When it comes to designing marketing materials, you can spend hours (days??) sucked into a DIY trap or countless back-and-forth emails (and precious dollars) working with a designer. The cost for design software can add up pretty quickly, especially if you have more than one designer on your team. Oh, and then don’t forget about purchasing stock photography. So what do you do when you want to create compelling material, but need to trim the costs? Check out some of our favorite creative tools that can help you design for free.


     If you’re a graphic designer then you know how amazing Photoshop is, but you also know it’s pretty expensive. Luckily, there are alternatives to the popular photo-editing software. One of the more widely used is Canva. This powerful editing software allows you to pick templates and adjust the font to design just about anything social media-related, including infographics. You can also create everything from Facebook covers to book covers. Canva is 100% online and you will need to be connected in order to use it.


      One of the best sources for free fonts is a web site dafont.com. You can download a font for free with an option to donate to the font’s artist. The site offers a huge collection of fonts and the layout of the webpage is easy to use. You can do a word search for the font you want or you can browse through the many themes that are available. Another website called urbanfonts.com has a vast collection of free fonts and they also offer premium fonts for a price.

Photos and Videos

      Getting stock images is a great way to cut down on costs for photos. But purchasing multiple stock photos can add up. Thankfully, there are a few places to go where you can find free photos for your project. Unsplash.com is a popular website with a wide variety of images from photographers across the world. You can browse through their categories or search by keyword. A great feature of this website is that it shows related photos based on images you select.  

      Another fantastic source for free stock photography and videos is pexels.com. The photos and videos on this website are professional quality with a high production appearance. A nice feature is that you can follow artists you like, similar  to social media platforms. This is a great way to easily access the style of photography the matches your brand without combing through hundreds of pages of images.


     Finding good, royalty-free music can be quite a challenge. One of the best sources out there is the Free Music Archive. This site is a wealth of information and includes resources to explain exactly how you can tell if music is commercially licensed.

     Designing compelling content doesn’t have to break the bank! Use these tools to generate beautiful (and affordable) graphics, videos and photos that make your brand and business stand out.