Best Free Design Tools to Create Social Media Graphics

Whether you’re a social media manager who’s looking for some free design tools or a designer looking for an easy place to create lists, we’ve compiled 25 of the best places with free design tools to help you improve your social media graphics.

A list of free social media graphics design tools and best premium social media graphics design tools. There is a new way to get cute and beautiful social media graphics that give your posts a boost in engagement and visual appeal. Let’s explore some design tools that will help you to create beautiful, eye catchy, and unique social media graphics so that you can drive more traffic from social media!

Canva (Web, iOS, Android, macOS, Windows)

Canva screenshot

Canva is a powerful, but still simple to use, template-based graphics design app. There are hundreds of thousands of templates, graphics, and photos you can use as part of the free plan (that goes up to millions of assets with a Canva Pro subscription). 

When you open Canva, you’re presented with dozens of possible templates for everything from posters to Instagram Posts. It’s a lot to navigate, but there’s great search built in. Just click the search bar in the top right of the screen and look for something like “birthday instagram stories” to see more specific options. (I got 160 suggested templates just for that.)

Once you’ve found a template to work from, the drag-and-drop editor makes it simple to add your own resources. Just click Uploads then Upload Media in the left sidebar, add any images or brand elements, and you can drop them straight into the editor. One tip: right-click on any element and click Send Back or Send Forward if you want to move it behind things like the text (which you can double-click on to edit) or the image frame. 

Like Google Docs, Canva enables you to share and collaborate with others, so if you want a second set of eyes on your design, click the Share button in the toolbar and then add an email address. 

When you’re done, click Download to save your post for, well, posting. If you’ve accidentally included any premium assets, you’ll have the option to pay to remove their watermarks (normally at about $1 per asset). It’s a handy option if you only occasionally use Canva. If this happens a lot, you can subscribe to Canva Pro for $12.95/month (or at least check out the 30-day free trial). Pro has heaps of extra designs, and some nice features, like automatic resizing, a social media scheduler, and the ability to upload your “brand kit,” so you can easily add your logo, brand colors, and font to your designs. 

Canva Price: Free for 250,000+ templates and 5GB storage; from $12.95/month for Canva Pro, which offers unlimited storage, millions of assets, and more.

Adobe Spark (Web, iOS, Android)

Adobe Spark screenshot

Adobe is the biggest name in graphic design, so it’s no surprise they have an app designed for making social media and web graphics. Adobe Spark (or Adobe Spark Post on mobile for the tools you want) isn’t as well known as Photoshop or Illustrator, but it’s better for most people. And it’s free to get started. 

As I write this, Spark claims to have more than 34,000 templates for you to work from. A good chunk of them are Premium templates, only available to subscribers, but there are still thousands available for free. (To me, it looks like it’s a roughly 50/50 split between free and Premium). 

Search isn’t as good with Spark as it is with Canva. The simplest way to get started is to select the kind of post you want to make from the home screen, then use the Templates search in the left sidebar to find the one you want, rather than to just search everything from the home screen. You can also create your own design using the IconsDesign Assets, and Backgrounds tabs in the sidebar, and, of course, adding your own photos (or pulling them from Pixabay) and text with the appropriate tools. 

One great feature of Spark is how easy it is to resize and reformat your posts for different social media platforms. In the right sidebar, click Resize, and then select the different post style or design. Spark will then make a best guess at reformatting everything to fit. It normally does a pretty good job, and it should only take you a few seconds with the admittedly lovely-to-work-with editor to fix any quirks. 

Spark is an excellent standalone editor, but it’s hard to overlook its integration with the rest of Adobe’s Creative Suite. If you plan to scale your business to the point where you need to use (and pay for) Adobe’s more powerful tools, Spark is the way to go. You can create libraries (in the Libraries tab of the sidebar) that are available across all your Adobe apps, pull in photos from Lightroom, and use Adobe Stock images. 

Beyond the Post (graphic) design type, Spark also provides two other project types: Pages and Videos (available as separate apps on iOS). With Pages, you can build a simple, sleek web page that you can then share via a direct link. Videos is just what it sounds like: a basic video editing app that works as smoothly as Spark’s graphic design tool. You can even start with a template that will help guide you through ideal video structures for presentations, ads, and more.

The main downside of Spark’s free plan is that Adobe adds a logo to the bottom corner of your design. If you click on this logo, it will say Remove Once, but, after lots of testing, the logo appears to be removable in all designs—you’ll just have to deal with that upgrade pop-up each time.

Adobe Spark Price: Free for basic features; from $9.99/mo for premium features, such as logo upload and placement, branded templates and tools. (These premium features also come with an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, starting with the $19.99/mo plan.)

Pablo

Pablo

Developed by the social sharing app Buffer, Pablo gives marketers the tools necessary to engage an audience. Create images to share immediately, or schedule them to post any time.

The tool boasts a wide selection of royalty-free images, and you can also upload your own. A text editor lets you overlay your messages or company logo.

With layouts optimized for Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, Pablo can start working for you right now.

 Pixlr

PixlR

Pixlr boasts Artificial Intelligence-powered tools and different versions of the software (“Advanced,” “Playful,” and legacy versions). It has the look and feel of powerful graphics programs like Photoshop. But there’s also an Express app for creating and editing social images quickly.

There are a wide variety of borders, layouts, overlays, effects, and more to choose from. You can upload images or create an image using your webcam.

On the downside, Pixlr is Adobe Flash-based. So you may have to adjust your web browser configuration to get it to work properly.

Conclusion

With these social media design tools, you can make social media graphics for networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. These online tools save you time for free!

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