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3 Free online tools for non-designers to create marketing images

Isn’t it true that a picture is worth a thousand words? Getting the right visuals and images for your content is critical in today’s content-heavy environment. The following instalment of our series will look at three free tools for non-designers that can help you create some epic images for your marketing.

Free Tool 1 – Freeicons.io

What is it: 

Freeicons.io is a fantastic collection of icons and illustrators that you can access, edit, and download for use on your website, print materials, apps, and social media. A team of in-house designers carefully creates and curates the icons and illustrations, which are then made available to the public.

What’s great about it:

The team at Freeicons.io has compiled a massive collection of icons. A large portion of them are free to use, which is fantastic. Also, if you create a free account, you can change the colours of the icon to match your brand’s style. This provides an excellent free alternative to the collection of icons included with Microsoft Office

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What are the limitations:

The most significant limitation is the requirement for attribution with each icon; while you can use the icons for personal and commercial purposes, you must attribute them to their author – the suggested attribution is “Icon made by [author link] from www.freeicons.io.” More information on attribution for various media can be found here.

Pricing model: 

Decent Free Plan. As previously stated, the majority of the icons on the site are free (with attribution). There are a number of premium icons available for purchase, but I haven’t found a reason to use them because I’ve found free icons that meet my needs.

Free Tool 2 – Pixabay

What is it:

Pixabay has over 2.6 million royalty-free photos, illustrations, vectors, videos, music, sound effects, and GIFs. Their extensive collection can be accessed via their home page’s main keyword search bar and then download the asset after you’ve found it. The majority of the assets are free for commercial use and do not require attribution, so you can use them for whatever you want!

What’s great about it:

There are a lot of really high-quality stock photos that I use almost every week, and some of the illustrations have also been useful. The search engine is very useful, and the ability to download the asset in various sizes makes life a lot easier when looking for web optimised images.

What are the limitations:

Two irritants more than limitations: when you search, you are presented with both free and paid options… Sometimes the paid options are not clearly marked, so you might think you’ve found the perfect asset only to discover you have to pay. The second issue is that some of the illustrations are cartoony, which I don’t need. To date, I’ve only used Pixabay for images, not videos, music, or other media.

Pricing model: 

Decent Free Plan.A large portion of the results are freely available, with the majority of the paid options being presented via third-party advertisements from companies such as iStock. So far, I haven’t had to pay for an asset.

Free Tool 3 – Storyset

What is it: 

Storyset is a really cool website that offers a variety of awesome, free, customisable illustrations that you can download and use in whatever format you require. Simply search for an illustration that meets your requirements, customise as needed, and download for free. Keep in mind that you must provide attribution for the illustration wherever it is used.

What’s great about it:

While there are some cool customization options available, such as adding/removing layers, changing colours, and styling the background. The best feature of Storyset is the ability to easily animate your illustration; with a few clicks, you can add basic animation to any of the elements in the illustration to really bring it to life. You can then export it as an animated.GIF/video or get the HTML code to add it to your website.

What are the limitations:

The animation feature is really cool, but the animation options are limited to how the element enters the screen and then what it does on screen – this isn’t a video animation tool, but they look really cool. The only other restriction is that you must give credit when using them for personal or commercial purposes.

Pricing model:

Genuinely free to use. You never have to pay anything as long as attribution is provided where it is used!

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