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It’s no secret: a well-executed creative strategy is just as important to a campaign as the data used to inform the plan. Whether you’re running a social, display, or native campaign, or needing a custom cover photo or call-to-action button, the ability to quickly incorporate eye-popping, high-quality creative is in high demand.
Many digital marketers don’t exactly have an unlimited budget for creative software, so this post will showcase 10 picks for the best quick, easy, and FREE creative tools to make you look like a seasoned visual designer.
Free Content Creation Tools
When you’re tasked with producing high-quality imagery without the help of a design team, user-friendliness is essential. These are among my favorites for editing and creating beautiful visual content. Both happen to be free as well!
This is a quick, user-friendly screen grab tool that allows for easy cropping, copy/pasting, adding text, highlighting, and text blurring of confidential information. Skitch is an Evernote product, so images can easily be stored in your Evernote account.
In minutes, you can build beautiful creative from scratch. Canva has gained popularity from both amateur and experienced designers alike with its drag-and-drop suite of features. Many marketers leverage Canva’s templates for social cover photos, post enhancement, and building icons.
Free Color Tools
Color is essential to brand identity, and it’s important for marketers to be able to easily leverage the appropriate color scheme. These two picks make doing so effortless.
This Chrome extension is a simple, straightforward option for getting any RGB and HEX codes for individual colors. Color schemes are also saved to your account for quick future access.
This tool allows for guided color palette creation for non-designers, as well as the option for saving RGBs and HEX codes on all palette designs. This tool can be used without an Adobe account. For Adobe account users, palettes can be uploaded and saved to any Adobe Creative Suite products.
Free Photo Editing Tools
Don’t we all wish to be Photoshop experts? If only you had the time to learn the ins-and-outs of the software like a design pro! For basic photo edits, e.g. resizing and blurring, these are two of the best tools that allow for Photoshop-quality edits, all for free.
This tool is popular for its easy-to-navigate UI, which is very similar to that of Photoshop’s. For moderate to higher level editing, Pixlr offers step-by-step tutorials right on the website.
Fotor is popular for photography editing and its collage builder. Features include basic-to-moderate level photo editing options, including a double exposure effect for combining photos with different exposures.
Free Stock Photos
You can never have too many options for quality, commercial use imagery. The availability for free stock photo access is becoming more limited; however, these two sites still serve as great free resources for stock photo downloading.
Unsplash is a great choice for finding high-resolution photography. It has become a popular community of more than 20 million creators, built with freelance designers’ and entrepreneurs’ needs for free, quality imagery in mind.
Death to Stock Photo allows the option to sign up for a monthly batch of high-quality photos, aligned around a theme of your choice. Each month, the photos are delivered to you directly.
Free GIF Creator Tools
Depending on your audience, GIFs can lead to strong ad performance and offer a creative option for a short and to-the-point visual. It’s not always easy to source a GIF that is on-brand, or aligns with your ad copy, which is why finding solid tools to create your own GIFs is ideal. Here are a couple of great, free (!) options.
This tool is well-known for its user-friendly UI and navigation and allows for multiple options around frame editing and speed adjustments. Best for converting statics to GIFs.
This app is also popular because of its ease of use in converting statics to GIFs. A great simple option for quick turnaround on GIF creating.
If you’re like me, you’ll find that these quickly find a home on your bookmark bar. Have fun playing with these tools, and enjoy the impact that fresh creative has on your accounts.