Design tools are becoming popular as more individuals use them, and so are small businesses. It helps organizations create designs for their website, social media campaign, and content marketing strategy. Since small businesses cannot afford to spend much, using such tools can reduce costs. Instead of getting professionals, small business owners can learn how to create a logo, design their website, and more with these user-friendly design tools.
The design tool used depends on the industry of the business. Engineers and architects require interior or CAD software for their work, social media marketing firms need tools to create campaigns and track them, and graphic and web designers will use tools that will help them reach their goal. Therefore, not all design tools mentioned in this article apply to all industries. It often depends on the needs of the company.
Best Design Tools for Small Businesses
Small businesses are the backbone of the economy. According to World Trade Organization, 90% of the business population is made up of small to medium-sized businesses. They are accountable for 60-70% of employment and 55% of GDP in developed countries.
Stock images are often used by companies that don’t want to take time to create new content. These online images are legal to use. However, the downside to using stock images is that other businesses use the same too. So, what better way is to look for a design tool that offers stock images that are unique and built from UGC content.
Unsplash is a website with millions of UGC images that you can use for free. You don’t need any permission or license to use the image posted by the user. However, you are given the option to credit the image owner or not. You can download as many images as you want with different themes and aesthetics that meet your requirements.
You can download images with or without an account, and everything is free.
Canva is the ultimate go-to online program by small businesses, graphic designers, and other designing teams. It is an online platform that can create anything you need, from social media banners to invitations. They have various ready-made templates you can use for creating your design. Plus, you can access it with a free account.
They have a vast library of pre-built templates and set measurements for various designs you require. It includes social media posts, logos and banners, email headers, and even book covers. You can also make your own designs and add them to the template you are creating.
Start a brand portfolio by uploading your logo and font and using their HEX code color selection to use your brand colors. The ideal technique to ensure that all of your imagery is cohesive and on-brand! After you’ve finished your design, you can save it in different formats to make it ready for the web or print. Canva has also recently integrated Unsplash, a free picture repository, straight onto their website. Therefore, eliminating the need to travel elsewhere for stock photography.
It is available for free, albeit with limited functionality. You can, however, create a professional account to gain access to more clip art, templates, text styles, and other features. There are four paid options to choose from (Pro, Enterprise, Non-profit, and Education).
GIMP is an open-source graphic design application that you may download on your computer. It’s similar to Photoshop with terrific design features.
Although it has a different interface than Photoshop, it still contains a full set of tools to help you create graphics, including tried-and-true favorites like paint, clone, and color correction. GIMP lets you crop and resize images fast and efficiently, remove backgrounds, add layers and filters, and do just about everything else you’d need to do with images regularly.
The best part about GIMP is that it makes it much easier to edit existing graphics, regardless of file type. The days of tracking down the designer or original file for an existing graphic to make minor changes are long gone.
- Brushes, high-quality aliasing, blend tools, and a gradient editor
- Save animations in the frame-as-layer format
- Customizable brushes and patterns
- SVG allows import and export
- There are a variety of plugins available
- Clone tool to eliminate extraneous details
- Supports popular to unique file formats
Piktochart is another fantastic design tool that makes creating infographics, presentations, reports, flyers, and posters a breeze. You can create an infographic in minutes using their free templates or start from scratch using drag-and-drop modules.
Piktochart’s free edition is a simple but effective infographic tool for novices. Furthermore, it allows you to use your own custom colors, photos, and logos.
However, Piktochart doesn’t allow users to download their creations in a PDF format.
- Design Toolkit
It includes tools to create infographics, blog or social media pages, and more. Also, you can embed videos, maps, and charts. Piktochart has HTML publishing features to upload work faster. It’s easy to use for beginners, and professionals will enjoy the additional tool for their design making.
- Beginner Friendly
Whether you are a beginner or professional, Piktochart can work for anyone. The interface is simple and easy to use. Navigation of tools can be accessible. It includes templates for editing projects quickly with multiple themes to choose from. You can create anything you want quickly.
