can do this. Also, there is an iOS app called Quolor that can provide you with that color picker functionality.
Design Seeds is at the other end of the spectrum. Their owner is very vocal about her disapproval of Coolors and color generators like Coolors. She explained that it takes talent and an artist’s eyes to create an emotion-inducing palette.
Even if you aren’t an artist who has mastered the art of, Design Seeds can still be used to find inspiration and attendant HEX code for your brand image.
The swatches on the site were “individually mixed” in Illustrator by the artist, and placed side-by-side with the photo they were inspired by/were inspired from. After final touches have been added in Photoshop.
This site is the result of a lot of hard work and tinkering.
Pixlr, a free online Photoshop alternative is an option if you don’t want to pay Adobe’s monthly fees or make a lump sum.
A simple UI and an experience that is not too different from Photoshop. This editor is a standout because it can transform any photo or design into art without any hassle or much skill.
You can save your creation in TIFF and other formats. This will be a time-saving move that will help you get a design team involved. They’ll need the file to further modify it.
BeFunky, an online editor, goes further than Pixlr. It combines the power of a collage creator, photo editor, and designer to create one site that is a one-stop shop for all your startup needs.
Each branch of the mammoth web app has its own interface. It features a real-time viewer in the center, tons of resources (icons and fonts, etc.). On the left-side panel.
BeFunky is the perfect tool to help you get your photo noticed.
DocHipo is an excellent tool for startups to create beautiful designs instantly. You can create a wide range of professional-looking designs like infographics, book covers, posters, flyers, web banners, graphics for social media posts, advertising, etc.
You get access to various exclusive design assets like illustrations, stickers, animations, icons, shapes, backgrounds, etc. All these design assets will help you create a unique design. While on the editor, drag and drop these design assets on the canvas and customize them as needed. The intuitive interface of DocHipo makes it quick to learn and use this tool for marketing and branding purposes without any prior design experience.
DocHipo’s built-in one-click background removal capability gives you an added advantage. Its handy team collaboration functionality lets you add your team to provide you with feedback quickly. Also, you can take help from their available resources, including blogs and tutorial videos, if needed. You can get started with the free edition or upgrade to the Pro edition to unlock all the advanced capabilities only at $7.5/user/month.
Dribbble is the biggest showcase site for professional graphic designers, so it’s easy to get lost in it. You will soon realize that many of the artists are talented and have four-figure salaries.
You can find great design by Dribbble’s community by heading to Freebbble. All content on Dribbble has been neatly categorized by license type, as well as resources type.
This offshoot of Dribbble is not affiliated with Dribbble. It only parses the Dribbble for great free resources. You’ll need again to verify with the original Dribbbler that you are allowed to use their freebie and that your intended license has been properly tagged.
Content marketing is, supposedly, replacing traditional ads (banners or the like) as a way to promote your product. Engaging users in this age of rampant ADD, short attention spans isn’t as simple as writing blog posts. Visual is the only content that has a chance of breaking through the noise.
Easel.ly, the DIY home for infographics, offers tons of objects, templates, and images. Visual.ly connects you with a designer who can create all types of visual materials. You are free to choose from them depending on your needs, time constraints, and preferences.
Easel.ly’s platform, which allows you to drag-and-drop almost any type of content from their vast library (including images, charts, icons, and more), or upload your own.
Although this may seem a bit out of our league it is still a good idea to learn a new skill, especially with the limited (and expensive) UX designers. UXPin can be your first stop if you are thinking of prototyping an app/website.
This platform allows you to wireframe any interface on mobile or desktop. It also has a user-friendly dashboard interface, quick prototyping of the user experience in app/on-site, handy collaboration functionality so you can get a friend to test it out for you, and many other features.
You might also want to take a look at the knowledge database, which has tons of white papers that will help you get started.
This site is better than other sites that list candlestick manufacturers, writers, and designers (not really), because it provides a way to verify credentials.
It was a brilliant idea to have designers compete. This has made it a very successful experience for all involved. The bidding wars produce great results even though the contest is “blind”, which it should be to encourage fresh ideas and to not let designers be influenced either by your rating or the other. You will need to know how to use this site.
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