Whether you are a business owner, freelancer or you work in the fields of marketing and advertising you know how important it is to portray the right image for your brand. There are countless graphic design tools that can create beautiful images and logos, however, not everyone has the time, budget or technical skill to feel comfortable in software such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign. In 2020 there are many tools available for graphic design and finding the right tool can seem daunting.
Luckily, our team of talented designers and marketers have compiled a selection of their favourite, free design tools. Now you can quickly and easily make quality graphics, and stay inspired by the many featured layouts and templates available in these platforms. There are several different factors that went into our rankings and you can bet our team put these tools to the test.
Each platform is ranked based on what it offers, its ease of use, flexibility and design options, storage space and existing, pre-designed templates available. These free tools create equal and even greater results than some of the best, high-quality design systems on the market today. So let’s dive in and explore the top 2 graphic design tools in 2020.
How to Choose the Right Design Tool
There are so many design tools available today and it can be difficult to narrow them down. Therefore, it is important to define what you are looking to do to find a tool that meets your needs. Ask yourself what you are trying to accomplish. Are you creating display ads, social media posts, video thumbnails, blog post images or you’re looking for a multi-use tool? Once you have defined your goals, it should be easier to determine which tools are available to meet your needs.
Secondly, it is very important that you find a tool that you are comfortable working with. If you are looking to create a quick social media post for your small business, for example, a tool like Photoshop may seem a bit daunting, but an alternative may have everything you need to create a quality post quickly. Do not settle for tools that interfere with your workflow, it’s important to use what’s best for you.
In our research for the top graphic design tools of 2020, we identified 2 platforms that have a clean workflow, easy-to-use interface and quality results. Head to head Crello is our runner up, it is incredibly easy to use, but as far as flexibility is concerned, our winner Visme allows for way more customization. These two platforms tie for storage availability and as far as pre-made templates go, Visme is the winner there. Visme also appeared to have a larger asset library within the platform but both platforms allow you to upload your own image assets. Let’s examine these two tools more closely.
This was certainly a difficult decision as both of these platforms are filled with free tools, tips and templates. Crello is our winner. We found that Crello really excels for those looking to make templates with minor edits and visual adjustments. It is an excellent tool for those with little to no design experience and there are both free and paid versions of this program. Crello’s headline reads “Anyone is a designer with Crello” they have made high-quality templates for those who are just starting out in the world of design. The program is free and simply requires an email to sign up.
What it Offers
Crello offers over 13,000 free, pre-defined templates for the most popular social media platforms in use today. These templates are pre-sized to fit Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more. It also has a variety of digital assets such as pre-sets for infographics, e-books and presentations. Crello offers templates for print media as well such as coupons, posters and business cards.
In addition to pre-sets, Crello allows for design editing as well. You can choose from a wide selection of stock images in their photo library, which is also free to use. You can select objects as well such as badges, shapes, illustrations, stickers, lines, masks and frames. Crello offers a wide variety of additional elements such as text style templates and upload options for custom fonts and backgrounds.
Flexibility, Storage and Other Assets
We tested each platform on their ease of use, flexibility, storage, templates, and assets offered. Here’s how Crello measured up.
Ease of Use
Crello is a very user-friendly tool, their website has plenty of tutorials available to guide first-time designers through the platform. The templates and asset libraries are very clear and easy to use. The tools in Crello are useful for those with a beginner to intermediate skill level. Overall this platform is ideal for beginners.
The only downside to Crello from a designers standpoint is it slack of flexibility and options for customization, there is not much freedom in the free account. However, for those who are interested, there are a lot of integrated tools in the pro version, these include animations as well as videos. Crello has stock video templates, or you can upload your own.
Crello allows for free, unlimited storage for upload and designs. It has an easy to use folder structure which is ideal for organizing your final visual assets.
Besides offering thousands of templates, Crello offers additional, free content and image assets. Choose from a massive library of stock photos, as well as video animations. Adding your own video animations from a library requires a pro account, but Crello allows you to do so much without a membership.
Crello is an excellent way to quickly and easily create eye-catching designs. Their template library is very well made and allows for a moderate amount of editing. It is perfect for people with little to no design experience, as well as those with intermediate design levels that are looking for inspiration as well as strong templates. The key takeaways are that Crello is great for those who are just getting started or those without any design experience. It’s simple and easy to use with the one downside being that it is slightly limiting in the level of customization available.
Perfect for social media posts and quick visuals.
Visme is our runner up and a very close contender, this powerful design tool has both free and paid options. The free account lets you choose from a pretty good selection of templates, use different tools and access a large library of visual assets. The tool is also very flexible and allows for customization, unlike Crello. With that being said, you may find yourself slightly limited with templates and storage on a free plan.
What it Offers
Visme offers a wide range of templates including layouts for presentations, infographics, documents, print media, web graphics and social media posts. You can use these templates on their own or customize them using the platform’s editing software.
Visme offers more freedom and design customization than Crello, while still having pre-made templates and image assets available. They offer pre-made graphics such as icons, shapes and photos. You can also upload your own video and audio files in the free version of this platform.
Visme is excellent for business presentations and they have suggested layouts and theme colours available. You can store and upload files into the system and access themes that you have recently used. Visme also has an excellent network of resources for those just learning how to use the platform. These include an in-depth blog section, video tutorials, webinars and e-books.
Flexibility, Storage and Other Assets
Ease of Use
The Visme asset library is very well organized. The platform has a lot to offer but due to a large number of options available, there is a bit of a learning curve to fully understand the capabilities. Visme comes across as much more business-oriented and it is excellent for those who are looking to put together a presentation for management or clients. One of the more unique features is the data option which is great for displaying infographics and other stats.
Visme is incredibly flexible and it allows beginners and designers alike, plenty of freedom, even while using the free version of the tool.
You can save designs you are working on and choose from recently used templates in your account. The free version offers 100 MB of storage with more storage available in the various paid plans. *The free plan limits you to 5 designs. If you are working on more than 5 designs at a time, you might want to consider a pro plan or a full fledged design tool such as Figma.
Visme offers a large library of photos, icons and even illustrations. The assets are also customizable when placed in the working frame so you can build upon the existing content available. Visme has limited sizing when it comes to templates when using the free account.
Visme is excellent for beginners and professionals alike. It gives you the opportunity to be more hands-on in the design process with its many customizable templates. It gives intermediate and advanced users more control over their visual designs. The downside to Visme is that there are limited templates available in the free account.
Perfect for infographics and presentations.
Choose What’s Best For You
Ultimately, choosing between these two platforms was difficult as they are intended for slightly different audiences. Crello was perfect for beginners with a straightforward user interface and easy to use pre-defined templates. Visme, on the other hand, provides much more flexibility and the free asset library outweighs anything Crello has to offer. It is ideal for those who are more advanced with some design experience, looking to customize the content available. If you have extra time to learn how to use Visme, you will be rewarded with the freedom and flexibility to create any visual asset you desire. However, if you are working within a tight timeframe and need inspiration or a beautifully designed visual asset, Crello is a fast and easy way to get the job done.
Graphic Design Services at ElementIQ
If you are looking for graphic design services in Coquitlam, BC, the team at ElementIQ has the experience and skill to create something eye-catching for your business. Whether you are looking for a new logo, a brand guide or infographics and a site redesign, we have the knowledge it takes to turn your ideas into a reality. Contact us with any questions you may have about our graphic design services and we would be happy to meet and discuss your goals.