- For Various Platforms
Piktochart is for various projects, such as websites, social media pages, reports, visual aid tools, and blogs. You can customize how you want to save your work from PNG to PDF and share them with your workmates.
- Multiple Templates and Assets
Piktochart offers unlimited templates to guide in designing your project, stock photos to choose from, and illustrations and icons to add to your designs.
Price and Plans
Piktochart has a free plan made for starters. However, it has limited features. The paid plans are packed with tools that you can use to complete your projects. Pro plan is used for businesses to create branding and visuals. Meanwhile, the Team plan is for larger teams of more than two members.
Pablo by Buffer
Pablo by Buffer is an image creation tool for social media campaigns and marketing content. It is built by Buffer, a reliable social media management software. Even without social media experience, you can start creating engaging visual content for your business. It allows multiple designs from inspirational quotes, blog post teasers, product images, testimonials, and more.
In addition, it’s easy to access tools to start your projects. Create micro-content quickly without taking much of your time. It gets rid of time-consuming editing tasks and allows you to get better results in time for your campaign.
Pablo is a free tool that users can access online or through a browser extension. It also has pre-made templates to quickly create visual campaigns.
Fotor is one of the best photo editing tools small businesses can manage to use. Like every tool for web and graphic designing, Fotor includes uncomplicated features to edit images for social media campaigns, banners, products, and more. Customize your images with a one-tap enhancer and other tools to make your image stand out.
- Impressive Photo Editing Tools
Fotor lets you edit images with tools such as crop and resize, background removal, one-click enhancement, add photo effects, and more. Also, it has ready-made templates and tools to edit products.
- Stunning Visuals for Social Media
Create impressive visuals for your social media accounts, from YouTube thumbnails to Instagram stories. You can use templates available for the social network you need to work on. It’s similar to Canva, where you can select a template for your social media image.
- For Traditional Marketing too
Fotor can also create marketing materials for your traditional marketing strategy. You can design company logos, business cards, brochures, flyers, posters, and more.
- Millions of Royalty-free Photos
Choose from millions of stock images with a high-quality resolution for your visual content campaign. It has a library of images for personal and commercial use.
It is made for beginners and professionals to edit images, create visual campaigns and traditional marketing materials.
Price and Plans
It includes a free version that gives you a run-through of what features you can have. Although it’s limited, you can still work with it. The Pro and Pro+ are two paid plans best fit small businesses and corporations, respectively.
Another name in the market for best design tools for small businesses is Movavi. It has various software programs that work for editing photos, screen recording, video editing, and PDF manager.
The Movavi Photo Editor is a complete and affordable photo editing software with tools that are easy to use for beginners. It’s the best place to edit your images for social media campaigns, blog posts, or products.
What’s with Movavi?
- AI-powered Editing
Software integrated with Artificial Intelligence or AI can make photo editing faster and better. With a single click, you can enrich the color, change the brightness, and improve contrast. You’ll get an optimized image.
- Enhanced Details
It turns low-quality images into bright and noticeable photos.
- Get Rid of Distractions
Remove unnecessary elements from your image without spending hours editing. You can remove a person or thing that gets in the way of your almost-perfect shot.
- Keep Old Photos Intact
Rescue old photos of your family by using Movavi Photo Editor. You can restore black-and-white photos by reducing visual noise and turning it into colored images.
Price and Plans
Movavi has a free plan and paid package. As always, the free version comes with limited tools. Also, Movavi offers bundles. You can buy the photo editor alone or get bundle offers on their website.
Photoshop will always be one of the design tools businesses, marketing professionals, and web and graphic designers can use. With various advanced tools, users can enjoy many ways to edit their images and even create animations and GIFs. However, the only downside to Adobe Photoshop is its complicated tools. You’ll need a bit of time to get used to using Adobe Photoshop.
