8 easy-to-use DIY design tools for non-designers

8 easy-to-use DIY design tools for non-designers


Compelling and on-brand visuals can do wonders in getting your message across while leaving a positive impression all in a split second. Your visuals can make a huge difference in growing your brand. But with limited access to funds, time, and a team of expert designers, how can your business stand out? That’s why we’ve got a round-up of eight powerful and easy-to-use DIY design tools made for anyone who needs to create beautiful illustrations within minutes.

person sitting at a desk looking at their screen and the options for design tools for non-designers
By OrangeCrush

8 DIY design tools for non-designers

DIY design tools for branding and marketing materials

DIY design tools for social media content

DIY design tools for presentations

DIY design tools for branding and marketing materials

Starting your business can be daunting, let alone designing your brand identity. You’ll have to come up with a logo, decide which typefaces and color palettes reflect your brand, and design your business card, to name a few. You’ll also have to be consistent and on-brand with your promotional and marketing materials. Ease your creative process with these tools.

Canva

As one of the most popular DIY tools for non-designers, Canva has garnered over 60 million users worldwide. And it’s easy to see why: their feature-rich design platform allows you to build creative visuals to boost your branding.

A gallery of colorful design templates
Canva’s homepage via Canva

The platform has a vast catalog of designs for you to choose from, whether it is for branding or marketing needs. With just a couple of tweaks, you can create on-brand and visually inspiring content. And if you need help from your team, Canva lets its users seamlessly collaborate with each other in one workspace.

Canva is available online and on mobile. However, the mobile app version has limited features and is best used for simple edits. Another thing to keep in mind is that the platform’s huge following across the globe may mean having similar designs to many users. Of course, you can always upgrade to Pro or take more time tweaking your designs to make them unique.

Features you’ll love

  • Over 50,000 inspiring design templates to choose from
    Canva’s array of design features includes customizable templates that you can use to create cards, logos and marketing materials. If you upgrade to Canva Pro, it unlocks millions of high-quality images, professional designs and videos.
  • Quick access to your Brand Kit
    With Canva Pro, you have access to your Brand Kit, a collection of branding assets that you can use as a quick reference to ensure your design follows your brand’s visual identity. Having a Brand Kit at your fingertips is very helpful in maintaining consistency in your artworks.
Canva’s brand kit page showcasing its brand logos, fonts, and colors
Canva’s Brand Kit dashboard via Canva
  • Collaborate with your team in real-time
    Planning to work with multiple people? Canva Team has you covered through its collaborative workspace. Here, you and your teammates can edit artworks in real-time, leave comments, suggestions and assign tasks.

Availability

  • Website and mobile (iOS and Android)

Membership plans

  • Free (limited features)
  • Pro membership: $12.99/month for up to 5 users
  • Enterprise: $30/month per person for a minimum of 25 users

VistaCreate

Nothing short of savvy, VistaCreate (formerly Crello) is an all-in-one design platform for everything you may need—professional or otherwise.

A monochrome photo of a woman is backdropped against a solid blue backgrounda
VistaCreate’s editor dashboard via VistaCreate

Aside from digital visuals for branding and marketing, VistaCreate users can craft posters, menus, shirts and other content that they may want to print. The platform showcases templates made by expert designers as well as animation features to level up your branding and marketing visuals, like interactive videos, GIFs and animated illustrations.

One drawback is VistaCreate’s extensive editing tools, new users may get slightly overwhelmed and can take a while to figure things out. But with practice, the platform is can become a useful resource for all your design needs.

Features you’ll love

  • New impressive and inspiring design templates every week
    The platform adds new templates every week, making sure you won’t run out of options when creating your logo design, business cards, and product labels. VistaCreate even takes it up a notch with its hip, trendy and diverse designs that you can personalize!
A gallery of logos for a juice bar, a pet shop, a flower shop, and a retail shop for men
Template logos via VistaCreate
  • Update your visuals with design suggestions, animations, and music or sound in seconds
    Enhance your storytelling process and add character to your branding with animated elements. You can even integrate sound into your design, perfect for video or animated content. And if you’re not keen on deciding color combinations (like many of us!), the platform has dynamic color palettes and font type combinations to help you out.
  • Remove background from your logo
    Another extremely helpful feature is VistaCreate’s “Remove background” tool, which turns the background of your logos and images transparent. You can also seamlessly layer your logo and other design elements on top of the other layers.

