My Three Favorite Ways to Create Visuals for Free

When I left a corporate position where someone else paid for great, fancy software I found that I needed to find some new tools. I no longer had access to tons of stock photos and Photoshop to help me make badass images. Thankfully, some sleuthing, googling, and (always my favorite) asking of friends led me to a happy place where maybe I can’t do everything that I used to, but I can do a heck of a lot.


Tan teddy bear in hipster glasses staring at a laptop.
Bear with my puns please.

I have to admit that I’m a bit of a fangirl for Hubspot. They provide various services to paying clients, but as someone marketing on the cheap I absolutely adore all the resources they provide for free to everyone. They provide advice through whitepapers and webinars, as well as a ton of tools. There are free stock photos, templates, and more. Go poke around and you’ll almost certainly find something useful. (Yes, that photo to the side is definitely a free Hubspot Stock Photo — who doesn’t love a bear on a headset, even if it’s not the most applicable?)


There is a paid version of PicMonkey, but to be honest, there’s so much in the free tool that I’ve never felt the need to buy the full version. PicMonkey is incredibly intuitive with various filters, edits, and even cute overlays and frames for your images. I used the collage tool to make the Facebook banner below right before Easter to showcase a nonprofit thrift shop’s character and variety of merchandise.

Collage of thrift shop merchandise including Easter items and men's suits.

Trying to put this together elsewhere would have involved a lot of futzing with sizes and placements, but with PicMonkey it was less than 15 minutes — and most of that time was spent choosing which photos would work best for our goals!

Photoshop Express

Finally, sometimes you just want the free version of Photoshop. Photoshop Express makes me gleeful until I have a proper “real” version of Photoshop again.  I love the browser version for its simplicity and ease of use.  Just look at that interface with those perfectly useful buttons. How can it make you not want to sigh with gratitude?

Screenshot of Photoshop Express being used to edit a photo of a gorgeous gray cat.


This isn’t an exhaustive list (Inforgraphics mean I turn to other tools), but they are my solid standbys, my true favorites. What are yours?

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