The graphic design industry has a three billion pound market in the UK and it’s only growing. So, if you’re thinking about freelancing as a graphic designer, there are plenty of clients in your target market

But graphic design requires more than technology and design skills. You’ll also need tools to complete your projects and make money. Thankfully, there are plenty of free design tools to consider.  

This guide will list the pros and cons of the best free tools for graphic designers, including:

  • Canva 
  • Adobe Spark 
  • Gravit
  • Paint 3D
  • Design Wizard

You can find Countingup’s article on how to find clients as a graphic designer here

  1. Canva

One of the best free tools for graphic designers is Canva. With a free Canva account, you can design all sorts of things, including fliers, social media posts, and brochures. 

Pros

Canva offers a wide variety of pre-made templates, so it’s a great choice for new graphic designers. It also lets you upload files and photos to add to your designs. The platform allows you to design video and animated content. 

Canva offers collaborative features on projects. It also has tutorials on graphic design, which can help you learn more about graphic design.

With Canva, you can download the finished product in the format of your choice so you can easily send it to your client. You can also download the Canva app on your phone. Overall, this platform is easy to use, and it comes with a lot of great free features.

Cons

Despite its extensive free options, Canva’s free platform is still limited. There are some templates and design elements that you can only use with a premium account. 

Also, since Canva is a website platform, you’ll need WiFi to use it. The platform can slow down if you try to work on too many projects at once. 

Canva also has limited colour and font options compared to other platforms. Though it’s a great option for new graphic designers, you’ll have to put in the work to make your finished product original and professional.  

  1. Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark is the free version of the Adobe Suite design platform. It allows you to create professional-looking designs on a simple and easy-to-use platform. 

Pros

Adobe Spark is the free version of the most popular and extensive design software suite, so it’s a great way to get started with graphic design. If you learn the free platform, you can transition into Adobe Suite as your graphic design client base grows. 

The platform is much easier to use than the traditional Adobe Suite platform. It allows you to create various graphic designs, using either a page, a post, or a video. There’s also a smartphone app.

Cons 

Adobe Spark design features are limited due to the platform’s simplicity. This makes it more difficult to create original graphic designs. 

Like many Adobe platforms, there is still a learning curve. So, you may want to start with an instructional video.  

  1. Gravit Designer

Gravit Designer is another great graphic design tool with free features. You can use it in any browser or download the app to use it on your computer. 

Pros 

This platform offers great features to create a variety of graphic designs. You can use Gravit to design things like illustrations, mockups, or logos. The platform allows you to start designs from scratch, and it’s easy to navigate. 


Cons

Unfortunately, Gravit’s free version doesn’t let you work offline. You also have a limited capacity of 500MB cloud storage and limited export options. Also, only the premium version offers touchscreen support. 

  1. Paint 3D

Paint 3D by Microsoft is another of the best free tools for graphic designers. This app lets you draw and design content for your graphic design services. 

Pros 

With Paint 3D, you can free-draw and add colourful elements. You can also add pre-made shapes and designs. The 3D feature lets you add dimension to your design. Overall, Paint 3D is good for illustrative-focused graphic designers.  

Cons 

This platform’s features are great for graphic designers who draw some of their designs. But, it doesn’t offer as many templates and has limited elements for traditional marketing materials. It also works best on a touch screen with a digital pen, making it less accessible to a laptop. This platform overall is more digital art driven than graphic design-driven.

  1. Design Wizard

Another one of the best free tools for graphic designers is Design Wizard. Like the other graphic design tools, Design Wizard lets you create various content, such as marketing materials and cards. 

Pros 

Design Wizard has some great, easy to use graphic design tools. It also offers some free images to design your content with. 

The platform offers tools to learn more about graphic design with its blog page. Plus, it offers plenty of design templates and ideas. This includes a marketing section for ad design and YouTube channel art options. 

Cons 

Design Wizard’s free platform offers ‘pay as you create’ services, so you might have to pay to download finished products. Like most free platforms, Design Wizard’s free version offers limited features. 

Some of the design content can also appear outdated compared to other design platforms. Though there are great template options, there aren’t as many templates as some other platforms. 

These design tools are all great options if you’re new to graphic design. Each tool offers great free features. When your business grows, you could budget for paid design software. Until then, weigh the options to see which tools are right for you. 

Manage your finances with Countingup 

Once you’ve grown your graphic design business with these free tools, you’ll need to manage your finances. Financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you’re self-employed. That’s why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Find out more here.

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