Availability

  • Website and mobile (iOS and Android)

Membership plans

  • Free (limited features)
  • Pro membership: $10/month

Adobe Creative Cloud Express

A household name in the world of design, Adobe is known for its leading design software used by professional creative designers across the globe. In a bid to expand its market reach to non-designers looking for an easy-to-use design tool, Adobe launched Adobe Creative Cloud Express (formerly Adobe Spark).

A tablet featuring an editor’s dashboard
Creative design dashboard via Adobe Creative Cloud Express

Adobe Creative Express shares similar features with Canva and VistaCreate, they all have features like design templates in different formats and editing tools. Adobe takes it up a notch by making the customization extra fun with integrated quizzes to help guide users in their design process. It’s also packed with practical editing features, like a layers menu.

Although the platform’s free version curates incredible ready-to-use design templates, you have limited choices compared to the free templates available on Canva VistaCreate. This can be tricky when designing for a certain niche with scarce design options. If you prefer to put in a little bit more time to edit the templates and make them your own or start designing from scratch, then this platform is for you.

Features you’ll love

A collection of vibrant logo designs for a restaurant called ‘Good Soup’
Logo Maker suggestions via Adobe Creative Cloud Express
  • Cool logos in minutes using their Logo Maker
    This feature starts with a short quiz to determine what kind of logo you are trying to create, which style appeals most and the key design elements you want to include. The result? A couple of design suggestions can be a great starting point for designing your brand’s logo.
  • Easily work with layers
    This feature is great when dealing with too many layers that overlap, as you can re-order and edit the layers with ease. No more clicking and moving design elements by mistake—a huge plus when editing tiny icons or texts!
  • Access to Adobe Fonts and Adobe Stock
    After choosing a design template, Adobe Creative Cloud Express pulls hundreds of “remixes” or design variations, from color palettes to animation effects and layout, to help you tweak your design. With this, the platform integrates Adobe Fonts and Adobe Stock giving you access to royalty-free high-quality images and stylish font typefaces that you can add to your design.

Availability

  • Website and mobile (iOS and Android)

Membership plans

  • Free (limited features)
  • Pro membership: $9.99/month

DIY design tools for social media content

Millions of photos, videos and other marketing posts are uploaded on social media every day. This makes establishing your presence on numerous platforms tricky, which is why you’ll need the following tools to help you in your social media content needs.

BeFunky

BeFunky is best known for its photo editing features and graphic design editing tools. It has helped countless users produce enticing illustrations for Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and even Etsy.

BeFunky’s home page featuring its different collage layouts
via BeFunky

BeFunky’s photo editing tools go beyond basic editing features, like adjusting your image’s brightness, exposure, sharpness, and color. The platform also has a variety of slightly more advanced tools to remove backgrounds, adjust background opacity and use lens blur and levels tool. Add to that the number of filters and textures available that can easily take your social media content from good to great.

You can use BeFunky for free without needing to create an account. But the free version of the platform is quite limited in terms of the available editing tools and design templates. Any saved images will have a BeFunky’s watermark, which can be annoying if you are after creating branded content. Once you upgrade to BeFunky Plus, the platform is definitely a powerful tool for your social media content needs.

Features you’ll love

  • Advanced photo retouching tools
    BeFunky’s retouching tool is perfect for editing portraits and turning them into magazine-worthy images. With this tool, you can remove unwanted wrinkles and blemishes, smoothen skin, adjust eye color, hair color and face shape.
  • Turn your photos into digital art
    Liven up photos by using artsy filters or overlay textures, like bokeh lights, fabric and paper textures. You can also create sketches, cartoons, paintings and other digital art formats. And all can be done in a few clicks, even a curved text option is available.
A photo of a man singing on stage transitioning into a digital art
Digital art filter in action via BeFunky
  • Add photos from your computer, Facebook or Google album
    Search through thousands of free stock images or upload photos directly from your computer. Or sync your Facebook account and Google photos to the platform for easy access to your photos.
  • Graphic design templates for social media
    Browse through beautifully crafted templates, from retro and vibrant to modern and minimalist, that you can personalize. Make unique YouTube channel arts, shareable Pinterest graphics, themed Facebook and Twitter posts and Etsy banners.

