Social media is one of the greatest resources we have at our disposal to reach our audience. Every day, a huge number of people around the globe visit social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. People not only go on to consume short media content in the form of videos, images and GIFs – but also share their own stories. If you’re looking for a way to grab your audience’s attention, social media graphics are an excellent option to do so.
Even if you can't afford a designer, if you use the right tools, your graphics don't have to look any different than those of a design pro. There are some great free design apps out there you can use to create amazing social media graphics—no graphic design experience is necessary. The greatest free programs for making social media graphics are listed below.
Social media graphic design—what makes a great app?
Social media images are the quickest and easiest way to share your stories, products, and personality with your audience. When it comes to creating them, most people try to freehand it and often end up with crappy-looking stuff. You may even think that you don't have a choice about how you create these things. But that's completely false: there are excellent graphic design apps for making social media posts fast and painless - so stop settling for average images!
It’s great when you get to publish amazing photos and graphics for your social media channels. It’s not so good when doing everything by hand takes too much time, which leaves you precious little time to actually be on social media. Sure you could pay someone to be on social media — but all of us have to start somewhere, and you can use a powerful suite of FREE graphic design apps and online tools.
Social media post makers are an excellent tool for businesses and professionals as they allow you to create beautiful graphics in a fast and intuitive way. Oftentimes, you can use them without any design skills whatsoever. If it's your first time creating graphics for social media or if you're always looking for new ways to jazz up your visual updates, then these apps will save you a ton of time. We primarily considered each app's overall ease of use and professional offerings, but we also had some specific criteria that each app had to achieve in order to be included on this list:
- How easy is this app for anyone to use? Social media management can be a challenge because the platforms are ever-changing and there are different elements, which need to be monitored for each channel. It can come across as overwhelming to people that haven't dealt with it before. That’s why I’m so excited about Canva, a simple online tool that helps you generate awesome designs whether you have no design background or don’t want to learn complex software like Photoshop.
- How social media-friendly is this app? As you know, visuals are very important in social media marketing . They allow your audience to glance at an image and get a better understanding of what you’re trying to tell them. That’s why many social networks have reduced the character cap for status updates. Images and videos just communicate better.
- How do you find the app experience? I searched high and low for a graphic design app that would do it all — something that had every possible tool to design every piece of content you could imagine. Canva may not have every feature you can think of, but it has a massive library with all kinds of elements to use in your designs.
Graphic design software that are free
Canva is a design tool that's simple to use and has everything you need to add effects, change text size and color, and create other customized content. With its huge library of free-to-use images, fonts, icons, templates, and layouts — it's a great tool for bloggers just getting started.
Canva is free graphic design software that lets anyone create incredible images for social media, blogs, and more. Canva is a great alternative to using Facebook or Instagram's built-in image creator. When you use Canva on the desktop, Canva loads up with several starter templates. These are super easy to edit and make for quick work of creating professional-looking graphics.
The first thing that strikes you about the Canva editor is how friendly the drag-and-drop interface is. The buttons on the top toolbar let you place boxes or content elements around your page and add other elements to what's currently there. They are also a great way of adjusting images and text boxes as they always retain their original proportions, so hiding a side or corner will preserve that part of the image, for example.
Canva, like Google Docs, allows you to collaborate and share your work with others, so if you need a second opinion on your design, click the Share option in the toolbar and send it to someone else.
The free Canva has a generous selection of layouts and designs to choose from, but you'll only be able to use them once. If you want to use the same designs regularly, then you'll need to upgrade to Canva Pro for $12.95/month(Or, at the very least, take advantage of the 30-day free trial). It's worth it if you regularly design presentations or graphics, but I prefer the free version as a one-off image creator.If you accidentally included any premium assets in your design, Canva will give you the option to remove their watermarks (usually about $1 per asset).
Canva Price: Canva Pro, which has 100GB of storage, millions of assets, and more, costs $12.95 per month and includes 250,000+ templates and 5GB of cloud storage.
