Copy that works in tandem with good graphic design is copy that connects with its audience and delivers results. The right copywriting resources and copywriting tools can help you achieve these goals.
Graphic design is essential for any digital marketing strategy. It creates an instant visual appeal that draws the audience in and conveys information with images. By creating a cohesive and eye-catching style, graphic design helps strengthen a brand and make it visually memorable.
But I’m a copywriter–not a graphic designer!
Even though copywriting and graphic design are separate disciplines, and they are jobs usually performed by different individuals, copywriters and graphic designers must work together and understand how their creative elements combine to make the perfect on-page user experience.
The good news is that copywriters can also benefit from learning the basics of graphic design. Even if you’re not constantly applying this skillset, it helps you understand how to create copy that connects with and elevates the work of graphic designers.
The more copywriters and graphic designers understand one another’s needs and expectations, the better your work will become. Here are 10 free copywriting tools we recommend to take your graphic design to the next level.
Free Design-Focused Copywriting Tools
Design-focused copywriting tools let you create new graphics, edit images, and customize all your design elements to fit the needs of a wide range of projects.
Your first thought is probably, “Aren’t these tools expensive?”
While the cost of premium graphic design programs can certainly be a barrier, many graphic design tools offer a free level of access without sacrificing a lot of functionality.
Here are several tools to elevate your design work without breaking the bank.
Canva is a free graphic design tool that allows users to create logos, posters, flyers, and presentations with drag-and-drop simplicity. Canva’s free app gives you access to thousands of templates, stock photos, fonts, graphics, videos, audio tracks, and other design elements to easily optimize your projects, whether you’re a graphic design expert or a copywriter needing some quick, professional designs.
Canva is great for projects including:
- Social media
- Video ads
- On-page graphics
- Web design
- Logo design
- Photo editing
Want even more functionality? As you improve your graphic design skills, you may want to invest in more advanced copywriting tools. Canva offers a free 30-day trial of their pro software with advanced branding, graphic editing, and content planning tools.
Pixlr is a free photo editor and graphic design tool and a great choice for both amateur and professional photographers, graphic designers, and anyone else who needs to create or edit images.
Pixlr is packed with features, including various drawing and painting tools, layers, filters, and more. This design-focused copywriting tool also offers a range of templates and pre-made designs to help users create stunning visuals quickly and easily.
Some of Pixlr’s primary features include:
- Create professional designs by removing backgrounds quickly and easily from images with AI-driven tools.
- Access design templates for a variety of platforms and uses.
- Turn images into professional animations by using presets or customizing them to your needs.
Like Canva, Pixler offers a free 30-day trial to access advanced features such as higher resolutions and access to additional design elements.
Gimp is a free and open-source image manipulation program that allows users to create and edit photos, illustrations, and graphics. Gimp is also highly customizable with the ability to connect with a host of 3rd-party plugins, such as:
- RawTherapee RAW image processor.
- Image retouching tools like Resynthesizer for image object removal.
- Cyan for print image conversion using the CMYK color space.
The Gimp GNU image manipulation program is entirely free, so there’s no pay barrier for access to the full software.
Vectr is a free vector graphics editor that enables users to create beautiful designs quickly and easily. Vector graphics are made up of shapes, lines, and points used to create images based on advanced mathematical concepts. These images can be scaled and resized without losing resolution.
Vector tools can be daunting for beginners. However, with practice and the right tools, they can help you produce high-level graphics to elevate your content. Vectr’s click-and-drag interface is easy to use for non-designers and can be used to collaborate with teammates in real time.
Vectr’s basic graphics editor is free. If you’re looking to invest in a more powerful premium tool to create advanced vector art and fulfill other graphic design needs, you can also try Adobe Illustrator.
#5: Adobe Express
Speaking of Adobe, if you’re looking for a free graphic design tool that allows users to create stunning visuals for websites, social media, and more, Adobe Express is a great option.
Adobe Express is the perfect copywriting tool for creating:
- Social media posts and ads
- Web stories
- Animated videos
Previously Adobe Spark, Adobe Express has expanded its functionality and is free to try.
Inkscape is an open-source vector graphics editor that can be used to create and edit vector graphics such as illustrations, diagrams, logos, and line art. It is free to download and use, and it works on Windows, macOS, and Linux.
Inkscape has a wide range of features, including a powerful drawing toolkit, advanced path operations, bitmap tracing, and many more. Inkscape is a great choice for graphic designers, illustrators, web designers, and anyone else who needs to create or edit vector graphics.
Stock Photo Sources for Graphic Design
Many graphic designers rely on stock photos for day-to-day design projects. Here are a few free sources you can leverage to incorporate stock photos into your copy.
Pixabay is a free resource for high-quality photos, illustrations, and vector graphics. They also offer access to resources such as videos, music and sound effects, and GIFs.
Unsplash offers free high-resolution photos with an emphasis on nature and landscapes. They offer a range of images to fit the brand needs of your clients, from natural vistas and wild animals to more urban-style street photography and business settings.
Pexels is a free resource for high-quality photos from a variety of genres. They also provide videos, leaderboards for popular image creators, and content creation challenges to keep their graphic content fresh and relevant.
It’s all in the name. FreeImages is a great source for photos, illustrations, and vector graphics. Clipart, icons, PSD files, mockups, and templates are also offered for a variety of graphic design needs.
#11 (Bonus!): StockSnap
If you’re looking for high-resolution stock photos, our bonus freebie recommendation is to try StockSnap. This resource provides images in a range of categories including business, nature, flowers, beaches, food, family, travel, fashion, and more.
Boost Your Graphic Design Skills with Copywriter Exchange
Whether you’re a copywriter, graphic designer, or other marketing creative, Copywriter Exchange wants to help you expand your box of copywriting tools.
Remember that you can download our Ultimate Guide to Graphic Design (for Non-Designers) for free.
Want to join a community of marketing talent get access to resources, templates, and more, and connect with potential clients to find the perfect gig? Join Copywriter Exchange today.
Connor Holmes is a content writer with Content Workshop who comes from a diverse writing background. He worked as an award-winning public safety staff writer at his hometown newspaper, The Cape Coral Daily Breeze. He earned his MFA in creative writing and has professionally published fiction and poetry. He has also tutored English to students from grade school to grad school.
At Copywriter Exchange, we’re a group of master content marketing pros who bring their diverse talents and backgrounds to bear on the art and science of creating high-performance content tailored to your needs. We exist to help copywriters thrive in today’s economy by connecting them with the resources they need to step up their game. Join now to access our templates, guides, and courses to help you grow your career, skills, and network.