Availability

  • Website and mobile (iOS and Android)

Membership plans

  • Free (limited features)
  • Pro membership: $9.99/month

Desygner

This platform is a tool built for social media marketers and bloggers in mind. The platform focuses on providing high-quality images and graphic design templates and tools to help create content that increases audience engagement.

A collection of social post templates for fashion retail businesses
A preview of eye-catching new collection posts for social media via Desygner

Desygner has features that increase user efficiency, like version history to track and retrieve design changes, social media calendars and even allows design collaboration with your team.

However, some of Desygner’s best features are accessible only if you upgrade to Desygner Pro (six users) or Desynger Business (100 guest accounts). The free version of Desygner is already a great starting point for individuals who want simple yet enticing social media content.

Features you’ll love

  • Gain access to Shutterstock images
    Desygner is powered by Shutterstock, a marketplace for stock images, videos and music. That means access to millions of Shutterstock creative assets. Do keep in mind that your access may vary depending on your subscription plan.
  • Adjust your content in different sizes
    Social media platforms require content of varying sizes. Fortunately, you can skip the hassle of readjusting every graphic element on your design with Desynger’s Resize tool. By selecting your preferred format, the Resize tool automatically adjusts your content accordingly.
A demo of how to use Desygner’s Resize tool
Easy to use Resize tool via Desygner
  • Track your revisions
    Designing your content involves a lot of trial and error. Desygner’s Version History button keeps track of the changes you’ve made to your artwork and restores it automatically when needed. A smart feature that can save you from redoing edits.
  • Manage your social media posts
    Desygner integrates a social media calendar on its mobile app version where you can schedule posts in three steps: select the content, write your caption for the post and choose the date and time for posting. You can also track your progress on your completed and upcoming posts.

Availability

  • Website and mobile (iOS and Android)

Membership plans

  • Free (limited features)
  • Pro+: $4.95/month (includes 6 users)
  • Business: $9.95/month (includes 100 guest accounts)

Lumen5

More brands are harnessing the power of video content as they are easier to digest and are engaging. But in a competitive market, a video’s creative quality is essential to its success.

A preview of professional video templates from Lumen5
Captivating video templates via Lumen5

Lumen5 is an online video maker created for non-designers seeking to boost their social media presence on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and other platforms. Through Lumen5’s easy-to-use user interface, you can create videos from scratch or choose from thousands of video templates. There are also design elements that help elevate your videos, like animated assets, music, sound effects and a voiceover recorder.

The free version of Lumen5 gives access to unlimited video templates and basic video editing tools. However, anything you download will bear the watermark of Lumen5. Upgrading to a paid plan will unlock advanced features and millions of creative assets.

Features you’ll love

  • Get personalized video template suggestions
    Unlike other platforms that jump straight to the templates page, your journey on Lumen5 begins with determining your main design goal (consistent branding, one-time project or individual/personal use) and your design style. Once completed, a page of suggested video templates is ready for you to sort through.
  • AI-powered blog-to-video converter
    Maximize your content, specifically your blogs, and create videos that you can easily share with others. With its AI-powered feature, Lumen5 can scan through your blog and choose the best sentences to highlight on your video. A video is then automatically created which you can further edit per your preference.
a preview of how to convert a blog into a video
Blog-to-video tool via Lumen5
  • Easy-to-use video editing tools
    Adding images from your computer or Lumen5’s gallery of stock photos is as easy as drag and drop. You can also change the video’s design style, including your color palette, font typefaces and scene transitions. And to keep your content on-brand, you have the option to add a watermark or upload your logo to be overlaid on your video.
  • Add music, sound effects, or voiceover
    Lumen5 provides access to dozens of free music for every mood, funky, calm or romantic. If you have a song in mind, you can upload it from your computer too. But make sure that you have permission to use it to avoid getting flagged. You also have the option to narrate or record a voice-over for your video.

