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10 Easy Design Tools For Social Media Visuals

Creating attractive visuals is an essential part of social media management but most of us are communicators, not designers. We need tools that make it easy for us to be creative, and enable us to keep our social media posts looking professional and on-brand.

There are some brilliant cost-effective tools available to aid non-designers in creating spectacular-looking visuals without the need to employ the services of a specialist (side note: we are talking social here and these tools rarely replace the need for accomplished design professionals in other marketing).

The list below includes a mixture of desktop and mobile tools. The ability to design using your mobile is incredibly useful when you’re out of the office and need to create and share on-the-go. Some of these tools are paid for while others are free, and they are split into mobile and desktop categories as some don’t work quite as well on one as they do the other.

Tools that work best for mobile

Phonto

A free typography tool with the ability to add text to images in your mobile, including effects such as colour-blocking backgrounds. You can also share images directly to your social media accounts. There is a video version called Vont, a free app that allows you to add text to videos.

Over

Also a free typography tool but with additional effects such as applying blurs, adding layers, full resolution photo saving and the ability to rotate text. The app offers a “thumb-friendly” navigation style designed to work better on larger-screened phones.

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Typorama

A great typography tool for the creation and generation of text overlays for your photos, but it’s only available on iOS. It includes over40 typographic styles, advanced crop options, 3D text distortion, partial eraser, text shadows, color gradient tools, professional photo filters, overlays and adjustment tools.

WordSwag

Another typography tool currently only available on iOS, Wordswag actually includes hundreds of stock quotes, thoughts, and jokes to help inspire you to come up with ideas. This short video demonstrates how it works…

Studio

This tool has only been available for a short time, but it’s great for pre-made captivating designs that can be “remixed” and shared to Facebook and Instagram directly from the app. It’s not just a collaborative visual design tool, but a social media platform with a community too. Plus, it’s free!

Brandr

A new tool in the world of mobile design from the makers of Studio, this is specially created for small businesses. It provides marketers with a way to load logos onto images as well as access to analytics and sharing with colleagues, but for a monthly fee.

Tools that work best for desktop

Canva

This is my personal favourite. It’s a user-friendly tool for creating striking content with sharing potential. There are free and paid versions and lots of designs, layouts, sizes, graphics and images to choose from. Some choices are free and some are available at the modest price of $1. The ability to join forces with other team members, create templates, arrange visuals into folders, add visual effects, as well as add logos, fonts and brand colours is a huge bonus.

Canva

 

Relay

A useful, automated tool where you can upload and store your business resources and then add to your images. If you change the resources, the tool will apply the amendments automatically to all of your designs, making life a lot easier if you are creating batch visuals. Relay is $12/month or $8/month if you pay annually.

DesignFeed

Similar to Relay and also very simple to use with convenient access to stock image libraries, it has the ability to generate images spontaneously based on the text you input. It has an algorithm that learns what you love, and creates and feeds you ready-to-post designs for your social marketing.

Unsplash

Not technically a design tool, but it’s definitely worth mentioning as it’s another personal favourite of mine! It’s a free high resolution photo website with a huge selection to choose from. You can search and organise photos you like into collections when you create an account, which can be really useful for bundling themes together to pick from later.

Unsplash

Bethany Carter,  May 31, 2016

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