From drab to fab: 10 free online design tools to boost your internal communication visuals

By Simpplr Marketing
Generating visually captivating content for internal communication no longer demands professional design expertise or a substantial budget, thanks to the wide range of accessible design tools at our disposal, many of which are entirely free. We listed ten of the best free online design tools below to empower you to transform your IC visuals and enrich the overall employee experience.

What is digital design?

The demand for Artificial Intelligence (AI) is snowballing, leading to digital transformations worldwide. As a result, the information era has significantly impacted our reality. Digital design is a byproduct of it, serving as the basis for creating visually captivating and engaging content for organizations.

At its essence, digital design involves the art and science of using digital tools to craft and manipulate visual elements. These tools empower designers to effortlessly blend images, colors, typography, and other graphic elements—to convey a message effectively.

Digital design tools can be categorized into two types: vector-based design tools and raster-based design tools.

  • Vector-based design tools: Vector tools, such as Adobe Illustrator or CorelDRAW, create scalable vector art, maintaining quality even when resized. Quality is not compromised when adding or removing elements, as it can be done easily.
  • Raster-based design tools: Raster tools, like Adobe Photoshop or GIMP, are crucial for working with pixel-based images. Each pixel carries color information, enabling detailed editing. Resizing raster images may result in quality loss. These tools provide filters, effects, and editing capabilities for web graphics, digital photography, and photo editing.

Digital design in internal communication utilizes these two categories. The imagery generated captivates employees’ attention and improves comprehension of crucial information. It transforms mundane data into visually appealing content that resonates with the audience through eye-catching presentations, infographics, and social media posts.

Beyond aesthetics, a digital design enhances message clarity and impact—visual elements strategically incorporated make messages memorable and relatable. Color psychology evokes emotions, while effective typography improves readability. This enables communicators to create visually appealing and meaningful content, capturing attention and fostering a deeper connection with employees.

10 free design tools

These free online tools, from graphic design to video editing, offer professional-grade features without breaking the bank. Leverage these resources to elevate your employee experience to new heights.

Here are ten free design tools to maximize your internal communication:

1. Canva

Canva is a user-friendly design platform that offers over 1 million customizable templates, fonts, and images. This tool lets you easily design eye-catching graphics for various purposes, such as presentations, infographics, and social media content.

With the help of its Learn Center, Canva blog, design school, and events, it is easy to get started quickly with the tool and get creative while at it.

Canva Online Design Tool Home Dashboard

With Canva’s drag-and-drop interface, you can easily design eye-catching graphics—even without prior design experience. While Canva offers two paid versions, Pro and Teams, the free version is often sufficient to communicate valuable info.

2. Piktochart

Piktochart is a powerful online design tool for creating visually compelling infographics, reports, and presentations. It provides a wide selection of pre-designed templates, icons, and charts, making it easy to transform complex data into visually appealing graphics.

Piktochart homepage: Free Design Tool

Piktochart offers a user-friendly interface and intuitive controls that simplify the design process and comes in a Pro and Enterprise version for businesses and individuals. The free version is tailored to help companies improve their visual communication without any cost—forever, which feels overly generous. They also provide guides and tutorials to help newbies get started.

3. Vectr

Vectr is a user-friendly vector graphics editor allowing individuals and teams to create and collaborate on designs. This platform provides various tools and features catering to novice users and seasoned graphic design experts.

Vector Graphics Editor Home Page

It has pro and team premium packages. However, the free version is sufficient for most users.

4. Pixlr

Pixlr is a robust online photo editing tool with features similar to professional image editing software. It offers a variety of editing options, filters, and effects to enhance your images and create visually striking graphics.

Pixlr Homepage: Free Online Photo Editor

It is a versatile free design tool with an intuitive AI-powered system. Whether you need to adjust colors, crop images, or add overlays—Pixlr is a versatile tool for enhancing your IC visuals. The free version is efficient enough, but if you need to upgrade to the premium, it becomes even more effective.

5. Design Wizard

Design Wizard is a comprehensive online graphic design tool that empowers users to create stunning visual content effortlessly. With a vast library of professionally designed templates, users can easily customize graphics for various purposes—such as social media posts, presentations, and advertisements.

Design Wizard Homepage: Online Digital Design

The platform offers an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, allowing users to add and modify elements easily. It offers a vast array of excellent graphics, images, and fonts to improve the quality of designs. Additionally, it has collaboration features that allow team members to work together effortlessly.

While Design Wizard offers a free plan with limited features, premium plans unlock advanced options and additional resources. The platform is suitable for both beginners and experienced designers looking to streamline their design workflow and produce captivating visuals.