Snappa is an online graphic design and website building tool for freelancers and small businesses. Although not as well-known as its competitors, it features top-notch design templates and thousands of stock images, graphics, icons, and fonts. Snappa's free plan lets you create a website in minutes—try it out today.
Snappa has a free plan which is a great place to start if you only occasionally need to create small graphics for your website or social media accounts. You don't need to set up an account, can just skip straight to the no-frills editor, and there's totally no pressure to upgrade if you don't want to—though if you're doing this kind of thing every week, it's well worth paying for the Pro version, which comes with extra fonts and more layouts.
Snappa's greatest strength is that it doesn't use any of its own themes. You can choose from a number of stock Wordpress themes, or use your own custom setup if you're really confident in your DIY prowess. This might at first seem less flexible than some other options—especially if you want something bespoke with a bunch of individual pages pre-built—but it also means there's no theme editor to slow you down as you start playing with layouts.
Snappa lets you create stunning, professional covers that stand out from the crowd. After signing up, you’ll be immediately sent to the cover creation page—no more annoying registration forms! And once you start, you won’t need to leave the page because almost everything can be done within the browser, whether it's choosing a template, adding a background layer, or getting your hands on graphic elements like text boxes and different shapes to get creative.
With Snappa, there is no limit to the number of times you can post your images as long as you choose 'Display' when you go to Share. Since this option doesn't require you to leave the app, and also keeps the rights to your design, it's a great way to save a lot of images while pushing them directly out.
Snappa Price: 3 downloads or shares per month are free. Snappa Pro is available for $10 a month and includes unlimited downloads, shares, and connection with Buffer and your social media accounts.
Desygner is on the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to simplicity. It has a great selection of high-quality images and templates but also some advanced features like freehand drawing, importing from PDF, PSD, or SVG files, and a creative library of stamps and frames.
Your style is your brand, which is why Desygner offers built-in brand assets. You can create a custom palette to use consistently throughout your designs, upload and save high-quality photos, and create useful assets like line sheets and user guides on the free plan.You may use it to make a color palette, upload photos, and add custom text snippets, among other things.
Desygner allows you to collect web and mobile design elements for download and reuse. There are two ways to collect elements: either from individual websites or from your own photo library. Once you've decided how you want to add them, they are then organized into a set of “boards”. These boards show the design element as well as its original source. You can access your boards via the sidebar and then search for them using the search bar.
If you're a designer who needs to create multiple designs every week or so, Desygner can definitely save you a lot of time. You can quickly grab a template and start using the interface to make all colours and graphics appear in a matter of seconds. Other editing tools have hundreds of settings to make graphics even easier, so it's just a case of converting your design into the Desygner file format and posting it online .
Desygner Price: Free but For more templates and assets, as well as capabilities like saving your own designs as templates, you must pay $9.95 each month.
Adobe Creative Cloud Express is a tool you can use to make great-looking graphics for social media and the web. It's perfect for beginners, but it's more powerful than you might think. It includes tons of free templates and stock images that you can use to get started quickly. It also offers training videos and tips from experts on how best to use the app.
If you love Adobe Creative Cloud but don't have the budget to subscribe, maybe CC Express is your solution. With access to thousands of free templates and professional design tools at your fingertips, it's never been easier to create beautiful visual assets for social media, ads, logos and more — no experience required.
If you're a Creative Cloud subscriber and use the Spark apps, you'll enjoy the improved user experience and new design in CC Express. It's still a really easy way to edit photos, create graphics and layouts, create web pages, and make short videos for social media. Best of all it works seamlessly across all Adobe apps: you can share a photo from Lightroom on your phone to Spark Post on your iPad with a couple taps.
The app is simple and uncluttered. It has a basic dark theme with white text that makes for really clean layouts, which is nice if you're editing on a tablet or phone. In the bottom left, you have an "Add Design Element" button to start a new project, and various icons to choose your social network of choice -- right now, it's Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Selecting any of them will bring up a list of recent images that the social network has decayed into Creative Cloud from its users' accounts. You can scroll through these or search for something specific. Make your next post stand out with easy photo retouching, applying filters like Sepia and Polaroid, or adding advanced layer effects like textures and lighting. You can even save custom edits to use again later.
