5 Inexpensive Graphic Design Tools for the Entrepreneur with a Tight Budget

Graphic design is a confusing, yet extremely important part of any business. Without graphic design, websites wouldn’t be inviting, social media graphics would be just words, and logos wouldn’t exist. No one can argue that businesses that have a good graphic designer make a better impression on prospective customers than those that don’t.

However, some small businesses and startups don’t have the capital to hire on a good designer, or even a freelancer for a small project or two. In those cases, it can be worth it to have someone on your team learn a bit of the basics of graphic design, or even learn it yourself if you have the time. “I like to make sure at least one member of my staff can proficiently use graphic design software, and can create what I need,” says Laurence B. Green, attorney and co-founder of Berger and Green. “That way if something comes up last minute, or if we need a small project completed, we don’t have to outsource to ensure that the job gets completed.”

You can find classes online, or if you’re more of a do-it-yourself-er, you can look up YouTube tutorials, or just play around with the tools until you know how to use them, if you have that kind of time and patience. Of course, there’s also the problem of what software to use. Good graphic design programs can be pricy, and it may not be in your budget to pay for one each month. In that case, you can find many variations of graphic design tools online for cheap or completely free. If you can find one that works for you, then you can produce your own content at a fraction of the cost of hiring a graphic designer.


If you want to make a logo for yourself or your business, your first stop should be Canva. This online tool lets you create your own logos, either based off of their templates, or completely made from scratch. This tool is free in a limited capacity – there are certain templates, themes, art, and fonts that you have to pay a minimal amount to access. But if you’re determined to use a free service, this one will work for you quite well.


If you’re designing something for a web page and need to make vector graphics, then a good choice would be Vectr. Available for free download or online use, it can create impressive vector graphics quickly. The site also includes a user guide and tutorials for those who are unfamiliar with the software, or are looking to do something a little more complicated and need a bit of help.


Sometimes you just need a quick fix – touch up a photo for a promotional post or for an infographic. In that case, you can find easy photo-editing programs on the internet that are extremely easy to use. Pixlr can be used in your web browser to edit, add filters, and more to an uploaded photo. It’s easy and intuitive to use, making it perfect for someone who doesn’t have any photoshop experience.


Infographics are a business’ best friend. Venngage can help create professional, sleek infographics that can be used in for any business or meeting, completely for free. It’s easy to use, as it has many templates online that can be used for whatever purpose needed. But it also has a lot of adaptability and flexibility. Simply sign up, and start creating infographics for your business.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Another good option is Adobe Creative Cloud (including Photoshop, Illustrator, and more). You can get a trial version online for free for many of the apps – though the software is limited unless you subscribe, or buy the full version. If you have the money and are willing to learn, these tools are undoubtedly the best for a business to have as they will provide the best results. If you don’t have the money to actually buy the products, maybe the trial version will work for you, and if not, there are many other options to explore online.

I will recommend – however – if you have the room in your budget, that you hire a graphic designer to do the job for you. They’ll likely produce higher-quality content than you can throw together on your own, and a lot of them are very flexible and helpful. Looking on freelance sites like Fiverr may bring you a freelancer that is willing to help you for a low price.