Adobe Photoshop is now available as a yearly subscription plan. The one-time payment application has been removed from the market. However, you can try Adobe Premiere Elements as an alternative to Photoshop. It is cheaper, and they are offered for one-time payment only.
Create outstanding campaigns with the mobile and web design software Adobe Spark. With its easy-to-navigate features, you can create web pages, social media campaigns, and more.
Adobe Spark does have three design tasks – Adobe Spark Page, Adobe Spark Post, and Spark Video. Every feature can function on mobile apps like iOS and Android, except for the Adobe Spark Post design.
Unlike Photoshop, Spark is easy to use, and anyone can learn the ins and outs. Both amateurs and professionals can get the best out of creating stunning campaigns from Spark.
Start designing social media images that catch your audiences’ attention, build beautiful web pages, and create videos that increase your traffic.
You can enjoy their ready-made templates to create designs without the need to start from scratch. Furthermore, you can collaborate with your teammates by inviting them to edit on branded campaigns.
Get Adobe Spark for free, or enjoy one of their subscription plans. The Individual plan has a 30-day free trial.
Adobe Spark Features | Screenshot from Adobe’s website
Need to design your website but can’t think of the perfect color palette?
Color is vital when designing a website or any campaign. It attracts customers or people to engage with your content. However, choosing the right color seems to be difficult.
Coolors is a website that makes color selection easier than ever. You can generate the colors you need and choose from hundreds of color combinations. You can find out the perfect color you’ll need for your website or for building brand awareness.
Upload the logo or image that you have for your brand, click the Spacebar, and Coloors will choose the right color for you. You can lock the colors suggested or choose as many or others that you want.
Getting the right color palette can help businesses build brand awareness and make a company flourish.
Coolors is free to use.
GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format, and it is a tool that creates continuous or looping video or series of images. GIFs are like short videos, but you can also utilize the format to make slideshow movies that are a terrific way to present information on your social media channels.
One of the best GIF makers is Giphy. You can easily submit images of the same sizes, choose the speed, add text, change the background, and download or publish content.
In the US alone, 70% of people use emojis, GIFs, and stickers in their daily communication. With that knowledge, you know that creating GIFs for your campaign can be attractive. Also, GIFs are often used by individuals because they load faster on mobile devices.
Vectr is a free graphics software used to create vector graphics easily and intuitively. It’s a simple yet powerful web and desktop cross-platform tool to bring your designs into reality.
There is no need to spend time learning how to navigate through its interface. Vectr includes intuitive tools for designing attractive graphics that are scalable without losing their resolution.
It’s an online tool that can work on different desktop platforms with live collaboration and includes other incredible features.
- Straightforward and Intuitive
Unlike vector graphics software such as Adobe Illustrator, Vectr is easy to learn and use. Everything is easy to understand, and you can freely navigate the tools. It’s as simple as using an image editor and illustrator software.
- Design Tools and Features
At first sight, the interface appears overwhelming, with only a few basic functions such as text, pencil, shapes, and pen tools. It does, however, have a panel with additional capabilities, some of which are more complicated, such as various clipart designs, calendar icons, stars, lightning bolts, and arrows. For using bitmaps and SVGs as a background, there are also edit and import options. There are tools for shadow, color, fill type, border, and opacity, among others. Users would be able to undertake virtually any design work as a result of all of this.
- Real-time Collaboration
Work with your team and clients with Vectr’s real-time collaboration features. Get live editing to finish a task faster. You don’t have to wait for design approval at all. Live sharing can work on the web application and desktop app.
- Scalable Images
Vector graphics have a better advantage than raster designs. It can be scalable without the loss of resolution. Therefore, no matter what size, it creates a clean and crisp image.
Plans and Prices
Vectr is a free online and desktop software that can be accessed with an account.
Small businesses need to find the right tool for them to thrive in a competitive and changing environment. Design tools can help in different parts of an organization and various industries. The use of design tools can help provide a solid foundation that assists in better communication, a productive environment, and an increased profit. Find which design tools you need for your team and start using them to your advantage.