The 2 Best Design Apps for Non Designers to Make Shareworthy Images
Are you a designer? Wondering what the best design apps for non designers are so you can create graphics that look great? There are two that I recommend: Canva (my favorite) and PicMonkey (a close second).
People are “image happy” nowadays, being drawn to quotes and other viral photos on their Facebook and Twitter feeds. And, you can’t even think about running Pinterest or Instagram campaigns without them, because they focus solely on photos and other graphics!
The free version of Canva offers a ton of features: free layouts, elements, fonts, backgrounds, photos, and illustrations. It’s also the easiest image editing tool that I’ve ever used, which is what makes it great for people who don’t have a lot of design experience.
You can choose from premade template sizes and designs for the most popular platforms, like Facebook cover images, Facebook posts, Pinterest, Twitter cover images, Google Plus cover images, blog graphics, etc. I use some of their premade designs for “inspiration” when creating images.
If you need additional images, they are available for $1. And if you sign up for the business plan, you get access to over 300,000 images.
Canva has its own “design school” to help you learn basic graphic design, for us non-designers out there.
You have to pay to export PNG files with a transparent background. Not a big deal for most people, but if you’re creating logos, it’s a pain. And, it’s why I fork over the monthly subscription.
You also can’t upload your own fonts with the free version. Again, not a big deal for most people, especially since they have significantly increased the font selection over the years. But, if you have a client who insists on having the same fonts they use on their website, then you’ll probably need the paid version.
Photo editing is limited, but if you’re new to photo editing, maybe that’s for the best.
- Recommended: Invitations, Postcard, Card, Letterhead, Business Card, Flyer, Poster
- Social Media Posts: Twitter Post, Social Media, Pinterest Graphic, Facebook Post, Facebook App, Tumblr Graphic, Instagram Post
- Documents: US Letter Document, Presentation Wide (16:9), A4 Document, Letterhead, Magazine Cover, Certificate, Resume, Yearbook
- Blogging & eBooks: Book Cover, Desktop Wallpaper, Wattpad Book Cover, Photo Collage, Blog Banner, CD Cover, Infographic
- Marketing Materials: Poster, Menu, Flyer, Logo, Brochure, Gift Certificate, Business Card, Label
- Social Media & Email Headers: Facebook Event Cover, YouTube Thumbnail, Tumblr Banner, YouTube Channel Art, Twitter Header, Google+ Header, Etsy Shop Cover, Etsy Shop Icon, Email Header, Facebook
- Cover, Twitch Banner, LinkedIn Banner, SoundCloud Banner
- Events: Postcard, Invitation (Portrait), Invitation, Card, Tag, Program, Announcement
- Ads: Facebook Ad, Wide Skyscraper Ad, Large Rectangle Ad, Leaderboard Ad
To me, PicMonkey is a scaled-down version of Photoshop. And if you’ve ever tried to use it without taking a class, it’s overwhelming. PicMonkey makes it easier to use layers, effects, blending modes, and a ton of “paintable” adjustments that are designed to retouch photos. You can easily use simple effects like shadows to create things like 3D buttons.
PicMonkey is great for adding life to your photos, with filters, frames, and stickers galore. I prefer it over Canva when I want to use a photo as my background, because it’s more photo friendly.
Their Basic plan costs less than the paid version of Canva.
If you have a lot of fonts on your computer, you can upload them to Picmonkey for free.
There isn’t a free option, only a 7-day free trial. If you have the means to do so, Picmonkey has a Basic subscription available for $7.99 per month.
The stock image selection isn’t that great. You’re limited to the images in the templates. (If you’re wondering where to find photos for your blog, here’s a list of 27 places to find free stock photos.)
- Email: Header
- Etsy: Cover, Order Receipt Banner, Profile, Shop Icon
- Facebook: Ad, Carousel Ad, Event Cover, Group Cover, Page Cover, Personal Cover, Post, Profile Image
Ads: Half Page, Leaderboard, Leaderboard Ad Mobile Large and Small, Pushdown or Billboard, Large Rectangle, Medium Rectangle, Skyscraper, Wide Skyscraper
- Instagram: Landscapes, Portraits, Post, Profile, Stories
- Kindle: Book Cover
- LinkedIn: Company Background, Personal Background, Post, Profile, Sponsored Ad
- Medium: Background Image
- Pinterest: Long, Medium, Short, and Square
- Snapchat: Geofilter
- Tumblr: Post, Profile
- Twitter: Tweet, Lead Generation Card, Profile, over Photo
- Twitch: Highlights
- Wattpad: Book Cover
- Youtube: Cover, Display Ad, Overlay Ad Long, Thumbnail
- iBook: Cover
What about you? Do you think these are the best design apps for non designers? Do you have other apps to recommend? Let me know in the comments!