Top-Rated and Free design tools to create content

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Canva is a powerful, but still simple to use, template-based graphics design app. There are hundreds of thousands of templates, graphics, and photos you can use as part of the free plan (that goes up to millions of assets with a Canva Pro subscription).

Canva Dashboard

When you open Canva, you’re presented with dozens of possible templates for everything from posters to Instagram Posts. It’s a lot to navigate, but there’s great search built in. Just click the search bar in the top right of the screen and look for something like “birthday instagram stories” to see more specific options. (I got 160 suggested templates just for that.)



Crello is really close to Canva, globally it propose almost the same tool and features are close to each other. It’s also really high quality tool, the dashboard design is a little bit different, but we highly recommend Crello for social media marketing creative content.

Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark

Adobe is the biggest name in graphic design, so it’s no surprise they have an app designed for making social media and web graphics. Adobe Spark (or Adobe Spark Post on mobile for the tools you want) isn’t as well known as Photoshop or Illustrator, but it’s better for most people. And it’s free to get started.

As I write this, Spark claims to have more than 34,000 templates for you to work from. A good chunk of them are Premium templates, only available to subscribers, but there are still thousands available for free. (To me, it looks like it’s a roughly 50/50 split between free and Premium).

Adobe Spark dashboard

Search isn’t as good with Spark as it is with Canva. The simplest way to get started is to select the kind of post you want to make from the home screen, then use the Templates search in the left sidebar to find the one you want, rather than to just search everything from the home screen. You can also create your own design using the Icons, Design Assets, and Backgrounds tabs in the sidebar, and, of course, adding your own photos (or pulling them from Pixabay) and text with the appropriate tools.



Of all the apps on this list, Snappa is the only one whose free plan has access to the exact same templates, graphics, images, and other design resources as the paid plan. The catch is that, instead of having to carefully check what template you’re using, you can only download three designs a month.

If you only occasionally need to create images for your social media channels — or just want to create a one-off banner for your Twitter account or Facebook page — it’s really nice to not constantly be running into upgrade notifications. As good as Canva and Spark are, the free plans do make you very aware that there’s a paid plan they’d love you to be on. Snappa is a lot less pushy — but no less useful.

The other mild difference with Snappa is that its templates — while excellent — aren’t as thoroughly themed as some of the other options. (Right now, just before Christmas, there are only three generic holiday-season Instagram post templates.) You need to look at the defaults as a base you can customize and build from, rather than something ready-built that you’re just adding a photo and changing the words with.

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