6. Easil

Easil is an online design tool specifically tailored for creating social media graphics, posters, and presentations. You have access to a wide range of templates, fonts, and illustrations that can be customized to create visually stunning designs effortlessly.

Easil Homepage: Online Design Tool & Templates

Easil’s drag-and-drop interface and pre-made templates are excellent for marketing and internal communication. The premium pricing options—Plus, Edge, and Enterprise—are customizable based on specific requirements. The free version of Easil can take your internal communications from zero to one hundred, offering impressive features and capabilities.

7. Visme

Visme is a versatile design tool that allows you to create presentations, infographics, and interactive content used by over 20 million people and companies worldwide. It offers a vast library of templates, charts, and icons to help you craft visually appealing IC materials.

Visme Homepage: All-Inclusive Digital Design Tool

With Visme’s easy-to-use interface and animation capabilities, you can bring your content to life and engage your audience effectively. This tool is prominent for its versatility in visual communication. They offer free and paid versions; however, a lot can be achieved with the free version.

8. Adobe Express

When it comes to the design space, Adobe reigns as the king of the street. Apart from being a renowned design software company with a community of software in the Adobe Suite, they have carved a niche for themselves with the recent launch of Adobe Express—a versatile tool for individuals and organizations to create digital assets for marketing and communication purposes swiftly.

This tool is compatible with various devices and has been designed to accommodate multiple operating systems such as Android, Linux, IOS, etc.

Adobe Express Homepage: Online Digital Design Software

This tool is compatible with various devices and has been designed to accommodate multiple operating systems such as Android, Linux, IOS, etc.

9. Snappa

Snappa is a web-based digital design tool that stands out as the only one offering the same templates, graphics, images, and design resources in both its free and paid plans.

Snappa Homepage: Free Online Design Tool

The only limitation is that users with the free plan can download only three designs per month, eliminating the need for careful template selection.

10. VistaCreate

VistaCreate offers excellent opportunities for team collaboration, with a wide range of templates available on their forever free plan—there are over 100,000 templates across various design categories. Additionally, users have access to a vast collection of over a million photos, videos, and vectors to enhance their creations.

VistaCreate Homepage: Team Collaboration & Free Online Templates

The editor’s Styles feature simplifies the process of changing any template’s color palette and font, providing even more customization options. Moreover, you can create your own custom “brand kit” by incorporating your logo, color palette, and chosen font, ensuring seamless brand consistency across templates with just a single click.

Furthermore, VistaCreate provides a generous 10GB of file storage, allowing you to upload all your brand assets and marketing materials. While VistaCreate hopes you’ll take the opportunity to design and order matching business cards or flyers, it’s difficult to find fault with the offerings at hand.

Why is visual imagery essential to internal communication?

Visual communication is a powerful tool that plays a crucial role in internal communication. The use of eye-catching visuals not only increases understanding but also fosters a sense of connection and engagement among employees. Visual content generates higher levels of engagement on social media platforms, and the same principle applies to internal communication.

  • Captures attention: Visual content is processed 60,000 times faster than text, making it an effective way to capture employees’ attention in the digital age.
  • Enhances comprehension: Incorporating visual elements improves comprehension by up to 400% compared to text-only content, enabling employees to understand complex information better.
  • Boosts information retention: Visual content has a lasting impact on memory, with people remembering 80% of what they see and do. By using the right design tools, you can make your messages more memorable.
  • Cost-effective solution: Free design tools allow internal communicators to create visually appealing graphics, infographics, and presentations without requiring extensive design expertise or a large budget.
  • Customizability: Design tools offer a wide range of customizable templates, fonts, and images, allowing you to tailor your visual content to align with your organization’s branding and style.
  • Fosters engagement: Visual content generates higher levels of engagement, both on social media platforms and within internal communication. Using visual communication can help employees feel more connected and engaged.
  • Facilitates connection: Visually appealing content helps employees feel more connected to the information being shared, improving their overall experience within the organization.

By leveraging digital design in internal communication, you can effectively convey important information, improve understanding, and create a visually engaging employee experience. Incorporating eye-catching visuals helps break down complex news, captures attention, and fosters meaningful connections with employees, leading to a more effective and engaging internal communication strategy.

Incorporating visually appealing design elements into your internal communication materials can transform your efforts from drab to fab. Fortunately, you don’t need to be a professional designer or invest in expensive software to create stunning visuals and enhance your overall employee experience. The tools detailed above provide a vast array of features and customization options.

You can effectively engage your employees by leveraging these tools alongside your intranet or other internal communication platforms. Remember, it’s not just about the message; it’s also about how you present it visually to captivate and inspire your employees.

Watch this space for more internal comms tips, and reach over for a demo when you’re ready to further revolutionize your employee experience with advanced AI-powered capabilities!

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