Creative Cloud Express is an excellent choice if you're just getting familiar with Adobe's creative toolkit. It's an easy-to-use, standalone app with excellent social media image templates that make it easy to jump right in and start creating. If you know how to use the basics of a more powerful tool like Photoshop, Illustrator, or Premier Pro, you won't feel like you're limited in Creative Cloud Express -- but if you need help, the app also features a support section that links out to full tutorials for each element of your projects.
Adobe Creative Cloud Express Price: Basic capabilities and 2GB of cloud storage are free; premium features, including logo upload and placement, branded templates and tools, and 100GB of cloud storage, start at $9.99 per month.
Pablo is a free, modern tool for adding text to photos online. You've probably seen memes on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or other social networks. Within seconds you can create images that look professionally made using Pablo. As the team says of their newer creation, Pablo is all about simplicity.
Pablo is a simple post-creation software. When you visit the website, you'll be taken right to the app. Because there are no accounts, there is no need to create one. A preview of your photograph appears in the center of the screen. On the left, you may use Unsplash to find an image or click Upload Image to upload your own. At the top of the screen, click Templates to choose from one of the six defaults. On the right, you can alter the canvas's size and form, apply a filter, arrange the text, and add a logo or other graphic.. Click on the text to change its formatting, double-click on it to edit it directly. That's literally it. Out of all these steps — and all these steps are basic ones that should be absolutely part-and-parcel of any blog post generator — there's only one that deserves credit: repositioning via sliding squares or markers (example). That is astounding in its simplicity, especially when compared to any number of clunky third-party generators -- including some by way of Google itself!
We all know that the quality of images available on the web is often lacking at best. That’s why Pablo, Pablo by Buffer’s free image editor, was born. Pablo lets you upload an image from your device or computer and edit it before sharing. Or you can simply drag and drop an image from your desktop and add a quote, meme, meme generator, emoji — whatever you want to add to it.
If you’re looking for a killer social media image creator, check out Pablo by Buffer . It makes it so easy to create a beautiful-looking image that looks good on any social media platform (with no more than three color options), and you’ll find yourself using it for every piece of content you share.
Pablo Price: Free
Crello is a free graphic design app that allows users to create stunning graphics for social media, presentations, and posters for free. The platform has over 25,000 editable templates and over 10,000 design elements that include photos, illustrations, and shapes. Crello is available as either an iOS or Android app.
Pixlr is an app that can help you create social media graphics on your phone. While it's true that all the features here aren't strictly photo editing (as they do offer a variety of other, more advanced options), Pixlr offers a great selection of tools for creating and editing images.
Easil makes it easy to create a wide variety of social media graphics, infographics, posters, and other visuals.
It’s a great tool for beginners because it comes with design templates that you can customize to meet your needs. You can change the fonts, and colors and even add photos, icons, or illustrations. Easil also lets you easily collaborate with others on projects.
Fotor is a unique photo editor and design maker with which you can create any image for free.
- Fotor makes it easy to improve the look of your photos. Want to add filters, text, or stickers? The Fotor design tool makes it a breeze.
- Fotor comes with a range of basic and advanced editing tools, so you can easily enhance images with just a couple of clicks. You can also use the photo editor to retouching your photos and applying effects.
If you’re looking for an app that has a lot of features like this one, but without the price tag, Fotor will be right up your street!
You can create stunning graphics in seconds. You can add text to your images, which makes it easy to create social media content that pops. It’s simple to use, but still gives you control over the type of look you want to achieve—and you don’t need any design skills.
You can use the free version with a watermark, or upgrade to the paid version if you want access to more features without the watermark.
BeFunky is an easy-to-use design app that offers a simple user interface. It has a huge library of stock photos and illustrations, as well as plenty of templates to choose from. Templates include Instagram posts, Facebook covers, Pinterest graphics and so much more. The BeFunky mobile app also makes it easy to create designs on the go—so if you feel inspired while you’re out and about and want to quickly knock out a design, BeFunky can help with that.
