In terms of motion graphics and animation, the selection of free graphic design tools may be somewhat limited – however, Synfig Studio is there for you. This tool specializes in 2D animation and is highly versatile. It lets you create animated graphics and videos with your art style. You can design vector art through its UI or import already drawn elements and implement them into motion graphics. Synfig Studio may not be up to par with Adobe CC (very few tools are, really), but it is a wonderful free graphic design tool.
While 3D graphics may not be a standard affair for most graphic designers, it’s still worth noting that free tools such as Blender are available online. Blender is open-source 3D drawing software used by multiple studios and animators to create animated movies, shorts, and advertisement content. Using Blender enables you to create motion graphics in three dimensions, ranging from stylized cartoon graphics to photorealistic renders, depending on what you need. Similar to other open-source tools, Blender features a repository of scripts and VFX, which you can download on a project-to-project basis.
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Corporate graphic design is often very utilitarian, and designers are tasked with creating charts, graphs, and other data visualization graphics on short notice. Instead of doing everything manually, you can refer to Easelly, a free tool created specifically with infographic design in mind. Easelly allows designers to produce anything from report cards, presentations, and statistical data visuals to visual how-to guides and tooltips. This tool combines creativity and utility, and you will never run out of ideas for data visualization, given its template library.
Why should you Bookmark Free Graphic Design Resources?Graphic design is arguably one of the most creative and accessible industries on the digital market. Graphic designers can specialize in a wide range of niches such as brand design, packaging or book design, typography, and illustration to name a few. However, not everyone can afford a university education or expensive courses to get started with graphic design.
Moreover, professional software suites such as Adobe Creative Cloud are very expensive and out of reach for many who want to work as graphic designers. Instead of abandoning your goals to become a professional designer yourself, here’s a list of free graphic design resources you should bookmark. These will help you whether you’re a novice, a student, or an experienced designer, so take the time to go through them and learn something new.
Canva is an all-in-one free graphic design resource that you can use to create a plethora of visual projects. Its UI allows you to work on social media content, presentations, and even videos, all while giving you access to its library of free templates. You will get a lot of free background and free textures as well as tons of elements to create beautiful designs. The benefit of using Canva is that it is user-friendly as a great starting point for novice graphic designers. This means that you can have your next logo, poster, or social media post done in a matter of minutes, making Canva an essential resource.
Krita is a free vector-based graphic design tool that originated as a Linux-based application. Today, Krita is fully supported by its open-source community and represents a free tool that every designer should use. Similar to Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw, Krita allows designers to create vector graphics and export them in various file formats. The characteristic feature of Krita is that it allows downloading additional plugins and extensions based on the project you are currently working on, extending its functionality.
Color theory in graphic design represents a niche of its own, with different color modes and palettes suited to diverse projects and print surfaces. Adobe Color is a free graphic design tool by Adobe that allows designers to mix and match color hues and create complementary compositions. Adobe Color’s functionality extends to ready-made color mix libraries as well as the ability to export said colors to your personal Adobe account. The tool is free, and you can transfer color codes to other graphic design tools for using them without Adobe software.
Typography is one of the essential graphic design fields, and it enables designers to dabble into copywriting without hiring professional writers. Free tools such as FontForge should be an integral part of any graphic designer’s toolset, allowing for top-to-bottom creation of new fonts. This can be paired with your own writing, which you can create through additional reading. Using FontForge will further extend your design possibilities and allow you to create visuals for social media and blog posts.
GIMP is a free graphic design tool very similar to Adobe Photoshop in its functionality. It allows designers to modify photos and create raster-based designs with access to additional macros and plugins depending on the project. GIMP has a very professional UI and is based on C and Python languages, meaning it is highly versatile. The tool comes packed with a library of brushes, filters, templates, and other ready-made elements, which you can implement into your graphic design projects.
Colorcinch is a web-based graphic design and photo editing tool that allows anyone to create personalized artwork. It has a clean, intuitive interface that lets you craft cover arts, banners, blog & social media posts, and any graphic content with just a few clicks. You can play around with its library of premium vector graphics & icons, masks, overlays, and frames. And transform any photo with hundreds of unique filters and effects like cartoonizer, sketcher, painting, and much more. The tool also comes with a text editor and free-hand drawing. The user-friendly layers panel makes it very easy to add and organize elements to your artwork. Colorcinch can be a go-to tool for non-designers.
Now that we’ve covered some of the most useful free resources you should bookmark as a graphic designer, let’s quickly address their advantages. Why exactly should you go out of your way to find new tools to use in your graphic design projects? The truth is that each client will come with their own set of expectations.
Some clients may need a new banner or business card designed, while others may want you to create a new font or vector art mascot. Different projects will inherently require you to juggle several tools, file formats, and art styles to meet your clients’ expectations. What are the benefits of using the above-mentioned free resources?
- Ability to implement diverse graphic design projects for digital publication and print
- Focus on delivering great creative content instead of gathering resources
- Access to numerous custom-made templates, brushes, fonts, and vectors
- Quickly undo errors and modify creative solutions through different tools
- Cloud-based graphic design tools allow you to work entirely through your browser
Making the Most out of Free Graphic Design Resources (Conclusion)
As with any tool or piece of software you use, the graphic design resources you bookmark will only be useful to you over time. Give each of them a shot and see if you can apply your graphic design theory to their features to get amazing results. Adapt to a new digital era in graphic design and start bookmarking free graphic and web design resources. You never know when one of them might come in handy.
Author Bio: Linda Ferguson is a professional content creator, copywriter, and digital publishing specialist with extensive experience as an editor. Linda specializes in writing articles, essays, case studies, and research in the digital marketing and content development niches. She is a passionate writer and loves to communicate theoretical concepts and practical advice through written words. In her spare time, Linda is a bookworm and a life coach.