Free Tools for Designing Graphics and Visual Advertising

by Sean Ross

2 min read

As a startup or new small business, the art of drawing in and keeping customers is paramount to success. A well-designed graphic marketing campaign is often the key to creating a great first impression. Everything about the appearance of your business, including your company’s website, logo, social media accounts and marketing material, has a distinct role in communicating with consumers, and your company can be undone by poor graphic design. The issue for many small businesses, however, is the cost of purchasing professional software or hiring a professional designer. There are several top-notch software programs available to you for creating professional-grade graphics and promotional materials at little to no cost.

Vectr

Vectr is a free graphic design editing program, available as a standalone desktop application as well as in browser-based web format. This editor lets you create two-dimensional vector graphics with an assortment of essential design features, as well as optional fonts and shadows. While this software affords the versatility you may need for tasks such as presentation illustrations, simple website design, and the creation of icons and basic logos, Vectr may not be the most appropriate software to use when launching an all-out promotional or marketing campaign. Consider using Vectr as a maintenance program to put in play once you’ve got your design structure established. Once enabled, you can easily sync Vectr’s software with anyone, anywhere to collaborate on designs.

SVG-Edit

SVG-Edit’s software allows you to create shapes and images in XML, a format that easily stores and transports data, and then the software’s scalable vector graphic viewer renders them. Today’s modern web browers are fully capable of displaying the SVG format as easily as documents or images in GIF, JPG, or PNG formats. SVG-Edit is high quality, but it may not be easy for first timers or those unfamiliar with graphic design and coding. If you have employees with graphic design experience, consider using this software to avoid the cost of hiring a professional. Use it to create and edit documents and modify document codes. The software is designed with 2D vector graphics in mind. There is also X3D version for three-dimensional graphics.

Inkscape

Inkscape is a great alternative to Adobe Illustrator for companies on a budget. It’s a completely free open-source vector graphics editor. It has a wide selection of features, with a user-friendly interface and drawing and editing tools. In terms of comparison, Inkscape is essentially a more limited version of Illustrator, with fewer tools and tricks and slightly less versatility. However, for a new small business, Inkscape may be the perfect alternative to shelling out cash or cutting down a limited budget to pay for the services of a hired professional. While some graphic design experience is arguably required, Inkscape’s software is much easier for first timers to navigate and is fairly simple to use once you have a working knowledge of its layout and tools. One of Inkscape’s most notable features is the ability to increase the sizes of images and content without significant loss of quality.

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