I have put together a list of (mostly) free tools to help with creating engaging social media posts and beautifully branded marketing materials. This is split into two categories: design software and images.

Design Software

  • Canva

canva.com/

The free version of Canva is simple to use with a range of inbuilt icons for creating infographics and a great selection of photos and layouts.

  • Adobe Spark

spark.adobe.com/

Adobe Spark is an online tool for quickly creating engaging graphics, social media posts, videos, flyers, slide shows, webpages and more. The free version does leave you with a small Adobe Spark watermark in the bottom corner but this is not that noticeable on social media posts.

  • Adobe products

tt-exchange.org/product/7834/adobe-cc-all-apps-plan-access-discounted-rates

Although not free, charities can receive discounted rates on the Adobe package including Photoshop, InDesign, Premier Pro, Dreamweaver and Illustrator through tt-exchange. Visit the tt-exchange website for rates. 

  • Any Image

anyimage.io

Create clickable social cards – up to 10 a month for free. This gives your followers on social media the ability to click anywhere on your image to drive them to your website. Watch their short explainer video to find out how it works.

Images

It is always best to try and get real life photos of the work that you do but that is not always the easiest to capture. Here are a few sources for high quality photos…

  • Pexels

pexels.com/

Pexels offers thousands of copyright free photos for you to use.

  • Unsplash

unsplash.com/

Unsplash has plenty of free stock images.

  • Pixabay

pixabay.com/

Over 1.6 million royalty free stock photos and videos.

  • Google images

Here is how to access copyright free images on Google:

1. Head to Google images

2. Search for what you are looking for

3. Select Tools

4. Select Usage rights

5. Click ‘labelled for re-use’ or if you are planning on modifying the image then ‘labelled for reuse with modification’

  • Pixlr

Pixlr is a free photo editing app for Android and iOS. There are over 2 million combinations of free effects, overlays and filters. Once you’re done, share your finished work directly to your social channels.

The amount of tools out there can be overwhelming and putting time aside to learn new software is not always a priority. These are just a handful of free, useful resources to aid your graphic design – you just need to find the right tools for what you need to achieve.

What tools are you using to help create visual masterpieces? Let me know what I missed via email hannah@kentcf.org.uk or Twitter (@KentCommunity)

Hannah Lawrence, Communications Executive - connect with me on LinkedIn

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