Availability

Membership plans

  • Free (limited features)
  • Creator: $15/month
  • Premium: $79/month
  • Business: $199/month

DIY design tools for presentations

Dull presentations can hurt your chances of keeping your audience interested. Create visually appealing presentations and get your message across in an engaging way with these tools.

Venngage

Numbers, figures and charts can be overwhelming to look at. With the help of Venngage, you can transform complex information into beautiful and easy-to-understand infographics, mind maps, pitch decks and reports, to name a few. There are also interactive features like quizzes, survey polls, and embedded videos, that you can add to your presentation.

a woman and a man are pointing at infographics and charts
A creative illustration of different infographic designs via Venngage

Venngage’s simple yet impactful design features and templates helped thousands of professionals turn their ideas into powerful presentations. The platform, however, can benefit from improving its slightly dated user interface. For example, the narrow editing tools tab forces users to scroll through tons of options before finding what they need. The tools, in general, are also pretty basic but are enough to get the job done.

While Venngage can be used for free, you can only publish your design on the Community Page where it will be visible to other users. Upgrade to premium to save and download your infographics and decks.

Features you’ll love

  • Infographics, charts and deck templates for every purpose
    Venngage offers extensive options of infographic designs that fit your goal. Need to present statistical data? Venngage presents diverse templates that simplify data for you. Want to propose HR guidelines? You can choose from dozens of HR-tailored deck templates. Among the other design categories available are fun data templates, tutorials, NGO and real estate templates.
  • Make your presentations interactive
    Add fun quizzes, survey polls, a signup form or embed a YouTube video using Venngage’s Interactive tool. Besides this, you can give animated data visualization templates a try—a favorite feature among Venngage users.

Availability

Membership plans

  • Free (limited features)
  • Premium: $19/month
  • Business: $49/month (1 to 10 members)
  • Business: starting at $499/month (11 to 100+ members)

Piktochart

If you are in search of a design tool that has more options than Venngage for presentations, reports and prints, Piktochart is your best option. It’s a popular visual storytelling solution used by individual users and big or small businesses worldwide.

 

A screenshot of Piktochart’s homepage
via Piktochart

The platform offers everything you’ll need and more to produce creative and professional-looking materials. From thousands of presentation and infographic templates that you can personalize and an extensive creative assets library (icons, high-quality images, GIFs, etc.) to interactive charts and graphs. Piktochart users can also collaborate remotely with their teammates.

Features you’ll love

  • High-quality design templates
    Whether you’re looking to present a business proposal, close a sales deal, or pitch a promising product, Piktochart features high-quality design templates for decks, infographics and reports. Editing the templates is super easy using their intuitive design tools. You can also drag and drop any creative assets into the template.
Three different presentations deck
Sample presentation decks for company culture brief, product analysis and business forecast via Piktochart
  • Drag and drop design components
    Piktochart’s Design Components has ready-to-use slides that you can drag and drop into your presentation deck. It includes slides that you can use for your About Us page, outcomes overview, timeline and package prices, to name a few. All you have to do is plug in the necessary information and tweak the design per your preference.
  • Use advanced editing tools
    The platform integrates a couple of more advanced editing tools than Venngage. For example, there is a masking tool where you can customize photos into different shapes. You can also play with different color schemes and scroll through dozens of background options.

Availability

  • Website and mobile (iOS and Android)

Membership plans

  • Free (limited features)
  • Pro: $24/month per user

Create eye-catching content like a pro

The number of online platforms catering to DIY designers has grown astronomically in recent years. That said, it can be overwhelming to weed out the most efficient and practical tools to use. We hope that our review of these easy-to-use DIY design tools for non-designers has shed light on which tools best fit your needs.

Don’t have time to create visuals that work? Leave the tedious designing process to our team of expert designers and get unique and inspiring designs.

Want to get the perfect design for your business?
Our designers can help you create just about anything.



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