You know that design is key to your success if you're a startup. To create a beautiful and user-friendly product, you need the right tools. That's why we've compiled a list of the best free graphic design tools to help you elevate your startup. We've got you covered whether you're in the planning phase, the building phase, or the execute phase. So what are you waiting for? Start using these tools today!
Creating a startup is hard; going from zero to one is the most challenging stage in starting a company, but these free tools online can help you go from concept generation to creating a minimally viable product. The planning phase will include developing your client journey and designing your business profile. Creating your corporate logo, developing prototypes, and building your website are all activities that will be covered during the build phase. Finally, executing your campaign will entail marketing and improving your pitch deck.
Uxpressia - Create professional customer journey maps.
After coming up with your company idea, the first step is to identify your target customer. Where are your customers located, what is the age range, demographic, what are their needs, and how do you plan to solve them? Uxpressia allows you to create beautiful customer journey maps, personas, and impact maps. With over 70 templates, Uxpressia allows you to build 1 project for free.
Figma - Prototyping and design collaboration
Once you have your target customer nailed down, the next step is to start creating designs and prototypes of your product. Figma is a great way to do this as it allows for real-time collaboration with other team members, meaning everyone can work on the same design simultaneously. It also has over 100 built-in fonts and a wide range of templates to get you started. You can create unlimited projects for free! Figma is one of the most popular free design tools globally, with thousands of free UI kits, templates, and various freebies available.
InVision - Interactive user flows
When designing your website or app, it's important to consider how users will flow through it. Now that you have a rough design from Figma , you can take the next step. InVision Studio helps you map through the user flow. It’s perfect for creating high-quality prototypes and allows you to create interactive user flows, which can be really useful when trying to get feedback from potential customers or stakeholders. You can also add animations and transitions to your designs, making them look even more realistic.
Overflow - Create interactive user flow diagrams that tell a story
If you need to create diagrams or flowcharts, Overflow is a great option. It’s easy to use and lets you quickly create interactive diagrams that are both beautiful and informative. Overflow works seamlessly with Figma, Sketch, Adobe XD, and Photoshop. Overflow has the competitive advantage over InVision when it comes to creating diagrams and flowcharts, while InVision is tailored more-so to animation, prototyping, and has better tools for team collaboration.
Once you have your designs ready, it’s time to start building your product.
Logotouse - Free Open Source logos
At the beginning of creating your startup, logos can be trivial. Don't waste too much time creating your logo, as it can get modified later. The main focus should be on building your MVP and product. Logotouse.com has hundreds of logos open to download right now to plug and play into your startup.
Proto.io - Free prototyping software to test user experience
You will most likely be building a web app that requires some high-fidelity prototypes before development at the startup stage. After you have gathered an outline of the product you want to build from the planning stage, proto.io is a tool for creation. You can make those with Proto.io for free with their free trial; after that it's half off for students with a .edu email. Proto.io is a powerful all-in-one tool that allows you to create responsive prototypes, that can easily be imported to the web.
Principles.design - An open-source collection of the top design principles and methods
Principles.design is a great resource for startup teams who want to focus on design from the beginning. The site includes articles, videos, and books that are all open-source, so you can learn everything about design without spending any money.
Having a startup landing page is an absolute must in the startup world. Building and design can be tricky since there are so many pieces that need to come together. Headlines, body copy, icons, buttons, forms, and other elements need to work together flawlessly for your startup landing page to convert visitors into users or buyers.
Lapa Ninja has hundreds of examples of beautiful startup landing pages from dozens of companies and industries so you can get inspired by the best in the business before building your own startup’s website.
Webflow - The no-code website builder for startups
When it comes to building your startup website, Webflow is one of the best options out there that allows you to create beautiful websites without writing any code and has full CMS integration so even non-techies can manage their own content. They have a forever-free plan as well as startup pricing plans where you can qualify for up to $2,500 on credits towards a team plan. Webflow has dozens of cloneable templates here to create your startup website in one click without code.
Now that you have a beautiful website design, customer persona, and prototypes, it’s time to tie it all together.
Canva - The startup design powerhouse for illustrations and graphics
Canva is an amazing startup that has taken the world by storm over the last few years with its easy-to-use platform for creating any kind of graphic from social media posts, flyers, infographics, and even entire websites. With a library of over a million free stock photos and illustrations as well as tools for customizing fonts, colors, and layouts, you can create any kind of design you need in minutes. Plus, they offer team plans with unlimited storage so your whole startup can get creative. Canva's templates are easy to use and allow you to create beautiful graphics for your startup's social media.
Color Hunt - The best place to find startup color inspiration
When it comes to finding great colors for your startup branding, Color Hunt should be your go-to source. They have a constantly updating library of startup color palettes for you to choose from. You can even use their website or plugin to generate random color palettes if you're in a hurry.
Free stock photos - The best websites to find startup images
When it comes to finding startup images, there are so many resources out there that it can be hard to know where exactly you'll find the right ones for your startup. To make things easier, we've put together a list of our favorite free stock photo sites as well as places where startups go when they need illustrations or icons: Unsplash, Pexels, Freephotos.cc, Burst by Shopify, Creative Commons Search, and Public Domain Pictures.
Unsplash - With over one million images, Unsplash is our go-to for startup photos. It has a huge library of high quality, royalty-free images and you can search by keyword or browse collections.
Pexels - Pexels is another great resource for startup photos with a wide selection to choose from. You can also filter results by license type and color.
Freephotos.cc - Offers similar search capabilities as Unsplash and Pexels, with a library of photos that can be filtered by license type.
Burst by Shopify - Burst is a free stock photography site created by Shopify. It has high-quality images in a various categories and is made with eco commerce stores in mind.
Creative Commons Search - If you want to search for startup photos across many different free stock photo websites at once, use Creative Commons Search. This site has over 600 million items and allows you to filter results by image size and license type so that the only images that appear in your search are the ones available for commercial purposes.
Public Domain Pictures - Public Domain images are open for any project and include famous art throughout history that now falls under the public domain.
Free illustrations - The best websites to find startup illustrations and icons to level up your pitch deck
Blush.design - Tell your story with hundreds of high-quality illustrations. Blush has a growing library of fun, vibrant colors to pop your company's branding.
Free mockups - The best websites to find mockups to display your product
Ls.graphics - Ls.graphics offers free mockups for presentations and UI. Use them for the highest quality digital mockups, display your startups app on computers, tablets, or phones.
Mockups-Design - Mockups-design is another great free resource for mockups. They have a wide variety of mockups to choose from and are unique in physical product mockups.
The best way to sum up these tools is that they’re all great resources when you need quality visuals to help communicate your startup ideas, whether it’s during the planning phase, the building phase, or the execute phase. And best of all, they’re all free! So go ahead and start using them today to level up your startup.
Now that you have the tools, learn the skills to turn your startup dreams into reality. Apply to Leangap today to learn skills to build the next great start up.