You Don’t Need Photoshop: 3 Free & Easy Graphic Design Tools

If you’re running a small team and don’t have a graphic designer in house, it can be rough to get graphics.

You may need graphics done for social media posts, blog posts, website pages, PDF’s or print material.

So maybe you try to do it on your own. You can get a copy of Photoshop, which is the industry standard for graphic design. But it can be expensive and has a pretty steep learning curve.

Photoshop is powerful and I love using it, but it’s certainly not necessary for simple graphics.

You might try to outsource your graphics, but you run into cost issues, wait times, and sometimes not getting exactly what you want.

So what I’ve seen a lot of people do is pull together something in basic in Photoshop (because they don’t really know how to use the program), or try to find a pre-made graphic on Google – which may be copyrighted and doesn’t fit your brand all too well.

But there’s a better way. In fact, it’s something I do all the time.

There are free graphic designer programs that make it super easy to design to your hearts content with drag and drop interfaces. They’re easy to pick up even if you have no background experience. And best of all, they’re free!

I’m a graphic designer that knows Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator fairly well, and I use these programs to do most of my work. Why? Because for simple graphics, it’s simply easier and faster and opening up Photoshop.

Here are the best online tools for graphic design:

1 – Canva

Canva is a free online graphic design tool that I use the most. It has a slick and intuitive interface and is packed with features.

Free Graphic Design Tools - Canva

You can select from a number design types such as “Facebook cover” or “Pinterest post,” which gives you a canvas set at the correct dimensions. From there, you can start from scratch or pick a pre-made template to edit. It allows you to easily play around with layouts, backgrounds, text, and objects, as well as adjust the lighting and colors of your designs.

Canva is free on your web browser, and they also have an iPad app.

2 – BeFunky

BeFunky is primarily a photo editor and it does an excellent job at it. It’s limited in design objects, but excels at photo editing and filters.

Free Graphic Design Tools - BeFunky

There are an incredibly large amount of filters and overlays that you can apply to your photos to give them any look and feel you want. With each overlay and filter, you can tweak and fine-tune it as well. There are also basic options to add text and graphic elements to your photo.

BeFunky is free on your browser as well as an app for iOS and Android.

3 – Fotor

Fotor has 3 modules that you start off with: Edit, Collage, or Design. Each module gives you a different set of tools and features depending on what you are primarily doing.

Free Graphic Design Tools -Fotor

Edit allows you to edit photos. You first upload a photo, and are giving a bunch of features to tweak and manipulate it. Collage lets you stitch together multiple photos. Design is more a of a graphic designer, and provides you with layouts, text styles, and design elements that you can drag around and create with.

Fotor is free in your browser or as an app on iOS and Android.


All these programs do very similar functions, but have slightly different features and interfaces. Canva is much  more design oriented, while BeFunky is much more photo-editing focused. Fotor has options to do both pretty well, though not to the capabilities of the other 2 in their respective areas.

Try all of them briefly and just see which one you like better, or use the one that best fits your project.

I guarantee that using one of these will save you time and money while giving your graphics a boost in quality. Find some great free stock photos to use as a starter background and design away.

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