It’s hard to replace a really good graphic designer – they’ve got some ‘mad’ skills that take years to learn, along with a natural ability to match colours and place content in ways that are often foreign to non-designers (such as a healthy respect for ‘white space’). If you’re lucky enough to have a graphic designer on your team, then the pain point of having to come up with attractive and engaging graphics for your blog or social media channels won’t be a problem for you.

Now if you are like many small and medium-sized business or a  sole entrepreneur trying to do everything on a budget then you need to know about some of the awesome graphic design tools that are either free to use or offer a free ‘limited functionality option’.

With all of these sites, my tip would be to find some time to just play and experiment with what you can do. While they are generally easy to use, they still have some learning curve, and if you are trying to create something under pressure it might be stressful. It should be fun!

If you are wondering how these sites can do this for free (or partially free), you are the product (there’s usually advertising somewhere).

Spring collage of Christchurch Scenes

Pixlr Express

First up, one of my personal ‘go to’ sites for creating quick photo montages. I use this site all the time, despite the fact that I’ve been using Photoshop for longer than I can remember (it may have been since the 90’s). But when it’s late at night, I’ve spent an entire day at the computer this is the site I use. https://pixlr.com/express/

If you need a few more design options, Pixlr has a fuller-featured version of the editor online at https://pixlr.com/editor/

Stencil

An easy to use website that comes with a set of pre-designed social media templates that you can edit to your own requirements – add your own text and photos, or use one of their photos from their library. Check it out at https://getstencil.com

Canva

Canva is another online design website that is much like Stencil to use. Check it out at https://www.canva.com

Spark by Adobe

You can sign up for a free account with Adobe Spark – or if you are a Creative Cloud subscriber you can log in to the service with your Adobe ID. Check it out at https://spark.adobe.com

Other Design Sites I’ve Found Online

That should be enough sites to get you started. You can also try searching for yourself – just look for ‘online graphics design site’.