Free and Low Cost Design in the Cloud

There are so many great tools out there online these days that a person could power their entire business using nothing but free and low cost web apps.

One area that has seen tremendous advancement is the area of online applications geared towards helping people do all things related to graphic design. For some, the days of buying software suites that cost more than the most robust desktop computer may be coming to an end.

Below is a list of some of the most popular online offerings that address design, illustration and editing, including crowdsourcing of custom design.

Graphic Design

  • Aviary – Suite of online graphic design tools for image editing, color and effects editing, illustration and even audio editing
  • Pixlr Extremely popular free online photo editor
  • Picknik – Pretty straightforward image editor
  • Inkscape –An Open Source vector graphics editor with capabilities similar to Illustrator
  • Photoshop.com – Edit, store and share online
  • Jaycut – online video editing set of tools that also allows you to install video editing on your site for user generated campaigns
  • Splashup – Full featured image editor, plays nice with photo sites
  • flauntR – Lots of tools from the FotoDesk folks


Color Design

  • COLOURlovers – duh, that’s why you’re here!
  • kuler – Color Design and Schemes from Adobe


Web site design

  • Weebly – drag and drop web site and blog design
  • Webs – Lots of templates and ecommerce options (how did that get that URL?)
  • Yola – Another easy to use site builder
  • Createplace – Focus on building portfolios
  • Sitekreator – Very robust tool that includes hosting
  • WebNode – HTML and css editor robust enough to design and maintain entire web sites


Presentation Design

  • Slideroll Nice simple way to create slideshows
  • Prezi – This is a very cool way to share and animate a presentation. It’s more like a unique platform than tool
  • Sliderocket – Powerful way to build and share online presentation


Crowdsourced Design

  • Elegant.ly Focus in on pitching your start-up to a group of designers
  • Crowdspring – Logo and web design and now copywriting
  • 99Designs – Contest driven crowdsourced design
Author: John Jantsch
John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, award winning social media publisher, and author of Duct Tape Marketing and The Referral Engine.