10 Free Online Image Graphic Design Tools

Make your web content pop with visual storytelling

The web is more visual than ever these days. Whether you're browsing from a laptop or a smartphone, the content that probably catches your eye the most is the type of content that has been enhanced with imagery.

Think about how you browse popular social networks like Facebook and Twitter, or Instagram and Pinterest. It's far too easy to browse past a post that's just a bunch of text or even just a sad looking image, and since we all have such short attention spans these days (largely thanks to mobile browsing), content creators need a way to hook people in with more visually appealing stuff.

The visual web has spawned a number of graphic design tools that make it easy for bloggers, ebook authors, social media marketers and all sorts of other web users to create their own images. From simple stock images with text overlay to long and complex infographics, these tools are some of the best alternatives to outsourcing design work or to getting an expensive Photoshop subscription.

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Canva screenshot

Canva is one of the most popular online graphic design tools available today. It's free to sign up, and you can instantly start designing your own image by choosing a template, customizing the layout, adding elements and text, uploading your own images and then downloading your finished image when it's ready.

All of your images are automatically saved as you work on it so you never lose your work, and you can access your images any time under your account. Canva also has a premium option for serious businesses and marketers, called Canva for Work.

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BeFunky screenshot

BeFunky differs slightly from Canva for being more along the lines of a suite of free Adobe-inspired image editing tools. It features three main tools that you can access in your web browser: a photo editor, a collage maker and a designer.

Similar to Photoshop, the photo editor has a lot of options that can be used to tweak and enhance your images. The collage tool is obviously for combining several images into a single one while the designer tool is what you'll want to use if you're creating images for blogs or social media.

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Latigo screenshot

Latigo has a very similar look and feel to Canva. Unlike Canva, however, Latigo actually allows its users to upload videos and documents in addition to images, also offering a built-in cloud storage system with folders to keep everything organized.

Latigo also has a bit more of a social side to it, giving users the opportunity to build profiles where they can show off their work. In terms of the layout of the editor and the feature offering, it's nearly identical to what Canva offers.

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Snappa screenshot

Snappa is another attractive and full-featured online graphic design tool targeted toward marketers. Choose from thousands of photos, patterns, shapes, vectors, fonts and more to create the best looking, high-resolution images for your marketing campaigns and social media accounts.

While Snappa does have a free version, it's very limited. To get access to more features and be able to download more than five images per month, you'll have to upgrade to their Pro plan.

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Visage screenshot

Visage is for marketers who are serious about creating lots of stunning graphics to support their content storytelling. This tool features an incredible suite of image editing tools with Adobe integration, all sorts of pre-created templates to choose from, a team collaboration option and so much more.

Unsurprisingly, like Snappa, Visage is quite limited when you stick with a free account. You'll have to upgrade to a premium individual subscription to get access to all the extra goodies.

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Illustrio screenshot

Another tool geared toward marketers who need compelling visual content is Illustrio, which offers 20,000 different graphics that are completely customizable. Choose from icons, percentages, ratings, words, and patterns.

Just select the graphic you want to start playing around with the color, input some text or use any of the other customizable options to make it look exactly how you want. Although this tool is made for customizing individual graphics that you can download and doesn't offer a complete image and graphic editing solution, it would be great to combine with some of the other options on this list.

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Easelly screenshot

Easelly is an ideal tool for creating detailed infographics and image-based reports. The editor is easy to use and has all sorts of options at the top that help you design and tweak your infographic.

You can add objects, ​drawings, shapes, text, charts, and even your own uploads to make your infographic look exactly how you want. And if you want your infographic to be as long and as wide as possible, all you have to do is click and drag the bottom right corner to set your desired size.

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Piktochart.com screenshot

Piktochart is another graphic design tool specifically meant for marketers who need to create beautiful infographics, presentations, reports, and posters. The library of templates is updated weekly with new additions. And like most of the others on this list, it has an easy to use drag-and-drop editor for adding icons, images, charts, maps, and other graphics.

You won’t be disappointed with Piktochart’s free offering. A free account gives you the opportunity to enjoy unlimited creations, full editor functions, complete access to all icons plus images and of course original size downloads.

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PicMonkey screenshot

If you need an intuitive tool that offers a combination of image editing and graphic design, PicMonkey may be worth consideration. The tool offers advanced Photoshop-like functions to get your photos looking their best, plus a design tool for creating cards, logos, invitations, business cards, posters and more.

The downside here is that a basic free account will only get you a few of the most necessary photo editing tools, while access to the design tool requires an upgrade after the 30-day trial. It’s also not as tailored to users who want to create online content like infographics and social media images.

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Pablo screenshot

Last but not least, there’s Pablo — a very simple image design tool brought to you by the folks over at Buffer. It allows users to select an image and create text overlay so that it can be shared on social networks like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and others.

Bear in mind that there aren’t any fancy icons or shapes or effects that come with Pablo. It only lets you create a background image with some text over it. Even though it doesn’t offer as many features, you still get to choose from thousands of royalty-free images to use and lots of great looking fonts to make your images look as good as possible.

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