This design app also offers a variety of effects for your images—including color splash, overlays, and more—plus filters for when you want to change up the look of your design. You can even add text to your images using one of the many fonts available on the platform.
If you want a free and easy way to create presentations, infographics, content visuals, and banner ads that are simply gorgeous, have full functionality, and are totally customizable, then Visme is the app for you.
This tool is so easy to use that anyone can create fantastic designs in minutes. You can even add animations and transitions to make your work stand out from the crowd.
Visme offers a ton of features that will help you design amazing social media graphics:
- Customizable templates: Need some inspiration? Get started with built-in templates so you can create engaging designs quickly.
- Media library: The drag-and-drop feature makes it easy for anyone to add videos, images, links, and audio files.
- Collaborate in real-time: Work with others on your next project by inviting them to your Canva account directly from the app or website.
Adobe Spark is a free graphic design app that allows you to create social media graphics, web stories, and animated videos--all in one place.
The app includes hundreds of templates for creating social media graphics, web stories, and animated videos that allow you to use your own images or select from thousands of free photos included in the app. The app also provides a range of ready-to-use themes designed for different purposes ranging from creating content for Facebook cover pictures to sharing a story about your company on Instagram.
Using Adobe Spark’s free online design tools, you can easily modify template text and add your own photos to create something truly unique. And since all content is automatically saved to the cloud, it's easy to pick up where you left off from any device (i.e., laptop or mobile phone).
Social Graphic Designer by Venngage
With the Social Graphic Designer, you can create beautiful images for all your social media needs. You don't need any design skills to use the designer. Simply drag and drop elements onto your canvas and edit them to fit your brand.
If you are looking for a social graphic designer that was made with marketers in mind, Social Graphic Designer is the tool for you!
If you’re a beginner who wants to learn to create professional-looking reports, graphics, and presentations, then Piktochart is one of the best apps to use. With loads of templates and 1-click design features, it’s easy to create beautiful-looking designs without any knowledge at all.
You can use their ready-made templates or edit them using their easy drag-and-drop editor. This app is cloud-based, so you don’t have to worry about saving your work or keeping different versions – it does it for you. You can also collaborate with other users when working on projects together - great for creating presentations or infographics as a team.
Stencil is a web app that makes it easy for non-designers to create engaging images. It's a quick and easy way to bring your social media graphics up to scratch, with the only catch being that you'll have to add their branding watermark to your images. If you don't mind that, Stencil offers a range of templates, stock photos, and backgrounds. And if you're creating infographics, it has some handy tools such as arrows and icons built-in.
Whether you need an image for Instagram or Facebook, Stencil has got you covered with free templates made specifically for each platform (its paid version allows users to add custom dimensions). You can also find blog post headers, infographics and even e-book covers in its ever-growing library of templates.
You can use Stencil on Macs, PCs or Linux computers via its website or download the Chrome extension.
Bannersnack is an online design tool that lets you create banner ads in minutes. With Bannersnack you can:
- Create static, animated or interactive banners
- Choose from a library of more than 10,000 premade images and 500 fonts
- Edit your images with the help of more than 100 customizable templates
- Use the built-in HTML5 editor to customize your ad
Kigo Image Editor Lite for Mac computers
This is a desktop-based program that offers a free trial, so if you're looking for a one-time solution, this could be it. Kigo is Mac only; sorry PC users!
The image editor has an easy-to-use interface with familiar editing tools such as crop, text and color adjustments, effects, and resizing options. You can work with layers on top of your original photo to add text, shapes, and icons. You can also use Photoshop plugins.
It's a wrap
There are plenty of options for graphic designers who don't want to spend any money. You'll find dozens of free apps, such as Canva, Fotor, and Pixlr; free stock image sites, like Unsplash and Pexels; free icon libraries, including Flat Icon and Font Awesome; and free fonts from Google Fonts, Adobe Typekit, or any of the other font foundries that offer typefaces for download.
Don't have time to create your own graphics? No problem. There are a number of marketplaces where you can purchase pre-made graphics from other designers, including Creative Market and Envato Market.